For a long time I have been aware that, as a computer geek, I spend too many hours sat in front of a computer screen. For most of that time, I never thought that there was an alternative – if you want to use a computer you have to sit down. A great friend of mine, Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield (@nikkibloomfield) brought up the subject of standing at your desk about a week or so ago and twenty minutes in to the conversation, I was convinced!
The following morning, I was stacking boxes on my desk to get the keyboard and screen at the correct height. The keyboard was easy but, because I use a laptop for work, the screen was very low. I thought I would give it a go for a while, but after only 20 minutes my neck was aching, so more boxes were needed and an external keyboard was pressed into service.
The first day was good. My feet were getting a bit achy by the end of the day (I am also trying out some ‘invisible shoes’, based on traditional Mexican sandles, which doesn’t help!) but being on my feet felt excellent. I found myself continuously moving, without really thinking about it – not fidgeting but just moving. I could easily wander over to my book shelf and look something up, and when Becky popped in to discuss the book, it was easy to turn round and concentrate properly without feeling I was being interrupted. I feel that, by standing up at my desk, I am much more focused and alert. And that was just the first day!
The standing-up-week started on Tuesday and by Thursday I was so convinced that I wanted to raise my desk up properly, so I could get rid of the assortment of cardboard boxes under my computer. I have to say that my feet were still feeling tired by the end of the day, but not in a bad way. I really appreciated sitting down at lunchtime and putting my feet up but I enjoyed getting back to my feet. My sit-down breaks now feel like proper lunch breaks, rather than just a quick graze at my desk. To raise my desk up, I bought some breeze blocks from the local hardware store, and with the help of my teenage son, I lifted up the desk and inserted the bricks. Now I am the proud owner of a proper full standing desk! I still need to sort out a better monitor arrangement but, other than that, it works brilliantly.
Having only been using it for a week, it’s early days. It is odd, sitting here at Becky’s desk typing up this entry – my back is tense and I feel uncomfortable, I need to stand up!
Meanwhile, Becky’s seat stays firmly seated in her comfy, cushioned chair….