It’s been a gruelling week, I’ve finally got round to giving this whole standing workstation thing a go. I watched recently while Pete gave it a go in the office for a month and felt that as someone who’s already spent 20 years slouched in office chairs of varying quality and who already has the shocking posture of Gollum it might be worth a go.
The benefits are fairly obvious and if done right (lots of sitting breaks etc) then I could not only improve my basic posture but potentially burn a few calories and improve my core strength a little while effectively doing nothing.
I’m not keen to rush out and buy a standing rig straight away, our desks at work are custom made and fitted so would ultimately need a joiner to come in and do some work and for me to get a taller bar stool style chair which I could sit at so it’s not a small investment but I’m feeling more comfortable at the end of the first week already so I hope there’s something to it.
It’s actually not tiring on the legs and combined with the fact I’m running around 40 miles a week that’s good! The only real issue so far is some discomfort in the lower back which I attribute to having been sat down at a desk all these years and having a chimp like posture. The current aim is to stand for around 45 minutes and sit for 5 to take a break or generally stand until there’s any hint of discomfort.
You do find yourself constantly shifting a little bit but that’s good.
My cheap and quick setup
It’s not glamorous but it gives me the chance to try the standing up workstation without committing hundreds of pounds. It’s a couple of plastic shelving units zip tied together but after experimenting with various boxes for keyboard and mouse this feels about right. I found the keyboard was too low when at the recommended level for my height and I got terrible wrist pains in a day or two but a bit higher and some elbow support seems to have remedied this.
A note on concentration
As the sitting breaks mirror a pomodoro type technique, albeit over a slightly longer (45 instead of 25 mins) period of time, I’m finding adjusting to this workflow because I’m often used to zoning out on a task for a couple of hours at a time like many designers I’m sure.
Can’t quite figure out if this is a good thing or not, it’s thrown my flow into disarray a little because the breaks are enforced by a need to take the strain off a little but I’m sure I’ll adapt in due course, 20 years of habit won’t change in a week.
The plan is to see how it goes for another 3 weeks before making a decision on what to do about our somewhat heavy duty fitted desks here. I’ll keep you posted.
Any questions about my experience, feel free to ask.