How I work: Standing Desk Update

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<This is a non-technical post, at least mostly>

Back in January I wrote a post on switching to a stand-up desk arrangement. Since then folks have asked me if I stuck with it, how it worked out, and will I go back to sitting down to work. I thought I would post a few thoughts here on what I’ve done and what I’ve learned.

I’m still at the stand-up desk - but not working it quite the same way.

You can see the setup I created in that link above. I didn’t spend a lot of money, and I didn’t have to do that much re-arranging to make it work. The first day was fine - no problems at all. The second day…not so much. My feet and my back hurt. That continued for the first week after I started….

But then things got better. It wasn’t so bad. In fact, I went to a couple of meetings, and I found sitting down for a long time was uncomfortable. But the standing thing wasn’t perfect, so I added a pad to stand on as I mentioned in the post. That made a world of difference. But it still wasn’t perfect, so….

I added a barstool. I had a wooden one first, but just didn’t use it because it didn’t adjust correctly and it wasn’t very comfortable. So I bought this one:

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And that’s been WAY better. Now, every hour or so, I sit down. If I get tired, I sit down. If I can’t move around because I’m trapped on a phone call, I sit down. It’s never for more than a few minutes or so, but I do take those breaks.

With one more exception - some days I’m physically tired, like when I’ve hiked on the weekends or something like that. In that case, I take more breaks. I bought some Ethernet-over-power adaptors to run my network out to the yard, and I sit out on the porch swing and work for a while. I need the connected wire since I use VoIP and need a fast connection.

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I’ve also moved my office around a bit, and have a Windows Media PC (that and OneNote are Microsoft’s best-kept secrets) so I can watch Ted Talks, listen to  Windows Media Player Internet Radio, watch the University of Washington when they have Computer Science lessons and so on in the background. In fact, I hooked up my computer’s speakers to the pass-through of that Windows Media Center PC, with it’s good speakers. I have the video camera set up for Lync calls, and I use Mouse Without Borders to move the keyboard and screen on the other PC.

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So I’m pretty happy with the setup. I’ve now heard three separate reports on the radio about how sitting is bad for you, so I feel vindicated in the choice. And I think I’ll work this way from now on, if I have the choice. 

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  • Nice followup. I have talked to a few others that do the stand up desk and I think I need to try it.

    At least I do once I figure out how where my desk is. Covered with a lot of stuff right now.

  • Nice! There are some desks that you can move up and down to go from sitting to standing also. I was thinking about getting one of those so I could walk in place while I worked.

    Great follow up post!

  • Awesome - I've been talking about this forever, now I just need to do it.

  • Have you considered doing the treadmill thing as Robyn mentioned below?  When I was at MS I had a standing desk, but never took that next step as I liked the flexibility that you mention above to sit at times.

  • John - no, haven't gone that far yet. We'll see about the treadmill thing. :)

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