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Monday, January 31, 2011

Standing at Work

Like many office workers, I tend to sit from 9 to 5 pm.   This means my posture ends up being like this:

Click for larger picture
Not exactly ideal for the spine.

There's been literature recommending people stand or stretch during the work day to avoid long sedentary periods.  Apparently you burn more calories and use more muscles standing than sitting.  Even the New York times picked this up for publication.

Up to this point, I've tried sitting on a kneeling chair, a swiss ball and fancy ergonomically designed chairs.  The one I used for the longest time with any satisfaction was the kneeling chair.

Eventually the padding on the knees wore thin and I retired the chair.  Using the kneeling chair did not prevent  slouching.

So being January 31, 2011 with a bunch of deadlines due for month end, I looked around the office and found some boxes and an old computer.  On went one monitor on an old unused computer, and on went the keyboard on top of a few stacked boxes.  Voila!  A standing setup.

Crappy cellphone picture
 So how does it feel after 8 hours?  Interesting.  My feet isn't fatigued and my shoulders are in a more natural position. I feel more alert.  I shift my weight whenever I feel like it and generally its comfortable.  Time will tell whether its a keeper.  The advantage of the present setup is being able to set aside the boxes, and just revert to the keyboard on the desk.  By tilting the monitor downwards, I am able to use the chair with no adjustment needed for a sitting position.

One thing I love about standing at the desk is being able to break into some squats and lunges just to move around.  I actually do not mind the feeling of standing for periods of time.  Its an interesting N=1 experiment for me.  Time will tell if its a keeper.

Have a read here for some research by the Mayo Clinc:

Here's what Mark Sissons had to say:

Additional links on the matter:


1 comment:

  1. Just do this occasionally. I stood around for my work for more than 10 years. 8 - 14 hours each day. My knee, ankles and calves suffered the ill effects. My calves were in constant pain. My ankles froze when I get up after sitting down for a while. It was no fun.