Thursday, September 11, 2014

standing up at work

Aunt Dottie never needed a fitness routine as her entire day was filled with "lots to accomplish tasks". She remained thin and fit most of her life spending large amounts of time out in her garden and tending to tasks inside the house. Always on her feet.

But me ..... I sit at a computer desk all day long ... for hours .... on end. I awoke a few months ago to a news story how "sitting was the new smoking". Really? Crap .... I just gave up smoking 2 years ago, now this is on my head too? The news story stated that sitting all day was just as bad as smoking even if you exercised daily. Double crap. The issue was related to colon health.

I had begun to notice my hips hurting at the end of the day more and more and it struck a cord with me and I began thinking about it. Hmmmm..... but what to do?

I did some Google searches to find ideas on stand up desks. Some neat ones I found with treadmills attached, or hydroponic lifts. Expensive - super expensive. This was my work desk and I wasn't willing to spend a lot of money and I knew my employer wouldn't either.

Here is what I finally ended up ... but wait there's more to the story.

So, it started with me going downstairs in my basement and looking around. Hmmmm......

I found several of these Ikea tables. This table was probably the right height to put on top of my current desk, but not long enough. I could have used 2 but I didn't want to use both the tables as they were my daughters. I homed in on the legs .... they screwed in!

Burke was not happy when I had him disassemble an old pantry style cabinet. We threw some of the rough broken stuff away, but the side of the cabinet were in good shape. Shelves! I grabbed one of the long white shelves and unscrewed the legs from the small table and screwed them into the long white shelf.


This was my original concept. I actually used my computer and turned it on it's side to raise up my keyboard. It worked .... but was a little awkward.

So began my first day .... would this help me lose a few pounds. I'm not gonna lie, it was hard. I kept wanting to give up and just sit down. So I brought in a stool like this.

It worked and was sooooo uncomfortable that I never wanted to use it, but I had something if I really needed it.

Standing requires more effect and burns more calories right? So I started tracking my weight. There were days were put on my headphones and danced away in my little cubicle.

But still .... what about days where you just didn't feel good and wanted a nice comfy chair.

Hmmmmm.... what else? My conclusion was ...the best desk is one where you could sit or stand whenever it suited you.

I did try and use my comfy chair with my stand up desk, but before too long, I would get kinks in my neck from straining to look up constantly.

I thought .... what if I had a monitor on my actual desk for those times where I wanted to sit. My computer was capable of handling 3 monitors.

I couldn't use a big monitor because it wouldn't fit properly under my stand up desk. Which, it helps that it's small, so I don't like to use it too much.

Awhile ago, monitor stands were all the rage and my employer ordered a ton of them. Soon everyone gave them up and they ended up in the storage closet. I grabbed 4 of them. Perfect height!

I put two of them together and a shelf on top for my keyboard and mouse. I even turned one upside down and hung it on my stand up desk to hold collections of crap.

Since everything came forward a bit - my painting ended up being covered up a bit by my lamp and I still need to move it. But here is what it looks like. The fam ....

So the cost of my stand up desk - $0. I got a little creative and reused some items and worked out a method right for me. I spent most of my day either standing or leaning on my stool. And those moments when I really need to sit in my comfy chair - I do.

If you are standing for periods of time, I would recommend getting one of these nifty kitchen mats - it does help. They sell them everywhere with different colors and patterns. I did actually spend a couple of bucks for one.

It's been several months now and what I've found is that I want to stand more and my hips and legs feel better after a day of standing - and my colon health is solid! I also enjoy my sit down meetings more these days. :)

And as far as losing weight? Well ..... not that I've seen.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it's pretty cool that you got to build your desk for $0. I've been wanting to buy a stand up desk since I read that article about how people who sit for long periods of time have shorter lifespans. Thanks for the inspiration to get creative and make one instead of buying one.