Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Weekly writing coach: Standing room

One of my all-time favorite opening lines is "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink." But that won't do for us consultants, so I'm writing this at the standing desk shown here.

I chose a standing desk for lots of reasons: To reduce back, shoulder, hip and leg problems; because I'm doing more dictation for the same reason and don't need to be stuck in a chair; and to allow me to move more easily.  Now I have three work areas in my office.  The standing desk is my primary writing space.  A regular desk--really a long table--is my sitting workstation, although I do have a drafting stool that's tall enough to work at the standing desk when necessary.  The third area is a printing/video processing/scanning station, separate from the other two.

So far, I'm finding that I focus better and feel better physically when I use the standing desk.  The keyboard shelf sits exactly at the right spot for me to type with my shoulders in a natural position. I like that this model doesn't take up lots of room and can roll anywhere I need it to be.  If I wanted to, I could use it as a practice lectern--it's tall enough.

Here's some of the reading I used to help me make the decision:

  • Standing at your Mac to save your back from the Unofficial Apple Weblog led me to this Safco Muv Stand-up Adjustable Height Workstation, which shipped free because I have Amazon's Prime shipping.  (Shipping's a major consideration with a heavy item like this one--some standing desks went off my list when the shipping got up to $200.)
  • This Business Week article, "Your Office Chair is Killing You," came across my desk several ways--interestingly, it suggests that the more comfortable ergonomic chairs may be making you sit longer, not desirable. A Berkeley professor quoted in it says, "Short of sitting on a spike, you can't do much worse than a standard office chair." Got it.
  • Lifehacker loves a standing desk and has lots of posts for those of you wanting to make your own (or repurpose something else).  It offered these exercises you can do at your standing desk, too.
I'd love to hear from those of you who've considered or are using standing desks--feel free to make your recommendations in the comments.

Related posts:  Weekly writing coach: Wristed (with wrist exercise video)

Weekly writing coach: Hammock time! Ways to improve your writing by not writing

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