TechHui

Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Because the recent Men's Health article about how your risk for death by heart attack is doubled by sitting down all day long, I've decided to try a standup desk. This is my second attempt at a standup desk. Thankfully my apartment's enclosed lanai has a built-in counter which is the perfect height. My feet were killing for the first couple of few days so I put a Tibetan cushion on the floor which makes standing all day much more comfortable. 

Any of you using a standup desk? Do feel like you code better?

 

Views: 391

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I'm glad you brought this up.. I've tried it before and am swapping some furniture around.. so am considering something like this again.

 

I've actually been kneeling lately - I'm not sure if that's any better or not. I use a sheepskin to provide a bit of cushioning from my tile floor. I find that I cannot do it for very long periods without some discomfort but I think it's partially because my desk is a tad high for it. I tried moving my keyboard to a shelf under my desk which seems a bit more ergonomic - caveat is I can't see the keys, but I touch type pretty well.

 

Related, I've found that since I got rid of my chair, I've been browsing the web and chatting more on my phone while laying on my big rug. This is actually pushing me towards getting a tablet (some will be shocked that I'm saying this!) as my mindset is shifting to where I no longer consider the mouse to be a very good means for general purpose interaction in computing. I still think keyboards are good for large amounts of writing - but this is probably the longest thing I've written in one go all day. Most of my emails and messages are fairly short. Likewise, the mouse is good for certain things where precise control is required, but in general I see UIs that are crammed with buttons to be poorly designed.

 

Anyway that's a bit offtopic from your original post... but those are my thoughts! I'm not sure if kneeling is any better or worse than standing. I will say I feel like I use the muscles in my back more to stabilize my posture - try slouching while kneeling - it's pretty difficult unless you have something to lean on! I know some people will probably say that kneeling is bad for your knees but I'm not sure if that's actually true or not.

 

Bottom Line - I think it's common sense that we feel better when we move more. Anything that promotes movement while doing a traditionally sedentary job like computing is a good thing. Devices that let us move around more while computing are a good thing. Outside of things like photo editing or doing highly detailed analysis - I find the traditional computer to be a rather poor means for interacting with information. 

Interesting. Have you found that standing limits the amount of time you can code in a session?

I'm contemplating switching to a ball chair to improve my back health but I don't know if I could go as far as a standing desk. Here is my desk setup:

This is the most comfortable and inspiring office I've ever had :-) Its so much nicer than working in a cube.



Daniel Leuck said:

Interesting. Have you found that standing limits the amount of time you can code in a session?

I'm contemplating switching to a ball chair to improve my back health but I don't know if I could go as far as a standing desk. Here is my desk setup:


This is the most comfortable and inspiring office I've ever had :-) Its so much nicer than working in a cube.

 

So nice to see someone else using Natural Keyboards.  I'm a huge fan, been using them for over 10 years now.  It's a shame they seem to be dying off in favour of these weird half-breeds.  I find these days that I get RSI problems within a few days of switching to work on a normal keyboard.

 

I dislike cubicles, almost passionately.  I'm so used to Open Plan offices that it seems so weird to block people off from everything behind 3 walls.  I can understand a need for privacy for managers and certain staff like HR, but it's hard to understand the need for everyone else.  For one thing cubicles take up more space, but they also add physical barriers to communication and co-operation.  When you're sitting around a table hacking away, even on wildly different products its remarkable how sociable and beneficial to productivity it can be.  Encourages quick questions / answers, mutual problem solving, all sorts of benefits.  Cubicles seem to promote isolationism.  My corner of the Empire, etc. etc.

Thanks for all your replies, Brian, Dan and Paul. Brian, I give you credit. I can't imagine kneeling all day. For me a tablet would work as I'm coding all day long. 

 

Dan, wow! What a view. I know I've seen it before, but it really is very relaxing. Here is cloudy/hazy Chengdu, we can never look out of a window and get a perfectly clear view. I tried using one of those exercise balls as a chair and I could never get used to it. I'd slowly slump forward until I would almost fall off. I'm liking the standup desk. Even though it gets tiring to stand up, I haven't actually let it limit my coding time. I just ganbatte and press on. But I do take 3 minute breaks more often; that's gotta be healthier than my normal nonstop coding sessions. I gotta say though that at the end of the day I'm wiped.

 

 

@Paul I've had the same experience. Ten years ago my wrists were a mess. I thought I was going to have to stop programming. After switching to a Natural Keyboard the problems with my wrists and shoulders disappeared almost overnight. In Tokyo I had a woman on my team who was one of those super productive people you can't kick out of the office if you tried but she had all kinds of problems with her back and shoulders. She was seeing a chiropractor every week. I tried to get her to switch keyboards but she thought they were, "...just too weird." Eventually I just stole her keyboard and replaced it with a Natural Keyboard. She complained profusely the first day, adapted by the third and stopped needing a chiropractor within a week.

Paul: I dislike cubicles, almost passionately.  I'm so used to Open Plan offices that it seems so weird to block people off from everything behind 3 walls.

Generally I agree, but sometimes its nice to have some isolation when you are code moding. It would be great if you could push a button to have the walls rise or lower :-) In our office we have great spontaneous whiteboard brainstorming sessions with both programmers and the creative team that probably would be less frequent if we had cubicles.

Dan, wow! What a view. I know I've seen it before, but it really is very relaxing. Here is cloudy/hazy Chengdu, we can never look out of a window and get a perfectly clear view. I tried using one of those exercise balls as a chair and I could never get used to it. I'd slowly slump forward until I would almost fall off. I'm liking the standup desk. Even though it gets tiring to stand up, I haven't actually let it limit my coding time. I just ganbatte and press on. But I do take 3 minute breaks more often; that's gotta be healthier than my normal nonstop coding sessions. I gotta say though that at the end of the day I'm wiped.

I love that view :-) People on the second floor have a great view of Manoa's amazing mountains. Its one of the reasons I look forward to going to work in the morning.

I'll have to try a standing desk for a day to see how it goes.

Interesting.  I started reading about it, and decided to just do it.  

 

In my limited area I found a desk that is the perfect width and highly doubt I'll have an easy time finding something else that fits so perfectly, so instead of a new desk, I just built a stand for my current desk.  Some 2x4s, brackets, screws and a drill... did the measurements before hand, had city mill make all the cuts, came home and screwed it all together, took maybe half an hour to forty five minutes. Unscrewed the wheels on the desk and put in double threaded screws, drilled holes in the top of the stand for the screws to sit in (so it doesn't slip off).  Done deal....

 

It's taking some time to get used to but my back is a whole lot better for it.  Also I don't mind standing for long periods of time at all now, really.  Went to the Social Media thing at Dave & Busters, it was pretty packed so I just stood, didn't bother me in the least. 

 

 

Aloha,

James

I related this discussion to my girlfriend, Erin, who helps people in Kauai and Berkeley with issues such as sports and lifestyle injuries, as well as chronic pain and posture problems. 

 

Here is her response:

 

I'll first say that a standing desk is a great idea, but I really want to recommend Saddle Seats like Salli offers. They are so worth the cost and do much the same thing that standing does: activate your core, simulating the activity of standing.
While it would be difficult to study lab rats in an "activated" laying position versus just laying, my impression from other studies I've read is that activating your core (i.e. psoas and QL) is what activates your fat burning enzymes, as well as promoting good posture and reducing potential back pain and gluteal amnesia. 
I encourage Dan to use exercises from my YogAlign program while coding all day. It primarily involves using a SIP breath technique that allows you to regularly check in with your posture and core activation. The full program is designed to strengthen your core and counteract some of the effects of a life-long sitting lifestyle (not only sedentary people, but anyone who drives a car and learned to sit at a desk 6-8 hrs/day via Grade K-12 common practices).
Ball chairs are less recommended b/c of the low-level bounce/vibration that can be more damaging than helpful.  
Aloha, Erin Wascher (visit manayoga.com)

I'll first say that a standing desk is a great idea, but I really want to recommend Saddle Seats like Salli offers. They are so worth the cost and do much the same thing that standing does: activate your core, simulating the activity of standing.


Interesting. I'm going to check out saddle seats.

On a related note, here was a post from Lifehacker: The "Sitting is Killing You" Infographic.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Sponsors

web design, web development, localization

© 2020   Created by Daniel Leuck.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service