Sitting for hours at your desk is bad for you, even fatal in the long run. Paul Knoepfler has recently again made me aware of this – read his Thinking on your feet: practical suggestions for creating and using a standing workstation. There is no point in writing yet another article, because you will have forgotten everything about it after five minutes. So, this here will be different.
I am in no mood to repeat all that has been said better already elsewhere, like the different opinions at NYTimes. Also The Times told readers to “Stand Up While You Read This” while their business section reviewed expensive standing desks. With the latter, we arrive at the point that I want to get across.
No – you should not buy yourself a thousand dollar standing desk and all of a sudden, after 30 years of sitting, stand upright 12 hours a day as if that is any better for you (no, it is not), then have a nervous breakdown after a week, throwing the new desk through the window. Whoever told you any such thing? The guys who sell those desks? What a coincidence!
I'm still standing: Paul sticks to this setup for several weeks now.
As with exotic diets or exercise, why must they always make some expensive, overly bothersome problem out of everything? So that people in the end do not bother to implement any changes whatever? Guys, this is an important issue: yes, sitting for many hours does indeed harm your body! You will do something about it TODAY, and it does not cost an arm and a leg. I tell you how.
Here is how you do it: Right now, I mean now, yes now, you take a piece of paper and put it into the coin compartment of your wallet. Done? No? Do it! Now! Yes, right now.
Whenever you are out anywhere opening the coin compartment, it will remind you of having a quick look around for some box/chair/desk-thingy with about the right height. After a week, you will automatically have your eyes peeled and probably have already found something. That is all – change in your change compartment.
Here is my solution after three weeks. First the problem:
I sit for a few hours, and then I take a little wooden chair/desk thingy that I found in the trash, I put it on my desk and my computer screen/keyboard/mouse on top, and that is it. Cost: zero!
Putting the stuff on top of the desk is a 20 second exercise that belongs to trying to stop killing myself by sitting all day instead of employing more pleasurable methods of doing me in; or in other words, add 10 push-ups every time you do this. After maybe two hours standing like this, I get tired and switch back to sitting mode.
Where can you find a box/chair/desk thingy? Keep your eyes open – objects of about the right height for you are everywhere. Grab it and try it out. No, it won’t be ideal – but it will be much better than not doing anything, and it will tell you whether the next piece of crap you should find or maybe even buy must be higher or lower. Maybe just another wooden plank on top or sawing off the feet is sufficient.
Now back to the piece of paper you did not put into your wallet as I told you: Last chance is now.
UPDATE: Here is Doug Sweetser's solution: