My Stand-up Desk

Unless you’re like Hemingway who is reported to have stood up while typing his novels, the writer’s life could kill you.  Too many writers (me included) and social media types spend too many hours sitting in front of the computer.

I enjoy physical exercise and it’s seldom I miss a day working out.  I run a 10K three times a week, and on alternate days I go to the gym.  I assumed that I was living a healthy lifestyle until I discovered that despite starting my day with exercise, this wouldn’t make up for the hours I spent sitting.  When you think of it, 60- 90 minutes of exercise is only a small percentage of an entire day.

The research results are unequivocal.  A sedentary lifestyle causes heart problems, diabetes, obesity and cancer.  It gets worse; too much sitting actually changes your metabolism.  Simply put, it makes you fat.

So I’ve been literally scared onto my feet.  After researching online for the cheapest, most stylish stand-up desk, I bought the Safco Muv from Cymax at $293. 15 including tax.  The desk was delivered to my door in a box.  According to my husband who does things like that for me, it was easy to put together.

The Safco adjustable workstation has two platforms, one for a laptop placed at eye level and a lower platform for a keyboard.  Ergonomically it works.  My computer screen is at eye level and my arms are parallel to the floor.  The grey color and modern design goes perfectly with the décor of my office.  Because the workstation is narrow, there is also enough room for my regular sized desk.  This is important as I navigate from my stand-up desk to my sit down desk which is located three or four feet away.

The disadvantage of the Safco is that once it is set up to an individual’s height, another person who is taller or shorter would not find it ergonomically comfortable.  The more expensive models of stand-up desks can move up and down with the push of a button, but these upper-end desks can cost thousand of dollars.

Although there are many articles and posts on the net about stand-up desks, I found the article on The Wirecutter to be exceptionally informative.

So why did I go to the expense of buying a stand-up desk?  Aside from the obvious health effects, when you’re standing you burn more calories.  It’s also reported to be better for your back.   Much to my surprise, I discovered that standing keeps me more alert.  When I first got my stand-up desk, I started by using it for just a half hour and then I gradually increased the time.  If your office has a hard floor, I’d recommend standing on a mat.

According to the January, 2013 article in Maclean’s magazine written by Kate Lunau called Don’t Just Sit There, “sitting is emerging as the new health plague. “ Furthermore, researchers believe that television viewing is perhaps the worst for your health.  In a study by Australian researchers, “Every single hour of TV viewed may shorten life by as much as 22 minutes.”

I’ve found using the stand-up desk is a little like going to the gym.  Once it’s become a habit, you don’t think about it much, you just do it.  Awhile back, I went on vacation for a couple of weeks and found that when I returned home it took me a week to get back to my routine of using the stand-up desk.  But I’m back on my feet now and determined to stay there.