Stand up

I have a day job in a cube farm. It’s a very nice office – a renovated train station – and I have a window. All good, but the fact is that I sit in a chair all day answering the phone and typing at a keyboard. Or, I used to. Now I stand up to work.

Standing workstations are expensive. We have fairly uniform furnishings at the office and I’ve priced out our brand at @ $400 per station, minimum. Of course, they’re very nice, with adjustable levels for a monitor and keyboard, wings to place documents at eye level and such. I constructed my experimental station for about $40 from the local Big Box Store. It doesn’t adjust and I can’t recommend the level of sustainability, but it was a useful way to try something radical in my workspace temporarily and cheaply.

I purchased two two-shelf units that are both about 11.5″ high, a small bookshelf and a mat to stand on. The longer shelf unit goes in front, with ample room for a keyboard, mouse, and a pack of post-its for phone messages. The shorter length shelf goes in back of the first, and holds the monitor and document stand. My internet reading suggested the bookshelf to the left; it’s possible to reach down to your phone from a standing position but it’s easier to have it pretty close to eye level. I now use a headset and can’t believe I haven’t done that before either – what was I thinking?

I’ve been standing up all day at work for a week now and I was expecting a much harder transition. Not necessarily the strain of standing – 100 years ago nearly everyone stood up to work, it’s a natural position – but I have been sedentary for 6 – 8 hours a day for 30 years. So far it has been easy to leave all that behind.

A quick primer on the subject: Standing at Work, and an opinion piece from the NYT.

2 thoughts on “Stand up

  1. We got R. one of those heated mats for his very frosty studio. He says it’s kind of spooky… and I looked at lecturns mostly so I could say; “I work at a lecturn!”. Sadly they’re all wrong for keyboards, and my life is keyboard-based.

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