I bought a standup computer desk

Last month Yahoo ran an article, “The Most Dangerous Thing You’ll Do All Day.”  SPOILER ALERT!:  It is sitting.  Yep.  It cites a study published in 2010 that found that people who sit most of the day are 54-percent more likely to die of a heart attack.  That’s a BIG indicator!  And it is an independent indicator, which means the 54-percent remains even if you exercise an hour or two every day.  Even if you eat right and don’t smoke.  Which means if you have a desk job, or play online computer games (I do both), that time spent sitting is going to raise your chances for a heart attack.  Apparently this is not new news; research as far back as 1953 came up with the same correlations.  Read the article; it is short and has good ideas about how to mitigate your risks.   At work I now get up and move around more often, and make it a point to stand up when I take a phone call.  Apparently the good cholesterol levels go up when you stand, and drop back down when you sit.  No one knows why this happens, but better to be safe than sorry.  I’m doing more standing.

[July 2011 update:  If you need more incentive, Men’s Health ran another article about how how sitting increases the risk for colorectal cancer, too.  Read more about that here.]

I even bought a standup computer desk.  I ordered this one online from Ergo In Demand.   It is adjustable, so you can set it to your best height for the keyboard and for the monitor height (independently).  It is made of metal and pressboard, but actually looks pretty good in the living room; it doesn’t scream industrial.  Didn’t take me long to put together (by myself), though I needed some help when it came time to adjust the keyboard/monitor heights.  You do have to pop off the plastic side panels to adjust the height, but since I’m the only one using that computer, it shouldn’t be a problem.

The cats don’t like it though.  If I wasn’t sitting right up against the sit-down computer desk, they took the space as an invitation to sit in my lap.  Especially if it was chilly and I had the portable heater nearby.  Susan could be quite insistent I pay attention to her, even if I was in the middle of a WoW quest and my character was in a fight.    Writing of WoW, am also thinking this may cut down on some of my WoW time; it will be easier to move away from the computer and do things around the house while I am between quests.

But above all, it will probably cut my risks of having a heart attack . . . by 54-percent.   That’s a lot.

PS  Someone looked at this after searching about playing games at a stand-up computer desk.  Yes, I play WoW standing up.  Am still working on my mouse technique for movement, but the game playing is going well.  However, am thinking about getting a gel mat for those hours of extended play on the weekends.  My feet hurt!

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About judithornot

Lives in semi-rural Northern California, happily married, retired counselor, night person, knits, plays WoW.
This entry was posted in health, home, Uncategorized, work and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to I bought a standup computer desk

  1. Andy says:

    Hi,
    How long have you used it, the standupdesk?
    Do you still like it?
    What percentage of the time do u use the standup vs sitdown?
    Any more advise for getting/using one?
    Thanks
    Andy

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  2. judithornot says:

    Hi Andy! I’ve been using it for about 4 weeks now, and I still like it. It took me about a week to get used to it. My desk at work is a sit-down one; if you average the work days and time at home in one week, I spend about 50% computer time at each. I put a small box under my stand-up desk to alternate resting a foot, and I finally spent the money on a gel mat to stand on. (My feet were hurting! There is a noticeable improvement with the mat.) But the muscles in my legs and butt are more toned. And I find it encourages me to do other things beside sit and play WoW for six hours. 🙂 I like it!

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  3. judithornot says:

    Hey Judith,

    It’s great to see how the word was spread about the dangers of sitting all day. It has informed a lot of people who have never known, but certainly would like to.

    One thing to consider besides the anti fatigue mat (gel pad) would be a drafting stool. This is a good way to take short breaks from standing. We use electric adjustable desks in our offices, we are spoiled 🙂 But many of our customers who buy our fixed height standing desks have recommended a stool. Just something to consider in the future.

    Congrats on making the change to stand at home!

    Kent

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  4. judithornot says:

    Thanks for making the suggestion, Kent! I have considered the drafting stool, but am trying to avoid it. I may get one later. 🙂

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  5. Laura says:

    I was inspired by your blog to get into the stand-up computing game. I have set up a temporary standing workstation at home (lots and lots of books and a piece of wood on my old desktop for now), and have ordered an inexpensive desk similar to yours for work.

    How do you like stand-up computing after a year? Are you still doing it? Have you noticed any health benefits?

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    • judithornot says:

      I like your temporary stand-up station at home, Laura. :-). Good way to test the waters. Yes, I am still doing it at home, though I discovered sometimes my feet hurt. lol. The anti-fatigue mat didn’t make much difference. Standing at the computer highlighted that I need more exercise, so it was a gentle push in that direction. That is a health benefit. :-). Am thinking the real benefits may be more subtle, as in problems not quietly building up that might do so if I continue sitting all the time.

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