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September 29th, 2011


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02:47 am - Attempts to working standing
Having read a great deal about the negative health consequences of sitting too much, it occurred to me to try working and standing. Right behind my desk and chair is a bookcase - I cleared off the assorted clutter from half of it, so that I could turn around, move my laptop, and work standing for a while, and then when this felt too tiring or annoying, I could put my laptop back on my desk and work seated. The bookcase was too low, so I put a box and a couple of thick gaming books on it, to what seemed like a good height. After the second day of trying this, my rump hurt a great deal, and by the third day, my neck started to hurt. That night, I looked more closely and realized that my computer came around 5 inches lower on my when standing that sitting, which caused me to look down on it, and strain my neck. I fixed this by replacing to books with another large box, and then took a few days off to let my neck recover.

Tomorrow, I'll try standing and working again. I could manage to work and use my computer standing up for almost half the time, and now I'll see if I can make this work w/o massive neck pain. In any case, if you try this, measure where the keyboard comes on your chest, and aim for the same height while standing, which is much higher than it seems like it should be.

Btw, does anyone who has tried this have any advice?

(16 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:mindstalk
Date:September 29th, 2011 09:59 am (UTC)
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I suspect it works better with a non-laptop, or rather with separable keyboard and monitor. Seems like the monitor should be right in front of your face, but that requires having your hands way up high. Might matter less if you're reading dense text and need just to page a bit, but for typing a lot sitting might actually be ergonomic for a laptop sans plug-ins.
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From:heron61
Date:September 29th, 2011 10:07 am (UTC)
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Whyso? Regardless of whether I'm sitting or standing, the orientation of my hands, shoulders, and head are the same (at least if I'm sitting up straight, which I attempt to do). I also find desktops unpleasant to use.
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From:kiarrith
Date:September 29th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
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if you do find this is the case, many ppl use separate keyboards for laptops [usb or wireless] because they find the laptop keyboards unhappy making or any variety of reasons..ditto for mice and trackballs of largeness compared to tiny touch clicks of laptops
[User Picture]
From:chiashurb
Date:September 29th, 2011 10:15 am (UTC)
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Mark isn't on LJ, but he was playing with this a few months ago.
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From:sara_super_id
Date:September 29th, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
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It is easy to attach a seperate key board to your lap top, then you can have the key board much lower than the screen. At standing height your head is a good 6 inches or so higher from your hands in typing position than at sitting. So the lap top set up is not ideal. Easily enough fixed by attaching a pc keyboard to the laptop and setting it lower.
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From:heron61
Date:September 29th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
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At standing height your head is a good 6 inches or so higher from your hands in typing position than at sitting.

How does that work? I sit up fairly straight when typing, and so don't see why the height difference between my head and hands should be any different sitting than standing.
[User Picture]
From:sara_super_id
Date:September 29th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
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I don't know why, I keep doing it and I keep seeing it happen. Maybe it is just how I sit?
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From:kiarrith
Date:September 29th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
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mark's adjusted to a standing desk [with some periods of sitting on a high barstool (and walking around/sitting down trips in the 3-7 minutes range through out the day].
for the moment all his stuff is stacked on huge stacks of programming books ;)
but he hopes to one day buy a fancy desk (but finances, etc).
[after doing this for a couple months, we found in a used furniture store one of those tiny stepping machines for $5[!] and he also uses that so it's a 'walking desk' part of the time]
he loves it, and i can either ask him any queries you have or put you in touch with him sometimes if you like
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From:hereville
Date:October 3rd, 2011 09:23 am (UTC)
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IKEA has a desk that can be set up as a standing desk -- the Frederick -- that's not very expensive. (I think it's around $120?)
[User Picture]
From:kiarrith
Date:October 3rd, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
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oo, good to know, will check it out, thanks
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From:kiarrith
Date:October 3rd, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
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Mentioned it to mark, he said he'd already looked at it and it would not work because:

"Holds an up to 19" monitor.
The table top can be mounted at optional height, from 25 5/8 to 38 5/8".

I have a 24" monitor, and am looking for between 41" and 50" height.
I have no idea who mounts a desk at 25" - that's just over two feet
off the ground."
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From:slothman
Date:September 29th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
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I’m at a standing desk right now, with the desk about an inch above my belt and the monitors on risers to bring them up so the tops of the screens are at my eye height. I have a small stool in front of me to rest a foot on, and am standing on a gel mat, and wearing Birkenstocks for the arch support. I also have a drafting stool behind me so I can sit down and take a load off my feet when they get tired.

I find that it’s not so much a “standing desk” as a “fidgeting desk”. I can stand for a while (as long as my knees are slightly bent), but I need to do a lot of shifting my weight around— propping a foot up, stretching, etc.
[User Picture]
From:hereville
Date:October 3rd, 2011 09:22 am (UTC)
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I was going to give you my advice, but Slothman covered it. Stepstool, check, gel matt, check, arch support, check, drafting stool, check.
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From:darkoshi
Date:September 30th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
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From what I've read, it's best to have your screen just slightly below eye level. When seated, without having my laptop lifted up on something, I would have to bend my neck down to look at it. So I use a separate keyboard/mouse and raise the laptop up.

I tried a standing setup at work for a while by raising everything up on stacks of books... but I gave up on it fairly quickly. My feet get tired and I can't stand still... but sitting is no good for me either. Switching between both is a good idea.
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From:ladyjestyr
Date:October 1st, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
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FWIW, the Cornell Uni ergonomics experts recently made some statements about the sitting/standing issue, although I haven't taken them in yet. Might be useful info in there.
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From:heron61
Date:October 1st, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
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Interesting, their recommendation is to get up every 20-30 minutes. What I may do instead is try moving my laptop over to the bookcase and stand for 15 minutes or so out of every hour.

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