Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Working standing up

So, in my last post I explained why I don't think that treadmill desks are the answer -- not for me, anyway and probably not for the majority. If it works for you, that's fine. There is no One Size Fits All.

However, standing up to work did seem to have a lot of potential and has a respectable history. Thank you readthisandweep for this list of other writers who regularly worked at standing desks:

"...the fact is, several well known writers wrote standing up: Lewis Carroll, Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway & George Sand all wrote standing up. And apparently, Philip Roth does today."

What is more, I remembered that for quite a few years as a young mother, I wrote standing up too. It wasn't actually for exercise and health reasons in those days; my job involved plenty of standing and walking. No, I did it because if I sat down to write, the children and cats would make a beeline for me because I was plainly off duty and thus should be attending to them. If I was standing up, on the other hand, I was working and they left me alone, by and large. So, back in the early 80s, I improvised a standing desk by putting the typewriter (yes, pre computer!) on an upturned washing up bowl on the kitchen work surface. This worked surprisingly well, so I started looking around the house to see what I could improvise now. And I came up with...

From Illustrations for blog posts

Yes, it is rather Heath Robinson :) but it works absolutely fine, didn't cost a penny and is quickly and easily assembled and dismantled as required. Basically it's the middle sized table from a nest of three standing on a basket chair with the laptop sitting on a lap-tray on top. I've been using this set up for a couple of months and did the last batch of marking mostly standing up.[*] I find that I can shift my position slightly even as I type and also when thinking, I can take a few steps back and forth, which is not exactly giving me any exercise, but it is keeping the circulation moving and stops me getting stiff from sitting or standing in one position for too long.

If my back or legs start to feel tired, I just pick up the lap-tray, take a couple of steps to the right and sit on the sofa for a while. When I feel rested, I simply move back to the standing desk.

From Illustrations for blog posts

Voila! A little movement introduced to my working day. Of course the laptop doesn't have all the programs I use and no Internet, so I had to think about the desktop too, but I'll post about that tomorrow...

[*]The other thing about the laptop is that it is that rare beast a standalone computer. It has no connection to the Internet. We don't have wireless and so I can work without being distracted by checking LJ/Google+/Twitter just one more time to see if anyone has posted anything new and interesting.

[Because LiveJournal still sometimes seems a bit wobbly, this was posted to Dreamwidth http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/7899.html and then crossposted to LJ. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]
Tags: different ways of working, move more

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