To Stand or Sit?

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Siren
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Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:42 am Post

I'm back trying the "standing desk" approach again, as of yesterday. This time, I have bought a desktop contraption, similar to the one that Hugh posted at the top of this thread -- actually, it is two contraptions: one for my laptop to sit on, and one for my wireless keyboard (set up at a lower height). There is room for my wireless mouse next to the keyboard.

My plan is to have a stint at the standing desk every hour or two, using it until the battery runs down on my laptop, then reverting to my usual curled-up-on-the-sofa position. I'll let you know how it goes.

How do other standing desk users find it, now that some time has passed since the initial discussion here?
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SarsenLintel
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Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:31 pm Post

My wife has a sit/stand desk thing at work. I forget which brand - it's one of those ones that sits on top of her existing desk and can be raised or lowered with a couple of levers (or something). Unfortunately, she got it right at the time when she shattered her kneecap, so her standing time has been fairly limited thus far.

She has reported that she finds it harder to think when standing, possibly because since the injury just standing/walking takes some mental effort. So when she needs to concentrate on something she has to sit back down. She works in research/project management, very brain intensive, so needing to concentrate happens often.

Meanwhile, I work at home and spend long hours sitting, so one of my goals is to start standing some of the time. We have a pub height table, so I think that should be a reasonable height for typing with a wireless keyboard, I just need to find a good sized box or something to put my iPad on so I'm not staring downwards all day.


Edit: scratch needing to find a box. Somehow I totally forgot that I already bought a tripod mount for the iPad. So I'll just put the tripod on the table and that should work fine. Hmm, guess I'd better actually try that out one of these days.

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devinganger
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Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:56 pm Post

I splurged on the Ikea motorized sit/stand desk, a 4-port DisplayPort/USB KVM, a 34" curved Dell monitor, and a bolt-on monitor arm. All four of my systems (work Lenovo laptop with dock, personal ham/electronics Lenovo laptop with dock, personal Surface Pro 3 with dock, and Mac mini) support DisplayPort, so the KVM allows me to switch between all four systems and share the same pro gaming keyboard and ultra-wide Dell monitor. As the desk includes some rudimentary cable management, I have everything wired and attached to the desk so only the two power distribution cords need to be long enough to go up and down with the desk.

I don't stand at it nearly as often as I should, but it's very comfortable and usable when I do. Using the monitor to make sure my screen is ergonomically correct in relation to the keyboard and mouse is the key -- I would not be able to do it relying on just the screens on my laptops.
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Hugh
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Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:49 pm Post

Siren wrote:I'm back trying the "standing desk" approach again, as of yesterday. This time, I have bought a desktop contraption, similar to the one that Hugh posted at the top of this thread -- actually, it is two contraptions: one for my laptop to sit on, and one for my wireless keyboard (set up at a lower height). There is room for my wireless mouse next to the keyboard.

My plan is to have a stint at the standing desk every hour or two, using it until the battery runs down on my laptop, then reverting to my usual curled-up-on-the-sofa position. I'll let you know how it goes.

How do other standing desk users find it, now that some time has passed since the initial discussion here?


My own intentions stalled. I have one of the devices that I illustrated in my first post - but it's really not tall enough for me to stand. So I looked carefully at investing in a Varidesk - not inexpensive, but if the experts and not just the standing-desk marketeers are right and it encourages your heart to go on ticking just a little bit longer... Then Real Life and Other Priorities intervened. But it's still an intention...
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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SarsenLintel
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Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:38 pm Post

Varidesk - that sounds familiar. Pretty sure that's the one the wife has. IIRC she has the ProPlus 36.

Looking at their site, I see they also have a variety of anti-fatigue and activity mats for standing on. One of those (or something like it) might be a good idea as well.

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devinganger
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Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:05 am Post

In case anyone wanted to see my layout, here's a picture of it:

DevinOffice.jpg
Devin's office sit/stand desk
DevinOffice.jpg (398.05 KiB) Viewed 1309 times
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Winner "Best in Class", 2018 My First Supervillain Photo Shoot

Hu
Hugh
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Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:44 pm Post

Cool.
H
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

Hu
Hugh
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Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:44 pm Post

And, if you don't mind my asking, what is the sword?
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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brett
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Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:16 pm Post

Thanks for reviving this thread, which inspired me to finally give standing a try. I'm luck to have a desk that has back that rises up to about chest level. That part of it has nooks for files, mail, etc. but when I put my old Cinema Display on top, it's the perfect height. The desk part actually folds in, allowing me to stand at the recommended distance from the monitor. The keyboard sits a little higher than optimal, but no problems so far, and I could easily fix that if any crop up.

I tried this years ago when the fad first hit but it never took, in part because that was before I realized, from later articles, that the key isn't to stand, or sit, or recline, or maintain any position for more than 30 minutes or so. So I try to use the monitor only when I'm actually Scrivening or doing something else that really needs the big monitor's 24" area. If I'm just reading or checking email or surfing or editing, I do it on my iPad Pro, either sitting at a desk or reclining on the couch, and again try to get up after half an hour or so. (There are plenty of pomodoro style free timers for iOS and MacOS that facilitate this.) This also lets me take frequent advantage of the lovely orchard view outside one of my windows, which the big desk would block. I could also disconnect my MacBook from the monitor for sitting or couch use if needed.

Results after a week: I do feel more energized, my hips (which I'd noticed tightening up after some extended desk=bound sessions over the past few weeks) feel a little looser during yoga sessions, and my lower back hurts sometimes and tightens up. I'd read that back and foot pain was common when you start standing, and I've not encountered the latter yet, but boy, I hope that the new muscles I'm supposedly building will alleviate the backache. I'd appreciate any advice about that. I'm trying really hard to maintain good posture and also just move while standing, like rocking back and forth, doing some side leg lifts, anything to avoid just standing stock still. I do notice that I feel a bit more energized while standing, or shifting workspaces, but might just be attributable to the novelty of the situation, or a placebo effect.

Anyway, I plan to keep it up unless my back objects. Will report long term results if I remember. Would love to hear more stories about this from other Scriveners.

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Jaysen
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Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:07 am Post

Make sure your version of "good posture" is actually good posture as defined by someone qualified. Seems that everytime a posture argument starts up around me a Dr type looks at the arguers and make a statement that can be condensed to "STFU you idiots".

Oddly, Vic-k is never in the arguments. I wonder what that means...
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devinganger
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Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:17 am Post

Hugh wrote:And, if you don't mind my asking, what is the sword?


Paternal grandfather's Mason sword. He died before I was old enough to know him. The American Flyer trains up on the shelves, the sword and a few other bits of his Masonic regalia, and some of his WWII medals are all I have of him.
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Winner "Best in Class", 2018 My First Supervillain Photo Shoot

Hu
Hugh
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Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:29 am Post

devinganger wrote:
Hugh wrote:And, if you don't mind my asking, what is the sword?


Paternal grandfather's Mason sword. He died before I was old enough to know him. The American Flyer trains up on the shelves, the sword and a few other bits of his Masonic regalia, and some of his WWII medals are all I have of him.


Thanks, devin. I'm not a Mason, but I thought I recognised the style.

From my paternal grandfather, I inherited a collection of lead soldiers, dating from the days of the British Empire before the First World War. I learnt the other day that he collected them as a boy by being given a few every time he had a date with the dentist. Given the state of dentistry then, and given that there are a number of soldiers in the collection, I think he must have been a brave lad!
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Siren
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Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:51 pm Post

I'm getting on quite well with the standing desk arrangement. I've installed "Rest Time" on my computer, to remind me to change locations and head off to the dining room, where my standing desk contraption is set up on the table. Somehow, just getting an alarm or audible warning doesn't work for me, as I tend to say to myself "I'll just finish this email", and before I know it, two more hours have passed and I'm still ploughing through emails without moving. Having the screen go dark on me for a set period of time each hour helps me to get over that.

But I have had to buy a new wireless keyboard. Sadly, my lovely Apple Wireless Keyboard started switching itself off, or refusing to turn on, or disconnecting half way through pairing, and all our attempts to revive it failed. So I have now bought the Magic Keyboard instead, and it arrived today. I don't like it much. No idea why Apple have got rid of the lovely slope and thin feel of the previous version. And there was nothing wrong with the old key mechanism, so I don't know why they changed that. This new model feels cheap and ugly in comparison, despite the fact that the price has gone up enormously. Grrrr.

Other than the keyboard quibble, though, it's going much better than on my previous attempts, and I think I will stick with it this time. I had to make a deliberate effort not to lock my knees during the first two days, but I have got over that tendency now, and I find myself standing naturally and fairly comfortably, shifting about a bit each time I pause in typing (a bit like Scrivener's auto-save!). I'm not standing for as long as I sit each day, as I am limiting the time on my feet to the battery life of my ageing MacBook Pro. But I am definitely moving about more, and I can't help feeling that this must be a Good Thing.
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brett
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Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:53 pm Post

Siren wrote: Sadly, my lovely Apple Wireless Keyboard started switching itself off, or refusing to turn on, or disconnecting half way through pairing, and all our attempts to revive it failed. So I have now bought the Magic Keyboard instead, and it arrived today. I don't like it much. No idea why Apple have got rid of the lovely slope and thin feel of the previous version. And there was nothing wrong with the old key mechanism, so I don't know why they changed that. This new model feels cheap and ugly in comparison, despite the fact that the price has gone up enormously. Grrrr..


Aw, sorry to hear that. I love my old Apple Wireless Keyboard and use it with my iPad Pro now, either on a desk with the iPad raised up a foot or so on a stand, or on my old incase origami keyboard cover and stand for couch work.
I've heard mixed reviews about the Magic Keyboard too. A consensus seems to be building around the Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch Keyboard K811, which is cheaper than the Apple kit, switchable among three different devices, and backlit to boot. I've never tried it myself, but if my AWC ever expires, that's the one I'm likely to try. The article linked above also discusses a cheaper, non-backlit Logitech option. If you're still within your return-for-refund window, maybe give one of them a try and let us know how it turns out?

Glad to hear standing is sitting well with you!

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Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:47 pm Post

There was a time, now shrouded by the swirling proverbials, when an elderly gentleman, aged a hundred plus years was asked by a media type chappie, to what did he attribute his longevity and good health? The elderly gent replied, unhesitatingly, “Well, young fella, I never stood up, when I could sit down ... and I never sat down when I could lie down.”
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.