Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I'm standing as I type this.

For quite a while I've been reading about the health consequences of sitting. Then I read an article that was surprising and a little disheartening. The latest research indicates that periodic exercise can NOT compensate for the detrimental effects of sitting too many hours each day.

My job is software development. I sit at a computer eight hours per day four days per week. Some days I want out early so I work eight hours straight without a break and eat lunch while working. Not smart I know but the free time in late afternoon after work is important to me. So, it appears stretching and walking before work and getting more exercise in the evening can't compensate for the damage done by sitting eight hours.

The solution is simple -- stand rather than sit. I requested a stand-up desk and one was purchased, delivered and installed.

I anticipated this change with a little trepidation. Would I be able to concentrate as well? Would my productivity drop? Would my feet begin to complain? I like to approach some change with abruptness so on the first day I committed to not sitting regardless of how tired I became. The first day wasn't too bad nor was the second so I knew I had made the right choice.

There's another change coming on September 12. I'm reducing from 32 hours per week to 24 hours. I'll work six hours per day for four days when Julie is working and eight hours per day three days per week when she's off between semesters and during the summer.

With a little luck I'll stay healthy enough to keep backpacking into my eighties.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What type of stand-up desk did you go with? Is it an adjustable one, or did you just have to find the right height?

I've been considering one for home - I wish I could travel with one!

8/17/2011 02:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Lani said...

(Whoops. That comment was from me.)


8/17/2011 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Lani, It's adjustable. There are two switches (up and down). It will drop to the level of a conventional desk or will raise to about four and one-half feet in height. The tops of my vertical monitors are about six feet high so I have them at eye level.

8/17/2011 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I would like to stand up right now because my hip is getting so sore that sitting is becoming a pain. Literally.

8/17/2011 06:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Alex Pendragon said...

My problem has been the OPPOSITE for these last 15 years.....standing all day (12 hour shifts) with very little sitting. Actually, it hasn't been merely standing, but putting in over 8 miles of forward motion each shift. It's now caught up with me and my legs are hurting so bad by the end of the day I am miserable. So, I think a little balance is a good thing.

8/17/2011 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

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8/17/2011 10:47:00 PM  

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