Friday, October 28, 2011

Easy Standing Desk Hack

If you work at your computer all day, you may be familiar with upper/lower back pain, neck tension, possibly carpal tunnel issues...the list goes on and on and on. It doesn't take a lot of brainpower to recognize that sitting in the same position for 6-12 hours is not really good physically or mentally. But if your work requires a computer, then what are you supposed to do?

I first heard of a "standing desk" when a friend posted this link on Facebook. The idea appealed to me immediately. Over the next few months, I noticed other articles about standing desks and wanted to find a way to try one, but $1-2,000 is a bit cost-prohibitive for our family budget. 

My "hack" on this pricey desk? Kitchen island and yoga blocks. This is quite sturdy since the blogs have an anti-slip quality, and it puts my laptop at the perfect height for standing to type. The screen is a little low, but doing a lunge here or there keeps me from straining my neck. Interestingly, I am much more likely to notice and respond to tension while standing. 

I have noticed being able to switch between sitting and standing helps me think better -- it quite literally "gets the juices flowing." I love writing this way! The only caveat is that it's in my kitchen, so if my kitchen is not clean already I either have to clean or forgo the standing -- seeing dirty dishes makes it hard for me to think, apparently. But I can face outdoors, which is something that I've long realized helps me function better, so as long as I keep things tidy, it's a terrific solution for me. 

So maybe you don't work from home or don't seem to have a good spot to do something like this. You can still spend five minutes every hour or two moving around, getting your heart rate up and stretching. But if the idea appeals to you, look around and see what setup you may be able to achieve using things you already have. I tried a shoebox and a plastic bin unsuccessfully before finally hitting on the yoga block idea.

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