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RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 07:23 PM
My wife read an article about how sitting all day may reduce your life by x many years, so she's encouraging me to get one of those "standing desks."

Have any of you tried them? Are they worth it?

mirandashell
11-21-2012, 07:57 PM
I've seen them but I doubt they would do much good to my back and knees.

James D. Macdonald
11-21-2012, 08:00 PM
Admiral Raymond Spruance used one....

veinglory
11-21-2012, 08:16 PM
I think it would make more sense to increase the time spent walking places. Sit still and standing still for long periods are both not great for the human body, including the brain and eyes.

NeuroFizz
11-21-2012, 08:19 PM
I've heard every breath we take shortens our life.

frankiebrown
11-21-2012, 08:22 PM
I'm so excited to see this thread! I'm kind of a health nut, so sitting down for long periods of time (like while I'm writing) makes me feel like a slob. My boyfriend's in the process of building a big, sturdy standing desk for me. Oak's not that expensive at Lowe's and building it doesn't look to be that complicated. I can't wait for it to be finished :D

Also, if anyone's interested, this (http://www.livestrong.com/article/73916-calories-burned-standing-vs.-sitting/#ixzz2CsIIFySS) article's a good read.
"The simple act of standing up instead of sitting may help you burn as many as 50 more calories per hour, depending on your size. Although 50 calories may not seem like a lot in a 2,000-calorie day, making the standing adjustment for four hours out of the day can burn an extra 200 calories a day--leading to a 20 lb. weight loss over the course of a year. Standing more often also contributes to an overall better sense of well-being and health... Standing qualifies as non-exercise activity thermogenisis, also known as NEAT, which encompasses those everyday activities that help burn calories, such as fidgeting, gesturing and shivering. Adding these types of activity creates a bigger calorie burn and assists in weight loss. Standing often leads to other movement, such as pacing while on the phone or walking to the copier. All these small movements add up to more calories burned over the course of the day."

RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 08:25 PM
I'm so excited to see this thread! I'm kind of a health nut, so sitting down for long periods of time (like while I'm writing) makes me feel like a slob. My boyfriend's in the process of building a big, sturdy standing desk for me. Oak's not that expensive at Lowe's and building it doesn't look to be that complicated. I can't wait for it to be finished :D

Also, if anyone's interested, this (http://www.livestrong.com/article/73916-calories-burned-standing-vs.-sitting/#ixzz2CsIIFySS) article's a good read.
"The simple act of standing up instead of sitting may help you burn as many as 50 more calories per hour, depending on your size. Although 50 calories may not seem like a lot in a 2,000-calorie day, making the standing adjustment for four hours out of the day can burn an extra 200 calories a day--leading to a 20 lb. weight loss over the course of a year. Standing more often also contributes to an overall better sense of well-being and health."

I'm glad that I'm not the only one interested in this. But I'm still on the fence. My big issue is that the main thing that shortens my writing sessions is that I can't sit down for long. I have to get up and move around. I wonder if a standing desk could length the time I can focus on writing.

mccardey
11-21-2012, 08:25 PM
Wake me up when they've made a lying-down desk...

PorterStarrByrd
11-21-2012, 08:27 PM
OP ...measuered exactly how?

every minute gets us closer to the end. There is probably merit to the concept that if you sit around all day at a desk, there is whatever effect lack of exrecise creates. I'm also sure it varies from person to person and works along with whatever you do with the rest of your time.

I've worked at the equivalent of a standing desk. Most of the time no problem. But if you or your body tires, concentration suffers. Sometime you rush to get 'done' and don't do your best work.

Gillhoughly
11-21-2012, 08:37 PM
This writer made what she calls a booster table to hold her laptop, but she doesn't write at it. She says her backache went away and she's walking around more. Her idea was to cut down on her surfing time by standing. She does her writing in another room, apparently in a more comfortable chair.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151117057311434&set=a.464911316433.258437.679251433&type=1

taylormillgirl
11-21-2012, 08:38 PM
I've heard every breath we take shortens our life.

::gigglesnort::

I alternate between writing at my desk, sanding up with my laptop resting on my dresser (which is taller than most), and sitting cross-legged on the carpet. Changing it up really helps my back and knees.

veinglory
11-21-2012, 08:40 PM
The lifestyle we evolved to live involves moving more than most office workers do.

I strong suspect that you gain as much as you lose by habitual standing instead of habitually sitting. Burn a few more calories, move up the date of your first knee replacement.

RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 08:41 PM
Wake me up when they've made a lying-down desk...

Maybe you could get the pen from NASA on Seinfeld!!

Jerry: "It writes upside down!!!"

RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 08:53 PM
OP ...measuered exactly how?

.

I didn't read the article. But there's a lot of research in my field that looks at people with disabilities in wheelchairs and how positioning and length of time sitting affects their health, especially with blood clots and digestion. So it doesn't seem far-fetched.

But, as others have pointed out, either extreme isn't good. The issue I have is that I work 10 hours a day at a desk, write a few hours every night at a desk, and drive a couple hours every day...etc. etc. I probably only spend a couple hours standing each day.

I think I could probably focus more if my butt hurt less.

frankiebrown
11-21-2012, 08:53 PM
I'm glad that I'm not the only one interested in this. But I'm still on the fence. My big issue is that the main thing that shortens my writing sessions is that I can't sit down for long. I have to get up and move around. I wonder if a standing desk could length the time I can focus on writing.

There are so many compelling studies out there that underline the benefits of standing versus sitting. I remember reading one that linked a sedentary lifestyle to Alzheimers and recommended a standing desk to increase the vitality of your brain.

This (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-07/health/chi-standing-desks-the-classroom-of-the-future-20120807_1_desks-standings-classroom) article talks about its effect in school children, and also notes a correlation between standing versus sitting and the children's ability to concentrate. "Some teachers worry the desks will be a distraction. But according to the researchers, standing 'actually improved attention, on-task behavior, alertness and classroom engagement,' said Wendel, director of the Center for Community Health Development at the Texas A & M Health Science Center. 'In fact, after several weeks, the teachers requested that their desks be raised also.'"
Which is just incredible.

This (http://www.springerlink.com/content/x8g2407126q581u0/?MUD=MP) study found a link between a sedentary lifestyle and diabetes and cardiovascular failure.

It seems like such an easy fix. Just stand up and make yourself healthier, improve your posture and circulation and burn more calories. Not to mention improve your brain health. No brainer, imo.


I think I could probably focus more if my butt hurt less.
Also, this. Lol!

RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 09:01 PM
There are so many compelling studies out there that underline the benefits of standing versus sitting.

Very true. I've read some of these.

I did a study years back on having kids with ADHD stand rather than sit, but it focused on attention and academic outcomes rather than health.

All very interesting.

I'm just surprised more people here don't have standing desks. I'm a bit reluctant to buy one without know if they're useful.

mccardey
11-21-2012, 09:06 PM
The problem is that there have been so many compelling studies over the years that attest to the wisdom of everything. I'm an old lady now, so I've learned that whenever a Shiny New Thing comes up, it's okay to wait six months or a year. If it's good, it will be a) widespread and b) cheaper.


ETA: You don't have to take my advice though. I'm only one old lady. ;)

RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 09:15 PM
The problem is that there have been so many compelling studies over the years that attest to the wisdom of everything. . ;)

True, but that alternative is to not believe in anything.

There's also the misconception that research proves things. It suggests... it supports... etc. But never proves.

I know several people who smoke several packs a day who always point that out to me whenever we talk about the health risks of smoking. They insist that smoking is as safe as breathing in air. Who's right? :Shrug: Who can say?

***Yippee! 100th post! ***

mccardey
11-21-2012, 09:18 PM
True, but that alternative is to not believe in anything.


Nooo.... the alternative is to wait and see if experience (and time) bears them out.

Congrats on 100 posts!

veinglory
11-21-2012, 09:23 PM
Very true. I've read some of these. .

One of them measured the health and longevity of bus conductors (when we had these) versus bus drivers with matched demographic variable. It was pretty cool.

But there are underlying variables other than pure posture.

Susan Littlefield
11-21-2012, 09:28 PM
Every single thing we do shortens our life. In fact, just living shortens how much time we have left.

I work 37.5 hours as a paralegal researching, writing, meeting, etc., and then write in the evenings, and I cannot imagine standing up for all that.

My hope is that someday when my time comes, I will be sitting at the computer writing the finishing sentence to a story...:D

NeuroFizz
11-21-2012, 09:29 PM
But those studies focus on a sedentary lifestyle and tout standing desks as a way to avoid that lifestyle. Except, standing for long periods at a standing desk isn't exactly a cure to a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, there are circulatory issues with standing in place for long periods, like blood pooling and a decrease in venous return, which can lead to all kinds of circulatory problems in the lower extremities. Anyone who has been in the military and had to stand at parade rest for two or three hours in a show of troops to honor a visiting dignitary can vouch for the issues involves in standing (and not moving around) for long periods. The real solution is to move around. Standing desks don't guarantee the user will move around any more than a sitting person, although I can see the standing person will likely be making more postural shifts during the working period.

Standing desks are worth a try for people in resonable health. Anyone with lower extremity joint issues, back issues, circulation issues, and a variety of other issues might be at higher risk with a standing desk. People with diabetes, in particular, tend to have several extremity issues, particularly with circulation in the legs, that likely would be antagonized by a standing desk. Same for obese people.

I bristle at any new thing that has a "[fill in your human activity] will shorten your life by X number of years" statement, unless it is something that presents a direct, known health challenge (like smoking). Those statements are advertising propaganda and they make me immediately distrust the product (if the marketers feel they have to resort to that kind of scare tactic). So my suggestion is to read the articles cited by various people here, consider your own personal health and health goals, and if appropriate, give a standing desk a try. But realize that standing to type is not the same as giving up a sedentary lifestyle. And also realize that someting like this does not represent a one-size-fits-all health benefit.

RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 09:31 PM
Nooo.... the alternative is to wait and see if experience (and time) bears them out.

Congrats on 100 posts!

Time is limitless. So we could wait forever trying to figure things out. Which is what people have been doing that with climate change, health effects of smoking, God, bla bla bla. "Maybe the next study will "prove" x...." and so forth.

And experience is a poor predictor of reality. Ask any racist or sexist or "-ist" about their experiences. They can always list the facts and events that support whatever it is that they believe.

I suppose the key is to be critical of information we receive and be willing to reappraise our positions given the new information we believe to be correct. Which gets us back to me asking about other people's perceptions and experiences about standing desks.

I'm still surprised nobody really uses them. I was in Norway a couple weeks ago and all the "hip" researchers were using them. Of course, they also wore those god awful plastic/rubber shoes, what are they called? The slip ons that Brett Farve was wearing when he took the picture of little Brett Farve?

101st post!!!! Pretty soon I'll catch up to you!

RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 09:33 PM
One of them measured the health and longevity of bus conductors (when we had these) versus bus drivers with matched demographic variable. It was pretty cool.

But there are underlying variables other than pure posture.

That does sound cool. I wonder if the same could be said of cab drivers.

And you're right, there're always uncontrolled variables. That's what makes research so fun!!

mccardey
11-21-2012, 09:38 PM
Time is limitless. So we could wait forever trying to figure things out.
\!

Well we could. I think that I suggested six months...


I was in Norway a couple weeks ago and all the "hip" researchers were using them.

Oh, well then. I'm totes convinced ;)

veinglory
11-21-2012, 09:41 PM
Well we could. I think that I suggested six months...

The vast majority of this data has been around for decades.

The moral of the story is that people should be more active, which is hardly surprising.

There is not and probably never will be data specifically relating to standing desks. Unless the standing desk people decide to fund it.

RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 09:43 PM
Well we could. I think that I suggested six months...



Oh, well then. I'm totes convinced ;)

:D Yes...as go the Norwegians, so go us all! Although, I've never been a fan of lutefisk!!!

mccardey
11-21-2012, 09:45 PM
The moral of the story is that people should be more active, which is hardly surprising.

There is not and probably never will be data specifically relating to standing desks. Unless the standing desk people decide to fund it.

My point exactly. Thank you :)

RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 09:49 PM
Who would have thought a question about standing desks would create such a discussion! Good thing I didn't ask how long the study on standing desks had to be!!!! ;)

NeuroFizz
11-21-2012, 09:55 PM
The following is not intended to be a bash of the standing desk, which I see as a reasonable thing to consider. Rather this is to put some experience behind my skepticism of all of the "shiny, new health enhancer" methods of modern advertising.

If anyone remembers back in the early 1970s (those who were alive back then), the new health "must-do" craze was the Earth Shoe. It seems some Scandinavian "researchers" (why are they always Scandinavian?) observed footprints in wet sand and found the depth of the heel imprint was greater than that for the rest of the foot. (Editorial comment: DUH! That's where most of the weight of the body is transfered to the ground). Anyway, they suggested that the lower heel position was the natural position, and thus the best position for footwear, so they designed the Earth Shoe to have the heel significantly lower than the rest of the foot. I sucked all of that up because the Earth Shoe became the newest cool thing for all of the wanna-be hippies (those who liked the hippie look but didn't want to dive fully into the lifestyle). So I had my pair, along with jobs that kept me on my feet for most of the working day and into the working night (I was in grad school and working three jobs). To shorten this rant, I can trace my three-plus decades of lower back problems to the very time I donned those fu**ing Earth Shoes. Their run in the cool new health fad spotlight didn't last long, and I suspect they disappeared due to more than just a fashion shift.

Again, I'm not drawing a parallel to the stand-up desk. I'm just saying we all should be skeptical enough to do our homework instead of falling for any health-related miracle claims from marketers, particularly those who state the life-shortening risks of avoiding their product.

NOTE added in edit: I second the lutefisk comment, although I do love my lefse.

veinglory
11-21-2012, 10:01 PM
I would also tend to predict that the standing desk will cause more problems than it solves. The solution to not being in one place all the time, is to not be in one place all the time. Divide your breaks across the day and go for a jog.

bearilou
11-21-2012, 10:02 PM
Totally not interested. I worked for almost a year at a job where I spent 12 hour shifts on my feet in front of a computer terminal (I was in the shipping department). Standing and working wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 10:07 PM
go for a jog.

Go for a jog???? Are you mad?? Studies have found that jogging leads to knee replacements and shortened life! Just look at Jim Fixx! :D ;)

juniper
11-21-2012, 10:13 PM
Why just a standing desk when you can have a treadmill desk. Been around for a few years. Here's one you can build yourself for $39 (not including the treadmill, which you can probably find at a garage sale for $20)

http://www.treadmill-desk.com

Of course there are some expensive executive ones, too. This article talks about a financial company that has them for employees:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/treadmill-desks-might-next-office-health-trend-221114393.html

RobertEvert
11-21-2012, 10:16 PM
Why just a standing desk when you can have a treadmill desk.

I've seen those!! Honestly, I couldn't see how anybody could type and walk at the same time. But then again, I'm still mastering walking and chewing gum!

Susan Littlefield
11-21-2012, 10:18 PM
Don't engineers and architects use standing desks?

I just saw an image of some woman at a standing desk with high heels. That would hurt standing all day like that in high heels.

Susan Littlefield
11-21-2012, 10:20 PM
Why just a standing desk when you can have a treadmill desk. Been around for a few years. Here's one you can build yourself for $39 (not including the treadmill, which you can probably find at a garage sale for $20)


I thought you were kidding! I see the expensive ones are a couple thousand dollars.

Putputt
11-21-2012, 10:23 PM
I've tried standing or sitting due to back pain. Neither made much of a difference. What did get rid of the back pain was hot yoga. :D

As far blood circulation goes, I write in 500-word chunks. After every 500 words, I get up and stretch a bit. Get a drink, go pee etc. Rinse and repeat. Standing for hours on end will just make me grumpy.

TudorRose
11-21-2012, 10:29 PM
Why just a standing desk when you can have a treadmill desk.

Works for John Green (unless it's already collecting dust in his basement :D)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqSH9ffjmg8

frankiebrown
11-21-2012, 11:06 PM
Works for John Green (unless it's already collecting dust in his basement :D)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqSH9ffjmg8

Awesome!

The idea behind the standing desk is to minimize a person time sitting (duh!) and increase their non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which is proven to promote overall health. The idea being that little things such as fidgeting, walking, stretching or even shifting your weight from foot to foot add up.

And I know that some of you have said that you'd need more incentive than a few extra calories, but I think it's worth it. The human body isn't made to sit at a desk all day... maybe standing at a desk will encourage a person to pace, or stretch or even do a squat at the computer. That's my plan. And I know it'll be a lot easier to do with a standing desk.

frankiebrown
11-21-2012, 11:12 PM
This (http://artofmanliness.com/2011/07/05/become-a-stand-up-guy-the-history-benefits-and-use-of-standing-desks/) is an interesting article on the subject.

It focuses on the creative benefits of standing desks, saying that Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Jefferson and Charles Dickens used standing desks. Of course, I'm not suggesting that using a standing desk will turn you into Dickens, but it's an interesting read nonetheless. Especially since it's been suggested that the standing desk is a modern phenomenon or fad.

jjdebenedictis
11-22-2012, 12:02 AM
I know AW user JRVogt (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=21460) has a treadmill desk, and I think he likes it. Try sending him a PM.

Jamesaritchie
11-22-2012, 12:05 AM
You don't live longer if you use a standing desk, it just seems a lot longer.

A sedentary lifestyle is not good, but unless you spend sixteen hours per day writing, you don't have to be sedentary just because you like to be comfortable when you write.

Standing, no matter how beneficial, has it's drawbacks, and is not going to compensate for a lack of true exercise. If you do get the right exercise, you don't need the standing desk, and if you don't, the standing desk will not help enough to matter.

blacbird
11-22-2012, 12:32 AM
A redesign of a faculty computer room at the university where I teach part time just installed a "standing counter" for four computers, which is solidly detested by everybody who has to use it (including me). Very bad for knees.

Then they put in some tall chairs, so a person could sit at a comfortable height, but of course now your feet won't reach the floor.

Actually, one of my colleagues does like it, but he is also 6' 10" tall.

caw

Phaeal
11-22-2012, 12:43 AM
I want one of these standing desks that have slow treadmills attached to them (a mile an hour or so). I'd alternate between using that (treadmill on or off, as my energy dictated) and the sitting desk.

Linda Adams
11-22-2012, 01:12 AM
I considered one, because I'm kinesthetic, so I think better moving around. But I also have really flat feet, and after 12 years of pounding at them in the army, I'm not always comfortable standing up for too long either. So I ended up deciding not to get one.

But you can try one out without spending any money on a new desk and see what you think. Just get a couple of phone books, set them on your existing desk, and put your keyboard on top.

blacbird
11-22-2012, 01:15 AM
Thomas Wolfe, author of Look Homeward, Angel and other novels, was a famously tall man, about 6'7". According to what I've read he used to stand and write, longhand, on paper using a refrigerator as a desk.

He died young.

caw

telsa3
11-22-2012, 01:22 AM
I write at a standing desk. It took a while to get used to it, but now it just feels normal. There are some days I still have to sit, but most days are fine! I sit all day for my day job, so its nice not to be sitting all the time. I find I move around more (don't just stand still) and I like that. It has helped with some health issues I was having, due to bad ergonomics, so I'm really happy with it.

JayMan
11-22-2012, 01:44 AM
I'm so excited to see this thread! I'm kind of a health nut, so sitting down for long periods of time (like while I'm writing) makes me feel like a slob.
Same here :)


I think it would make more sense to increase the time spent walking places. Sit still and standing still for long periods are both not great for the human body, including the brain and eyes.

If you do get the right exercise, you don't need the standing desk, and if you don't, the standing desk will not help enough to matter.
That's just the thing, though--increasing the time spent exercising won't erase the effects of sitting. I've been reading studies and articles on this for a while now, and even after adjusting for all the usual variables, the studies seem to point to the conclusion that amount of time spent sitting is what is so unhealthy. Even if you run or bike or walk for an hour or two a day, it doesn't counterbalance sitting at a desk for eight hours. Yes, exercise is good, but the research appears to show that sitting for long periods is bad, regardless of whether you exercise or not.




Why just a standing desk when you can have a treadmill desk. Been around for a few years. Here's one you can build yourself for $39 (not including the treadmill, which you can probably find at a garage sale for $20)

http://www.treadmill-desk.com

Very nice! I'll have to look into this.

JayMan
11-22-2012, 01:55 AM
...and I have just made myself a standing desk by placing a large cardboard box atop my desk and setting my laptop on it.

Susan Littlefield
11-22-2012, 01:58 AM
...and I have just made myself a standing desk by placing a large cardboard box atop my desk and setting my laptop on it.

Brilliant! :D

RobertEvert
11-22-2012, 01:59 AM
I write at a standing desk. It took a while to get used to it, but now it just feels normal. There are some days I still have to sit, but most days are fine! I sit all day for my day job, so its nice not to be sitting all the time. I find I move around more (don't just stand still) and I like that. It has helped with some health issues I was having, due to bad ergonomics, so I'm really happy with it.



If you don't mind me asking...what kinds health issues did a standing desk help address?

RobertEvert
11-22-2012, 02:01 AM
...and I have just made myself a standing desk by placing a large cardboard box atop my desk and setting my laptop on it.

I think this might just save me a hundred dollars! Thanks!

jjdebenedictis
11-22-2012, 06:25 AM
That's just the thing, though--increasing the time spent exercising won't erase the effects of sitting. I've been reading studies and articles on this for a while now, and even after adjusting for all the usual variables, the studies seem to point to the conclusion that amount of time spent sitting is what is so unhealthy. Even if you run or bike or walk for an hour or two a day, it doesn't counterbalance sitting at a desk for eight hours. Yes, exercise is good, but the research appears to show that sitting for long periods is bad, regardless of whether you exercise or not.That's what I've heard too--that working out at the gym three times a week won't offset the harm of sitting for hours at a time every day.

I seem to recall the long periods of sitting increase things like inflammation and insulin resistance.

I've also heard that people who switch to a standing desk spend about a week hating it with a crimson, searing passion, then stop noticing it.

I'd invest in a nice thick yoga mat for my poor feet, I think, but switching to a standing desk is something I've been considering doing.

Alternately, maybe I'll set a timer and spend two minutes skipping rope every half hour. Probably just as good, and potentially way cheaper.

Polenth
11-22-2012, 06:49 AM
I'm just surprised more people here don't have standing desks. I'm a bit reluctant to buy one without know if they're useful.

After walking six miles, I like to sit down. I move a lot while I'm sitting, as I shift position, fidget and swap out my cushions. I get up frequently to stretch. And I stop for longer breaks to exercise. But overall, I need to be sitting, because I spend the rest of my time on my feet.

The whole thing seems to be aimed at people who don't exercise as much as they should, as a way to make them feel better about it. That isn't a good thing. Neither standing or sitting replaces exercise. Whatever sort of desk you have, you need to take regular breaks to move around, preferably with a few longer breaks for more serious exercise. Learning not to sit/stand completely still is also a good thing. But you don't magically get that from a standing desk.

Now, attaching a laptop to the front of a treadmill would work to give you more exercise while writing. Though again, I wouldn't want to, as I do need breaks from exercise.

blacbird
11-22-2012, 07:53 AM
Hint:

Standing is not synonymous with exercise. Now, if somebody can invent a jogging desk, or a weightlifting desk, that might have some value. A standing desk is synonymous with a pain-in-the-ass desk.

caw

victoriastrauss
11-22-2012, 08:42 AM
...and I have just made myself a standing desk by placing a large cardboard box atop my desk and setting my laptop on it.
I did something like this. I've discovered it is REALLY hard on the feet and knees if I'm working for more than an hour or two at a time. Even one of those anti-fatigue mats didn't help much. Wish I could afford a treadmill!

- Victoria

BenPanced
11-22-2012, 09:22 AM
I'm so excited to see this thread! I'm kind of a health nut, so sitting down for long periods of time (like while I'm writing) makes me feel like a slob. My boyfriend's in the process of building a big, sturdy standing desk for me. Oak's not that expensive at Lowe's and building it doesn't look to be that complicated. I can't wait for it to be finished :D

Also, if anyone's interested, this (http://www.livestrong.com/article/73916-calories-burned-standing-vs.-sitting/#ixzz2CsIIFySS) article's a good read.
"The simple act of standing up instead of sitting may help you burn as many as 50 more calories per hour, depending on your size. Although 50 calories may not seem like a lot in a 2,000-calorie day, making the standing adjustment for four hours out of the day can burn an extra 200 calories a day--leading to a 20 lb. weight loss over the course of a year. Standing more often also contributes to an overall better sense of well-being and health... Standing qualifies as non-exercise activity thermogenisis, also known as NEAT, which encompasses those everyday activities that help burn calories, such as fidgeting, gesturing and shivering. Adding these types of activity creates a bigger calorie burn and assists in weight loss. Standing often leads to other movement, such as pacing while on the phone or walking to the copier. All these small movements add up to more calories burned over the course of the day."
Tell that to the arthritis in my spine, hip, and knees.

Gillhoughly
11-22-2012, 09:46 AM
I put my laptop up on a bunch of old phone books with a bit of non-skid rubber left over from lining kitchen shelves so it doesn't slide around.

Took a bit of work to get the right height.

I'm moving around as I surf: wiggling, stretching, shaking out the ankles, shifting foot to foot, doing shallow knee bends.

Do I get any writing done? No. I want to sit when I write, but for surfing, this standing stuff is a winner.

Being a lazy sort, I tend to surf (pretending it's research), follow bunny trails, waste writing time on YouTube, obsessively check email and the newsfeed on Facebook. All of that takes hours when I'm sitting, because I goof off way too much.

Today I wound things up in 10 minutes and took the laptop to my old recliner to write. I can't write standing up, but dang, it's great for getting scutwork out of the way fast.

My new standing desk has definitely added hours to my day.

Don't buy a whole desk when you can MacGyver one together for a test run. Finally, a use for those encyclopedias you bought before the Internet got big!

For those who are Facebook addicts, I cut down wasting time there by unsubscribing to people I don't actually know. I hide their posts. They're still "friends" and they still see MY posts, but I don't see theirs, just those of friends I personally know.

I'm wasting less time there now.

I'm also spending less time here on AW. Typed this while standing. My feet are sore and telling me to go back to the recliner, put them up, and write.

Sounds like a plan. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

Bushrat
11-23-2012, 06:42 AM
I don't think standing in one place for hours at a time is any more healthy than sitting, you're just putting your weight on different joints, bones and muscles. We're not made to to just stand around or sit around, we're made to move and rest. So just mix it up :) Go for walks, sit down to write, do some chores, stand at a desk if you like, curl up on the couch and read...just don't subject your body to doing one and the same thing for hours on end. that's what's unhealthy.

muravyets
11-23-2012, 11:23 AM
Oh, a standing desk thread! I enjoy these because I'm kind of obsessed with finding the perfect workspace. Being small, I have endless trouble with ergonomics.

I like working standing up, and I hate sitting for hours on end. Sitting for very long kills my joints and fills me with hypochondria about my circulation. However, I suspect standing for hours on end is probably just as bad. I have discovered that alternating frequently is best, but how to deal with the difference in height? Constantly moving the desk top computer is not going to happen.

I recently hit on a solution that is so obvious I feel like an idiot for not thinking of it sooner. Drafting table!

We're used to seeing drafting tables tilted, but they can be set flat, too. Adjust the table to one's ideal standing height for work, and then provide oneself with a draftsman's task chair or bar stool, higher than a regular desk chair. Get one with a footrest for comfort. Now one can stand and, when one gets tired of standing, one can sit, without having to adjust work height.

Naturally in my life, I can't afford a drafting table at the moment, and also don't have room for one. So I'm considering just jacking up the desk I do have to the needed height and getting the taller chair.

ETA: Actually, now that I think of it, if I want to be ambitious, I could put my big old heavy oak rolltop desk on supports, too, as well as the computer desk, because the rolltop has the file drawers, and I hate having to bend over to go through my working files. Raising the drawers higher would be more comfortable, too.

Jamesaritchie
11-23-2012, 06:55 PM
Awesome!

The idea behind the standing desk is to minimize a person time sitting (duh!) and increase their non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which is proven to promote overall health. The idea being that little things such as fidgeting, walking, stretching or even shifting your weight from foot to foot add up.

And I know that some of you have said that you'd need more incentive than a few extra calories, but I think it's worth it. The human body isn't made to sit at a desk all day... maybe standing at a desk will encourage a person to pace, or stretch or even do a squat at the computer. That's my plan. And I know it'll be a lot easier to do with a standing desk.

The human body isn't made to stand up all day, either. In fact, I'd say we're built to sit with great frequency, and with short but intense aerobic activity.

Hunting came before agriculture, and hunting has always been mostly sitting and waiting. War is the same way. A lot of sitting and waiting, and then relatively brief periods of intense activity.

There's no way standing for eight hours each day is good for anyone. It takes a tremendous toll on the lower body. I know a LOT more people with health problems caused by jobs where they have to stand all day than the other way around.

Extremism is almost always a bad idea. Just because you sit comfortably and write does not mean you can't get up and move around for a few minutes every hour, and certainly doesn't mean you have to sit there for eight hours. A healthy lifestyle is about balance.

There are certainly exceptions to unGodly long hours sitting. Dean Koontz says he often writes for seventy hours each week, and does so while sitting down. Yet he's in pretty good shape.

Most writers I know do not put in enough hours for a standing desk to matter. Even most pro writers I've known put in only four or five hours per day, tops, and almost always break up the time.

I'm the same way. I write five hours per day, but it is not one long sit. I put in two and a half hours in the morning, and move around for a few minutes every hour. Then I take a long lunch, a longer walk, and put in another two and a half hours in the afternoon.

Most new writers I've known are lucky to get in ten hours per week.

But however much time you have, sitting or standing all day without long breaks is a bad idea.

It may be true that no one should spend eight straight hours sitting, but it's certainly true that no one should spend eight straight hours standing day after day, either.

Comfort matters. If you like a standing desk, if it makes you more comfortable, then it's probably a good idea. But the same is true for sitting.

And neither one is real exercise. Either you make time for real aerobic activity on a regular basis, or your body is going to suffer the consequences.

Bufty
11-23-2012, 07:22 PM
Agreed. All depends how long you intend standing at the desk.

I wouldn't thank anyone for a standing desk if I were expected to stand there for eight hours a day.

I have no doubt it will benefit some to stand for certain periods but without parameters I reckon it's a fad, the sustained benefits of which should be taken with a dose of salts, or clarity as to the precise time to be spent there.

MsDashwood
11-24-2012, 12:30 AM
I'm still surprised nobody really uses them. I was in Norway a couple weeks ago and all the "hip" researchers were using them. Of course, they also wore those god awful plastic/rubber shoes, what are they called? The slip ons that Brett Farve was wearing when he took the picture of little Brett Farve?




:D Yes...as go the Norwegians, so go us all! Although, I've never been a fan of lutefisk!!!



That's just the thing, though--increasing the time spent exercising won't erase the effects of sitting. I've been reading studies and articles on this for a while now, and even after adjusting for all the usual variables, the studies seem to point to the conclusion that amount of time spent sitting is what is so unhealthy. Even if you run or bike or walk for an hour or two a day, it doesn't counterbalance sitting at a desk for eight hours. Yes, exercise is good, but the research appears to show that sitting for long periods is bad, regardless of whether you exercise or not.


Norwegian here :hi:
Not a big fan of lutefisk either. Hard to avoid it this time of year though :tongue

We have standing desks at work, the kind that we can take up and down as we want to, to sit or stand next to. Been around for years. I spend 7.5 hours at the desk at work, every day, and I stand much more than I sit. I move around much more, with ALL of my body, when I stand than when I sit. The movement in my body is more natural as I hang on the desk, move my feet around, or stand upright. I take small steps around the office floor. Variation is key.
I've been standing all day every day this week. It takes a lesser toll on my body than the static sitting with my arms raised to type.

People at my job exercise. That doesn't remove the dangers of sitting all day. We take breaks during the day to do exercise. That doesn't remove the dangers of sitting all day. It's not an either or question.

When I get home and write my stories, I sit on the sofa. But I vary my positions there too. From all the typing I do, I have very little aches and bothers, and much less since I started standing at work more than I sit.

We have rubber mats to stand on at work. It's not good to stand on hard, flat floors. Some of us use 'sensible' shoes.
I like the 'bended board' the best - a board to stand on by your desk that isn't vertical but you have to balance on it while you stand, and vary your position.

fivetoesten
11-24-2012, 06:51 PM
I made myself a standing desk, then lengthened the legs of an old stool. I don't use it all the time, butI do use it quite a bit. I can alternate between regular desk, standing, and standing with stool.

Bufty
11-24-2012, 07:15 PM
Millions of people have jobs where they are on their feet all day.

But moving around is, understandably, not what one immediately thinks of when talking of writing say, novels at a standing desk.

If it suits George, good for George, says I.

MsDashwood
11-24-2012, 07:35 PM
OP mentioned researchers using standing desks, and was surprised not more people use them.
Writing involves typing, typically, which is normally done in front of a computer. It is the typing and the sitting that can create physical problems, whether you are writing a story or typing for work. Thus, those problems can also be helped by using different kinds of desks.
Understandably.

Medievalist
11-24-2012, 08:15 PM
Hint:

Standing is not synonymous with exercise. Now, if somebody can invent a jogging desk, or a weightlifting desk, that might have some value. A standing desk is synonymous with a pain-in-the-ass desk.

caw

Y'all don't hang out much with geek writers.

Half the professional tech writers and journalists I know use a standing desk, and half of those use a treadmill desk.

Seriously; google it. It's a thing.

I wrote about standing desks here (http://www.lisaspangenberg.com/it/2011/09/20/standing-desks/).

patskywriter
11-24-2012, 09:50 PM
I love the idea of working at a standing desk, but I'm afraid my back couldn't take it. After two childhood incidents where I slipped on the ice and fell flat on my back, I suffer soreness and can't stay in one position for long. But I do know a lady who uses a balancing ball instead of a regular desk chair. She said that it feels wonderful and that the subtle "balancing act" keeps her back from getting stiff. This balancing act also gives the person a sense of mobility and alertness. When I looked at the balancing-ball chairs being sold at amazon.com, I noticed that some now come with frames and wheels. They might be worth checking out.

Jamesaritchie
11-24-2012, 10:22 PM
Norwegian here :hi:

I've been standing all day every day this week. It takes a lesser toll on my body than the static sitting with my arms raised to type.

People at my job exercise. That doesn't remove the dangers of sitting all day. We take breaks during the day to do exercise. That doesn't remove the dangers of sitting all day. It's not an either or question.

.

Keep standing for several years, and then tell me about the lesser toll. I don't know anyone who's had a stand all day job for several years who isn't paying a hug toll.

And if you take breaks through the day to exercise, you aren't sitting all day. You can't have it both ways.

You're right in saying it isn't an either or question, but no writer has to sit all day or stand all day. Too much sitting without exercise is bad for you, but too much standing is also bad. You get different problems from each, but too much standing for too long will cripple you, just as too much sitting without exercise will lead to other problems.

Balance is the key, but if you eat right, and stay in shape, sitting really isn't a worry, unless you're sitting so much that you aren't staying in shape.

Sitting/standing really isn't the issue. Neither matters anywhere near as much as a good diet and proper exercise. And no matter how much you stand, that isn't proper exercise. It just kills the feet, knees, and hips while giving the illusion of exercise.

And it really goes back to writers, since this is a writer's forum. No writer has a boss standing over his shoulder who makes him sit there all day. Darned few writers do sit all day. They may be fat and lazy, but it's not from sitting there beating out twenty thousand words per day.

A standing desk for a lazy person who doesn't eat right is just an excuse to keep being lazy and for not eating right.

Bulletproof
11-24-2012, 11:04 PM
Oooh, a topic I've spent waaaaay too much time thinking about. For me, sitting all day is bad for my body and worse for my mental well-being. It's a real problem, and no amount of hiking on the weekends and time in the gym really helped. For the record, I am in excellent shape. I exercise daily. My diet is impeccable. The problem IS long. stretches. of. just. sitting.

After much dithering, I bought one of those wheeled adjustable over-bed tables for about 50$. I also bought a cheap stationary bike (about 140$). So I can bike when writing, stand when writing, dance around if I'm working on something that only requires half a brain.

It really DOES make a difference. I write faster and better. I am so much happier and relaxed at the end of the day.

...To paraphrase Samantha in a Sex and the City episode, I'm riding mine right now... :D

MsDashwood
11-24-2012, 11:45 PM
Keep standing for several years, and then tell me about the lesser toll. I don't know anyone who's had a stand all day job for several years who isn't paying a hug toll.

And if you take breaks through the day to exercise, you aren't sitting all day. You can't have it both ways.

You're right in saying it isn't an either or question, but no writer has to sit all day or stand all day. Too much sitting without exercise is bad for you, but too much standing is also bad. You get different problems from each, but too much standing for too long will cripple you, just as too much sitting without exercise will lead to other problems.

Balance is the key, but if you eat right, and stay in shape, sitting really isn't a worry, unless you're sitting so much that you aren't staying in shape.

Sitting/standing really isn't the issue. Neither matters anywhere near as much as a good diet and proper exercise. And no matter how much you stand, that isn't proper exercise. It just kills the feet, knees, and hips while giving the illusion of exercise.

And it really goes back to writers, since this is a writer's forum. No writer has a boss standing over his shoulder who makes him sit there all day. Darned few writers do sit all day. They may be fat and lazy, but it's not from sitting there beating out twenty thousand words per day.

A standing desk for a lazy person who doesn't eat right is just an excuse to keep being lazy and for not eating right.
It really boils down to people trying it out and looking more into it before flat out dismissing it.
But to each his own - if a standing desk seems like such a bad idea for someone who writes a lot, not matter if there is a boss there to check - then that person doesn't need to bother with a standing desk.
Everyone has a personal responsibility too, hence the taking small breaks to stretch and do some exercise during the day. As one should if one sits intensely writing, hovering over the computer or laptop, as writers do in periods of time, at least.
Most of the workday is still spent sitting - or standing - all day (at work). No matter how healthy you eat, you can't get away from sitting - or standing - hours in a day, if that is what your job requires, whether it is in an office, or at home, writing a novel.
It is different for creative writers, in that you (mostly) don't have that pressure of time or efficiency that an office job say, requires of you. And you can move around more and for longer periods of time, if you are writing a novel, take breaks more when you want to, lay down on a bed etc. We all understand that.
But it is a point to consider that standing versus sitting for hours with your arms raised to type, presents a difference when it comes to how all those hours affects your body - for most people, hence the growing number of people using standing desks. Some, of course, have aches and bothers that makes standing up all day create more problems for them.

I try to vary sitting or standing, since I have that kind of desk. But it gives me lesser aches to stand.

I know people who have had an office job for years, sitting down, and now cannot raise their arms because the muscles are worn out from sitting statically in the same position. Even WITH breaks to exercise, and staying healthy and fit in other ways.

So, like I said, people should try it.
Or not :tongue

ladyleeona
11-25-2012, 12:00 AM
Hint:

Standing is not synonymous with exercise. Now, if somebody can invent a jogging desk, or a weightlifting desk, that might have some value. A standing desk is synonymous with a pain-in-the-ass desk.

caw


Y'all don't hang out much with geek writers.

Half the professional tech writers and journalists I know use a standing desk, and half of those use a treadmill desk.

Seriously; google it. It's a thing.

I wrote about standing desks here (http://www.lisaspangenberg.com/it/2011/09/20/standing-desks/).

I made my own standing desk by utilizing some built-in shelving in my house. Shelving might be a strong word though...it's really just two ledges protruding from the wall, one at waist-height and the other at about chest height. I have a mini-elliptical (http://compare.ebay.com/like/330782818921?ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar)(which is just the pedal part) and it fits under nicely--I can get close to the shelves while still having room to move (This would obviously not work if the shelves were any lower than they are). With a couple big books to boost my laptop, I've got a both work space and a work out.

jjdebenedictis
11-25-2012, 01:17 AM
Keep standing for several years, and then tell me about the lesser toll. I don't know anyone who's had a stand all day job for several years who isn't paying a hug toll.

And if you take breaks through the day to exercise, you aren't sitting all day. You can't have it both ways.

You're right in saying it isn't an either or question, but no writer has to sit all day or stand all day. Too much sitting without exercise is bad for you, but too much standing is also bad. You get different problems from each, but too much standing for too long will cripple you, just as too much sitting without exercise will lead to other problems.I'm more inclined to believe multiple, properly conducted scientific studies than your anecdotal evidence and unswerving opinions, however.

Here's how much anecdotal evidence is worth: I don't know anyone who has been "crippled" by being a cashier or a door greeter or working the assembly line in a chocolate factory.

But that doesn't mean I'm right or you're wrong. These are just random people we know, not a proper statistical sample of the population.

muravyets
11-25-2012, 01:59 AM
Millions of people have jobs where they are on their feet all day.

But moving around is, understandably, not what one immediately thinks of when talking of writing say, novels at a standing desk.

If it suits George, good for George, says I.
Well, if one uses a really big piece of paper, or a keyboard the size of a piano...

Oh, I know! A QWERTY floor mat for the Wii! Not so much a standing desk as a dancing desk or yoga desk.

ETA: Actually.... Shit. *runs immediately to the patent office*

muravyets
11-25-2012, 02:04 AM
Oooh, a topic I've spent waaaaay too much time thinking about. For me, sitting all day is bad for my body and worse for my mental well-being. It's a real problem, and no amount of hiking on the weekends and time in the gym really helped. For the record, I am in excellent shape. I exercise daily. My diet is impeccable. The problem IS long. stretches. of. just. sitting.

After much dithering, I bought one of those wheeled adjustable over-bed tables for about 50$. I also bought a cheap stationary bike (about 140$). So I can bike when writing, stand when writing, dance around if I'm working on something that only requires half a brain.

It really DOES make a difference. I write faster and better. I am so much happier and relaxed at the end of the day.

...To paraphrase Samantha in a Sex and the City episode, I'm riding mine right now... :D
Alternative to the QWERTY dance mat: The pedal-powered computer.

jaksen
11-26-2012, 11:22 PM
The key is to move. Move as much as you can whether you write sitting or standing. Take frequent breaks and move.

I was a teacher for an eon or two. I was told (on my first day of teaching) not to sit at my desk, but to interact with the students constantly. (It was a theory my first principal had - he also thought we'd have less disciplinary problems if we were on our feet.) So I taught on my feet; I walked around the room continually. I sometimes used a lectern to 'lean against' if I had to talk for a bit, but I was a moving-walking machine for 35 years. If I did sit at my desk, my students would ask if I were sick. Even during a test, a quiz, a film, whatever, I was up and around and around the room.

I retired in 2009 and gained ten pounds within a few months. (I've since taken it off.) But what a difference! Suddenly I was this sedentary person who sat most the day (writing, mostly.) Now I try to move around and if I'm writing, I take a break about every 30 minutes even if it's simply a brief stroll around my house. I walk and exercise with weights, too, because those ten pounds scared the hell out of me.

The key is to move. If you choose to stand and write, move around, rock on your heels, step from side to side and take a walking break now and then. If you write sitting down, get up now and then to get the circulation going, check your mailbox or walk around your yard. Just do something.

Moving is the key, imo.

RobertEvert
11-28-2012, 12:15 AM
The key is to move.

I retired in 2009 and gained ten pounds within a few months. (I've since taken it off.) But what a difference! Suddenly I was this sedentary person who sat most the day (writing, mostly.) Now I try to move around and if I'm writing, I take a break about every 30 minutes even if it's simply a brief stroll around my house. I walk and exercise with weights, too, because those ten pounds scared the hell out of me.

The key is to move. If you choose to stand and write, move around, rock on your heels, step from side to side and take a walking break now and then. If you write sitting down, get up now and then to get the circulation going, check your mailbox or walk around your yard. Just do something.

Moving is the key, imo.

As a teacher, I can relate. Now I mainly sit and do research...or sit and write my novels... or sit in the car, etc. etc. So I can appreciate the weight gain!

I'm hoping that having an adjustable desk will allow me to get off my butt once in a while so that I can concentrate better. Sometimes I want to write, but just can't stand sitting any longer.

Midian
11-28-2012, 01:50 AM
I want one of the desks that goes from sitting to standing. They're so expensive my husband has said he'll just make me one with an Ikea hack of some kind. But until then, he's hacked my treadmill for me to have a desk on it so I can actually walk (just to keep moving, not really for any particular exercise) and write/work.

http://inkslingereditorialservices.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/treadmill-e1343756354885.jpeg

Becky Black
11-28-2012, 02:59 PM
I wonder if there's a difference between writing longhand at a standing desk and using a keyboard. Writing longhand you'd lean on the desk and take some of the weight off your legs. But you couldn't do that using a keyboard.

It's something I'm interested in, as I have back issues and get very stiffened up if I sit for too long, especially in a - lets call it "less than optimal" chair. But standing in one place for too long hurts too, so I have to make sure to take frequent breaks to stretch and stroll about a bit.

And seriously, do some chair makers design their products to hurt people? The visitor chairs or the meeting room chairs we have in my office building seem to be designed to make sure meetings don't go on too long. I think some cafes and coffee shops have a similar goal, they don't want you to get so comfy you stay too long blocking a table.