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Standing desk report: two weeks in

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Bob Cole
Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 1, 2013 at 3:16:11 am

A lot of editors have complained, on this forum and others, about back pain. After hearing from a couple of people who tried standing instead of sitting, I've finally made the switch, and so far, so good. But it's early days.

Not wanting to invest too heavily in a standing desk, I put together the "Ikea recipe" published in the New York Times: an end table with a shelf attached to two of its legs. Put the whole thing on your existing editing desk, put your monitor on the end table and the keyboard on the shelf, and you have a standing desk, for less than $30. After a couple of days, I realized that I needed a softer surface to stand on, which more than tripled the budget. But still, it was a relatively inexpensive experiment.

Now for a confession: I have another computer, for bookkeeping and some graphics work - at a regular desk. When I get tired of standing, I go over there and do some sitting work for awhile, and it feels like a holiday. But it also feels good when I go back to the standing desk.

The final verdict is not in yet, but so far, so good. I am curious as to whether anyone else has tried this, and how it's going for you. I think an adjustable desk would be just the ticket, although I'm not sure. Being required to stand to get your work done means that you're going to be standing, and standing all day has, so far, seemed more invigorating and less tiring than sitting. I don't know how I'll feel about it after a couple of months.

All the same, I'm cautious. Supposedly there have been experiments which prove that ANY change can induce a temporary jolt to productivity. (I'm thinking about a possibly apocryphal story of changing the lighting levels in a factory - twice - and each time, boosting employee morale and output. The second time, they simply set the lighting back to the original scheme, but told everyone it was a new setting.)

I can't recall who it was who first gave me the idea, but I think it was on this forum or another one on the COW; thanks! If you're reading this, please update us.

Bob C


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 1, 2013 at 6:02:36 am

I remember after Walter Murch mentioned he cut standing up there was a lot of interest in cutting while standing.

Personally, I spent years in retail working on my feet and have no desire to go back to that. I'll get up periodically to walk around, stretch, gaze out a window, etc., but I'm more than happy to sit while editing. One of those motorized desks that raises and lowers at the touch of a button could be fun but they are a bit on the pricey side.




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Mark Suszko
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 1, 2013 at 2:50:59 pm

I'm more interested in a system that would let me edit from a reclining position, preferably bed. :-)

On the serious side, I wouldn't want to edit standing-up all day with my bad back. But I have found that taking an hourly break to stretch my hamstrings and perhaps swap chairs, is very helpful. Not only does it make me more comfortable, it makes me more alert and I feel more refreshed when I'm back to the work. Sometimes when you're thinking about how to cut something, taking a short walk is just the change of pace and location you need to spark an idea later. The trick is convincing others that your "thinking time" is not just malingering.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 2, 2013 at 7:20:24 am

[Mark Suszko] "The trick is convincing others that your "thinking time" is not just malingering."

This is where smokers have a built in advantage. Some how 'I need a smoke' is totally understood but 'I need food' or 'I need a quick break' is frowned upon.




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Bob Cole
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 2, 2013 at 10:22:32 am

Freud said "free association" was a prime source of creativity. Back to standing desks: I suspect that being able to move is also conducive to creativity; I don't have the cites handy, but I think a number of famous writers used them. But the lying-down desk sounds even better....


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 2, 2013 at 11:42:39 am

Salvador Dali had a way of harnessing his creativity though I don't think it would work for us that have clients or producers hovering about.

"His favorite technique is that he would put a tin plate on the floor and then sit by a chair beside it, holding a spoon over the plate. He would then totally relax his body; sometimes he would begin to fall asleep. The moment that he began to doze the spoon would slip from his fingers and clang on the plate, immediately waking him to capture the surreal images. "

http://www.creativitypost.com/create/salvador_dalis_creative_thinking_techn...




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Kyle Whitford
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 3, 2013 at 12:07:07 am

A huge part of the radio business has been standing to do shows for over 10 years. Internet folks seem to have missed this fact. As a radio producer - webmaster I've been standing at work for over 16 years and really like this method. So glad this is catching on with the mainstream as the health benefits are substantial.

Kyle


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Spencer Averick
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 4, 2013 at 6:20:47 am

I've been editing standing up for about 4 months now and it's definitely for me. I bought an easily adjustable table so I slide up and down during the day, probably stand 75% of the time. I feel more engaged and active and it feels more like a physical activity even though I'm just standing there.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 5, 2013 at 12:07:52 am

Which desk did you buy, Spencer?




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Spencer Averick
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 5, 2013 at 5:06:31 am

Andrew, I bought the Humanscale Float Table. Definitely expensive at around $1300 but well worth it to me. It works on some sort of counterbalance system that makes it an effortless adjustment.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 8, 2013 at 11:41:23 pm

Ok just watched the float table video - I'm sold! Seems so easy to just move to sitting position when clients are in the room?

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Spencer Averick
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:23:36 am

Exactly! I'm up and down all day, it's so easy. I figured if I bought a desk that was a pain in the ass to adjust I'd be pretty much sitting all day. It's a solid work table.


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Bob Cole
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:04:23 pm

[Spencer Averick] "Humanscale Float Table. Definitely expensive at around $1300 "

Looks like you got a bargain! I looked at the website, and it prices out at almost double that. Did you find a dealer who discounts?

Bob C


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Spencer Averick
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Mar 10, 2013 at 1:55:38 am

[Bob Cole] "Did you find a dealer who discounts?"

Yes your'e right! I forgot I got a discount. I can't remember why though to tell you the truth... Maybe because I paid for it months before it came out. I got it from here though: http://www.thehumansolution.com/humanscale-float-sit-stand-table.html


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Seth Burke
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Apr 29, 2013 at 7:47:06 pm

To me, it seems getting a fixed tall table and simply buying an adjustable stool makes more sense. Of course, it would only accomodate one standing height. But, the link provided for that adjustable table looks amazing.

You know the great thing about having a standing table? You at least have the option to sit or stand. If your table is stuck at the sitting position, you almost have no choice but to sit.

Thanks for the link!


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Bob Cole
Re: Standing desk report: two weeks in
on Apr 29, 2013 at 9:00:30 pm

Update: Two months into the experiment, a combination of standing and sitting works best for me.

[Seth Burke] "To me, it seems getting a fixed tall table and simply buying an adjustable stool makes more sense."

True, "but". I thought about that for awhile, until I realized that I wasn't going to commit to it. The nice thing about the Ikea solution is the low cost - if you don't like it, you've lost $28. Besides, if I'm going to sit, it isn't going to be on a stool - it's going to be in a good Aeron-type chair.

Right now, I'm using two computers, one at a standing desk, one at a seated desk. I'm planning to simplify and use just one computer, but to do that I'll need to find a KVM switch-in-reverse, so that I can move from standing to seated at will.


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