Skip to main content

New Experiment: Ditching the Chair

It's been in the news a lot over the past couple years: how sitting is one of the worst things we can do for our bodies.  And it's not just because of the inactivity factor, the actual sitting position is not one that our bodies have evolved to take up.

"What?" you say.  "We've been sitting forever! We sat around the campfire, around the kill, to do our work, etc.  It's totally natural!"

Well, no it's not.  In fact, it's probably killing us.  Those activities mentioned above are actually done in a squatting position, as I've talked about in past posts.

I've wanted to do the standing desk thing for a while, and more of late as I've gotten antsy about sitting all the time at work, feeling more stiffness in my joints and back, and just really feeling the effects of all the sitting.  I'm an active guy, but sitting undoes so much of that exercise I get.

It's very interesting.  I've found that I can wake up in the morning, feeling good and loose in the legs and back.  Then I'l go downstairs to get the day started (a task I normally do from the couch, "naturally" enough), and when I go to get up I find that my legs are sore from just sitting there.  I'll do some Grok Squats just to get the blood flow back into my legs.

So as I said, I've been looking at getting a standing desk, but I didn't want to wait till I could 1) save $300 to buy something like this or 2) for the weekend so I could make my own and bring it to the office.  And I didn't have a tape measure to get all the measurements with me, and I was really antsy this morning.

So here's my solution:

I cannibalized one of the overhead (well, now underhead) bins from my cubicle and turned it into the platform for my keyboard and monitors.  It's wide, it obviously fit on the desk, and it's sturdy.  Plus I don't lose the storage, and if I need to get something out of it then there's another opportunity to Grok Squat.  It's just about perfect.  The only downside is that I'm looking down at the monitors a bit and that's not ergonomically perfect.  In this case, though, I'll take it.  It's better than sitting all day.  

Reactions have been mostly of the "oh, what's he up to now" variety, as well as "what happens when you want to sit down?"  I just tell them "well, then it's time to go to lunch," and smile.   

I'll keep you posted on how this is going.  So far, I like it (after a few hours).  I am getting my work done, I'm feeling good, and my back and neck are feeling pretty good.  

How about you?  Is this something you could try at work?  


  1. This is something I've always wanted to try as well. My issue is with my tasks usually require me to have printouts of drawings that are varying sizes of paper to reference. I would need to construct a larger elevated platform that basically extents my current desktop size.

    Nice re-use of the overhead bin! Looking forward to hearing how it goes. One question, what type of shoes do you normally wear to work? Are they more cushioned? I feel like the amount of shoe support would affect your comfort and posture standing all day.

    1. Hi Ryan! Yes, the tasks of the job definitely make a difference in the design of such stuff. I'm a computer programmer and mostly am staring at my two monitors all day. This design (which puts my eyes just above cube level so I can see around the office) also has the benefit of letting me take my eyes off the screens at will, letting them rest a bit, too.

      I nearly always wear minimalist shoes for the most part. My go-to shoes are VivoBarefoot Gobi shoes, with very little padding. The floor in my cube is carpeted with a standard institutional carpet so it's not too cushy, but enough that it's probably similar to what cashiers have under their feet to relieve foot soreness. But that's a good question. I'll keep that in mind for update posts.

    2. Thanks Steve! It was sort of one of those "it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission" moments. :) I just DID it.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Caffeine and Cortisol - a 30-Day Experiment

No Caffeine for Me! Today, I began upon a 30-day experiment to reduce my cortisol levels by removing coffee from my diet. The goal is to see how it might be affecting my cognitive function and my belly fat. Cortisol is a hormone that is related to stress .  At a very basic level, cortisol is created as a response to stressors in our environment.  Back when we were still chucking spears at deer and chasing down antelope, cortisol was helping to preserve our lives by giving us quick energy by signalling to our livers that it was time to engage in a process known as gluconeogenesis. This process is basically the breakdown of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, into glucose - one of the two monosaccharides (the healthy one) that our bodies use for fuel. Picture this - you're walking across the street, enjoying the day, when suddenly some inattentive driver tries to turn and doesn't see you.  Your heart rate speeds up, and you get a little burst of speed to quickly sprint o

More on Journaling: So many tools...

Journaling was long a habit that I wanted to pick up but just never did.  And it was never because I didn't believe in its worth, it was that I just never built the habit or found the proper method that worked best for me.  I'd start it for a while, be enthusiastic about it, and then lose the habit when something else came up and interrupted me.   That's all changed for me now, as I look forward each morning and night to journaling in my newest tool I've found.  But that search has clued me in to a ton of great journaling tools that might help you as you're looking for that great push to get you into the journaling habit!   The Five-Minute-Journal:    This is obviously   the one I've adopted .  It's simple, it's quick, and it does the trick.  I won't expand into stuff I've already talked about with this in the two posts I've done on this fantastic tool.  But let's talk about some of the other aspects of the Five-Minute Journal.

How Essential Oils Are Manly

The real man's toolkit: essential oils and duck tape.  "Yeah, I use essential oils." Silence. This is the normal reaction I get why I, as an adult male human, tell other men that I use essential oils instead of things like aspirin, Tums or Rolaids, Ben Gay, or any number of other pharmaceuticals. There's this impression out there that essential oils are girly, I guess, or that they're like most other products that are primarily for making things smell nicer: they're for the ladies. Or even that they're new agey and woo-woo - to be used only when listening to Windham Hill CDs and cleansing your chakras. Real men don't care about smells, right? They thrive on sweat, piss and vinegar. They belch, fart, and otherwise release smells into the air that are simultaneously hilarious and relieving to the body. They get upset because their wives bought decorative soaps and guest towels for the bathroom that they're not allowed to use. They frown a