John McDonald

Blogging about politics, life, and the web

Standing desk update

December 22nd, 2011

So it has been about two months since I got my standing desk built and installed, and I have to say… this is one of the best work-related decisions I’ve ever made.

I won’t lie – there was quite a bit of pain in the transition. My leg muscles were not used to any kind of exertion, and suddenly they were in use for 10 or 12 hours a day. There was a good week of outright burning, and stiffness for another week after that. After the pain comes gain, and I am definitely feeling some muscle growth in the legs. Heck, they’re probably the firmest muscles on my body now!

This muscle growth is translating to a practical advantage too – I can now walk up hill all the way down town without feeling the slightest sting or shortness of breath (yeah, I guess I was pretty out of shape, but in my defense I’ve never really lived next to a hill! Florida really is that flat.)

I think I’ve even lost a little bit of body fat. Standing burns about 40 more calories per hour than sitting, so I’ve watched my gut flatten out without actually going out of my way to change my diet or exercise. Of course, my diet was already pretty good and I really do need to get to that exercise, but this is some great multitasking on that front. Now, instead of just playing video games, I’m playing video games while burning a bit of extra calories and building a bit of muscle.

Then again, you don’t just have to stand still, either! Sometimes a great song will come on and I can’t help but dance a little bit in my own awkward, uncoordinated way.

My feet weren’t so happy at first, either, but I’ve learned to stand a bit more on the wider ball of my foot instead of the heel. A comfortable pair of shoes goes a long way, too.

I’ve got a tall stool for those all-nighters (like tonight!) but it seems a little bit too short to be an ideal seat. If you and your desk are a little shorter than six feet tall, the 29″ stool would probably be a perfect fit. I might need another one but the few I’ve seen in the 33″-36″ range are incredibly expensive.

So, other than being very easy to find, what were the advantages of a traditional sitting desk again? I really can’t remember… but I do cringe a bit when I remember the lower back pain I was starting to feel the first hints of after 29 sedentary years of school and jobs that required sitting at an old-fashioned desk.




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