A well laid out and ergonomic workspace is a boon to creativity and comfort. I donâ€™t think anyone would argue with that sentiment. That said, many of us get caught up in bad posture and desk setup errors that lead to stiff muscles at best and to pinched nerves and spinal damage at the worst.
I was falling victim to the ill effects of improperly setup workspaces. Here at the command center I would slouch down in my super comfy chair and work for hours. When I would finally move, I was stiff as a board. At the office, things were worse. There I did not have the comfort of my super comfy chair and nicely laid out desk. I was starting to notice that I was having more back issues and even some neck problems.
The back issues stem from damage done to my lower spine years earlier. I needed to make a change quick as I was not feeling well at all.
You may find yourself in the same situation, but have not yet taken any action. Trust me, the time to take action is before problems start.
My answer may seem a bit extreme, and a bit bandwagon-ish. I have started to use a standup desk both at home and at work. After two weeks, I am totally sold. The standup desk is exactly what I needed. Here are some pics.
For my command center setup, the size of my monitor means it is in the near perfect position already. It was a bit high, ergonomically speaking, for my sitting position. This probably contributed a lot to my neck pain. For the keyboard and mouse, I repurposed a bed tray, removing the front lip for access. If I need to sit, I just have to fold the legs. The height is perfect, keeping my arms at an almost perfect 90 degrees.
Other folks that have used the standup desk include Thomas Jefferson, Donald Rumsfeld, Ernest Hemmingway, and Winston Churchill. That is one hell of a list, eh?
Gina Trepani of Lifehacker and Smarterware has also recently made the switch to a standup desk. Do you want to go even further? Here is a PC World article on setting up a treadmill desk. This is not only standing, but moving as well.
There is a lot of evidence that a standing desk has benefits over a sitting desk for long term health. Here is an article from The Harvard Business Review. Another is from Yahooâ€™s Associated Content.
The first few days were rough. My back actually hurt more the first couple of days, but that subsided quick. My feet hurt for longer and I eventually set up mats to stand on, this helped a lot. I also take squat and toe raise breaks. This seems to be the standard experience of others which have written about the switch t standing. Another thing that seems to be a standard experience is the increase in energy. I feel good standing up.
This may not be your thing, I do get that. If that is the case, it is still important to properly set up your desk. Here is a new article at Lifehacker about proper sitting ergonomics. Check it out.
A comfortable workspace is a necessity to perform your best work and keep your body functioning properly. Set your space up right and you will reap the rewards for a long time to come.