A year standing

Standing deskFor the last year, I have tried to work standing up. If it was good enough for Donald Rumsfeld, among others, I figured it would be good for me. I also realized that when I was trying to brainstorm, I tended to walk around, and that my best ideas came when standing in the shower. As if this weren’t reason enough, the kicker was the work of a doctor at the Mayo Clinic who had hooked a slow-moving treadmill to his desk. I figured I would build toward that, but wanted to make sure standing up was the way to go.

In the long term, there were lots of solutions. There were some very pretty stand-up desks available, though it seemed Ikea was the way to go. The Ikea Jerker (heh.) is an extremely popular modular computer desk that can be configured as a stander. Ikea also has a cool desk that can be adjusted from sitting to standing height electronically. But before I got too crazy, I decided to just adjust things on the desks I had at home and at work so that they could be used while standing; thus set-ups like the one pictured here. As one colleague noted, he felt like he should be giving me his airline tickets or something.

Little by little pieces emerged. I bought a cheap stool, and put in double layers of padding under the rug. Nonetheless, standing for more than eight hours a day is just too much. Yesterday I fell hard on one knee while out walking, and since that made standing especially difficult, I took it as the last straw. Luckily, I still hadn’t thrown out my old desk chair. I am back sitting on my butt, and never happier. I still wish I could stand up sometimes to work, and I may go back and get that Ikea desk if I win the lottery at some point. But for now, I’ll remain seated.

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  1. Posted 10/16/2006 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    This should get posted at lifehacker.com… and yes, I think the name for that Ikea chair was intentional :P

  2. Posted 10/17/2006 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I have actually spent a good bit of time standing at my desk lately because I’ve been having some increasingly painful back problems that tend to be alleviated a bit when I stand. I have a pretty simple system, which involves putting my laptop (my main computer) on a box on top of my desk. As you mention, I actually find that I feel a little more creative when I’m standing up and I enjoy pacing a bit when I’m struggling with a particularly perplexing problem. I don’t know if it actually helps, but it sure feels like it does.

  3. Shona
    Posted 10/18/2006 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to be the bearer of dull news, but Jerker is actually a man’s name in Sweden. Names for IKEA products are apparently thought up by a couple of middle-aged women at the head office in southern Sweden. Thus I doubt they were being intentionally facetious.

  4. Garrett
    Posted 11/3/2006 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I’ve experimented with this from time to time myself, but I tend to spend too much time pacing away from the desk — I either need longer arms or heavier feet.

    What I really want is a wearable with spot-on voice recognition. I tend to get most of my best ideas while driving, and I have no way of writing them down without endangering myself and others.

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