I’m trying something new this week; a standing desk.
Well, new for me, but actually pretty prevalent among the seated, lately. There’s been a lot of chatter about it on webcomics.com since Dave Kellet posted his sexy new setup and conversely there’s been a lot of “Your Chair Is KILLING you!” (dun-dun dunnnn) in the health news for a couple of years now, so I figured it was worth a shot.
Finding a stand-up desk isn’t going to be tough, one of my Fathers-in-law is a carpenter and quite the craftsman, but before I start angling for one, I’d better be darn sure it’s practical for me, so I Macgyver-ed the super-attractive shopping bin and drawing board arrangement pictured above.
Ultimately, the whole point of this experiment is to improve upon my sedentary lifestyle. An hour a day (ok, not every day either) at the gym isn’t going to completely offset the eight hours I spend sitting on my duff in front of my computer. I’ve read it in too many sources to properly credit, but “they” say that you should get up every hour and walk around. Short of setting an alarm, I’m not likely to remember to do that once I get wrapped up in my work (however, this is also where the drinking eight or more, glasses of water comes in handy. I guarantee you’ll need to get up every hour or so).
So far, it’s working out pretty well, which is not terribly surprising. I’ve never been particularly good at sitting still (troublesome in my line of work) and this isn’t my first alternative-seating situation. Years ago I switched out my chair for a Swiss ball (you can see it in the photo, under my desk) and I’d still highly recommend it to anyone. It’s great for posture, it forces you to sit up or you’ll fall on your face (guess how I know that), and I don’t get back or shoulder pain after long drawing sessions any more.
I’m only a few days into my standing routine, but the difference is noteworthy. I feel substantially more productive and it’s easier to concentrate, I actually think my drawings have improved a bit as I’ve started physically stepping back occasionally to look at them, which I don’t think I’ve ever done outside of life drawing class. Oddly, I have more energy at the end of the day. Evidently, sitting really is more draining than standing.
Treadmill desks, are the other novelty I’ve been reading about. A.J. Jacobs got one when he was writing Drop Dead Healthy (which took about 1,200 miles to finish). I’d kinda like to try one out, but there’s no question in my mind, it would be impractical for drawing…then again, maybe I’m on the verge of discovering a new “style”.