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Standing While Working Results in Better Work? 166

Posted by Cliff
from the but-it'll-kill-your-feet dept.
Bamafan77 asks: "I've recently become fascinated by the idea of standing while working. I've found that I'm much more productive for longer periods of time while standing as opposed to sitting. The best way to describe it is that my brain feels more 'engaged.' Apparently, many famous people feel the same way including Thomas Wolfe, Vladimir Nabokov, and Winston Churchill. Other benefits include a better ability to control weight. (Guess what? Your slow metabolism ain't the cause for that belly). The Mayo Clinic has gone so far as to do research into a treadmill workstation. Does anyone here have experiences to share when it comes to standing while working, especially in the IT field?"
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Standing While Working Results in Better Work?

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  • hamster image (Score:4, Insightful)

    by professorhojo (686761) * on Thursday July 13, 2006 @08:38PM (#15716080)
    Standing sounds like a good idea, but walking? I keep getting this hamster image in my head. Plus, I'm sure if I put the computer on a treadmill it wouldn't be too long before I became distracted and forgot to walk. I often use my exercise ball instead of the regular chair at the computer at home. You're constantly using the leg and abdominal muscles to balance yourself. It also reduces back fatigue and improves your posture.
    • Walking Desk (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dubl-u (51156) *
      Standing sounds like a good idea, but walking? I keep getting this hamster image in my head.

      It's surprisingly good for some things. I bought a treadmill off Craigslist and added a sheet of wood where I can put my laptop. I really like it for reading and replying to email and reading stuff on the web. For things where I have to type a lot, 1.5 mph plus or minus seems good. For pure reading, I'll go up to 3.3 mph if I'm feeling peppy.

      It's specially nice first thing in the morning when I'm still a little grogg
    • by DrYak (748999) on Friday July 14, 2006 @06:28AM (#15717718) Homepage
      from a medical point of view you also have dis-advantage in working in a standing position.
      Mainly : the problem of venal blood return and venal stasis.
      In short : your feet swell because the heart has a hard time pumping the blood back up all this height.

      Just ask a surgeon (or any other job where one must stay standing up without moving a lot).

      Walking may improve the blood flow (the muscle may act as supplementary pumps, because veins have valves).
      But on the other hand it puts a lot of strains on the muscle of the lower extremities.
      Most of the sportives (typical persons who work by moving in an upright position) have knee aging prematurely.

      And I think most slashdotter know the problems associated with a sitting position.

      Hence : there's no "perfect" position for working.
      One should mainly change between them a lot, go for a walk once in a while, etc...
      • Walking may improve the blood flow (the muscle may act as supplementary pumps, because veins have valves). But on the other hand it puts a lot of strains on the muscle of the lower extremities.

        Walking does? That seems very strange to me. I've been told all my life that we're designed primarily to walk, and my own experience (WARNING: anecdote ahead) suggests that walking is easier on the body than sitting, standing, running, bicycling (per hour, not per mile traveled) climbing, laying down, etc etc.

        • by DrYak (748999)

          Walking does? That seems very strange to me.

          NOT for the muscle, sory. Was tired. Puts strain on your *joints*.

          If you must walk the whole day non-stop for your job, your knee may get worn more quickly. (medical nurse and some military personnal come to mind). But then, again that's in the perspective of a job composed of non-stop working.
          For the typical /.er adding some small walks to their usual job isn't bad.

          From a biomechanic point of view, laying is the less stringent position. But you still need to move

      • from a medical point of view you also have dis-advantage in working in a standing position.
        Mainly : the problem of venal blood return and venal stasis.
        In short : your feet swell because the heart has a hard time pumping the blood back up all this height.


        On the contrary, your feet swell when you are sitting for long hours. Ask anyone who spends lots of time sitting on an airplane. Walking actually *AIDS* the blood moving back up toward the heart through the muscles squeezing the veins and the valves preven
        • On the contrary, your feet swell when you are sitting for long hours. Ask anyone who spends lots of time sitting on an airplane. Walking actually *AIDS* the blood moving back up toward the heart through the muscles squeezing the veins and the valves preventing back-flow.

          It's not the blood circulation that gets the primary benefit from walking, it's lymph circulation. Because of the increased pressure in your legs, fluid escapes from your blood vessels, where it is collected by your lymphatic system and c

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 13, 2006 @08:38PM (#15716081)
    ... take from that what you will [wikipedia.org].
    • What's funny about Donald Rumsfeld, is that thinking about him standing, will forever more make me think about torture. It's all just because of how I learned about it: where prisoners were having to stand, and Rumsfeld wrote at the bottom of memo that it was no big deal, because he stands all day. ;-)
  • And... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kell Bengal (711123)
    Better work and a sore back? I dunno about you,but I can't stand around typing all day without some serious pain.
    • Try it. At first, you're right. You're gonna hurt.

      Then, after a few weeks, maybe a few months depending on your body type and how overweight you are, you'll wonder what the hell you ever sat down for.

      Granted, during your standing sessions it is recommended that you move around, take frequent walks, etc. But overall I think you'll feel better and, yes, even lose weight. And you'll most likely get more work done.

      TLF
    • Re:And... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by PresidentEnder (849024) <`wyvernender' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday July 13, 2006 @09:37PM (#15716345) Journal
      I'm a cashier, so I stand all day at my job, and I have mild scoliosis. I'm very much looking foreward to finishing my degree so that I can have a sit-down job at my computer, thank you very much.
    • Re:And... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by matthewn (91381) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @09:55PM (#15716425)
      > I can't stand around typing all day without some serious pain

      Perhaps you haven't had your workstation set up right. I suppose I am lucky: though I do development work in an ugly gray cube-land, my company pays an ergonomist to come in and measure people and adjust their workstations (keyboard tray and countertop height, chair position, etc.), the idea being that paying disability for folks with RSI and such is way more expensive than having the ergonomist in for a visit whenever we hire someone new.

      Anyway, the point: I told the ergonomist six years ago that I wanted a stand-up cubicle, with a high chair I could pop up onto if I wanted to sit. My cube's counters got raised, its shelves went down near the floor, a new chair arrived (a pretty cheap one actually, but I don't spend much time on it)... and voila. I usually stand and type comfortably for the better part of an hour; then I'll hop up on the chair for ten or fifteen minutes max. (The chair is adjusted such that I don't have to raise/lower the keyboard tray when I move from standing to sitting.)

      This works really well for me. My wrists don't hurt anymore, and neither does my lower back. (True, this may have a lot more to do with good ergonomics than it does with standing versus sitting.) I feel engaged with my work when I am standing. If I sit for too long, I either wanna slouch (which makes me wanna take a nap), or I get fidgety. No thanks, I'll stand.
      • I just wanted to mention that anyone can try this for cheap. IKEA has a desk called the Jerker [ikea.com] (the post above about surfing for pr0n while standing makes this name even funnier) is $129, has a metal frame, and a desktop that can be adjusted for either a sitting or standing position. Interesting that they say the desktop goes up to 47 1/4" - I wonder if that's a mistake, because the mounting holes go all the way to the top of the frame (see the larger picture). I'll have to check the manual for mine to see
        • Yup. Good call.

          I've got a Jerker arranged for lab-stool height, and it's great. Best part is the erector-set construction makes it easy to add hooks, shelves, wire-racks, outlet strips, etc.
  • My job. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Living Fractal (162153) <banantarr&hotmail,com> on Thursday July 13, 2006 @08:41PM (#15716096) Homepage
    I am a facility production operator on the North Slope of Alaska. To the layfolk, that means I separate oil from water and gas and some suspended solids and then ship it south, where it is turned into everything you see around you (basically).

    Anyway, the point is, my job entails a lot of walking. Like, a lot. I routinely walk 12 miles per day during my 12 hour shifts. More than that even. But, sometimes, I sit. And when I sit, I get tired. And time slows down. And it generally gets pretty tough to handle.

    So when there's nothing to do, I play janitor. Mopping the floors of a billion dollar facility is actually not too bad, considering the alternative (just sitting there waiting for time to pass).

    TLF

    • Re:My job. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I've noticed this, too. Since I began to exercise more, I've noticed that I'm actually more tired and easily-distracted while sitting down than while moving around.

      It actually sucks somewhat, because I sit and write code for a living. I've been fighting the sensation with coffee, but I have a feeling that's not the best long-term answer. I wonder if I've altered my glucose metabolism or something...?

      (OT: Slow Down Cowboy! It's been 43 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment)
      How about fixing
    • On the plus side your company doesn't haven't to hire a janitor!
    • That's the funniest thing I've read in the last ten minutes.

      Cheers,
      -l
  • So ... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    that's why Ballmer actually hurled his chair across the room.

    MIcrosoft.... innovating again.
  • I used to be an office manager for a small hazmat shower manufacturer. We found that the people we had glueing the pipes together would stand up when we were pressing them to hurry and crank out the showers due to a large order. Not sure if them standing did anything besides show us managers that they were hurrying but we always met our deadlines.
  • by fr0z (658466) <fr0z@myrealbo x . com> on Thursday July 13, 2006 @08:48PM (#15716124) Homepage
    I found that sitting down greatly improves my comfort and the quality of my pr0n surfing.

    What, you meant real work? Well...ok...
  • Standing is good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vorlath (921561) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @08:54PM (#15716156)
    Standing usually means you're moving around. I used to do this all the time when thinking about a problem. It gets the blood circulating and really does improve mental abilities. Thinking on your feet. It's not just a good idea!
  • Hemingway (Score:3, Funny)

    by zogger (617870) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @08:54PM (#15716157) Homepage Journal
    He typed at a standup desk as well, at least sometimes. I remember seeing a pic of it.

    Of course, then he offed himself, so maybe this isn't such a good idea...
  • I haven't tried standing while at work (my desk is not at standing height - a slight barrier to an experiment), but during the school year my apartment is a good 10 minute walk from where I go to class. I find that the act of walking back and forth seems to give me more energy when I finally sit down to do something.

    I suppose thats more of an endorsement for circling around the office occasionally while at work - but perhaps standing is a similar idea.
    It would make sense that perhaps while you're at your m
  • trying to picture it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Beuno (740018) <argentina@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday July 13, 2006 @08:56PM (#15716169) Homepage
    I am trying to picture myself working all day in front of the PC standing up, but something just doesn't quiete click.
    It feels the other way around, like I wouldn't be able to concentrate that deeply.
    Being able to relax seems to be important to concentrate on something specific, even lying down sounds like I'd be more concentrated.
  • Retail (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wbren (682133) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @08:58PM (#15716178) Homepage
    In a retail environment, standing all day just results in sore feet and irritability while working. Maybe the IT field is different, but in retail, standing all day sucks. Oh course, most things in retail suck, so why should standing be any different.
    • -Sore feet are alleviated by a good pair of shoes...I have a pair of Dr. Scholls [link [shoes.com]], and they're spectacular at keeping away pain. I work at a movie theater, and I'm standing for pretty much my entire shift, and while my feet can feel a bit achy, it's nothing I can't simply be too tired to ignore.
      -Irritability is resolved by state of mind. Customers can be a bitch, but the more levelheaded you are the better you'll be in the long run.
      • My original post was actually inaccurately written. The irritability is caused by the sore feet, which is caused by standing. Thanks for the shoe link though ;-)
  • by johnthorensen (539527) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @09:00PM (#15716192)
    I have worked standing up for the last 3 years. It all started when I began to outfit my new office; my work requires me to look at a lot of plans and hence I built a drafting table, which are traditionally at standing height. To make matters simpler, I decided to also build my regular workstation at the same height. To make things just right, I hung my dual LCD flat panels at eye level.

    I ordered two nice Hon drafting chairs and expected to wind up sitting in them as I had a regular desk chair in the past.

    I soon found though, that it was much more convenient and comfortable to just forego the chairs and work standing up. I discovered that I didn't get tired from standing at all, and in fact felt more awake and alert as a result. There's also the nice side benefit that without chairs, people don't really tend to come and camp out in my office :)

    Last year, I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in my lower back. This is where the working-standing-up plan really pays off. I quickly discovered that when I sit, the pain is worse. After sitting awhile, it's a *lot* worse. The doctor explained that this is because sitting puts the more pressure on your disc than laying or standing. In fact, standing seems to be the most neutral position for your back and relieves more pressure on the disc than other positions. So if you have back problems - working while standing could mean the difference between working or not. I know it has for me on many days.

    So to those who haven't tried working while standing up - I highly recommend it. I believe the health benefits are strong and the impact on your mental processes is positive.
    • The doctor explained that this is because sitting puts the more pressure on your disc than laying or standing. In fact, standing seems to be the most neutral position for your back and relieves more pressure on the disc than other positions

      Standing transfers the pressure from your lower back to your feet. I suggest you follow proper ergonomics for standing [bnl.gov] if you choose a standing office. Having worked in warehouses with concrete floors for over 20 years, good shoes [redwingshoes.com] are imperative. Else you will just tran

      • Having worked in warehouses with concrete floors for over 20 years, good shoes are imperative.

        Oh, hell ya. I've worked movie production for the last 23 years, and between the concrete floors of most stages and going on location where I'm constantly jumping down from lift gates carrying heavy equipment, good foot wear is absolutely essential. Very early in my career, I had major problems with shin splits and my feet. I asked a number of experienced people what they did, and found that there are a lot of sol
    • Sorry to hear about the disc.

      Do you think it's at all possible the standing had anything to do with the disc, though? I don't know anything about such maladies, so just wanted to ask.
    • by jafac (1449)
      Yes - standing while working was one of the two things (plus a daily hamstring/gluteal flexibility-training regimen) that fixed my back. Sitting all day is what put my ligiments in such bad shape that they stopped supporting my L4/L5 disk. I'm still very stiff and sore in the mornings, but the rest of the time I'm doing much better. I'd definately recommend it for anyone with lower back problems. But having a good workstation setup is KEY. I still sit part of the day, with my keyboard and monitor on sp
  • This is why I stopped being a waiter, and moved to the IT industry. I can't stand up for long periods of time because my brain starts wondering why my feet hurt, and then inturn can't concentrate on the work at hand.
  • Walking (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lambticc (563530)
    At uni whenever I was doing research or trying to solve a problem, I always found it best to walk around for a bit. I would usually after making a few rounds of the room have a solution.
  • by senatorpjt (709879)
    The whole reason I went to college is so I could get a job where I didn't have to stand up all day.

  • Back when everyone was doing drafting and design on tables and not on display screens, work was done with two or more surfaces; the most important one was always adjustable for angle and often for height and light source. Even back in those 18th, 19th and 20th centuries employers knew how to make demanding, technical work a bit more comfortable.
  • by mrpaco18 (958815)
    I work for the Geek Squad (let the flaming commence). My job requires me and everyone else with whom I work to stand for almost the entire duration of our shifts. For 4-6 hour shifts (I'm a part-time employee), I do find that I am more productive than I would be be sitting. I am able to efficently work up and down the bench of computers in repair as opposed to working on just 3 or 4 on a KVM. However, on shifts that last longer than 6 hours, I end up being more concerned about my feet being sore than ac
  • Amazing! Just when Americans were getting used to working while bent over, up pops this!
  • "Walk your code" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZXSpectrum42 (906390)
    Well i couldn't agree more. My brain works billion% more when i am not sitting on a chair. My most creative thinking comes usually when i walk. I am a programmer , so someone could ask when do i write code? Well shooting keys on the keyboard is the trivial task, and i could sit in front of a screen writting code for 3 days straight without sleeping. But i do not consider that creative work. I consider it the "dictation/translation to code/visualization" of ideas born after a long walk.
    or in other words'
  • My cubicle is standing height with a high-chair to sit in. I find I probably stand about half the time at work. Now that I'm used to it it seems much more productive to me, and it's nice to have the option to stand or sit.

    At my (cupertino based) employer I think pretty much everyone gets the option to have a standing or sitting configuration in their cubicle/office.

  • Study links warm offices to fewer typing errors and higher productivity

    When the office temperature in a month-long study increased from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, typing errors fell by 44 percent and typing output jumped 150 percent. Hedge's study was exploring the link between changes in the physical environment and work performance.

    "The results of our study also suggest raising the temperature to a more comfortable thermal zone saves employers about $2 per worker, per hour," says Hedge, who presented hi
  • It makes perfect sense. Look at any pharmacy, the pharmacist is on his feet the entire time. They stand so much that they actually have to get special stockings or surgery for varicose veins. It makes me very active at work. Not sure if cashiers get the same amount of energy.

    On the opposite side, standing does not always make you do a good job. "I stand for 8-10 hours a day," wrote Donald Rumsfeld.
  • by Centurix (249778) <centurix AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 13, 2006 @09:25PM (#15716303) Homepage
    I've had two onsite roles where you could choose from different workstations within an open office layout. I actually started working from a regular desk, then moved to using one of those kneeling chairs for posture. Then upgraded to the partially tilted drafting tables with high stool and eventually found myself at the standing desks (which is fine as long as the screen is at eye level, using a laptop on these desks was difficult because you actually look down and makes your shoulders hurt after a while)

    What happens is that you find that you focus a lot less on the screen all the time, you find yourself walking around a lot more, you make more cups of tea/coffee and it feels more productive. The only problem was that you can't really jump into the standing thing straight away, especially when you've been used to sitting at a desk for years. The other problem is if you get tired you tend to lean on your forearms like leaning on a bar.

    The other thing I really liked about the standing desks is that they had bi-fold doors directly behind you which looked out onto an atrium with a large tree full of birds for most of the year. You could stop typing, phase out of the work at hand and listen to life for a bit. It was awesome during summer when you get the warm light rain, with the door open, coffee and maybe light music on in the background.
    • At my work we have four people who stand at their desks, and I've got three others queued up to have their desks lifted so they can try it too. Dunno if they feel more productive, but so far everyone who has tried it has stuck with it and have not asked to have their tables lowered. Two of the four who stand also sometimes sit on a stool.
  • Typing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vanyel (28049) * on Thursday July 13, 2006 @09:28PM (#15716321) Journal
    I would think typing while walking on a treadmill would be really uncomfortable and difficult, as well as anything requiring semi-precision mouse work...
  • How long will it take some CEO to read about the treadmill cubicles and mandate "cubicle fitness", all the cubes can be wired up to generate power to the computers and lights. When the lights go dim someone is slackin...
  • I used to work as a math tutor for my university (sadly, I graduated, and student jobs don't live on after the degree), and we had two settings: One was an open lab where people at random would come in and raise a hand for questions, and the other was an hour one-on-one appointment.

    While working in the lab I would usually stand up while waiting for questions, and when asked continue to stand next to the student, whereas in appointments the student and I would both be sitting at the same table. I found that
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 13, 2006 @10:06PM (#15716495)
    My standing desk at work has a urinal underneath it so I never have to leave it.
  • Hawthorne Effect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mswope (242988) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @10:14PM (#15716528) Journal
    I've tried this and have known several people who have tried this. In the short term, the novelty tends to lend itself to "higher productivity." It seems that freeing yourself from the trappings and surroundings where you've allowed yourself to develop bad habits (slouching, surrepticiously surfing /., playing solitaire, staring at that mark on the wall of your cubicle) that are not productive causes you to have a spurt of higher productivity. Nowadays, I find that a periodic change of venue helps me in the same way - I goto the library for a while, move to a table and spread my stuff out instead of on a desk, sit on the floor or on a couch. I think that the people that I work with innately understand what I'm doing, even if it looks funny.

    The only thing I have against standing is that I have to find a counter or something of similar height that functions as a work surface - otherwise, i'm hunched over and a sore back is a real productivity killer....
  • I blogged this a while back -- http://www.connectedpixel.com/blog/ergonomic/stand up [connectedpixel.com]. The fatigue from standing is outweighed by carpal tunnel pain from sitting (read the blog if this does not make sense). It's also easier to stay awake while standing.
  • I call bullshit. This is the same thinking that is going to be applied with indiscriminant stupidity as cubicles, open work environments, etc. Managers will read this and start making everybody stand while they work -- everybody but themselves, since they have to satisfy that little thrill they get knowing that you only sit if you're important enough.

    Want good work done? Hire good people and keep them happily motivated about their job. Sitting, standing, hopping on one leg, it won't matter. They'll do you p
    • Agreed. I have chronic Plantar Fasciitis [aaos.org] and standing all day would *kill* me. All I need is for some HR clown to read this and decide it'd be a Good Thing to require everyone in the company to stand all day for the Great god Of Increased Productivity.

      If you're too lazy to read the ref above, Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the tendons on the bottom of your feet. Beat the soles of your feet with a 2x4 for about 15 minutes and you'll get an idea of what my feet feel like every day.

      Having said

    • Want good work done? Hire good people and keep them happily motivated about their job. Sitting, standing, hopping on one leg, it won't matter. They'll do you proud.

      But that costs money, while making people stand while working is cheap, and lets the management show to stockholders that they are doing something.

      In the end, managers and stockholders are quite similar to politicians and voters. Short-sighted trend-following with absolutely no concern for actual results in the long run at best case and out

  • I liked standing up while working, I also paced around, and would lay down when I wanted. For A couple of months I removed all of the chairs from my house, and it was almost impossible for me to zone out. Now the chairs are back, and I'm sitting as I type this. I had better posture when I was standing all the time. Maybe I'll take them away again. The biggest problem was finding or rigging high enough work surfaces.
  • Stand Up Meetings (Score:3, Informative)

    by JuzzFunky (796384) on Thursday July 13, 2006 @11:59PM (#15716927)
    We have a daily stand up meeting. 5-10 minutes every morning where we let everyone know what we've been doing and where we plan to be by the end of the day. When standing in a big circle people tend not to waffle on like they do when sitting around a table in a meeting room.

    As for spending all day in one position here's what I rekon:

    If you spend 10+ hours a day sitting on your arse then you'll probably get a sore arse.

    If you spend 10+ hours a day standing on your feet then you'll probably get sore feet.

    If you spend 10+ hours a day standing on your head then you should probably seek help.

    Go the middle way. spend some time sitting, some time standing and some time dancin' like a funky chicken.
  • I tend to stand at the computer every once in a while -- actually I'd do it more often but people look at me funny. :)

    It's great to get the blood circulation going, and it's really hard to fall asleep when you are standing up.
  • The problem is, if I stand up for a bit longer, my legs start to ache. I may keep walking for hours, but tell me to stand in one place for 20 minutes and I just need to move. So standing while working, nope.

    And of course I get lots of good ideas and such while walking, but when I get something that requires deeper thought, I stop. On threadmill - crash, bang, kaboom, you know the drill from commedy movies. Again, sucks. Plus walking in one place sucks. I'd much rather go for a walk in the far, rural suburbs
    • I wish there was a wearable computer that would make taking notes while walking easy.

      All you have to do is invest the time required to learn to type on a Twiddler, and then get any kind of wearable (or laptop in a backpack) and head-mounted display you want.

      • Attention these devices require in typing makes doing any actual -thinking- nearly impossible. I don't know about twiddler, but I spent some time with Dasher, and while typing using this thing is possible and after a while even mostly easy, it requires far too much attention to be able to split it between typing, writing, walking, and not walking into something.

        Good voice recognition systems could do the trick I think...
        • I've had personal experience with the Twiddler, and I know a few people that are proficient in using it (in particular, this guy [gatech.edu]) and I know for a fact that they have no trouble typing on it while not only thinking, but carrying on a conversation! Granted, Dr. Starner is the very definition of an "expert user," but still...

          I've also used Dasher, and I agree that it's definitely not possible to use it productively (probably because you have to watch what it's doing and use fine motor control in an analog ki

          • Heh, a chorded keyboard could really be the key, once I learn using it. I've been fascinated by the idea for quite a while, though always thought of them in means of "use while travelling, sitting down", not while walking or such. A model that doesn't require resting your hand while typing could be a great thing for this. Thanks for the idea.
  • I had some surgery as a result of which I was unable to sit down for a while (yeah yeah I can hear the peanut gallery already). In order to manage this, i simply propped my keyboards up on some boxed, tilted my monitors up, and got on with life.

    Honestly, it wasn't so bad. At the end of the day, sure my feet and legs hurt a bit more, but after a few weeks even that did not occur. And i did not feel at all as metnally tired as I would from simply sitting down.

    So maybe programming while standing isn't such
  • I regularly work while standing, and I am the only person in my office which does that. Everyone looks at me trying to understand why I am typing on the keyboard while standing. It's funny, but I find using the mouse a bit difficult. Perhaps a trackball or touch screen would help.
  • I remember reading about this company where meetings were held standing around a bar-like table. They were much shorter and to the point than traditional afterlunch meeting that drag on and on...
  • Who would have thought that burning calories improves health...and that sitting for 10 hours or more would make people fat...we really need more scientific studies on this!

  • My co-workers wouldn't allow it to happen in a million years. LOL!
    Dubbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbd! Speedy Gonzalez!

    When did it become ok for anyone to write like this?
  • I'd be a lot happier (and so would my co-workers) standing while working if I wasn't in a cubicle, looming over my neighbors... I do a lot of work standing up, but I wish my cube walls were a bit higher (i.e., like all the way to the ceiling...).
  • Reminds me of the movie Boiler Room [imdb.com] when Affleck's character is giving the speech to the new sales guys, trying to give them tips on how to make the sale while on the phone... "Get off your ass! Move around. Motion creates emotion!". I used to get up and walk around when I did tech support for the same reason as those sales guys, it keeps the blood flowing.

    Affleck was the bomb in Boiler Room. That speech he gave in that movie might be the highlight of his career. ;)
  • I experimented with this at home. Most of the time, it worked well, especially for things like programming. But there would invariably be times when I'd want to sit down. For example, I'd usually rather sit when idly surfing the net, playing a game, or watching a movie on the computer. Sometimes I'd just be a little tired and would prefer to sit. So the problem ended up being that I could only easily have one configuration and standing was too uncomfortable for my general usage pattern. It might have
  • I took a stand (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blueforce (192332) <clannagael@gm a i l .com> on Friday July 14, 2006 @08:17AM (#15718177) Homepage Journal
    I'm a software engineer. I recently made my own stand up desk for work in my woodshop at home (then expensed the desk of course). I don't think it's healthy to stand for 8-10 hours straight every day either - at least that's what I've read - so I also have a drafting stool in case I want/need to sit.

    I'm definitely more alert and not so sluggish during the day, especially after lunch. The first couple of weeks after I transitioned from sitting to standing I realized how many muscles there are in my back and legs. Actually, the first few days were brutal since I didn't get my stool until about 3 weeks after transitioning. I'm not grossly out of shape or anything and I work out as often as I can, but I had no idea how many muscles it takes to actually stand up for long periods like that. Of course I'm acclimated now so it's no big deal. If you can get over those first few days without giving up then it's great.

    The biggest beneift that I've noticed is that my neck and back don't hurt anymore. I've been sitting in front of a desk for 7+ years and the main reason I started thinking about a stand-up desk (aside from the other 6 people here that have them now) was the aches and pains I had from poor posture. I had a comfy oversize leather office chair and I got lazy and had terrible posture. I would slouch during the day, rest my head on the back of the chair and work, etc. To make matters worse, I had to keep the chair rather low to get the arms to fit under my desk that was already elevated on blocks. I'm tall, about 6-4 so all of that added up to bad posture and pain.

    After moving to the stand-up desk, I haven't had any shoulder, neck, or back pain - none. The key to that I think is that I took custom measurements of myself. Since I made my own desk I was able to custom make it to fit me. I took measurements so that I would be in a natural, comfortable position when I was typing and working. The downside to that is that the drafting stool is ever so slightly short when I do try to sit and work, but it's not for long periods so it doesn't bother me. People ask me if I find it hard to code or type for long periods while standing. I haven't had any trouble, but again I custom fit my desk to me.

    Overall, I feel much better physically and I'm not as tired and sluggish as I used to be throughout the day and even at home. For me it works - I definitely notice healthful benefits. I don't think I'd ever go back to a sit-down desk for work.

    The best advice I can give to someone moving to a stand-up desk is this: Wear comfy shoes, get an anti-fatigue mat, and have the desk custom fit if at all possible. If you can make your own then do it.
  • This is a win-win situation for big companies. Not only do they get higher productivity from their employees, they also get to save thousands of dollars on chairs. Of course, if they implemented that at my job, it would backfire because instead of working, my co-workers would bitch all day about having to stand. (Seriously, for one co-worker, the mere act of standing up to go to the bathroom causes him to fill the office with a chorus of grunts and groans).
  • The first couple weeks were hard -- my back and legs complained the whole time. Now I love it - I'm alert 100% of the time, where before I fought off drowsiness, and my back and legs are stronger. I worry about changing jobs to someplace I can't stand.

    My legs are tired at the end of the day, but it's not significant. Also, my feet get a little sore sometimes, but shifting how I stand, or taking off my shoes (when I can get away with that) fixes it.

    But I'm not really standing still at my desk; I shift aro
  • There are desks that are fully height adjustable, such as this very expensive one [levenger.com], to a line of cheaper ones at ErgoBoy [ergoboy.com] (caution some only move a few inches to adgust for taller people sitting). I find that the old biology class slate tables I had in high school work best though. Lots of room to spread stuff out and very stable.
  • There's a reason traditional churches don't have pews--the mind focuses on the services much better standing than sitting.
  • I adjusted my desk up on Tuesday, the 11th of July 2006

    Observations so far:
    Burning more calories. I'm definitly warmer all day long
    Oh my lord I'm so alert. Not a bit of tiredness/zoning, even on the night I only got 5 hours sleep.
    The commute home now feels good, so I don't mind the traffic near as much (relaxation of the legs)
    Better gas mileage (My legs are tired, so I use my cruise control more).
    Leg muscles right above the knees are tired (Getting better already).
    Easier to leave my desk: Rather than consid
  • I picked up a habit a while ago of standing up whenever I used the phone. Usually I even pace around or walk and use hand-motion and body language. While the other person obviously can't see this, I think it is picked up in the inflection of your voice and you sound more alive and responsive, which is always good.

    For those that still don't want to stand all day, see if you can get a small but comfortable other chair in your office -- maybe one of those big cushy ones. If you need to sit but are not typing -
  • I practice Taijiquan and Qigong and a while back, I started feeling just awful if I sat for more than 30 minutes, so I put my computer on my kitchen counter and I stand while I use it. In Qigong we have standing meditation, so I just do that while I do whatever I am doing on the computer. I get things done, I don't get stiff or uncomfortable, and I can do some of my training while I work on other things. It's important to walk around every so often to keep the body happy, and it's much easier to do that

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