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Old 03-02-2010, 02:36 PM   #1
Arturo Garcia
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Working while standing.

Hey everyone. I think most on this board are rather health-conscious and by now have probably read about modern things that almost everyone considers standard but are bad for us, like shoes, for example. Chairs too. I had read this article before, but stumbled upon it today because my wife found another article on sitting in a magazine.

WFS: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/sitting-unhealthy/

So, today, tuesday March 2nd 2010, the first thing I did when I arrived to work is rearrange my desk so my laptop is at head-level. I obviously don't type on it, but placed my keyboard and mouse at a lower level, over some stacked thick books. It's 5:30pm and I survived. I only needed to sit down a couple of times, and for maybe one minute. I wear Vibrams to work too.

One thing I found curious is that I find it hard to keep completely still. I'm either moving my hips from side to side, curling my leg every so often, bending at the knees a little from time to time, getting up on the fore-foot for a few seconds, etc.

With this post I wanted to find out if anyone else has taken this approach, and what can they comment on this. I considered the swiss ball, and for a second even the expensive kneeling chairs... but decided to first try the simplest solution, just standing up. It just makes sense that if one is seated for, say, 13 or 14 hours a day (while working, while eating, while watching a movie, etc., it truly adds up to a huge amount of hours), then even a daily session of mobility drills and stretches might not be enough to counter all this massive amount of time spent sitting on a chair. I could be wrong, but makes sense when I think about it.

So, again, anyone out there with a desk job who works standing up? How's that affected your posture, your flexibility, your pains, your feet/ankle, hip flexors, hamstrings, etc... ? Any testimonials would be cool. Thanks in advance.

Oh, one more thing, Steven Low's article on shoes and sitting is also great and explains why sitting sucks.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:42 PM   #2
Arturo Garcia
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Re: Working while standing.

All right, 3 days and no replies, I guess I'm the only nut doing this.

I searched the Web for random pages and found many who have done it. Apparently there are even desks designed to work standing; cool, I guess.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:04 PM   #3
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Working while standing.

I'm not ignoring you, honest! I've considered it, but haven't actually tried it, so I was hoping for testimonials as well.

I already tend to be somewhat fidgety. I stand up and pace around while talking on the phone, need to take frequent breaks in order to concentrate, that kind of thing. I've noticed I'm a lot stiffer on days where I spend more time staring at the screen. Working while standing is the next logical step, I just haven't taken it yet.

Katherine
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:05 PM   #4
Arturo Garcia
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Re: Working while standing.

Heh, thanks for your input Katherine.

In the past 4 days, since I've been working while standing, I have acquired the unusual habit of suddenly dropping into a forearm plank.

Most Websites I found always had recommendations, such as "be sure to wear shoes with padding"... Well, I'm doing this on Vibrams! I'm rolling my foot with a billiards ball at night. I also received my "The Stick" today, the travel model for $27 plus shipping. Have only test-used it here at work today, but it seems great, easy to use and definitely feel it more than the foam roller, and also much easier to use than the roller, at least for the calves, which is what I bought it for. At the same time of starting this experiment of working standing I have also started doing towel toe curls every day. We'll see what all of this leads me to.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:51 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Working while standing.

I love sitting as much as I know how bad it is for me. :\

I don't have any outright testimonials of people that I know so I can't help ya out.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:36 PM   #6
Stanley Walter
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Re: Working while standing.

I try to stand more at work.

Tough to do when you're in front of a computer though.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:04 PM   #7
Jared Ashley
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Re: Working while standing.

can't speak to working an office job standing up... but I went from a sitting-all-day office job to a running-around-like-a-maniac hospital job. One of my co-workers clocked 17 miles on a pedometer in a single 12-hour shift.

I'm much happier at work now.
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:49 PM   #8
Marcel Zwinger
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Re: Working while standing.

Arturo,

You've gotta be kidding!
I've started to do the same thing on Tuesday!!!
That makes two weirdos then

Anyway, My back does not feel as tight as before and my legs are NOT feeling tired at all!

Previously, after a day of working in my chair, my legs felt really really tired and I felt like that overall.

Not now anymore!

Sure my sole of the foot felt "sore", but that has gotten better.

A long long time a go far away in a different "company" I had a real "standing" job, and after the initial soreness of my feet, I felt completely normal.


I look at it this way: instead of 8 hours+ of crappy posture I now have 8+ of at least decent posture.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:56 AM   #9
Arturo Garcia
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Re: Working while standing.

Jared: 17 miles ?? Wow, did he do additional "cardio"? Hehe, that's cool, a job that has you walking that much.

Marcel: that's awesome, you make me feel less insane By the way, what country are you living in? Austria?

Both of you Marcel and Jared, who have (or had) real jobs that had you standing up, will probably notice there is a huge difference between that and just standing in front of a desk. Standing without moving can get BORING, and I think it's harder than if you're moving. I know it sounds ironic, I mean, if you're not moving, you're spending less energy right, which should be easier, right? well, I think WRONG. I would much rather have a need to take walks (even short walks) to other places. I gotta change professions (that's in the works though).

I am now a bit more loose. I mean, I don't think I've gained any flexibility, but the flexibily is there at any given moment. For example, right now I can bend with straight legs and put my whole palms on the floor. I could do this before as well, but sometimes needed 1+ minute of trying and re-trying and it was difficult, but I'd eventually get there. Now I can just bend over and do it, just like that. I am also guessing this is helping my hip flexor flexibility, but this is just a guess.

It just makes sense that if you sit for 10+ hours a day (combining work+home), then 1 miserable stretching session isn't really gonna counter all that sitting. At least that's how I see it.

Also, I conciously try to raise the arches of my feet whenever I remember. I wouldn't want this to flatten my feet, specially since one of them is already a little flat. This is why I'm doing the towel toe curls every day too, I'm gonna strengthen those plantar muscles no matter what.

Now if I can only figure out how to work outdoors, in the sunlight, wihout air conditioner, and doing some type of manual work.... I'll have it all figured it out

Last edited by Arturo Garcia : 03-06-2010 at 07:57 AM. Reason: Forgot something.
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:39 AM   #10
Wade Smith
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Re: Working while standing.

I'm an elem teacher and therefore mostly on my feet, and mostly moving around the room. I find that when I sit most of the day (conferencing with kids or meetings), my hips don't feel good if I try and workout later that evening.

I'd think standing in one place would be problematic. Don't dentists and hair stylists have job-related health issues due to that.

So I stand, but I stay in motion, for the most part. I like it.
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