Sit stand and keep healthy
Do you go to bed with backache? Or wake in the morning creaking with pain? It might be because you sit in the same position for long stretches, focussed on your screen. You don’t need me to remind you it’s important to consider your posture, but what can you do about it?
Try standing for an hour a day. Ensure keyboard and monitor are at the right height. If you find yourself working without thinking about the fact you’re standing, you might want to invest in a Varidesk.
I’d been thinking about standing to work at my computer for a while. I’m getting to the age where osteoporosis is a possible future problem and any weight bearing activity is good, even standing, so I put together a makeshift arrangement at my desk as a trial. My legs hurt for a bit to start with, but not my back, or my neck. Once your body accepts its going to stand you forget about it and just get on with work. While you’re busy thinking and tapping away at the keyboard your core muscles strengthen. My leg muscles are like iron, and I’ve got bum muscles like… well, let’s not go there.
But it won’t be for everyone and sitting can be more comfortable at times. In 2015 I wrote about my SoFi office chair by HAG from SBS. My delight with it continues to this day.
Knowing that I’m happy to sit and stand, and ready to reorganise my home studio to do both, I looked at what was available on the market. There are some beautifully crafted bespoke sit-stand desks in wood but they’re very high end. At the opposite end there are plentiful websites offering contraptions I wouldn’t give houseroom to. But I was impressed when I saw Varidesk and wanted to try it out. My ProPlus36TM arrived a few months ago and I’ve been using it ever since. I love, love, love it.
When it arrived, and I must say it was exceptionally well packaged, I couldn’t lift it on my own. It’s heavy. This is not a tacky piece of kit. You might think the price tag is hefty (£365), but for the ease of use, the quality, and the convenience of sitting and standing at work, it’s well worth it.
Here are my three tips for standing to work:-
1. Vary the position. Standing all day is not much better than sitting all day. A bit of both is ideal.
2. Wait for results. The body adjusts over time and the benefits begin to emerge after a few months.
3. Invest in a good chair. The SBS chair I use rocks ever so slightly as you sit. These micro movements keep your body flexible.
Images (other than SBS) supplied by Varidesk.
I have three work areas… my computer, my drawing board, and a flat area for laying out samples. The Varidesk is a substantial piece of kit. It sits on a regular desk and blends into the work area nicely. You put your keyboard, screen, and whatever else you like on it. When you want to stand, you adjust it to the height you need with the discreet grab handles and, hey presto, it rises accordingly. The ease with which you can raise the work area is remarkable. As I write this I’ve got desk lamp, books, stapler, pen pot, mug of tea, papers, and cake on it, as well as my laptop. Thank you Varidesk!