Blog Oklahoma Podcast 003: Stand Up

When you work in front of a computer keyboard for a living, it can be difficult to keep fit or even just moderately healthy. Long sedentary hours of sitting, staring in one direction, with very little movement at all. Besides not really burning any calories, all that sitting takes it’s toll on your body. Muscles begin to atrophy, your posture sags, and you get soft around your middle. If you’re one of those smart few who exercise after work you have to workout extra hard to undo the damage of doing nothing, but sitting, typing, drinking coffee, and munching on M&M’s and Doritos for the last several hours.

Let’s face it, this life is not for the weak, it takes years of dedication to build up the round soft lumpy physique of a keyboard master.

Seriously though, it sucks.

And like many out there I’ve discovered the downside of being a professional weaver of code. I’m out of shape, overweight, my back hurts, my hands ache, and I get the pleasure of taking a daily handful of pills for various ailments. Yay me.

I am endeavoring to remedy this however. I’ve changed my diet by cutting way back on work day snacking, and I’ve limited the amount of coffee to just one or two cups in the morning, the rest of the day I just drink water. These minor changes help, but I’m far from in shape because of it.

The biggest change in my workday routine was switching to a standing workstation over a year ago. For the majority of the day I’m standing up and moving around while I’m typing away. This has helped my aching back quite a bit. I still have a ways to go to be considered fit, but I’ve slowly been working my way that way.

There are many challenges to adopting a stand-up or standing desk. First it needs to fit you. You’ll need to position the keyboard where you can type comfortably, without having your hands too high or too low. You’ll need to position your monitor so looking forward and not straining your neck by looking down all the time. You’ll also need some comfortable shoes or invest in a foam or rubber mat to stand on.

And believe it or not, I think the most challenging aspect to using a standing desk is knowing when to sit down. There have been times when I’ve overdone it and my feet and legs are tired, swollen, and sore when I got home. Luckily in my office I have a second desk where I keep a laptop, and I can sit down and rest my feet for a little while to get some work done.

There are purpose built standing desks you can purchase. There’s even one that will raise and lower with a push of a button so you can sit or stand at the same desk.

In my office I have your standard office desk. I went online to IKEA and ordered a small end table, a couple of L brackets, and shelf. I don’t think I spent $50 on the whole thing. When the shipment arrived it took less than an hour to put it all together, and I’ve been happily standing and typing ever since.

I still need to put more movement and exercise into my daily routine. I found this great website that shares different workouts with some designed to do in an office environment. I printed a few of those out and taped them on the wall next to my desk. So every once in a while, throughout the day, I’ll do one of the routines. I just started doing this few days ago, so I don’t have an results to share, but every bit of exercise helps.

If you can’t adopt the standing desk lifestyle for one reason or another, one thing I highly recommend you do is every hour stand up and stretch. Also let's say every other hour, walk around a little bit. Go down the hallway and get a drink of water. Again every bit of exercise helps.


Links from this episode

Standing Workstation - Day 1

Standing Workstation - Day 598 - Still Standing

Office Workouts by

This episode's bonus interesting articles

A site dedicated to Molly Murphy's House Of Fine Repute
#oklahoma #oklahomahistory #okc

State Parks in Danger After Tourism Department?s $16 Million Budget Cut
#oklahoma #tourism

This episode's bonus musical selection

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Daft Punk Cover) by Steam Powered Giraffe
#pop #acoustic

Crystals by Of Monsters and Men

Fight Song by Rachel Platten

This episode's bonus read

Bizarro #1
#DC #Superman

This episode's bonus Audible book recommendation

Kenobi: Star Wars by John Jackson Miller
#fantasy #starwars #western (This is actually a good western)

This episode's bonus binge watch on Netflix

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
#marvel #spy #action