A Formal Commitment

Dec 06 2011 Published by under [Etc]

Last summer I wrote about my trial of standing work. Throughout that month I performed most writing and office work standing at my kitchen counter. Standing up straight engages your core muscles more than you notice - until you do it for a few days.

As we moved in August, my commitment to blogging and computing, let alone doing it upright, got challenged. Now that I am settling into the new job, I wanted to resume this novel computing posture. With several risers on the desk I could get the laptop keyboard and screen to a reasonable height, but the desk was way too low for comfortable  use of a mouse.

My Standing Desk (Click to enlarge)

At left you will see my new standing desk, the flexible workspace laptop stand by realspace(R). I found mine for $102 at my local Office Depot (for some reason the online price is more). This stand places the laptop keyboard 42 inches from the ground, about the same height as a shopping cart handle. A slide-out mouse surface is available 4 inches below the keyboard, and it can be pushed to either side. A USB-powered fan is built in to keep your device cool (its cord hangs loose in the photo), and a cupholder can be swung out from the bottom level of the deck.

The height adjusts lower, so I could use this sitting as well. For example, sometimes I keep references open on my laptop while working on my Windows desktop; dropping the stand would facilitate this function. Up till now, I placed the laptop on the desk next to my other computer, a perfectly miserable height for my arms.

My bad knee tolerates the standing posture reasonably well. I use the Pomodoro technique while writing, so I stand in 25 minute blocks. My 5 minute break between pomodoros may involve sitting or walking around. As anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows, I often wear shoes that are not made for standing (but they look gorgeous). Underneath the stand you will notice a pair of "leopard" ballet flats. These are actually Crocs (like these but more fun), and they feel like I am walking on clouds.

It would be nice to have a monitor at a slightly higher level, so I did not have to work with my head bowed; however, that sort of workspace gets expensive fast. Perhaps if I ever make the jump to a treadmill desk I will take that leap as well.

In the meantime, this set-up works great.

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