Stand up

I’ve decided to join the Cult Of The Standing Desk, picking up IKEA’s Bekant sit/stand model, replete with motorised legs that raise or lower the desk at the touch of a button. Partly motivated by being sick and tired of cleaning my old desk, which was completely transparent glass for the tops, and partly motivated by a now deep-seated fear of sitting down all the time, the first few hours of use aren’t exactly what I imagined.

I’m a real stranger to standing up, and it shows. I spent my professional life mostly sat down at my desk at work, and when I get home from work I tend to either sit down in front of the TV, or sit down here in front of my computer. I don’t exercise, bar walking the dogs a few times a week. I’m overweight and unfit, and as I get older it’s much harder to avoid the consequences.

So the last few hours of rearranging my office and standing here to do some personal work in front of the computer have been odd. I have twinges in my right shoulder, presumably as a result of years of accrued terrible posture, and I’ve found myself constantly shuffling from one leg to the other as my body figures out the best way for me to stand up for a long period of time. I have wrist pain in my left hand, I think because my wrists are at a slightly different angle to usual. I need to tweak the desk’s height. So it’s been uncomfortable, but I have to persevere.

The whole endeavour is part of my motivation to see my 30s out in good shape and taking care of myself, rather than fat and atrophied. It’s partly psychological, because standing up doesn’t use that much more energy than sitting down — around 20% according to the literature I’ve been reading over the last couple of weeks. For better or worse my current interests and desires in life have me in front of a computer a lot of the time, but I’m under no illusions that I can stand myself into shape.

I know I need to do more than just stand up. Every little counts, though, and at least I won’t be distracted by cat footprints all over it every day. It’ll take me a little longer to spot those now my desk isn’t made of glass.

I’ll try and write about how it’s going from time to time. Not just stood here at the desk, but in general as I try and do something about my lack of good health and how my job and life play their part in that.