I can't stand the pain

I’m easily influenced, so when my husband told me about a colleague whose life (poor posture, bad back, middle-age spread) has been transformed by standing up to use his computer, I had to give it a go. young woman using laptopSo I did – last autumn I stuck my laptop on a small table my son made in tech and waited for the transformation to take place. I’m ashamed to say I only lasted a few hours: it was harder than I’d envisaged to stand up when normally I would sit (or slouch) and I abandoned the experiment.

Day one
But here we are on the first working day of 2015. New year, new me. Or, to be more accurate, crotchety old me with an aching back, Christmas waistline and rapidly increasing sense of urgency to make long-lasting changes that will help me to work – and, more importantly, live – without pain for many years to come.

So I’ve dug out the tech table (which seems to be the right height) and installed my laptop on top. I’ve already typed all this standing up, so it’s working so far. I’ll keep you posted. Now I need a sit-down and a cuppa.

Housework done (teenage bedrooms! Untouched for two weeks!). Back to the screen.

I’ve just realised that I haven’t been Rightmoving today. Could this be because standing takes me out of my comfort zone?

Day two
My hands and arms seem happy but I’m not so sure about the rest of me. Standing up to work definitely requires more physical effort, which is probably very good for me, but – as when I do anything active, within a short space of time I find myself longing to sit down and take a load off. Determined to stick it out though, so I will persevere.

No backache today – that’s a plus. And a first. Normally after several hours of sitting at my laptop I feel quite crotchety around the lower-middle back.

I’ve noticed that it’s far easier to take breaks when you’re already standing up, which can only be a good thing – I tend to get so involved in what I’m doing that I barely move all day.

Popping outside to hang the washing out (yes, even in mid-January it’s 10 degrees and clothes-drying sunny in the only corner of my garden that the sun reaches), shuffling into the kitchen (the same room in which we eat, work, lounge about and entertain) to put the kettle on: somehow these chores seem simpler when you don’t have to unbend your legs and hoist yourself out of a comfy chair.

Mumsnet: 10 mins. Okay, 15. But at least half of that was ‘research’.
Rightmove: one look. Nothing interesting so I was only on for a couple of minutes.

Day three
Transcribing has never been my favourite task and today proved even less fun than usual. Turns out that operating a foot pedal (to turn the conversation on and off) isn’t easy when you’re standing up. I persevered and after several hours I’d typed 8,597 words and developed an increasingly painful sensation on the ball of my right foot. My back is pain-free, though.

Day four
I forgot that I was meant to be high desking and after an hour and a half at my desk (proper computer chair etc) my back is aching. I’ve reverted to my characteristic slump – I can feel my vertebrae backing up on each other, which is quite peculiar.

Like most resolutions hatched in the new year, this one didn’t last, but in the light of today’s news story about the health problems experienced by office workers who spend too long sitting, I clearly need to give it another go. The problem is that it involves effort. I’ll report back when I’m upstanding…

Sybil
Another one here who spends

Another one here who spends far too long 'working' (aka time-wasting) on screens. I'm wondering whether high desking might help me to get away from technology and do something useful instead.

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