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This Writing Life: The Standing Desk, Part the 1st

17 September, 2012

Apologies, first of all, for my extended absence from the blog. Real life got in the way for a while – a job interview (and yes, I got the job!), a holiday, family commitments, gaming, and of course, writing deadlines (extended another month. Phew) – but it’s back to normal now. Well, almost back to normal. You see, I’ve decided to make a bit of a change to my writing life, which means that my office desk now looks like this.

I’ve blogged in the past about the health problems I’ve developed through writing, or more specifically spending a lot of time at the computer. I’ve been dealing with RSI for several years now, and I’m always on the look out for new ways to alleviate it (without, of course, giving up writing), particularly since my aching hand and wrist were recently joined by stiffness in my neck and right shoulder.

I decided these new problems were at least partly caused by my monitor being too low, causing me to hunch up over my desk without even realising I was doing so. Rather than just raise my monitor, though, I decided to go a whole step further and set up a standing desk. Not wanting to buy a whole new desk though, I looked for an alternative, and my end result can be seen in the photo.

The first part involved raising my monitor, using one of these. Whilst the arm is a large, heavy, almost over-engineered piece of kit, it gives me the flexibility to keep my monitor at eye-level whether I’m standing up or sitting down. At the moment, the stands for my keyboard and mouse are actually the box and polystyrene packaging that the monitor arm came in, but I’ll replace these if this whole set-up is still to my liking in a few weeks’ time.

So, how is the standing desk working so far? I’ve only been using it for a couple of days, so it’s impossible to tell yet whether my RSI and muscle aches will improve. So far I’m still in the adjustment phase: it’s clear that writing standing up is going to take a bit of getting used to, both in terms of how initially tiring it is and how far my keyboard is from my line of sight.

In the long term though, I’m hoping for all manner of health benefits, and it seems many writers feel the same – using a standing desk seems to be an increasingly popular option. Only time will tell, though, whether I’m going to be joining their ranks for good.

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2 Comments
  1. 18 September, 2012 1:20 pm

    I’ve found alternating between a sit/stand position works best for me. I also take monthly visits to a chiropractor & I started walking (getting away from my desk). Hope your adjustments help.

    • 21 September, 2012 1:23 pm

      Thanks! At the moment I’m finding it easy to stand when I’m concentrating on work, but more difficult when I’m just surfing the net or gaming, so I’m probably standing about half the time overall. I’m already starting to feel a difference in my shoulders though, but only time will tell with the rest!

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