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Standing Desks

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by BlueTurtle, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. BlueTurtle

    BlueTurtle BANNED BANNED

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    I modified my desk yesterday to turn it into a standing desk. I've got the monitor on top of a 5 foot bookcase behind the desk which puts it perfectly at eye level when I stand and gives me some extra shelf space. For the keyboard/mouse I bought a 3 foot long by 1.5 width piece of wood + 2 wooden blocks + rubber stoppers so I can have my arms at around 100-105 degrees while typing/mousing. :)

    It seems pretty awesome so far. It's such a massive paradigm shift. When you're standing it's just *impossible* to get distracted or not be efficient. It's also quite energizing probably because the blood is flowing more freely. It's much healthier too.

    We never really evolved to sit for long periods. Our physical structure is actually made for standing and once you get used to standing for long periods it's very comfortable. You do have to be fairly fit/in shape though. If you're more than a bit overweight I don't think this would work since a large belly puts strain on your lower back.

    Anyway I just thought I'd share this with people as it's a slowly growing trend. Some people are even connecting treadmills so they can walk while working which sounds silly, but we often go for walks to think so being able to walk while at your desk could be really good.

    I think Edison used a standing desk and a fair amount of scientists/engineers do because of the nature of their work. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who's in decent shape. If you're not in shape then hit the gym.. Deadlifts, squats etc and you'll be able to stand for 12+ hours np.


    Let me know if anyone else here has tried, or currently uses a standing desk and if anyone gives it a go I'd love to hear about your experience with it.


    Another thing you can do which is less extreme if you don't like the idea of slouching for 12 hours is get one of the exercise balls and use it as a chair for short periods throughout the day. I gave it a go and it works quite well in short bouts, but standing is much more comfortable.
     
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  2. Serp_Pimp

    Serp_Pimp Junior Member

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    Going to try this out, I usually get on the elliptical or do some free weights every few hours to keep the blood flowing.
     
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  3. bk071

    bk071 Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Post some pics, man. I was thinking of getting a standing desk the other day - have had my fair share of back issues (and still having).
    I really need to pay attention to it.

    I'd appreciate some pics :)
     
  4. BlueTurtle

    BlueTurtle BANNED BANNED

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    I don't have a camera or a webcam unfortunately.

    It's a pretty simple setup though. All you need is a small'ish bookcase for behind your desk that will have your monitor at eye level, a large shelf and 2 blocks of wood for under the shelf at each side. Took me 10 minutes to set it up. I already had the shelf in my cupboard so I only had to buy the 2 wooden blocks.
     
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  5. bk071

    bk071 Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    You saved quite a bit of money haha.. those desks, if you buy them off those websites, are quite expensive.

    Good job! I'll definitely look into setting one up for myself when I'm able to stand for long hours.
     
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  6. BlueTurtle

    BlueTurtle BANNED BANNED

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    Yeah definitely man, just set it up yourself it's so so easy. You can just use some books to prop up your shelf too.

    It's worth buying one of the proper standing desks in the future, but when you're just trying it out you wouldn't want to waste the money if you find out you don't like it.


    Also, when you set it up yourself it only takes 2 minutes to turn it into a normal desk. Nothing is bolted down. I just move the wooden blocks + shelf on the floor, then move the monitor down from the bookcase onto the desk and voila, a regular desk again, so I'd definitely set it up now and just start with like 30 minutes standing a day to build up.

    The main discomfort for me right now is the soles of my feet are getting a little sore, but nothing major. I can lean forward on the shelf if I need a rest too ;-)
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  7. BlueTurtle

    BlueTurtle BANNED BANNED

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    Awesomeness.. I just put on some new dance music I downloaded and you can dance while working with the standing desk! :) It stops the feet hurting and gets the blood pumping.

    I really want to try the treadmill walking desk. I think it would be seriously amazing.


    [​IMG]


    P.S. That's not me ;) ahahaha.
     
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  8. Elamros

    Elamros Registered Member

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    Aww! Standing desk! Not good for my back. I prefer sitting and takings rests to stretch every two hours. I hope I can do what you guys are doing. But good luck to those planning to do this.
     
  9. BlueTurtle

    BlueTurtle BANNED BANNED

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    Sitting's not good for your back. Standing is your back's natural position.

    Your back/supporting muscles/posture are just all screwed up. Hit the free weights, deadlifts, squats, lunges, bench press, pull ups, chinups, rear delt work and bent over rows. 6 months and your back will be like a steel foundation for your body :) Once you're deadlifting 200lbs+ for reps you'll never have a sore back again.

    Also, I'd recommend wearing shoes with orthopedic insoles. Even though I have a strong back I still wear the insoles because it helps my posture. It really depends on your feet, but most people will benefit from them.

    [​IMG]


    Generally when you're standing(and doing deadlifts) you should have your abs flexed and pushed out. When you flex and push your abs out it tightens and locks your lower spine into its natural arched position. So shoulders slightly back, but don't PULL them right back otherwise it's uncomfortable, just have them slightly back with your neck straight, chin up and belly pushing out a bit and slightly(comfortably) flexed.

    You should also have your rib muscles engaged so your chest is getting held in place. Don't let your chest droop forward as that pushes and warps your spine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  10. jdog37

    jdog37 Power Member

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    Years ago in '97 or '98 (yeah before the millennium) I worked for an electrical outfit and we were contracted to help remodel a UPS tracking station in a local city. Our crew had to reroute and rewire all of the electrical, computer, and phone cables to accommodate the new ergonomically designed workstations for the employees.

    The workstations were pretty cool. The desks were adjustable to allow the workers to sit for awhile and work and then they could raise it to a comfortable height so they could stand for awhile. They also had some type of wrist support pad in front of the keyboard that I was told was to prevent carpal tunnel or whatever from typing all day.

    What you are doing is really a good idea for people that spend hours and hours in front of their computer every day.
     
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  11. JayWest

    JayWest Newbie

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    just picked up my standing desk. Will be getting it setup this week. :) 2j5opc.jpg
     
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  12. BlueTurtle

    BlueTurtle BANNED BANNED

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    Yup, I spend up to 12 hours in the office and sometimes I can be sitting for 15-18 hours. Breaks are ok and I'm sure they help, but it's not the same as standing.

    Sitting is great and I've still got my sofa + laptop. I'm thinking of doing like 8 hours a day of standing work then transition to the sofa in the evening to relax.

    I'm much more efficient standing too so I won't have to work as long. Our brains are probably wired so that when we're standing we're in 'hunting' or 'work' mode and when sitting we're in relaxing mode.

    Most people much prefer bar jobs or physical jobs where they're on their feet to being in an office all day. When you're doing a physical job you only need a coffee in the morning and 1 in the afternoon, but when sitting you can need coffee throughout the day to feel alert.
     
  13. BlueTurtle

    BlueTurtle BANNED BANNED

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    Get yourself a bookcase to put behind it for your monitor. Your eyes should be about 3/4 to 5/6 way up your monitor so you're looking slightly down or at least straight. Ie, your neck should be in a natural position the same as it would be in if you were just standing looking around.

    Something like this is what you want:

    [​IMG]


    That's 5 foot, so with a 22-24" monitor your eyes should be about right if you're 5'8 to 6'1. If you're very tall you'd just put a book or something under it. You also get the bonus of the extra shelf space for pads and stuff which will free up more desk space for writing/working.
     
  14. LeMerovigian

    LeMerovigian BANNED BANNED

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    I've read somewhere that people that have careers that involve alot of sitting are prone to health problems such as cardiovascular disease and kidney failure........,
     
  15. BlueTurtle

    BlueTurtle BANNED BANNED

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    Actually my bookcase is about 4 to 4 and a half foot. 5 foot would be too big unless you're about 6'4! The monitor is about 1.5 to 1.7 foot from bottom to top and it's a 22"
     
  16. BlueTurtle

    BlueTurtle BANNED BANNED

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    It'll increase the chances, but heart disease is caused by a combination of too much omega 6 in the diet(specifically a bad ratio of 3 to 6 like 1:20+) and constantly spiking blood sugar.

    The arterial walls can get damaged when there's constantly too much sugar in the blood and the body then sends ldl cholesterol to repair. That's why cholesterol lowering drugs and the whole war on cholesterol is stupid.

    I personally eat 50%, sometimes as much as 60-65% fat, the majority of it saturated from animal sources and a good chunk of mono from fish. (Most have far too much poly from vegetable oils. poly is full of omega 6)


    If saturated fat caused heart disease then countries like france/spain would have epidemics of heart disease. The US and UK actually don't eat much fat. The fat intake of the US has decreased over the past 50 years, but it's changed from saturated/mono to mostly poly.

    Mcdonalds for instance is all sugar and polyunsaturated fat(omega 6's) from the oils they cook in. (fries(sugar) cooked in poly oils, white bread(sugar) made with poly oils, beef cooked in poly oils and a massive big sugary drink)

    Fries are ok. I eat them a couple times a week but I eat a ton of fish so some omega 6's aren't a big deal.

    The meat in the US is also corn fed which means the fat has almost no omega 3's, just the omega 6's so this also further exacerbates the problem.

    If you eat salmon(including the skin) 3x a week that's probably your best bet at keeping heart disease at bay imo. Ie, if you only made 1 small change do the salmon thing at least 3x a week. (or mackeral/sardines)
     
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    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  17. ilifehack.nl

    ilifehack.nl Newbie

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    By the way, Edison was a complete jerk.
    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla
     
  18. BlueTurtle

    BlueTurtle BANNED BANNED

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    Yes, I know, but he's still good to learn from for people like us.
     
  19. LBrown

    LBrown Senior Member

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    I have a standing desk. It's just an adjustable wall shelf. I put the monitor on the top shelf and keyboard and mouse on the bottom shelf. It's not my primary computer (my laptop is so I can be mobile and with my kids) but I have to work at it each day and I prefer it to a sitting desk.
     
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  20. LeMerovigian

    LeMerovigian BANNED BANNED

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    I hate to derail but the Tesla electric car is something else and David Bowie plays Tesla in "The Prestige"



    BlueTurtle; I hope you're not referring to British cuisine, looks like we have relativity the same diet.
     
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