Standing Desk, day 6

Previously, on Standing Desk: Day 1 and Day 2

Well I’m over a week into my experiment.  Here’s what I know:

  • Standing all day definitely gets easier.  My feet aren’t really sore anymore, or maybe I’m just used to it.
  • BUT, a bad night’s sleep is a lot more noticeable.  I had a couple rough nights, and standing around really made me want to crawl back into bed (more than a chair would).
  • I’m not noticing any general energy improvements yet.
  • But I do feel generally more Ready and Present while I’m working.  37 Signals’ Jamis says it better:
    My attention span improved, too. I noticed an immediate increase in my ability to focus on a problem for longer, and with greater clarity. When I was blocked by some problem, I was able to just walk away from the desk, whereas before the effort of getting up from my chair often made me prefer to just sit and stew in my frustration.

  • I’m getting used to it. Walking up to my desk doesn’t seem unusual anymore. Nor does the various fidgeting, dancing, pacing it allows. I didn’t even think about it today until I was walking out to my car.

So I think it’s a good thing and I want to continue.  My next thought is about getting a real standup desk (“real” as in no cardboard boxes required).  Apparently, IKEA’s Jerker is Undisputed King of Standup desks.  It does look great, but I can’t seem to find it.  More news as it happens…

Standing Desk, day 1

Today I took a plunge with a standing desk, for a few reasons.


Health
I often sit all day long, and rarely make the time to exercise.  Humans weren’t made to sit.  I think this sums it well:

Sitting is one of the most passive things you can do. You burn more energy by chewing gum or fidgeting than you do sitting still in a chair. Compared to sitting, standing in one place is hard work. To stand, you have to tense your leg muscles, and engage the muscles of your back and shoulders; while standing, you often shift from leg to leg. All of this burns energy.

For many people, weight gain is a matter of slow creep — two pounds this year, three pounds next year. You can gain this much if, each day, you eat just 30 calories more than you burn. Thirty calories is hardly anything — it’s a couple of mouthfuls of banana, or a few potato chips. Thus, a little more time on your feet today and tomorrow can easily make the difference between remaining lean and getting fat.

Olivia Judson in the New York Times

Productivity
Not that productivity is what humans were made for either, but if I’m taking time away from my family and Life to go work, I should use that time well.  Too often my train of thought is “I’m sitting in front of a computer, now what can I do with it?”  rather than “For what purpose am I standing in front of this computer?”

Peer Pressure
A friend and
several bloggers I respect have made the switch, and had good things to say.  I’m a big fan of reviews and anecdotal evidence.  :7

…So this morning I put some cardboard boxes under my keyboard, mouse, and monitors.  (It’s ugly, but a cheap way to try before I buy a real standing desk.)

Some things I’ve already noticed:

  • It’s hard.  Everyone says the first 2 days are brutal.  Yup!  They also say around day 3 it gets easy and then it starts paying back with better energy.  Here’s hoping…
  • With the right tunes, I catch myself dancing!  Yes, I’m sure you’d like to see that.  I checked and am relieved that google says I’m not crazy (or not alone, anyway).
  • Moment-to-moment priorities are easier.  For a couple years I’ve had a sign reminding me to “Decide Standing” when I pick my next tasks.  The opposite is true now – I can now take a 2-minute sitting break to pick a task.  This comes much more naturally!

Wish me luck.

WTH: Live Essentials 2011 on Microsoft Update

 

Microsoft says its Important that I get the Bing Bar…
2010-11-07_wu_wtf1
(and a dozen other whatnots, all of which will increase the security surface area of my system)

…but it’s just optional that I have current security software?!?
image

 

What the heck??

 

To be clear, I do not recommend installing Live Essentials unless you see something in that list which really interests you.  I use and do like Live Writer, which is my preference for publishing to this blog.

 

2010-12-18 UPDATE:

I found the cause, in a setting I hadn’t noticed before:
"Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates"

When I uncheck it, Recommended Updates get moved from the Important category back to Optional.

I’m not sure when or how this got set, but I’ve noticed other brand-new machines do the same thing.  Is this the new default?

Lookee what I made

Speaking of using new web tech, I just rolled out a new site yesterday:


Custom-Tooling.com
www.custom-tooling.com

Some bullets for gearheads:

 

I’ve been using CSS3 for a long time, but this was the the first with HTML5.  The design is based on existing print materials.  It’s just a brochure site, but it was fun.