Several weeks ago I broke my tailbone in a bone-headed move.
In an attempt to clean out my garage, I was trying to move my riding lawnmower to the shed out back. No matter how hard I rocked it back and forth, the mower couldn’t get traction on the snow (or planks & cardbord). So I decided it would be worth a shot to lift the back end by hand and force it through the snow like a severely overweighted wheelbarrow.
I planted my hands underneath the rear end, straightened my back like they taught us in weightlifting class back in high school, and lifted. The weight wasn’t so bad. I knew I’d need some rests on the way, but I was sure I could manage the task.
The one thing I didn’t account for was the ice on my driveway (I’m horrible about salting). Four steps into the move and my feet shot out from under me, slamming me on the ground with the lawnmower on top of me.
Needless to say, I belted out some choice words that would rival George Carlin.
Two days later, my doctor confirmed that I had broken my Coccyx and I could either sit on a donut or stand for anywhere between six weeks and a year.
My 30 year old male pride got in the way and I asked for my desk to be raised. Within a couple of hours, OWC’s trusty handyman showed up to raise my desk to standing height.
Let’s take a moment to reflect on the decision I had just made.
In my 30 years of life, I have spent about 20 of those years planted in a chair in front of one or several computers. I’m a software architect and a geek by nature, so one could only imagine the number of office chairs I have worn out.
Armed with a slightly newish pair of Adidas running shoes, I started my first day without a chair. Within an hour, my feet, legs & lower back were screaming for a break and I was seriously reconsidering my decision to stand. Five minutes sitting in my old chair to rest reminded me why I was standing, so I toughed it out the rest of the day.
By day two, my feet started hurting just as fast and my back was screaming, but there was a another change. I was practically bouncing with energy. Six years ago, I gave up caffeine (doctor’s orders – I used to drink two six-packs of Jolt Cola every day) so having this much energy was foreign to me. All throughout the day, I was wide awake and concentrating on my work was easier than usual.
By day five, our warehouse operations manager had supplied me with an anti-fatigue mat that made my feet hurt a little less and I found that my appetite had increased while dropping 1.5 pounds of weight.
As a result, I began scouring the internet for more reports of people working at a stand up desk and found that I’m not alone. There seems to be a mini-movement of people moving to the standing desk, citing better attention spans, more energy, more creativity, better health, etc. Check it out:
As of this posting, I am nearing the end of week three. My feet don’t bother me much at all and my back is no longer sore. At this point, I’m convinced I’ve found the holy mecca of work situations. I have more energy, my productivity is up, I can zone in on my work quicker and easier, I’m not dying in pain, and bonus…my pants look better on me! I also have this weird urge to run, which is completely foreign to me.
I am fairly positive that I will never go back to sitting at a desk. The benefits I’m seeing are ridiculous given the simple change that was made. I am excited to see how much weight I drop in total from this change as well as how other aspects of my life are positively affected as well.
If you have any interest in trying out a standing desk, you don’t need to make any major changes to your environment. You can start by propping your monitor, keyboard, and mouse on a pile of books or a sturdy box. Give it an honest try for a solid week and you’ll thank me.