11 December 2018

Standing for Everything

I've been using a standing desk at work since my bike wreck back in 2012. I created a makeshift platform of unopened reams of paper back then. I didn't find out until about three months after my wreck that I broke more than my right wrist. I'd crushed a disk in my back, too, but it took the pain of Ride the Rockies for me to realize I needed another set of x-rays.

By 2013, my bosses recognized that I was much more comfortable and productive when standing, compared to sitting, and bought me a first-rate standing desk for Christmas.

I've spent about half of my work hours since that time standing and the other half sitting. In a typical day, I will sit for about an hour, then stand for about an hour. Sometimes I can stand longer, and sometimes I can sit longer. It's been much better than sitting all day.

I think my standing desk also enabled me to get stronger on my bike because my back isn't nearly as bad as it was in 2012 or for the three years after emergency back surgery in 2004, which kick-started my back discomfort.

Last year, my world changed again when elbow pain was diagnosed as collapsed neck disks. Now, not only sitting, but mousing was excruciating!!!

More desk adjustments came. I got a padded mouse pad and an ergonomic mouse for both home and work. I had to draw upon neck traction for months.

Things are much better now, but computer mousing for extended projects still is a literal pain in the neck. And elbow...

After two sets of family portraits this fall and a renewed bout of sciatic pain, I decided I needed a standing desk at home. When I ordered the desk on Amazon, the typical "you might be interested in this, too" suggestive sell ploy revealed a series of standing desk foot pads. I have never tried one of those, so I read reviews and checked around with co-workers who have converted to standing desks after my success. I went ahead and ordered an uneven gel standing pad designed to enable longer periods of standing.

Two days later, my standing desk was on my porch waiting for me when I got off work. I had imagined setting it up on my old sewing machine desk (because I've been sewing on the dining room table for two or three years now). I did not think to measure the desk, which I've had since I was about 16 years old. It is about four inches too narrow for the standing desk. So I used the cardboard box the standing desk came in to prop up the standing desk on my old sewing desk. I couldn't put a lot of weight on my laptop without crushing the box, and it wasn't the most steady foundation I've ever used, but it would work until I could figure out something else.

The next day, my standing pad was on my porch waiting for me when I got off work. I didn't have to adjust anything to begin using it. After just one night of typing in my journal with the new (wobbly) standing desk and the new standing pad, I was hooked, and I immediately ordered another identical standing pad for work.

I asked Lizard if he could cut me a piece of plywood to serve as the standing desk base on top of my sewing desk, and he took care of that the following weekend.

I can stand for hours while working on my laptop now! Between the solid foundation, the comfortable computer position and the awesome standing pad, I no longer have to sit to type at home. I LOVE IT!!!

I told Lizard I might have to get another full-size standing desk for my sewing machine now. Plus the standing pad...

I know, the last thing on earth anyone wants to do is have a reason to spend even more time on a computer, but Photoshopping is once again a joy for me, and I hope to show some beautiful proof soon!


  1. That is great that it and the mat works so well. I make a make shift standing desk for editing, but actual typing is a no go as I raise my arm up to type and pain comes due. Lucky I can still type with one hand. Can't use a mouse what so ever or pain in shoulder. Got a touchpad that you can plug in to desktop should I need it.

    1. I’m glad you’ve worked up a workaround, Pat, but I wish you could have less pain...


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