How To Get Work Done Faster (Part 3 of 3)

The Benefits & Problems of Standing at Your Desk

This is part 3 of 3 – to go to part 1 Click Here, or to go to part 2 Click Here

So when I moved jobs to a place where I could not raise my desk, I decided to raise my desktop. I bought my wife a table tray a while back that she never used anymore and luckily, it happened to be the perfect tool. Here’s my current workstation.

raised desktopWhen you first start to stand at your desk, you may find that your body is not used to being in a standing position for 8 or more hours and you will probably need to take “sitting” breaks and stretch periodically. My body took about 2 weeks to get used to standing at my desk and I still sit throughout my day when I need to read or I get tired. Here the bad part you may experience right from the start.

First the pain will come, then the benefits followed shortly after. After 2 weeks of back and leg pain, it finally faded. Then I started to lose a few pounds and my energy increased a little. Nothing to write home about, but it was enough to motivate me to keep the changes permanent and do a little more physical activity at my desk. I later brought a small 5 pound weight to lift during times I had to be stationary and didn’t have to type and had to read things. Basically when my arms would be useless for my task, I put them to work with exercise. Since I was already standing, there was no chair in the way to worry about.

Not long later, 2 others in my office got some bricks and lifted their desks. Since we didn’t lose our chairs completely, we would still sit about 40% of the time or more, depending on the day’s work that needed to be done. I try to stand more often than sitting, and finding an elevated chair or stool was helpful to lean on periodically and kept me on my feet longer.

I haven’t been able to lose much weight lately due to an overall lack of exercise and bad eating, but I do feel that I don’t get as tired and lazy near the end of the day as I do when I sit all day. If you can endure the back and leg pain for the first two weeks, I think you’ll feel the difference too. Most of all though, I am getting more peace of mind and not worrying about the harmful effects that sitting may be causing. I did a little more research about the harm sitting all day does to the body, and there are quite a bit of articles on the internet that will scare you to stand if you read them too.

Aside from the health issues, productivity is the great positive “side effect” to having a stand-up workstation. It really is a great way to increase your productivity at work.

Let me know if you’ve had any experience changing to standup desks too! We’d love to hear your story.

How To Get Work Done Faster (Part 2 of 3)

Standing At My Newly Elevated DeskChanging my work environment to get out of chair and work faster.

(If you haven’t read part 1 of this story, please Click Here to go back and start there to start from the beginning of this story)

If the problem was sitting, then I went looking for a solution to stand while I worked. Back in my early college days, I worked as a bank teller for about a year and remember being told that studies showed that people who stand tend to be more productive. At the time, I was still young and “antsy”, so standing was always more comfortable to me then sitting for long periods of time. I noticed the times I sat really did slow my pace considerably and I would naturally (sometimes unconsciously) pushed my chair away when things got busy and I needed to pick up the pace. At the teller window, the counters were already at a level where a standing position was more natural, so finding a way to elevate my whole desk became my mission for the week. The week after, I was looking to find a chair or stool to match the new elevated height of my desk. (if lifting your desk is not an option, I’ll show you another solution I found that can easily elevate your keyboard and mouse too).

I briefly thought about elevating my laptops and monitors right on my desk, but couldn’t think of a great way to do it with the furniture we used. It really didn’t take long for me to figure out that raising the whole desk was a better option over all, as long as I used something sturdy and stable enough to make it safe. A quick trip to Lowe’s, and I found exactly what I was looking for. BRICKS! After buying the bricks I needed, (at a cost of less than $25) I woke up early the next morning and went to the office an hour before my work day began. I cleared my desk (that was not an easy task) and lifted each corner one by one as I placed the bricks in place. A little over an hour later, my mission was complete and I was ready for the workday with my new setup! Naturally, some of my co-workers inquired about my change so I sent them the infographic and told them I was interested in seeing if there was any change in my weight and health. The picture at the top of this blog post shows what my desk looked like after I raised it.

Unfortunately, my company went virtual and we closed the office so everyone worked from home. My hours got cut at the same, so I went in search for other employment and was put back at a desk in a cubicle that wasn’t going to be easy to elevate. So I found another great solution to getting things raised right on the desk.

Check back here tomorrow to see another solution when you can raise your desk…

 

 

How To Get Work Done Faster (Part 1 of 3)

Wondering If There’s a Trick To Getting Things Done Faster?

How to be more productiveHere’s a trick I learned a long time ago that has served me well. Start by getting off your seat (literally) and stand up. It’s better for your health and will help to be more productive. Here’s a story of how I changed my work area to be more productive.

I had been complaining about how heavy I was getting from sitting all day at a desk job working on my computer. It was nice at first to be off my feet when I first got the job, but as my metabolism began to slow, the weight came on very rapidly. I went from 10 hours a day constantly walking and moving around at a brisk pace while working in retail management, to almost no “real” physical movement. Within 4 months, I had gained 15-20 pounds and it seemed there was no slowing down. I had now gone to doing tech support and got tied to a desk where I needed to stay within reach of the phone for all 9 hours of my day. It was brutal and just got worse as the years went on and the health ailments starting following the weight gain. Today, I am at my heaviest ever and still have a desk job.

One of my healthiest times happened when I became unemployed and took a short retail job for about 8 weeks. After my body recovered from the shock of being back on my feet again, the weight fell off daily and my ailments (backaches and massive acid reflux issues) went away too! It was also amazing to me how much energy I had again! Old clothes started to fit, and current clothes were getting too loose. It was great!

It wasn’t long though that I went back to doing what I loved in front of computers and regained all the weight again and the health issues returned with a vengeance. That’s when my sister kindly sent me an infographic that was going around warning about the health risks of sitting all day.

You can see that infographic here:
http://mashable.com/2011/05/09/sitting-down-infographic/

Needless to say, I started to worry enough about all my health issues and what more I could expect if I didn’t make a change. I didn’t want to change from the job I loved doing, so I decided to change my environment a little.

(For Part 2 of this story – Click here to see on how I changed my work area)