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Standing desks and mental flips

For years, I've been telling myself I should get a standing desk. It will be better for my back and shoulders (pain gone away, thank you), better for my weight, better for my circulation, better in all respects. But what held me back was the concept of typing standing up. Will I be able to stand that long? Will my arms hurt? Who would do work like that standing up? I asked myself. Well, as it turns out: me. I did.

I did manual paste-up for years standing at a drafting table, back in the days of cold type, waxers, and razor blades. A fact that only clicked for me when I searched Amazon just now for "standing desk" in Office Products and a bunch of drafting tables came up.

Dear Lord. Why was I unable to recontextualize/recategorize/rethink a drafting table as a standing desk? Manual paste-up, and the now-vanished publishing world that technology was a part of, was a huge slice of my life. And yet I was unable to mentally flip one form of four-legged flat-topped furniture, at which one stands, into another form of four-legged flat-topped furniture, at which one stands. Am I really that mentally inflexible? Is this an age thing? Does this happen all the time to everybody? Readers?

NOTE The nice thing is that there are some reasonably cheap, well-rated old school wooden drafting tables that would be perfect, now that I have performed the mental flip! At Amazon, of course. Sigh. Anyhow, since I do plan to revive campaign countdown (and with a funding model) very shortly, a new desk will be nice way to punctuate a change in my life and work.

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Submitted by hipparchia on

Am I really that mentally inflexible?

possibly. what other sources besides amazon have you checked, for instance? don't you live near a college or university? maybe stored away in their basement they've got the old tables from their art department or engineering department? or maybe the local high school does? garage sales? estate sales? posting a notice "drafting table wanted" on a bulletin board at your local post office/laundromat/student center?

Is this an age thing?

probably not. probably it's just a preferred (or learned) thinking style.

I did manual paste-up for years standing at a drafting table,

i did this too for a while, but by the time i came along, we were allowed to sit down at our drafting tables. :)

Submitted by lambert on

.... is that it takes no time. Stuff comes to the house. And I don't drive, so putting up posters, churning around town, getting a table from point A to point B should one be found, can take the better part of a day. I should be blogging, not doing that!

Submitted by hipparchia on

I should be blogging, not doing that!

as a member of your audience, i certainly want you to spend all your time blogging, but because i'm also a kind-hearted soul, i'm willing to let you take a few minutes off here and there to make a few phone calls to your local schools...

Submitted by lambert on

... and transport it, after hacking my way through whatever institutional thicket to get to whoever stores them. Plus, my own high school doesn't have them; I know, since I went there. It's not worth the day it would take.

Submitted by hipparchia on

can't blame you for any of that, but this is an excellent example of why it's difficult to organize poor and near-poor people to fight for social justice - none of us can afford it.

quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

The important thing is to change position. Stand for 20 min, an hour, whatever works for you, then sit, then use a treadmill desk (hah!), and then back to position one.

The reason for the hah! is that I've found that particular advice unusable. I can stand and work, but I can't move and concentrate well. It has something to do with being unable to walk and chew gum at the same time.

NWLuna's picture
Submitted by NWLuna on

Hah! I used to do graphic design and paste-ups back in the day when we used waxers and x-acto knives. But I had one of those tall chairs -- a drafting chair, rather about bar stool height. Hmmm.... wonder if they are the same height?

A cheap way to get a standing desk is to just find a nice wooden (or other material) box or stand to plunk on the desk and then put your computer on top of that. I do that once in a while.

A treadmill desk? Sounds as appealing as trying to read my computer while using my treadmill -- something I try not to do because there's always enough jiggling of the screen to cause a headache.

And I agree with quixote; take breaks & move around. Also good to take visual breaks and look in the distance once in a while; eases the eyes.

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

I like the idea of the box on the table or existing desk. Also, could be built with a sheet of plywood raised on bricks or books (how many OED's do you have? :) ).

Or, you get your sheet of decent quality plywood and use pipe (the plumbing type) to build legs. That could come out inexpensive and functional. My dinner table during college was thusly constructed and was still standing when I gave it away after 3 years because of a move, despite its having been the center of many large and merry gatherings!