Friday, April 15, 2011

Get Up, Stand Up / Stand Up While You Write

First, let’s just admire that title. That’s pure genius. I’m a punny guy!

Okay, now that we’ve paid proper tribute, Imma tell you ‘bout my standing desk.

So why do I write at a standing desk? A few reasons, actually. I’m very swaybacked. My spine is like a fancy-schmancy calligraphy “S”. So most office chairs hurt my back. Another reason is that my legs have always tended to cramp. On long drives from Kansas to DC to visit the grandparents my siblings were kind enough to let me sit sideways with my legs across them when I needed to stretch. Another reason is that I like to pace.

I used to write for, Lance Armstrong’s health and fitness site. I wrote about 200 articles for them . I wrote all those articles while standing. The 2 desk system you see above worked great because I could spread all my reference books along my sitting desk.

For some reason, though, I’ve been sitting more, recently. I can’t really say why. Laziness? But then Arthur Slade wrote a blog post about his cool treadmill desk, and it got me thinking. It made me remember an article I wrote for about a medical study that showed serious health benefits to not sitting all day. I looked for it but couldn't find it.

Then yesterday, Yahoo posted a Men’s Health article referencing the same study I’d read. The name of the article: The Most Dangerous Thing You’ll Do All Day. That Thing: sitting! DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUNNNN!!!!

But serious, check this out: a pretty huge study found that people who sit all day are 54% more likely to die of heart attacks. They think it’s because LPL drops once you’re off your feet, and LPL is an enzyme that does something beneficial to do with fats. Anyway.

If you need another benefit besides not dying, sitting all day also messes with your posture. HOLYSHITBADPOSTURE?!?!?! I know you’re all jumping to your feet right now.

I know that you can’t always control your work environment, but a lot of you are writers, and you can control your writing environment. Look at my “standing desk.” It’s a bookcase with a comic book box on top of it and a plank of pressboard on top of that. It’s actually pretty awesome, because all my reference material fits on the shelf beneath for easy access. So I'm back at my standing desk for sure. In fact...

...I wrote this post at my standing desk. MNIGHTSHYAMALANTWIST!!!HOLYSHIT!


  1. Amateur.
    This is my setup
    Man your Battlestations!

    What most people don't know is that good writing burns between 20 and 30 thousand calories an hour. Pacing, standing, moving; these are all things to avoid. They sap your energy and leave your writing impotent.So far in this post, Ive had to eat 4 muffins and a bagel to keep my strength up. Furthermore, The importance of carbo loading before writing cannot be overstated.

    See my mouse? Its a trackball, I don't even have to move my wrist or arms. THIS is efficiency. THIS is the future.

    The cat is obscuring a hole in the mattress, sorry I couldn't find a bigger picture. This hole serves as a poop-chute, further decreasing my mundane human responsibilities.

    I GUARANTEE a 120% objective an measurable increase in your writing quality AND quantity if you adopt my methods.

  2. Did my laptop come with smell-o-vision? Cause I can smell the cat piss coming off that picture.

  3. I admit there are shortcomings. Cat pee is one, and the monitor being held up with staples is another. Is it worth it? I think the quality of my writing speaks for itself.

  4. How much faster will my neck beard grow in such a contraption?

  5. One day I'll invest in a thousand dollar chair and feel like i'm sitting on air when I write. For now, I have added a back pillow which sort of helps and a foot stool to rest my legs on, which has really made a big difference. I recommend everyone add a foot stool.