Draco Torre

writing code, writing words, creating magic

Standing Tall for Desk Work

In my 2010 post, “Get Off Your Butt,” I addressed the problem of working at a desk for long hours increasing risk of heart problems, obesity, and general fatigue. After four years at a desk job, I had realized that commuting to work on a bicycle was not enough to compensate for eight or more hours sitting at a desk.

Only 28 percent of Americans are getting the minimal amount of recommended exercise.

After two years of using a standing desk (a drafting table), I now realize how detrimental to my health hours of sitting had been the previous four years. Standing for part of the work day has helped recover much of my health. I’ve also noticed that when I’m trying to solve difficult problems, my brain prefers it when I stand. Humans think better on their feet. Of course standing in one place for too long isn’t good, either, so I upgraded my office with a GeekDesk.

"my GeekDesk"

The purple light against the wall helps reduce eyestrain (like a lamp on the desk.) Light sources above or behind create reflections on the monitor, so I positioned my desk with the window to my left and my lamp is on my right. On cloudy days, I turn on the purple light behind the monitor. My desk, GeekDesk Max, set at the standing height is nice when I just want to quickly do something on the computer. I don’t have to bother with sitting. When I’m writing stories, writing software, or working on something challenging I prefer to stand. If I’m doing something more relaxed or need to switch positions, I touch the button on the GeekDesk controller to lower the desk. The movement is smooth, and takes about six seconds to reach the programmed height.

"my GeekDesk in sitting position"

The GeekDesk controller has up and down buttons plus four memory positions. I’ve set my sitting and standing heights perfect for proper ergonomic keyboard touch typing. Switching positions is nice. It’s good for the body, and for the brain as well.

"GeekDesk controller"

The GeekDesk is a sturdy, stable design. Smaller frames are available, and GeekDesk offers the frame only for those that already have a suitable top—a wood desktop able to take self-drilling screws. Assembling the desk took only a few minutes. I ended up attaching my cable modem to the frame so could use a shorter cable.

"under-desk"

The frame includes cables (disconnected in photo below) running through the brace with plenty of room to run wires for devices. The top comes with three ports for wires to cross underneath keeping the top less cluttered.

"GeekDesk frame"

Now, it’s time to stand up and write.