Watching Dr Norman Swan’s “Tonic” on ABCNews24 the other day, I was interested to see a segment on “Standing Work-Stations”.
In our world of increasing computer use, the standard model of a computer station where you sit at 8.30am and stand again at 5pm is being called into question.
The obesity danger is immense. We may be creating a generation of heart attacks in the waiting. In fact my habit is to do just that, with minimal breaks of verticality and my waistline is showing the damage!
SOoooo – When the Tonic segment started talking about using up to 1000 calories a day simply by standing at your computer my ears not only pricked up but they banged the side of my head, saying, “This is important!”
So I thought about how I could do it. I put an upturned plastic bucket on my desk and did some computer work on it. I found that it felt good but was totally impractical.
So off to K-Mart to find something which could be adjusted to what I had in mind. NOTHING!
Office Works – NOTHIN – – – Hang on – there is a set of steel shelving. HMMMMM
Far too expensive – so off to Bunnings – WOW! A flat-pak of steel shelves for $15.
I don’t have a photo of that because the carton no longer exists. More on that later.
I set up the shelving unit as instructed, leaving the bottom shelf two screw-holes above the floor so my feet didn’t get caught underneath.
Having set it up I found the top shelf was too high. so I played with it and got a comfortable height. I had to make allowances for my own height (5’7″), my aging eyes which need the screen to be fairly close and the need for a back-board so things don’t simply fall off.
I finished up with something like this. The legs are two metal bits which slide up and down on each other. The more they overlap, the more stable the shelving becomes.
Being impatient, I tried it out and found the glare from the steel shelf was a bit much. I cannibalised the shelving’s carton and covered the top shelf and created a back-board.
There was sufficient cardboard left over to make a couple of short side-boards as well. In the longer term I shall replace the cardboard with 6mm MDF. The second shelf now holds my speakers and I have upturned the third shelf so it can hold odd leads and other stuff.
A power board will also need to be added, after the MDF’ing, and I have already covered all steel edges with duct tape for personal protection.
I may put wheels on the base so I can move it outside easily. That is one of the joys of having used the steel shelving. It is light, adjustable and cheap.
I have found that, if I am searching for a word, looking for a metaphor or suffering a brain overload that it is so simple to take a few steps, clear the brain and back to work. Much easier than standing up, getting distracted and looking at the chair with dislike when the thought coalesces.
I am finding a problem with sore feet so I shall find a suitable mat or something similar to ease that problem. The whole idea is still a work in progress yet I have spent the past three days standing at my computer.
Standing, using extra calories, fresh air, moving to the music I play and still connected to the world. How good is all that?
By the end of summer I could become the Sun-Burned Geek