Secret Project Revealed!

As many of you know, a couple of weeks ago I did a Secret Project of Awesome and told you I had to test it out before telling you what it was.

The time has come.  Behold!

EDIT: Okay, maybe not quite 'behold'. The photo apparently wasn't loading for a good part of today. It is fixed now however. (I think) *crosses fingers*

My new standing workstation!

Now you might be thinking what my mom said when she saw this:  "Why on earth would you want to STAND UP at the computer?!?"

I'm so glad you asked.

It was really more of a mental progression than anything else. It began with a writer named Paul Greci, and his fascinating treadmill desk.  (You'll have to scroll down to see the picture.)

Then a month or so later, I saw Scott Westerfeld's  new standing workstation on Twitter. "Standing is the new sitting!" he declared.

Suddenly the Internet was littered with stories of writers who had back problems, neck issues, repetitive motion strain. I couldn't go anywhere without tripping over them. And I was having problems of my own.

My previous computer set-up was a small writing desk and a folding metal chair. The angles were awkward, the space was cramped, and there was just no way I could keep from hunching over.  I couldn't afford to upgrade to an ergonomic chair, and a new computer desk would be not only expensive, but too big for the room.

I would have bought a treadmill, but again, we're broke.

So one day, I'd had enough. In a fit of inspiration I tore apart our computer room, pulled a bookshelf from the bedroom and stuck the desk in a closet. Two days later, I had a fully functioning standing workstation that cost me exactly ten dollars--the price of a new power strip/extension cord.

It is awesome.

Because the monitor is almost exactly eye level, I can do things like stretch while catching up on my Google reader. My posture is better, I'm forced to take more breaks than I did before, and best of all, standing up cuts down immensely on aimless Internet surfing.

There are a couple of suggestions I would make to anyone doing this.

1.) Make sure to have a rug in front of the computer, and try to wear comfortable shoes. Otherwise your feet can get tired and sore.

2.) It's VERY helpful to have a laptop or spouse's computer to sit at in times of emergency, when you have to check email but just can't stand up another minute. It's also helpful to have a comfy chair nearby for breaks.

3.) The set-up takes a little getting used to. I've gotten to the point where I can do all of my Internet stuff--emails, blogs, research--on this computer without any trouble. But I'm still working on getting used to doing rewrites standing up.  (First drafts are always done on my Dana, so that's not an issue.)

It's a bit like exercise, the more you do it, the easier it gets and the better you feel.

Any questions? Comments? Snide remarks? :)


  1. Wow, I've never heard of this before. It seems interesting, I say "seems" because unfortunately your photo is not loading and I can't see it. But from what you've said here, I think I'd like two workstations, one standing and one sitting, so that I could switch and move back and forth between them. I'll check back later and see if the picture loads.

  2. I hope you enjoy you're workstation. The photo wasn't loading so wasn't able to see it. I'm glad the idea of my treadmill desk inspired you. My desktop is made from a sheet of discarded plywood. It took about two hours to cut it and fit it to the treadmill.

    And I can relate to the points you list. When I'm not writing at the treadmill desk I am usually in a glider rocker with my laptop. When standing or walking becomes more of a distraction due to fatigue it really does pay to have a sitting alternative. I look forward to seeing the photo of your workstation!

  3. What the... Oh for crying out loud! It shows up on my computer. Must be some sort of evil computer plot. Anyway, I think I fixed it. Did I?

    Joanne- The two workstation idea is what I've ended up with. My husband also has a desktop computer, so I can use his, or the laptop. Usually I do that when I'm really tired. :)

    Paul- Wow, welcome! The picture of your treadmill did inspire me and when I can afford a treadmill, I'm going to try it. :) Do let me know if the photo still isn't loading...

  4. Love the standing work station! I have a treadmill about 6 feet away from my computer desk. Maybe I should use it. ha ha

    Fortunately, I have a roomy chair at my computer desk so I can change sitting positions frequently. Though standing does sound like a good idea at times.

  5. Rebecca- Thanks! A comfy chair is a great help. :) And you should think about the treadmill. It could become the latest trend!

  6. Very interesting! I can honestly say I've never heard of this idea. Hmm . . . a standing work station.

    I don't think I'd be game for it at this point. Being preggers and all, I end up finding creative ways to do more jobs while sitting down. (Ever tried cooking sitting down? It can be fun.)

  7. Renee- Well, of course you shouldn't be standing! And I've totally cooked sitting down, usually with a book in one hand and a stirring spoon in the other. :)

  8. Wow, very interesting! Now the picture is loading, and I like this idea. Especially after sitting for awhile, to be able to stand and work would feel great. It seems like it's a good idea healthwise, too, to be able to move around like that.

  9. Nice work station!!

  10. I have been thinking of this for the past several weeks. I too saw a picture of some famous author who had a standing work station a while back and have wanted to do this. Let's face it my back, my butt, and my legs hurt from sitting to much. I'd like to have a station that is adjustable so I can stand sometimes and sit others. Gotta think on this one.


  11. Joanne- I think the moving around is my favorite part. Just having the monitor up high so I can stand and walk around and still read things has been so helpful.

    Paul- Thank you! I like it. It feels very restful and uncluttered to me. :)

    Lee- If you have a laptop (and a spare keyboard for the standing one), you might be able to rig up two workstations, one sitting and one standing. You could move the laptop to the desk when you wanted to sit, and to the standing workstation when you wanted to stand.

    I've tried to google this idea to see what's available for purchase, but the options are kind of expensive at this point. Still, there are some intriguing ideas out there.

    Speaking for myself, I've noticed I feel much better and have more energy when I'm not slumped at a desk for hours. Good luck!

  12. That's such an interesting idea. I don't know if I could ever do that though. hmmm... I'm on my feet all day at work, so I think I would pass out if I had to be on my feet with my computer.

    But I can see how it could have its advantages.

  13. I also spend all day on my feet when I work, so I totally understand that reluctance. :)

    For me, I realized that the time I was spending on the computer wasn't as rejuvenating as doing other things. (Like reading!) Being on my feet keeps my internet use down so that when I do sit, I can really relax.


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