Gettin' off my duff

Well, at least partially. Since there are so many different ways that could be interpreted, let me explain.

I’ve worked at home almost all of the last 14 years as both a full-time employee and freelance programmer–a good chunk of that that time in both roles at the same time. That means a LOT of hours spent at my desk writing code sitting down. For the past couple of years I’ve been mulling over the idea of converting to a standing desk because of the recent research telling us that sitting for long periods of time is killing us slowly.

One of the things that has kept me from jumping into this with both feet has been cost. Dedicated standing desk units are pricey and I honestly didn’t want to drop a ton of cash until I knew if I could commit to a full-time standing desk arrangement. Couple that with the fact that I had knee surgery a few years ago to remove some cartilage and I wasn’t sure if I could even physically make it work. So, I kicked the idea can down the road…and kicked it…and kicked it.

This is the part of the story where my buddy Jim Priest enters stage left. Jim has been a standing desk person for years. He happened to have a spare standing desk sitting around and agreed to let me borrow it for a test run. I got it last week and went about figuring out how to rearrange the home office to integrate it. The desk was well used and the blonde-colored top that was with it had a slight bow in the middle. The rest of my office furniture is black. Continuing in the “be cheap” vein, I went to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore here in Cary and bought a 24″ interior door, painted it black and screwed it to the top of the desk frame. Total investment so far is about $12 including paint for the desk plus an anti-fatigue mat to stand on (which I have no idea how much it cost because my wife picked it up for me on Friday).

I knew that my body wasn’t strong enough to stand 100% of the time from the beginning. A few years ago I bought a really nice office chair on a recommendation from Dan Wilson. It’s not inexpensive either and I certainly didn’t want to lose the use of it. The last time I was thinking about doing this, I bought a replacement cylinder for the chair that was much longer than the factory one. I installed that last week so now I have the ability to switch between standing and sitting during the day. My theory is that standing some during the day (as much as I can) is better than sitting all day.

Anyway, today is my first full day of work at the new standing desk so we will see how it goes. For you visual people, I’ve attached a couple of photos of the before and after of my side of the office.

Home Office - Original Version
Home Office - Standing Desk Version

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