Over the past few months, I’ve been doing most of my work standing up. Part of that came about because I was starting to get a bit of a sore back. But I had also seen a couple of articles online about the benefits of standing up to work as opposed to sitting down all day.
Given the amount of time I spend at a computer, I figured it would be a good idea to use a “standing desk” instead of the usual office desk.
In addition, I’ve also recently purchased a “wobble board“. This is essentially just a circle of wood on half a wooden ball. As the name suggests, it wobbles. In doing so, it moves the joints and generally contributes to things like balance, posture and flexibility.
Doing my work standing, I’ve found that I tend to concentrate better, I get more work done, my back feels much better, and with the wobble board (and a bit of music playing) I get to move around a bit as well. Not only that, but now that I’m dictating most of my writing, I’m working at about three times the speed.
Today for the first time ever, not only was my daily to-do list completed before 4 PM, but the “next” list is entirely empty. The only tasks that I have in my system right at this moment are “scheduled” tasks. And none of those are scheduled for today.
Of course, I have some long-standing projects that I can always be chipping away at, including my book about radio, my research proposal for Brazil, my journal article about national jazz agencies online – and as you’d expect around this time of year, there is a pile of marking to do. But I’ve scheduled time on Friday for the marking, and I have blocks in my calendar already set aside for working on the important, long-term projects.
In short, I appear to have just won at productivity. Level up.
The reason I mention all this is that today somebody sent me a rather nice infographic that brings together some of the findings about prolonged sitting. Check this out.
Yes, it may be faddish… but as someone who’ll try any lazy shortcut in order to get more done – and as someone who was feeling the effects of sitting at a computer all day – I can recommend the change.
Incidentally, my “standing desk” is a cheap IKEA coffee table sitting on top of a cheap IKEA table / office desk. No need to go overboard, and that was about the perfect height for me. I’ve also used boxes on the dining table in the past. That works too.