I rearranged my office at work Friday and rebuilt my standing desk in the process. I decided it might be time to post another update, as it’s been almost three-and-a-half months since I started spending most of my work time on my feet.
Yes, I still have my standing desk, and yes, I use it every day. No, I don’t want to go back to sitting. Here is a run down of the pros and cons:
- I work in a law office, and I am the receptionist as well as paralegal, so clients see me standing at my computer. This seems to bewilder a few, and some have joked “Don’t they let you sit down?” I just tell people, “Standing’s better for your health than sitting all day.” Most people then nod at this, realizing it makes sense.
- I do have some swelling in my ankles that I didn’t used to have. This is cosmetic, however. It’s not like it’s so bad that I can’t get in my shoes or my socks cut off my circulation.
- Yes, my feet hurt at the end of the day. It’s summer in Tennessee, which means wearing sandals with dresses and skirts. And while I have good, padded Bass sandals, they’re still not made to stand in all day. I am careful to switch up my shoes every day or two between the sandals, tennis shoes, and some low boots with really good soles so I don’t ruin my feet. Even if you have good tennis shoes to wear everyday, I’d still suggest having a different pair to wear and alternate them. Your feet can get repetitive stress syndrome too, and changing your shoes helps keep your feet from being in the exact same position day in and day out.
- I’m still working on a ghetto desk (although better than what I had before). I haven’t asked for a new one yet (not sure I can get one, since it’s clearly not a necessity).
- My lower back pain/tailbone pain that I had four months ago is gone and has been gone. I know this seems counter-intuitive–you’d think I’d have more back pain, not less–but it’s true: sitting was killing my back.
- I just noticed the other day that I haven’t had nerve pain in my left leg in quite a while. A couple of years ago, I noticed that I got pain in my left leg when I stood any length of time. I sort of felt like I had a catch in my hip socket, and if I could just move it the right way, it’d pop (it never did). This was accompanied by some nerve pain/aches down the front of my thigh, along with some numbness in the skin. I linked this to having taken a bad fall off my horse a few years ago and landing on that hip. When I first started standing at my desk, I just suffered this pain, because I was able to lessen it sometimes by sitting down or walking around more (whereas I couldn’t seem to ease my back pain, short of standing for long periods of time). But, at some point, my hip quit hurting without me noticing. Now I wonder if sitting wasn’t causing some sort of stress point which only manifested when I stood up.
I do not want to give up my standing desk. Mild foot pain and puffy ankles is a small price to pay to eliminate much worse pain in my back and hip. Also, now that I’m on the No S Diet, which just limits sweets, snacks and second helpings, I’m starting to notice some weight loss. I’m angling to be part of that statistic that people who stand all day have, on average, a 1.6″ smaller waist than people who sit all day.
I mentioned above that I rebuilt my ghetto desk when I moved my office around. It used to be a couple of boxes on top of my credenza, which held my keyboard and mouse, and a couple of smaller boxes on top of them for my monitor and a lamp. After 3 months, though, I was starting to get some box buckling and my monitor had a noticeable tilt to the left.
Here’s how it shakes down now: I have a small, half-round table up on paint cans (I told you it was ghetto). On top of this I have two empty storage boxes, which are topped with a scrap piece of drywall. I still have my piece of green velvet covering it like a tablecloth. My desk faces the door, and behind it is my tall filing cabinet–with my monitor and speakers sitting on top of it (it also hides mos. I have a lot more surface area with the piece of dry wall and it is very sturdy. And between it and the filing cabinet, I don’t have to worry about my stuff falling into my boxes. If I had known how fabulous a table top-like surface could be, I would have already scrounged a scrap of wood or something. Of course, my original box desk was just supposed to be temporary while I decided if I liked standing.