Friday, September 03, 2010

Stand up for Computing:

My physical therapist convinced me that sitting down exacerbates my back problems. I sit down a lot. I read; I eat; and I work at my computer. I write on my computer; I process my Email; and I use the Web to follow the world, wherever I want it to take me.

Occasionally, on field trips for business, I have had to use my computer standing up. That was kind of fun. I recently noticed that a dresser in the same room where I use my computer had an excellent height for stand-up work. I made up my mind to move my laptop, my Internet connection, my wonderful Logitech Smart Mouse and my external keyboard to the other side of the room and try some standup.

The day I cleared off that dresser, the painters who are doing our windows moved a pile of stuff onto the dresser so that they could get at some window panels they had to remove. I looked at that dresser, piled high with papers and books, and said, “Screw it, I’m not going to stand up.” But after I sighed, I persevered. After a lot of stuff-shifting, yesterday was my first day of standup computing.

I was tired. My legs were worn out. My body ached. I just wanted to sit down. But I made some wonderful discoveries, and today I’m still standing.

Discovery #1: There’s another reason I use my computer that I did not list above, because I had not realized it. I use my computer to crash. I’m tired, so I sit down and peruse a few web sites. I can’t collapse-to-relax if I have to stand up. I was much more active yesterday, and I’m sure that was good for me. Also, I’m aware that it makes a difference in well-being to have a good posture at the computer. Well a good posture’s not likely if I’m just sitting there to rest my weary self, is it?

Discovery #2: It’s a lot easier to take a break from the computer if you’re already standing up. We all know we’re supposed to take breaks and not just sit there all day. But getting up out of the chair is a lot harder than just stepping away. Taking quick breaks was very easy for me yesterday.

Discovery #3: Maybe I was spending too much time at my computer. When I had to stand up, I went to the opposite extreme, spending a lot less. I’m actually thinking about getting a life.

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