I started using a make-shift standing desk at work and at home recently due to increasing back pain. Boy did I get strange looks from my colleagues when I unfurled my laptop stand at work. But after a month of doing work while standing, i can legit say that I love working this way.
Here’s what I learned:
Sitting all the time is so bad for your back
I was aware of that after reading Get Up!, but boy did I really experience that in July. I was plagued with sciatica pain and lower back pain much of the month because I was sitting for hoursat work. And that's when I realised...
Standing while working is awesome
I jury rigged a standing desk for myself by stacking a couple of boxes on a table. Not the most professional looking set up but it helped relief the sciatica pain a lot. I also noticed I was more alert and energetic after a session at my standing desk. Still, my feet hurt after hours at the desk. So...
I got an anti-fatigue mat
In Malaysia, most of us have not even heard of the standing desks let alone an anti-fatigue mat, so I DIY-ed myself one. I got a couple of foam mats from Daiso. It worked perfectly.
I moved around more
My Fitbit watch has an hourly alarm to remind me to get up. When I ignored it and continued sitting, I paid for it with a painful back later. And even while I'm at my standing desk I don't stand still because that isn't great either. I march, do calf raises, and when I feel like sitting down, I sit. I also ...
Stretch, stretch, stretch
At my worst, not only was my lower back hurting, my shoulders ached like the dickens too. Out of desperation, I took a Gentle Yoga class at my gym and wala, most of my pain went away. I later realised that most of the stretches targeted my trouble spots.
I also learned that I have an anterior pelvic tilt
Or "Donald duck" posture, which surprise, surprise, is the result of sitting down too much. Basically I have a muscle imbalance, and I need to stretch and strengthen certain muscles.
So if there's one thing I'd like to warn writers and all office workers: Watch your back! Move more!