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Stand up gal

"Oh no. I need to get off my butt!"
© Paul Moore |

There’s been a lot of buzz online lately about the health risks of sitting all day, even if you work out regularly. For a writer, that’s a topic that really hits home.

It’s not like my old job where I left my seat frequently to talk to people, walk to meetings, visit the production floor, or get some tea. I can easily sit at my home desk without moving for hours.

What to do? I write best on the computer. I love those times when I’m completely engrossed in my story or busy working on a Scrivener lesson. But I don’t want it to take years off my life, and my legs and backside get tired when I sit too long.

Treadmill desks are the new craze. I know several authors who’ve invested in buying one or rigging one up, but I neither have the budget, nor the space for a treadmill desk.

So, I opted for a stand up desk. Apparently, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, and Virginia Woolf used stand up desks, so I’m in good company. For now, I've improvised with a sturdy box on top of my existing dining-table-turned-writing-desk, but maybe eventually I’ll spring for the real thing.

I find that I move around a lot more, just while standing. I’m also more alert, even during the post-lunch slump that usually hits. If you Google “stand up desk” you’ll find a lot of people claiming more productivity, and I’m not surprised.

Just to clarify, I don’t stand all day long. There are health issues with that too, and sometimes my feet need a break, but I’m trying to limit my sitting time to less than three hours per day. So far it’s working.

And if I need a change of scenery, I take my MacBook downstairs and stand at the bar-height breakfast table. It's almost perfect.

I guess we’ll have to change that old acronym BICHOK (Butt In Chair, Hands on Keyboard) to something new. FOFHOK (Feet on Floor…) doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Maybe BOCHOK (Butt Off Chair…) would work. 😉

Any ideas? Are you doing anything to combat the risks of sitting?