I spend most of my day behind a computer, and I’m behind a computer at home often enough. It’s fair to say I spend all day behind a computer. Given I’ve been doing this for a while, that’s more than fifty thousand hours behind the computer? And that’s not even counting programming or writing in school. Okay, I admit it: I like pushing buttons. (Just maybe not The button, and not just because I can do the math. But I digress…)
But while I might be comfortable building things behind a computer, I’m not sure all this sitting down is doing my back any favours. And let’s not forget study after study pointing to even more serious risks related to a sedentary lifestyle. So after a few decades sitting at a desk and typing I’m starting to wonder if there’s a better way – something that isn’t going to keep adding to my back pain.
So tonight I decided to try something completely different: I cleared three shelves out of a bookshelf and installed a keyboard, laptop and monitor there. It’s not a desk – but then in this age of multi-monitor computer systems, well, I can’t remember the last time I managed to actually use all my physical desk space at work. Screen real-estate though – that’s always running out.
But while Thomas Jefferson and Ernest Hemingway might have worked standing, the jury’s certainly out as to whether it’s of universal benefit. Certainly chairs are the done thing – and I’ve yet to see someone programming supine.
Personally, I’m interested to see what this is like to live with for at least a week. It’s not quite perfect – the monitor is too close, for example – but I also like the idea more and more as I use it writing this post. I’m certainly using muscles I’d not exercise were I sitting.
And despite the exercise and unusual workspace the old brain still manages to do its job just fine.
And I guess that’s the point, really.