Standing Desk Diary: My Feet!
It’s been one month since I started using a standing desk at my j-o-b. While I’m definitely settling in, I’m still surprised sometimes when I walk around the corner in the morning. Oh right, I work at a standing desk all day.
Overall, the adjustment process continues and I am happy to report that it is mostly positive. I have read all of the comments people made on my original post closely, and modified my setup and routine based on them.
Weeks 3: March 3-9
- Reading about alignment. Thanks to the comments, I purchased Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief: The New Science of Healthy Feet, by Katy Bowman and eagerly read it. It’s really helping me figure out a healthy standing position and the perils of wearing a positive heel.
- No heels allowed. I ditched the heels completely and have not worn them since the beginning of March. I first stopped wearing heels because of the pressure on the front half of my feet and then I completely lost my appetite for wearing them after reading Katy Bowman’s book, in which she succinctly writes about the long-term health problems that can arise as a result of regular wear of shoes with a positive heel. I purchased a pair of Sanita clogs, and found them to be pretty comfortable for standing and walking around the office.
- Upper back stiffness. Discomfort nagged occasionally at my shoulders and neck muscles, but I continue to tweak the angle of my monitors so that I look straight on at them.
- Sitting on my desk. I completely cheated and sat on a corner of my desk one day to read whatever was up on my monitor. I was tired, it was late in the day toward the end of the week, and I did not feel like sitting down away from the computer. I don’t want to make that a habit.
- Alignment. The Katy Bowman book has opened my eyes to alignment of the body and feet. I regularly look down at my legs and feet to see how I’m standing. I am trying to stand evenly and not place my weight one side or the other for extended periods of time. I try to stand with good posture with body weight evenly distributed.
- Tight calves. I don’t know why, but my calves felt tight this week. I don’t know if that is from standing in shoes without a heel or from running or what. Any ideas?
- Foot pain lessening. The first weeks of my standing desk, pain would radiate from the balls of my feet in the afternoon. I also had occasional twinges from my right ankle. The combination of ditching the heels, wearing better shoes, and taking sitting breaks whenever I feel like I need to seems to make a difference, and I am standing without foot discomfort.
- Standing desk field trip. This week someone in my office passed by and saw my standing desk. He uses one, too, and showed me some of the various facets of his setup. His desk is wider than mine and in addition to a monitor and keyboard, he also does paperwork while standing. I still prefer to read or scribble while sitting, as it provides a welcome break from the standing routine.
Week 4: March 10-15
- Brevets and standing desks, how do they mix? Over the weekend, Felkerino and I rode a 200K. Monday I returned to my standing desk setup and my legs and body felt fine. I was relieved about that, as I’d like to continue standing as the brevets continue and get longer. We’ll see.
- Stretching stretching stretching. My monitor setup seems to be pretty good now. I’m not craning or twisting my neck anymore. I’m taking stretching breaks, both for my shoulders and for my lower back. I have never liked stretching much, but now I’m getting into it!
- Standing mat ordered. Based on comments, I researched standing mats and ordered one. It has yet to arrive, but I’ll let you know when I start using it.
- Obsessed with my feet. Thanks to those who recommended the Katy Bowman book, I’m now preoccupied (in a good way!) with my feet. Sitting at a desk with my legs and feet out of view seemed to follow the “out of sight, out of mind” cliché. Standing really increases my awareness of my legs in a weird way. Has anyone else experienced this???
- Minimalist shoes. I now spend part of my day in minimalist shoes. I own a few pair of Merrell minimalist shoes and one pair of Vivobarefoot slippers. I use them for walking and some weight workouts. Based on Katy Bowman’s book (have I mentioned this book enough yet?) I decided to try using them for a few hours at my standing desk. They’re great, although my vanity is suffering a little from this no heel business.
- More movement. Maybe I mentioned this previously, but I am more active throughout the day with my standing desk. Instead of procrastinating little trips around the office, I do them whenever I think of them. It’s remarkable how much inertia took over when I sat all day. I would just sit and sit and try to combine all my walking tasks into quick bursts before I went to lunch or something. None of that at my current setup. I continue to have more energy throughout the day.
- Sitting when I want. I regularly take short sitting breaks and, when I’m ready or need to resume work at the computer, I do it. The shift from standing to sitting throughout the day is taking on a natural feel, although I definitely spend over half my day on my feet.
- Standing desk discussions. People still pass by, see my desk, pause, and ask me about the desk itself as well as how my setup is working out. One of my running buddies set up his own DIY standing desk after a couple of runs where I expounded on my new office lifestyle. (His is the second standing desk photo in the post.) I was quite impressed by his creativity. The setup for the mouse is my favorite.
Overall, I’m still giving the standing desk a thumbs up. As I said earlier, I’m curious how the standing desk will work as we head into the brevet season and what is generally a more active time. It’s still novel, but given that I spent most of my school and work life sitting, it could be a long time before I tire of it.
As always, I’m eager for feedback so let me know of other stuff I may want to be thinking about. I’m also curious about people’s experiences using minimalist shoes while at a standing desk so please fill me in if you can…