Dispatches from a standing desk

According to recent studies, if you spend your work day sitting at a desk, you are statistically already dead by now. This caught the attention of my manager, who was inspired to tackle the problem by replacing our regular desks with standing ones . While the idea first struck me as a bit bonkers, I was compelled. Office life is pretty sedentary, right? For someone who spends forty hours a week sitting down and then barely goes to the gym, the idea of standing almost seemed to constitute exercise. And so, I rose to the idea. I address you now as an upright employee. Here are a few of my preliminary impressions of being erect all day.

Oddly, I think this is actually a realistic drawing as opposed to an actual photo of a standing desk. The reality would be too much for you.

I feel like a bit of a meerkat surveying the territory.
You’ve seen those things at the zoo, right? You know how one of them is always alone at the top of what he believes is a mountain (but is actually a man-made fake rock exhibit,) and he’s acting as a lookout for danger (but is actually only observing toddlers with popcorn, or whatever?) THAT IS ME. I can see everything around me. I like to think that I am keeping the office safe from intruders, but I am also getting a hot eyeful of everyone’s computer monitors. For one thing, did you know that Yahoo still has e-mail? And that there are people, in America, who use it? In some cases, they are the same people still playing Sudoku, which I am assuming is trickier on the internet since you can’t write tiny possible numbers in the box corners.

I am, like, emoting all over the place.
I now enjoy an infinitely wider range of ways to silently react to my computer screen. You know how whilst sitting at your desk, you might shift your weight in your seat, uncross your legs, or lean your chin in your hands intermittently? Do you ever furrow your brow at an article or lean far back to reach out and click your mouse, depending on your mood? Well, I can convey my mindset SO MUCH MORE SPECIFICALLY THAN THAT. I can shift onto one foot, I can slouch, I can lean on my elbows, I can put my hands on my hips. I can do all of the basic ballet moves IN FUCKING SUCCESSION if I want to. I can wiggle around and widen or narrow my stance at will. That is how I know I am alive. SO. MANY. OPTIONS. It’s like you’re living in black and white and Toto is biting all of your neighbors, etc., and I’m all, SEE YOU IN OZ, MOTHERFUCKERS.

This arrangement poses a few problems for really vain people.
Specifically, since I am in a more visible position all day, my abs are a tiny bit embarrassingly sore from clenching them in all the time. Also, since I can’t possibly stand upright in my shoes for a whole day, should I zip my boots back on when I go to the bathroom so that everyone can see how bitchin’ they look with my outfit? And if you’re thinking, “um, why don’t you wear shoes you can stand in all day?” then go throw yourself a party wearing your orthodontic headgear, nerd.

Sometimes there is nothing to talk about.
Since I started using this standing desk earlier this week, I have had so many conversations about whether or not I like the standing desk. These conversations are near perfect metaphors for the crippling loneliness of modern life.

…and with that, I am off to resume pushing the stone up the mountain so that it can fall down the other side.

– A sad, antsy, 3pm on a Friday (but standing) Natalie

About Natalie Shure

literature, life and latte lady

2 Responses to “Dispatches from a standing desk”

  1. There is no such thing as women’s work-appropriate shoes that you can stand in all day, unless you are a medical professional and can wear those white pillowy things, or are over 40 and thus consider Danskos work-appropriate. I stand barefoot (on my gelmat – I hope you have one of those too, because the floors here are really really hard) even when I’m wearing flats.

    Also sometimes when I’m bored I practice balancing on one foot and/or do made-up yoga moves. 90% sure my standing desk hasn’t increased my productivity at all.

  2. As an older reader of your blog (if I reveal my age it will destroy your demographic) I was reminded of an old hotel colleague – Skip Hartman – a legend in the hotel industry and General Manager of the Loew’s L’Enfant Plaza Hotel for over twenty years. No desk, no chairs in his office – just a drafting table on one wall. Sure kept meetings short and the staff loved it.
    I worked at a hotel in the area of function space management – no desk, just a drafting table….. I weighed a lot less then….. miss it.

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