Nevertheless, I do know that it's important for me to get off my well-endowed bottom and get moving or at least upright. We all know of the many health dangers associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Thanks to our many hours at the keyboard, writers need to be even more aware of the health risks of too many hours sitting. (True story: riding the elevator at one writing conference, a couple noticed my badge and asked what kind of group we were. When I said that we were romance writers, they started laughing and confessed that they thought it was a gathering of Overeaters Anonymous.)
A couple of years ago I started looking into setting up a treadmill desk. That hasn't happened yet, though it's still on my dream radar, but I realized that even if I couldn't pull off the treadmill, I could still make a move in the right – make that upright - direction.
My first thought was to buy an adjustable desk – one that allows the used to switch from sitting to standing with a few simple adjustments. They looked nice, but in considering my office space and my current desk, which was built into the bookshelves crammed with all of my supplies, I realized that this wasn't a practical option, either. But a little more research provided me with plenty of examples of do-it-yourself standing desks.
This, I could do!
With a little willingness to think outside the box and less than an hour spent scrounging up materials, I transformed my writing space into my own (sort-of) adjustable desk. . Here's how it looks now:
The monitor is propped up on an old safe. The upper keyboard and mouse are atop an old basket and a lovely gift box. Someday they will undoubtedly need to be replaced, but it's been well over two years now and they're holding strong. I use this keyboard and mouse when I stand, which I do as much as possible. My guideline is to stand for email, Facebook, etc. - all those peripheral parts of the writing life.
When I am actually writing, I sit and use the lower keyboard and mouse, located on a shelf that slides out of reach when I use the standing equipment.
Being able to quickly and easily move from sitting to standing hasn't made any visible differences in my hips or endurance, but I know it's better for me. The benefits were driven home this weekend when I holed up in a hotel for an intense writing blast. I spent the bulk of the time working at the desk. I got a huge amount of work done, but I also have a stiff neck and an incredibly sore butt, all thanks to my enforced sedentary behavior. I can't wait to get back to being a stand-up writer again once I return home.
Oh, and if anyone is wondering about the picture on my monitor – it's a great little five minute walking workout by Leslie Sansone, available on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bot9ma_sIh0). It's a fast, fun way to work out some of the kinks that can accompany those hours at the keyboard.
What are some other easy ways to get more movement/upright time into our lives? I'm open to all suggestions!