Dec 13

Unexpected Side Effects of Entrepreneurship and Standing at the Office

Most people in my circle know that I'm a weight watchers lifetime member (which means I hit my goal weight and maintained it for six weeks). But most people don't know how much I've struggled over the years since to maintain my weight.

I became a lifetime member a few months before I opened my retail store in late 2002 - more than a decade ago! And for the first two years that followed, I had a VERY EASY time maintaining my weight. I call this one of the Unexpected Side Effects of Entrepreneurship. Two things caused this pleasant Side Effect:

1) Since I quit my "day job" I no longer had any disposable income and almost never went out to eat

2) Instead of an office job, the retail store had me on my feet all day

Two years later, when I went back to an office job, the weight started to creep up a little. It wasn't that bad or much... I was still on my feet a lot during the evenings and weekends, so I was still managing it.

But in the last couple of years, particularly since I had my son, I've had a REALLY rough time of it, mostly because I'm FORCED to sit all day!

I've been noticing a trend around my office... I know at least four others who have varying setups so they're standing all day. I started thinking about it... partly because I've also noticed that my own posture has not been good and my upper back has been bothering me. So I've polled all the folks with the setups and picked on that was easy and inexpensive to implement (my company provides "normal" office furniture... that's it). Said colleague, Braxton Cook, received enough questions about his setup that he wrote his own blog post to explain:


I set mine up today. Here's my (current) setup:

Standing desk setup

My standing desk setup

Mine differed from Braxton's in a couple ways:

1) I got the smaller size Gallant desk top from Ikea

2) I'm forgoeing the chair

I still have a couple tweaks to perfect my situation.... I will be buying a dual monitor stand and I need to figure out a better setup for the laptop and docking station that's currently located on the floor under the desk. It's not in any danger of me kicking it, but I want to use the space for a foam roller. Many of the things I've read about this kind of setup say that you should have somewhere to rest a foot occasionally.

So it's only been one day with this setup, but already I'm enjoying it. I didn't have the mid-afternoon drowsy lull I normally do and overall I felt better with the little bits of movement. Even now, in the evening when I'm usually fighting a ton of fatigue, especially this time of year, I feel pretty good.

I'll status this setup again in a couple months to see if it's still working... but for now, I'm one happy software engineer!


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