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Standing While Working Results in Better Work?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the but-it'll-kill-your-feet dept.

166

Bamafan77 asks: "I've recently become fascinated by the idea of standing while working. I've found that I'm much more productive for longer periods of time while standing as opposed to sitting. The best way to describe it is that my brain feels more 'engaged.' Apparently, many famous people feel the same way including Thomas Wolfe, Vladimir Nabokov, and Winston Churchill. Other benefits include a better ability to control weight. (Guess what? Your slow metabolism ain't the cause for that belly). The Mayo Clinic has gone so far as to do research into a treadmill workstation. Does anyone here have experiences to share when it comes to standing while working, especially in the IT field?"

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Uhm... (-1, Troll)

ditto999999999999999 (546129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716070)

You are nuts...

Great (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716112)

You already took my office/cube away for "progressive" offices with hotel cubes. Now, I gotta do a Seabiscuit impersonation - standing up in "my" stall. Is the lunch room going out for a nosebag, too?

I want a TALL backed stool, and a drafting-style table. Like an old-time mechanical engineer.

Lame for the sitters (4, Funny)

HTTP Error 403 403.9 (628865) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716454)

Please have consideration for the sitdowners before you ask for a stand-up desk.


I sit next to a guy with a stand-up cubicle. The walls of the cubicles are about four feet tall so all day long there's this guy's head looking down on me. He's also a loud talker on the phone so there is a loud phone talking head staring at me all day long.


Have I mentioned his sneezing, coughing and his constant eating of corn nuts? So I have a loud phone talking, coughing, sneezing, corn nut breath head leering at me 8-10 hours a day.


Oh! and he's also a mouth breather.

Re:Lame for the sitters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15717078)

Oh, you think you have it so bad. While I don't have to see my neighbors, I have to hear a lot more from them. I sit across the hall from a guy who talks on the phone all day. I think that's his job or something. And by talking, I mean arguing. We're talking almost heated conversations here. He's really loud and has the most nasal voice I've ever heard. Plus, he stutters. So I get to hear stuff like "No no n- n- no no no, what I what I what I trying to say is..." all day. So you're thinking "big deal", but it gets better. He uses speakerphone for most conversations.

There's a bright side to the speakerphone though. I get to hear the frustrated remarks from his primary victims, and I can relate to them to some minor extent.

Next door to him is an a woman from some Asian country. She usually speaks in some Asian language. That's not a big deal by itself. She is often visited by someone who speaks the same language - it's soft, soothing, and actually sounds kind of pretty. But the aforementioned woman, on the other hand, talks rapidly and almost-shouts and spits her words. She sounds like a total bitch. I would think they were having some incredible argument, but the visiting woman's voice is always calm and slow.

I can handle it when only the annoying guy is on the phone, or when only the bitchy woman is having a talk, but when they're both doing it at once, I think I'm entitled to some extra-long smoke breaks.

Re:Lame for the sitters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15717299)

I stand all day at work, it does increase my productivity just for the simple fact i can move accross multiple repair stations quickly, but it can cause aching feet and legs, and days where im run down it sucks but otherwise is fine.

Re:Lame for the s(h)itters (1)

rishistar (662278) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717636)

Does he stay standing up when on toilet breaks as well?

standing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716073)

also works whist shitting!

hamster image (3, Insightful)

professorhojo (686761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716080)

Standing sounds like a good idea, but walking? I keep getting this hamster image in my head. Plus, I'm sure if I put the computer on a treadmill it wouldn't be too long before I became distracted and forgot to walk. I often use my exercise ball instead of the regular chair at the computer at home. You're constantly using the leg and abdominal muscles to balance yourself. It also reduces back fatigue and improves your posture.

Walking Desk (2, Interesting)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716427)

Standing sounds like a good idea, but walking? I keep getting this hamster image in my head.

It's surprisingly good for some things. I bought a treadmill off Craigslist and added a sheet of wood where I can put my laptop. I really like it for reading and replying to email and reading stuff on the web. For things where I have to type a lot, 1.5 mph plus or minus seems good. For pure reading, I'll go up to 3.3 mph if I'm feeling peppy.

It's specially nice first thing in the morning when I'm still a little groggy. I'll put on one of the Run to Cadence [kk.org] albums, pop open Google Reader, and do two or three miles of news and email.

For some reason, though, I usually can't walk and code at the same time. (I can chew gum while coding, though.) For coding I just stop the treadmill and use it as a standing desk. If I do that continuously for a couple of hours, I'll switch between the standing position and sitting at a table with a regular chair or an exercise ball.

Standing is NOT a good idea. (3, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717718)

from a medical point of view you also have dis-advantage in working in a standing position.
Mainly : the problem of venal blood return and venal stasis.
In short : your feet swell because the heart has a hard time pumping the blood back up all this height.

Just ask a surgeon (or any other job where one must stay standing up without moving a lot).

Walking may improve the blood flow (the muscle may act as supplementary pumps, because veins have valves).
But on the other hand it puts a lot of strains on the muscle of the lower extremities.
Most of the sportives (typical persons who work by moving in an upright position) have knee aging prematurely.

And I think most slashdotter know the problems associated with a sitting position.

Hence : there's no "perfect" position for working.
One should mainly change between them a lot, go for a walk once in a while, etc...

They say Donald Rumsfeld works this way... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716081)

... take from that what you will [wikipedia.org] .

...Most IT profs work standing! (1)

cloricus (691063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716977)

And we are all BOFHs! ...or in my case PFYs. :(

Donald Rumsfeld (2)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717086)

What's funny about Donald Rumsfeld, is that thinking about him standing, will forever more make me think about torture. It's all just because of how I learned about it: where prisoners were having to stand, and Rumsfeld wrote at the bottom of memo that it was no big deal, because he stands all day. ;-)

And... (2, Informative)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716091)

Better work and a sore back? I dunno about you,but I can't stand around typing all day without some serious pain.

Re:And... (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716110)

Try it. At first, you're right. You're gonna hurt.

Then, after a few weeks, maybe a few months depending on your body type and how overweight you are, you'll wonder what the hell you ever sat down for.

Granted, during your standing sessions it is recommended that you move around, take frequent walks, etc. But overall I think you'll feel better and, yes, even lose weight. And you'll most likely get more work done.

TLF

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716341)

Right, because as we all know, getting more work done is the end-all be-all of human existence. It just sucks that we don't work while sleeping --- there oughta be a law.

Re:And... (1)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717726)

What I'd like to know is why the weight-problems-not-tied-to-metabolism drew conclusions from a study of only TWO people. That's what we call bad science...
By that analysis, a schoolteacher who almost never sits down and is always running around the classroom should never be heavy except by overeating, and I know a few schoolteachers who eat so healthy they make vegetarians look bad, and who eat so little that they make anorectics look like pigs (and I know they don't just binge all weekend or anything, so I know they really do eat very little all the time), and they haven't lost any weight in years, no matter how hard they've tried and no matter how much they run around at home doing chores and yardwork etc.
Sure, there are probably very few people with a biologically low metabolism, but with all the humans around, there almost HAVE to be outliers.

Re:And... (0, Troll)

Swampfeet (758961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716485)

Doesn't that prick Rumsfeld [wikimedia.org] stand all day at his desk? Good enough reason to do the precise opposite, if that walking fucktard does it.

Re:And... (3, Interesting)

PresidentEnder (849024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716345)

I'm a cashier, so I stand all day at my job, and I have mild scoliosis. I'm very much looking foreward to finishing my degree so that I can have a sit-down job at my computer, thank you very much.

Re:And... (4, Insightful)

matthewn (91381) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716425)

> I can't stand around typing all day without some serious pain

Perhaps you haven't had your workstation set up right. I suppose I am lucky: though I do development work in an ugly gray cube-land, my company pays an ergonomist to come in and measure people and adjust their workstations (keyboard tray and countertop height, chair position, etc.), the idea being that paying disability for folks with RSI and such is way more expensive than having the ergonomist in for a visit whenever we hire someone new.

Anyway, the point: I told the ergonomist six years ago that I wanted a stand-up cubicle, with a high chair I could pop up onto if I wanted to sit. My cube's counters got raised, its shelves went down near the floor, a new chair arrived (a pretty cheap one actually, but I don't spend much time on it)... and voila. I usually stand and type comfortably for the better part of an hour; then I'll hop up on the chair for ten or fifteen minutes max. (The chair is adjusted such that I don't have to raise/lower the keyboard tray when I move from standing to sitting.)

This works really well for me. My wrists don't hurt anymore, and neither does my lower back. (True, this may have a lot more to do with good ergonomics than it does with standing versus sitting.) I feel engaged with my work when I am standing. If I sit for too long, I either wanna slouch (which makes me wanna take a nap), or I get fidgety. No thanks, I'll stand.

My job. (5, Interesting)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716096)

I am a facility production operator on the North Slope of Alaska. To the layfolk, that means I separate oil from water and gas and some suspended solids and then ship it south, where it is turned into everything you see around you (basically).

Anyway, the point is, my job entails a lot of walking. Like, a lot. I routinely walk 12 miles per day during my 12 hour shifts. More than that even. But, sometimes, I sit. And when I sit, I get tired. And time slows down. And it generally gets pretty tough to handle.

So when there's nothing to do, I play janitor. Mopping the floors of a billion dollar facility is actually not too bad, considering the alternative (just sitting there waiting for time to pass).

TLF

Re:My job. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716210)

I've noticed this, too. Since I began to exercise more, I've noticed that I'm actually more tired and easily-distracted while sitting down than while moving around.

It actually sucks somewhat, because I sit and write code for a living. I've been fighting the sensation with coffee, but I have a feeling that's not the best long-term answer. I wonder if I've altered my glucose metabolism or something...?

(OT: Slow Down Cowboy! It's been 43 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment)
How about fixing that stupid bug, CmdrTaco? It's been, what, two years since you last successfully edited a line of Slashcode?

Re:My job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716298)

How about fixing that stupid bug, CmdrTaco? It's been, what, two years since you last successfully edited a line of Slashcode?

It's been fixed. Notice how it no longer says you must wait five minutes between each comment? :P

Re:My job. (2, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716213)

On the plus side your company doesn't haven't to hire a janitor!

My job-Back in the day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716389)

"I am a facility production operator on the North Slope of Alaska." [...] "Anyway, the point is, my job entails a lot of walking. Like, a lot. I routinely walk 12 miles per day during my 12 hour shifts."

So you're the one who walks through snow...Both ways!

Re:My job-Back in the day. (1)

RedOregon (161027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717722)

...uphill, with barbed wire wrapped around your bare feet for traction.

So ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716113)

that's why Ballmer actually hurled his chair across the room.

MIcrosoft.... innovating again.

Warehouses are a good example of this (1, Interesting)

Durrok (912509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716122)

I used to be an office manager for a small hazmat shower manufacturer. We found that the people we had glueing the pipes together would stand up when we were pressing them to hurry and crank out the showers due to a large order. Not sure if them standing did anything besides show us managers that they were hurrying but we always met our deadlines.

I prefer to sit down (5, Funny)

fr0z (658466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716124)

I found that sitting down greatly improves my comfort and the quality of my pr0n surfing.

What, you meant real work? Well...ok...

Flextronics (1)

IdleByte (879930) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716137)

I worked for flextronics in a repair facility. Standing in one place, while it may sound better than walking all day, is not better than walking ALOT of the day. We had 12 hour shifts with 30 minute breaks, yes Flextronics sucks the big one, and just believe me when I say standing in place for more than 1-2 hours at a time sucks MAJORLY!!!

Standing is good (3, Interesting)

Vorlath (921561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716156)

Standing usually means you're moving around. I used to do this all the time when thinking about a problem. It gets the blood circulating and really does improve mental abilities. Thinking on your feet. It's not just a good idea!

Hemingway (3, Funny)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716157)

He typed at a standup desk as well, at least sometimes. I remember seeing a pic of it.

Of course, then he offed himself, so maybe this isn't such a good idea...

Same effect as walking periodically? (1)

pdovy (952071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716166)

I haven't tried standing while at work (my desk is not at standing height - a slight barrier to an experiment), but during the school year my apartment is a good 10 minute walk from where I go to class. I find that the act of walking back and forth seems to give me more energy when I finally sit down to do something.

I suppose thats more of an endorsement for circling around the office occasionally while at work - but perhaps standing is a similar idea.
It would make sense that perhaps while you're at your most physically relaxed isn't the best time to try and do hard thinking.

trying to picture it (2, Interesting)

Beuno (740018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716169)

I am trying to picture myself working all day in front of the PC standing up, but something just doesn't quiete click.
It feels the other way around, like I wouldn't be able to concentrate that deeply.
Being able to relax seems to be important to concentrate on something specific, even lying down sounds like I'd be more concentrated.

Retail (3, Insightful)

wbren (682133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716178)

In a retail environment, standing all day just results in sore feet and irritability while working. Maybe the IT field is different, but in retail, standing all day sucks. Oh course, most things in retail suck, so why should standing be any different.

Re:Retail (1)

Sarcastic Assassin (788575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716583)

-Sore feet are alleviated by a good pair of shoes...I have a pair of Dr. Scholls [link [shoes.com] ], and they're spectacular at keeping away pain. I work at a movie theater, and I'm standing for pretty much my entire shift, and while my feet can feel a bit achy, it's nothing I can't simply be too tired to ignore.
-Irritability is resolved by state of mind. Customers can be a bitch, but the more levelheaded you are the better you'll be in the long run.

Re:Retail (1)

wbren (682133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716933)

My original post was actually inaccurately written. The irritability is caused by the sore feet, which is caused by standing. Thanks for the shoe link though ;-)

Re:Retail (1)

Topherbyte (747078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716920)

Yes, IT is different. It generally requires you to be a student every day, learning learning learning. I myself am a haptic learner (compared to a visual or auditory learner), therefore a standing workstation gives me the opportunity to engage my body. This lets me focus greatly and I can get in the zone. I am lucky and grateful that most of my employers have done this for me.

Retail does suck. Upgrade your gray matter.

Re:Retail (1)

TempeTerra (83076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717237)

In a retail environment, standing all day just results in sore feet and irritability while working. Maybe the IT field is different, but in retail, standing all day sucks. Oh course, most things in retail suck, so why should standing be any different.


This comment could go anywhere really, but it slightly answers your post. I have always found that when I am pondering a problem, walking will help 'shake around the pieces' in my head and they will eventually settle into a solution. In a situation like programming where finding a solution is the hard part, and actually implementing it is trivial/drudgery, it helps me a lot.

I think retailing would be very different. I imagine the most draining part of the job is staying constantly alert in case customers need help. In that situation, I don't think you'd get any benefit from walking around. IANA[person with any kind of qualification relating to work practices], but I imagine that retail workers could be refreshed by rotating off 'active duty' every now and then to do something like shifting stock where they can completely ignore everyone around them for a while.

I'm already a convert... (5, Interesting)

johnthorensen (539527) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716192)

I have worked standing up for the last 3 years. It all started when I began to outfit my new office; my work requires me to look at a lot of plans and hence I built a drafting table, which are traditionally at standing height. To make matters simpler, I decided to also build my regular workstation at the same height. To make things just right, I hung my dual LCD flat panels at eye level.

I ordered two nice Hon drafting chairs and expected to wind up sitting in them as I had a regular desk chair in the past.

I soon found though, that it was much more convenient and comfortable to just forego the chairs and work standing up. I discovered that I didn't get tired from standing at all, and in fact felt more awake and alert as a result. There's also the nice side benefit that without chairs, people don't really tend to come and camp out in my office :)

Last year, I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in my lower back. This is where the working-standing-up plan really pays off. I quickly discovered that when I sit, the pain is worse. After sitting awhile, it's a *lot* worse. The doctor explained that this is because sitting puts the more pressure on your disc than laying or standing. In fact, standing seems to be the most neutral position for your back and relieves more pressure on the disc than other positions. So if you have back problems - working while standing could mean the difference between working or not. I know it has for me on many days.

So to those who haven't tried working while standing up - I highly recommend it. I believe the health benefits are strong and the impact on your mental processes is positive.

Re:I'm already a convert... (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716360)

The doctor explained that this is because sitting puts the more pressure on your disc than laying or standing. In fact, standing seems to be the most neutral position for your back and relieves more pressure on the disc than other positions
Standing transfers the pressure from your lower back to your feet. I suggest you follow proper ergonomics for standing [bnl.gov] if you choose a standing office. Having worked in warehouses with concrete floors for over 20 years, good shoes [redwingshoes.com] are imperative. Else you will just transfer the damage from your lower back to your knees, ankles, and hips.

Re:I'm already a convert... (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716657)

Having worked in warehouses with concrete floors for over 20 years, good shoes are imperative.

Oh, hell ya. I've worked movie production for the last 23 years, and between the concrete floors of most stages and going on location where I'm constantly jumping down from lift gates carrying heavy equipment, good foot wear is absolutely essential. Very early in my career, I had major problems with shin splits and my feet. I asked a number of experienced people what they did, and found that there are a lot of solutions, but none of them worked for me. One was Having five different pairs of shoes and wearing a different pair each day. Another was padded sole inserts (in the days before gel inserts).

What finally worked for me were Wolverine Durashocks [wolverine.com] , that actually have shock absorbers built into the sole of the boot. I also started wearing really thick merino wool mountaineering socks. When I started riding motorcycles, I needed a pull on boot rather than one with laces, so I found a pair of Woverines in Wellington style, which looks almost like engineer boots, but lacking the buckle. I've found they're also suitable for horse back riding (although I do have a pair of riding boots).

One last thing. The steel toes are indispensable in a work boot. If they don't have steel toes, don't even bother.

Re:I'm already a convert... (1)

MuNansen (833037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716734)

Sorry to hear about the disc.

Do you think it's at all possible the standing had anything to do with the disc, though? I don't know anything about such maladies, so just wanted to ask.

Re:I'm already a convert... (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717094)

I was wondering that too, but I think that something that relieves the injury probably wouldn't be the original cause. If anything, it seems the sitting would contribute more to the injury.

Re:I'm already a convert... (2, Insightful)

jafac (1449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716951)

Yes - standing while working was one of the two things (plus a daily hamstring/gluteal flexibility-training regimen) that fixed my back. Sitting all day is what put my ligiments in such bad shape that they stopped supporting my L4/L5 disk. I'm still very stiff and sore in the mornings, but the rest of the time I'm doing much better. I'd definately recommend it for anyone with lower back problems. But having a good workstation setup is KEY. I still sit part of the day, with my keyboard and monitor on special stands that move as I sit or stand. I had to make major modifications to the keyboard tray to make it go high enough - it's my impression that it's actually very difficult to find the right equipment. I had to scrounge. The stuff facilities bought for me just plain didn't work. Including a special chair that you basically lean against, isntead of sitting on it. That just didn't do me any good at all.

Sore Feet? (1)

xaez (987163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716193)

This is why I stopped being a waiter, and moved to the IT industry. I can't stand up for long periods of time because my brain starts wondering why my feet hurt, and then inturn can't concentrate on the work at hand.

Re:Sore Feet? (1)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716954)

I've never heard of anyone complain about sore feet from standing. Enough walking will do it if your shoes aren't right, but never standing. I say this as I stand on the train for hours at a time. Do you have some sort of foot problem?

Re:Sore Feet? (1)

xaez (987163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716995)

Not to my knowledge. I probably had terrible shoes.

Walking (2, Interesting)

Lambticc (563530) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716199)

At uni whenever I was doing research or trying to solve a problem, I always found it best to walk around for a bit. I would usually after making a few rounds of the room have a solution.

no (1)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716234)

The whole reason I went to college is so I could get a job where I didn't have to stand up all day.

Re:no (2, Funny)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716344)

Wow - aim high, buddy!

Re:no (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716474)

OK, my last response was a little snarky, sorry. You *were* kidding, right?

Re:no (1)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716591)

Not really. When I think of standing up all day, I think retail floor, food service, and manual labor.

Adjustable Tables (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716236)


Back when everyone was doing drafting and design on tables and not on display screens, work was done with two or more surfaces; the most important one was always adjustable for angle and often for height and light source. Even back in those 18th, 19th and 20th centuries employers knew how to make demanding, technical work a bit more comfortable.

Overall it is effective (2, Interesting)

mrpaco18 (958815) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716243)

I work for the Geek Squad (let the flaming commence). My job requires me and everyone else with whom I work to stand for almost the entire duration of our shifts. For 4-6 hour shifts (I'm a part-time employee), I do find that I am more productive than I would be be sitting. I am able to efficently work up and down the bench of computers in repair as opposed to working on just 3 or 4 on a KVM. However, on shifts that last longer than 6 hours, I end up being more concerned about my feet being sore than actually fixing units, which does adversly affect my productivity (and I do wear comfortable shoes with good insoles). I just want to sit down and work. On the longer shifts, it turns out to be something of a wash. It would be nice to have a chair or stool around, but overall I prefer working while standing.

Re:Overall it is effective (1)

Xurixis (988835) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717536)

Ah, but what if you had a beowulf cluster of kvms...

Amazing (1)

Konster (252488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716245)

Amazing! Just when Americans were getting used to working while bent over, up pops this!

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716439)

Yes but bent over while standing up gives better access for your upper managment.

Of course kneeling would be better but I'm not sure about productivity...

Re:Amazing (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716768)

Well, ideally you're still on your feet while you're grabbing your ankles.

"Walk your code" (2, Insightful)

ZXSpectrum42 (906390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716246)

Well i couldn't agree more. My brain works billion% more when i am not sitting on a chair. My most creative thinking comes usually when i walk. I am a programmer , so someone could ask when do i write code? Well shooting keys on the keyboard is the trivial task, and i could sit in front of a screen writting code for 3 days straight without sleeping. But i do not consider that creative work. I consider it the "dictation/translation to code/visualization" of ideas born after a long walk.
or in other words' You are going nowhere fast if you dont know where you are going

I have a standing height desk (1)

Twid (67847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716275)

My cubicle is standing height with a high-chair to sit in. I find I probably stand about half the time at work. Now that I'm used to it it seems much more productive to me, and it's nice to have the option to stand or sit.

At my (cupertino based) employer I think pretty much everyone gets the option to have a standing or sitting configuration in their cubicle/office.

Re:I have a standing height desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716481)

I think I know who you are! I walk by your office every day in envy =(

DA6?

Re:I have a standing height desk (1)

Twid (67847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716587)

No, the hinterlands of SC1 :(

Higher office temperatures also help (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716285)


Study links warm offices to fewer typing errors and higher productivity

When the office temperature in a month-long study increased from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, typing errors fell by 44 percent and typing output jumped 150 percent. Hedge's study was exploring the link between changes in the physical environment and work performance.

"The results of our study also suggest raising the temperature to a more comfortable thermal zone saves employers about $2 per worker, per hour," says Hedge, who presented his findings this summer at the 2004 Eastern Ergonomics Conference and Exposition in New York City.

Re:Higher office temperatures also help (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716302)

Here's a link [cornell.edu] to the story.

Re:Higher office temperatures also help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716548)

Rubbish. If our office goes to 25C (77f), I'm practically sleeping at my desk. I work better when it's hovering around 22C.

And when I start getting tired at work, the first thing I do is check the temp gauge, lo and behold someone is complaining of the cold and turned it up.

I do live in Brisbane Australia though....

Re:Higher office temperatures also help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716942)

All that extra BO would not help *my* productivity...

Re:Higher office temperatures also help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15717624)

I find that strange as warm temperatures seem to slow me down; much above 25C (77F) and I start finding it hard to think.

I'm much more productive at 15C (59F), but then I live in the UK.

Perfect sense (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716294)

It makes perfect sense. Look at any pharmacy, the pharmacist is on his feet the entire time. They stand so much that they actually have to get special stockings or surgery for varicose veins. It makes me very active at work. Not sure if cashiers get the same amount of energy.

On the opposite side, standing does not always make you do a good job. "I stand for 8-10 hours a day," wrote Donald Rumsfeld.

Re:Perfect sense (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717564)

Do you know what metric Rumsfeld is using ?

Standing does make you feel productive (3, Insightful)

Centurix (249778) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716303)

I've had two onsite roles where you could choose from different workstations within an open office layout. I actually started working from a regular desk, then moved to using one of those kneeling chairs for posture. Then upgraded to the partially tilted drafting tables with high stool and eventually found myself at the standing desks (which is fine as long as the screen is at eye level, using a laptop on these desks was difficult because you actually look down and makes your shoulders hurt after a while)

What happens is that you find that you focus a lot less on the screen all the time, you find yourself walking around a lot more, you make more cups of tea/coffee and it feels more productive. The only problem was that you can't really jump into the standing thing straight away, especially when you've been used to sitting at a desk for years. The other problem is if you get tired you tend to lean on your forearms like leaning on a bar.

The other thing I really liked about the standing desks is that they had bi-fold doors directly behind you which looked out onto an atrium with a large tree full of birds for most of the year. You could stop typing, phase out of the work at hand and listen to life for a bit. It was awesome during summer when you get the warm light rain, with the door open, coffee and maybe light music on in the background.

Typing? (2, Insightful)

vanyel (28049) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716321)

I would think typing while walking on a treadmill would be really uncomfortable and difficult, as well as anything requiring semi-precision mouse work...

Re:Typing? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716895)

It is a pain.
I tried it. I work at home so moving the LCD and keyboard to the treadmill was doable.

When you walk you bounce up and down a lot more then you realize.
The text jumping up and down just makes you sick.

Playing video games is easier but you really have to concentrate. It is tougher then chewing gum and walking, but you get used to it with practice.

Just wait till your boss finds out (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716363)

How long will it take some CEO to read about the treadmill cubicles and mandate "cubicle fitness", all the cubes can be wired up to generate power to the computers and lights. When the lights go dim someone is slackin...

My old job had both; I preferred standing (1)

OO7david (159677) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716396)

I used to work as a math tutor for my university (sadly, I graduated, and student jobs don't live on after the degree), and we had two settings: One was an open lab where people at random would come in and raise a hand for questions, and the other was an hour one-on-one appointment.

While working in the lab I would usually stand up while waiting for questions, and when asked continue to stand next to the student, whereas in appointments the student and I would both be sitting at the same table. I found that when working in the lab I was more effective tutoring-wise, faster at figuring out things, and overall felt better about my ability. In fact after noticing this I started doing my class work while standing or pacing (which I had done for years, but never made the connection) and my grades that final term were some of the best I had.

So, yes, I think there's something to the idea of standing being beneficial to working.

My standing desk... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716495)

My standing desk at work has a urinal underneath it so I never have to leave it.

Hawthorne Effect (5, Insightful)

mswope (242988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716528)

I've tried this and have known several people who have tried this. In the short term, the novelty tends to lend itself to "higher productivity." It seems that freeing yourself from the trappings and surroundings where you've allowed yourself to develop bad habits (slouching, surrepticiously surfing /., playing solitaire, staring at that mark on the wall of your cubicle) that are not productive causes you to have a spurt of higher productivity. Nowadays, I find that a periodic change of venue helps me in the same way - I goto the library for a while, move to a table and spread my stuff out instead of on a desk, sit on the floor or on a couch. I think that the people that I work with innately understand what I'm doing, even if it looks funny.

The only thing I have against standing is that I have to find a counter or something of similar height that functions as a work surface - otherwise, i'm hunched over and a sore back is a real productivity killer....

For carpal tunnel reasons, I stand when I work (1)

jammaramma (988794) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716713)

I blogged this a while back -- http://www.connectedpixel.com/blog/ergonomic/stand up [connectedpixel.com] . The fatigue from standing is outweighed by carpal tunnel pain from sitting (read the blog if this does not make sense). It's also easier to stay awake while standing.

standing employees sets managers' minds at ease (1)

aendeuryu (844048) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716725)

I call bullshit. This is the same thinking that is going to be applied with indiscriminant stupidity as cubicles, open work environments, etc. Managers will read this and start making everybody stand while they work -- everybody but themselves, since they have to satisfy that little thrill they get knowing that you only sit if you're important enough.

Want good work done? Hire good people and keep them happily motivated about their job. Sitting, standing, hopping on one leg, it won't matter. They'll do you proud.

My office enables standing and sitting (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716824)

I work for Boeing and some of the desks in our building are variable height. I rarely use the desk so high I stand but occasionaly I do. Its a nice option to do both I think since many people say that while they like it-it can hurt after more than 5hours or so.

Occasionally the big companies are nice to work for : )

I like it. (1)

pontifier (601767) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716841)

I liked standing up while working, I also paced around, and would lay down when I wanted. For A couple of months I removed all of the chairs from my house, and it was almost impossible for me to zone out. Now the chairs are back, and I'm sitting as I type this. I had better posture when I was standing all the time. Maybe I'll take them away again. The biggest problem was finding or rigging high enough work surfaces.

Stand Up Meetings (3, Informative)

JuzzFunky (796384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15716927)

We have a daily stand up meeting. 5-10 minutes every morning where we let everyone know what we've been doing and where we plan to be by the end of the day. When standing in a big circle people tend not to waffle on like they do when sitting around a table in a meeting room.

As for spending all day in one position here's what I rekon:

If you spend 10+ hours a day sitting on your arse then you'll probably get a sore arse.

If you spend 10+ hours a day standing on your feet then you'll probably get sore feet.

If you spend 10+ hours a day standing on your head then you should probably seek help.

Go the middle way. spend some time sitting, some time standing and some time dancin' like a funky chicken.

I Wouldn't Know - I Work Lying Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15716931)

OK, so I'm a male whore! Somebody's got to do it and it pays the bills!-))

Organize meetings walking (1)

UR30 (603039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717027)

Here in Finland newspapers carried stories suggesting that meetings work better if they are organized while walking. Take an hour or two, and go for a walk with the meeting participants, discussing matters. Thoughts flows better, and you avoid the typical pointless PowerPoint sessions as well. Any experiences of this?

Standing while working == varicose veins (1)

jvance (416133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717062)

Walking might not be so bad, but it's hard to keep the monitor level and type that way. I already get 10 - 15 hours of intense exercise a week, so I'm planning on equipping my new office with a chaise lounge, wireless keyboard, and a nice pillow to elevate my feet.

Good every now and then... (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717166)

I tend to stand at the computer every once in a while -- actually I'd do it more often but people look at me funny. :)

It's great to get the blood circulation going, and it's really hard to fall asleep when you are standing up.

Rather hard to imagine... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717268)

The problem is, if I stand up for a bit longer, my legs start to ache. I may keep walking for hours, but tell me to stand in one place for 20 minutes and I just need to move. So standing while working, nope.

And of course I get lots of good ideas and such while walking, but when I get something that requires deeper thought, I stop. On threadmill - crash, bang, kaboom, you know the drill from commedy movies. Again, sucks. Plus walking in one place sucks. I'd much rather go for a walk in the far, rural suburbs if I have to "design" something. But then writing things down while walking sucks a big time.

I wish there was a wearable computer that would make taking notes while walking easy.

sit to stand (1)

mnbjhguyt (449178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717289)

i've once been in a company where every desk was motorized, and everyone could lift it and work standing up every once in a while. People said they were much more productive this way.

This [workriteergo.com] is something similar.

Honestly, I liked it. (1)

code shady (637051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717312)

I had some surgery as a result of which I was unable to sit down for a while (yeah yeah I can hear the peanut gallery already). In order to manage this, i simply propped my keyboards up on some boxed, tilted my monitors up, and got on with life.

Honestly, it wasn't so bad. At the end of the day, sure my feet and legs hurt a bit more, but after a few weeks even that did not occur. And i did not feel at all as metnally tired as I would from simply sitting down.

So maybe programming while standing isn't such a a bad idea. That said, I now work as an instructor. Most of the lecture time i spend on my feet and at the end of the day I find that, while my feet and legs might hurt, mentally I am not nearly so tired or weary as I otherwise would be.

In short, what I am trying to say is that I think standing while working is a good idea. If nothing else, it's a nice change of pace for your average programmer/network jockey.

Give it a shot, you might be suprised.

coworkers look at me funny (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717314)

I regularly work while standing, and I am the only person in my office which does that. Everyone looks at me trying to understand why I am typing on the keyboard while standing. It's funny, but I find using the mouse a bit difficult. Perhaps a trackball or touch screen would help.

Good for keep meetings short and to the point ! (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717376)

I remember reading about this company where meetings were held standing around a bar-like table. They were much shorter and to the point than traditional afterlunch meeting that drag on and on...

Who would have thought that... (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717386)

Who would have thought that burning calories improves health...and that sitting for 10 hours or more would make people fat...we really need more scientific studies on this!

Sit down but still get that heart pumping! (1)

Tr1cky (988828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717400)

I've always had this idea of sitting down and cycling whilst working. You know them cycling machines in the gym, the one's where you're sat back like in a car seat? How about modifying one of them to include a swing arm desk where you can place your laptop etc? The only niggle would be the noise from pedalling!

Standing at meetings = productivity (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717427)

It's not uncommon in the UK (or at least in large corporations) to have at least one (senior level) meeting room configured for standing only. The theory is that people standing tend to be more alert, able to think on their feet (ho ho) and make better quality decisions faster (well, you would, wouldn't you). Equally, others have rooms which only have no furniture, just big coloured cushions so you can seriously slob out and brainstorm to your hearts content.

It is true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15717508)

And indeed the productivity of Thomas Wolfe, Vladimir Nabokov, and Winston Churchill took a sharp decline once they stopped standing for good.

Fake Signals To The Brain (1)

ggKimmieGal (982958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717604)

What you have stated is not at all surprising or phenomenal. Any neuroscientist would completely agree with you. Here's another example that you might not think connects: Have you ever noticed that when reading in bed you get really tired, but if you read anywhere else, you are fine? You're in bed so you're sending the signal to your brain that you are ready to sleep. By standing, your body is telling the brain, "Be prepared for action".

I have to disagree with you though, even though I know what you are saying is perfectly true. I have sort of flat feet, so standing works for about two minutes, then my feet just hurt. I'm all about my chair.

"A man on his feet is worth two on his seat." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15717630)

"A man on his feet is worth two on his seat."

OMG WTF LOL (1)

farker haiku (883529) | more than 8 years ago | (#15717687)

My co-workers wouldn't allow it to happen in a million years. LOL!
Dubbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbdbd! Speedy Gonzalez!

When did it become ok for anyone to write like this?

Churchill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15717698)

...wasn't entirely sober most of the time, either, and seemed to manage OK.

(it's Friday, it's gone 12 - time to go down the pub!)
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