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We all know sitting at a desk for hours on end is not good for us. Yet, many of us work on a computer for a living. No matter how many times we remind ourselves to stand up and take a break, it’s often forgotten and before we know it, several hours have passed by.
I’ve been working full time on a computer for many, many years and have never really had any issues until recently. It started out with a slight burning sensation in my forearm, and then travelled up my arm to my shoulder. I went to see a physiotherapist and told him I worked on a computer for 8 hours a day and he of course told me I must have poor posture – he was not wrong. He suggested I create a timer on my computer to go off every 20 minutes to remind me not only to correct my posture, but also to simply stand up for a second.
I tried the timer thing, but it became a nuisance and I promptly abandoned that idea. I did, however, change how I sit and did my very best to correct my posture. I still didn’t take as many breaks from sitting as I should have and was still feeling sore and tight.
It was suggested that I look into a sit-stand desk. I did some reading online and realized it’s the latest trend and there are many options for those wanting a desk that transitions from a sitting to standing position. There are also options to convert your existing desk if you aren’t interested in buying a whole new desk.
Before I implemented anything too permanent, I decided to “MacGyver” something myself and test out this standing business. There were some pretty creative ideas online, anywhere from using stacked up pop cans to Ikea end tables to putting an actual coffee table on your desk. I walked around the office looking for ideas. A few empty boxes lying around caught my eye. I propped up my monitors with a couple of boxes (I have dual monitors) as well as my keyboard and mouse.
Voila! I was now able to stand and work at my computer! And wouldn’t you know it, after just a few days of standing and working, my shoulder felt so much better. As I’m writing this (and yes, standing at my desk), I’m into my second week and couldn’t be happier. It’s important to note that standing for a full 8 hours could also be detrimental, so doing a combination of sitting and standing is probably your best bet – according to what I’ve read online. Also, make sure you have a nice padded mat to stand on!
Jacky Tsui, CanScribe Student Service Representitive