Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Stand in the place where you live
Now face North
Think about direction
Wonder why you haven't before
Now stand in the place where you work
Now face West
Think about the place where you live
Wonder why you haven't before
R.E.M. “Stand”

For more than 20 years I have had jobs that require me to sit and work at a computer for 8 hours a day. While I often walked at least part of the way to work, the majority of my day, even at home in the evenings, has been spent sitting down. This past February I slipped on the ice during our winter of doom and twisted my knee. What should have been a simple injury, healing up after a few days of rest, is still bothering me 5 months later.

But only when I sit down.

There is something about the angle of my knee when I sit that aggravates the pain in my knee cap. I can walk, run or stand for hours without any issue, but if I sit for more than 10 minutes, the pain begins. It’s not excruciating or unbearable, just annoying*.

This has obviously become a problem at work, but one that I have been able to solve with some improvisation!

With the help of an empty box, an upside down flower pot and a box of staples, I have turned my desk into a standing desk. I don’t think I would win any ergonomic awards, but it works for me. I still have my chair so that if I want to sit for lunch, or just to take a quick break I can. And if I have days where my knee isn’t bothering me and I want to sit for longer periods of time, I can simply move the box aside and I have a sitting desk again. I bought myself a mat to stand on, because I did find my feet were getting sore.

It might be unconventional, but it’s a lot cheaper than the real standing desks you can buy and they only accommodate a single monitor, not the 3 I use at work.

*Don’t worry, I’m not just ignoring the knee pain. I’ve been doing a series of stretches and strengthening exercises that have really been helping.

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