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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Future of Standing/Walking Workstations? 204

secretrobotron writes "As a developer who spends most of each day at the same desk in the same chair, I'm concerned about ergonomics and what I can do to keep my body from wasting away while I program. Some IT professionals have the relative luxury of being able to walk around on a headset, solving problems, installing equipment, etc. My utopia (albeit a pretty low-bar) is a world in which technology exists to allow me to walk about as I program. My question is, what's available? Are people working on mobile-programming in this way? Are there hybrid standing workstations which allow me to take advantage of pacing-enabled programming?"
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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Future of Standing/Walking Workstations?

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  • Treadmill desk (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @11:48AM (#40220165)

    I was reading this today about someone's treadmill desk setup.

    • I have no idea how he can type accurately when walking. When typing on my phone it barely works, and there the keyboard moves with my hands - in that set-up the keyboard is fixed, making movement worse.

      • Re:Treadmill desk (Score:5, Informative)

        by Kozz ( 7764 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @12:14PM (#40220621)

        I have no idea how he can type accurately when walking. When typing on my phone it barely works, and there the keyboard moves with my hands - in that set-up the keyboard is fixed, making movement worse.

        I'm lazy and don't feel like digging up the link, but I recall an Instructable ( in which the author created a treadmill workstation. However, the treadmill was only set to move at something like 1.5mph. This is a very, very casual stroll at best. However, it does keep you off your tuchis and moving. You'll still be a long way from anything resembling "exercise" I suppose, and you won't burn a tremendous amount of calories, but it's certainly an improvement upon sitting all day.

        • Re:Treadmill desk (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @01:42PM (#40222009)

          Actually, it's quite surprising just how many calories you burn with light activity - just standing up can burn calories almost twice as fast as sitting down, and walking can double that again to almost half of what an aerobic workout would do. Add in the fact that a standing/walking workstation may have you "exercising" for 40+ hours a week and the results can be very impressive (who other than a few fitness nuts does the equivalent 20 hours of aerobics a week?).

          The trick is just that there's a sort of "exhaustion threshold" - below a certain exertion level you can maintain a fairly continuous activity level indefinitely, cross the threshold and your body starts having trouble keeping up with the demands you're putting on it and you start getting tired. Obviously every person has a different threshold, but our nomadic ancestry shows through - pretty much anyone if halfway decent shape can quickly acclimate to walking at a slow, steady, pace.

          There's even some evidence that we're optimized for endurance running - running is unique among physical activities in that, with training, a 70 year old can compete on fairly even footing with a 25 year old. Performance still peaks in the 18-22 year old male demographic, but unlike virtually every other physical activity every other age and gender demographic comes in about equal. One theory is that our ancestors hunted on the plains by running their prey into the ground - we can't compete on burst speed, but we can out-endure just about everything else out there. But you can't very well haul a bunch of deer carcasses back to the tribe you left a couple days behind you, so the whole tribe needs to come along for the feast. (NOTE: all numbers estimated from memory of this TED talk [])

          • There's even some evidence that we're optimized for endurance running...

            This chimes with something I've heard about in the past: prehistoric humans were endurance hunters. A common strategy was to tag prey with a spear or some such then pace it until it keeled over from exhaustion, in contrast to the more energy-intensive strategy used by some big cats.

        • by e3m4n ( 947977 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:54PM (#40223059)

          simply standing for 8hrs instead of sitting (once your legs adjust to that much standing) will increase your overall metabolism quite a bit, which in the long run can burn more calories than the average 20min/day 3x/week 'suggested' amount of workout. I'm not putting down exercise, theres no reason why you cant do both. Sometimes doing one will motivate you to do more of the other. Standing is very low impact and you can start to feel the difference in just a week or two.

        • You might not burn a lot of calories compared with a much faster treadmill at a gym, but if you're putting 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year on this treadmill, you'll wind up developing your leg muscles much more than someone who sat at his computer that whole time. And once you've built muscle, you'll burn more calories even if you are simply sitting around doing nothing.

          Besides, if this is in an office, the last thing you want is for your treadmill-desk to make you work up a sweat just before

          • The standing and walking itself has benefits in terms of burning calories and circulation. There are a lot of articles now on studies that sitting for long periods has more health risks by itself than obesity or poor diet.

            On the other hand, there were a lot of fitness articles five and ten years ago claiming that every pound of muscle you add to your body increases your resting metabolism by 50-100 Calories per day. That is a myth - the real number is closer to 6 calories per day. The mega-muscles
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bevoblake ( 1106117 )

        I put together a treadmill desk about six months ago. Typing/mousing and walking is definitely a consideration. I had to reduce my mouse sensitivity slightly, and I also have to keep my walking speed at or below 2 mph in order to have any chance of typing accurately. I find I'm quite accurate at 1 mph. I reserve 2 mph for times when I'm mostly reading.

        I also was unpleasantly surprised by the prices of the commercial offerings for these desks. I'm currently using a DIY cardboard desk and have a carpenter bui

    • I can start seeing companies adding these as incentives to meet quotas. The slower you write the code, the faster the treadmill goes. If you make a syntax error, that's an extra mph right there, and if your code fails to compile successfully in the end, your minimum speed for the next work week is increased.

    • Exercise? Bah. Humbug. (Bulls*$t!) I want the same setup I have at home:
      - Laying down while I type.
      - Ahhh relaxing.

    • I tried reading while on the treadmill. It works.
      Until the blood flows out of my head, and into my muscles, and I can no longer think. So I gave-up on that idea. The body is not really meant to oxygenate both muscles & brain at the same time.
      Easier to cut meals in half,
      if I want to lose weight.

      • by zlives ( 2009072 )

        exercise brake every few hours... most employees at my workplace go for a walk every two.five hours or so.... i merely stand at my desk until i have to sit but then go to the gym 3 times a week... keeps me from getting worse.

        • by Gilmoure ( 18428 )

          Read that even doing daily exercise isn't enough to overcome the effects of sitting for an hour []. The body puts metabolism way down when you sit. Boss just got me a stand desk so hoping this helps. If you get one, make sure you also get one of those checkout person mats to stand on.

    • I've had a treadmill desk for about a year now. I started with a standing desk but found my legs got too stiff being still so I hacked up a $150 used treadmill. This has completely changed my work life. I had horrible back problems which made me question if I could continue as a developer. I had tried different chairs, desks, postures and had some success with software timers [] which forced me to move around every so often. After a few weeks of the treadmill desk my back was feeling better. After a few months

      • That's where something like an elliptical/exercise bike dual trainer can come in handy. Now you've got somewhere to stand and walk, sit down and pedal, or just sit down, all without going somewhere.
    • Hmm, isn't blood rush to the legs (and from the brain) will make it harder for you to think?

      I really find it hard to think after/during an exhaustive exercise. Agreed, you don't need to be running at 10mph on this, but still.

      For a more regular workplace, I think that the desk with easily regulated height, so that you can both sit and stand during the day + laptop, so that you can go outside or just lay down on a couch, is the best way to go.

  • Get a Geek Desk (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrtwice99 ( 1435899 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @11:49AM (#40220169)
    I plan on getting a Geek Desk: [] It won't allow me to walk, but its better than sitting all the time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My spouse works at a major financial firm, and they let employees choose between a standard height desk and one that you can work at while standing. They give the "standing height" desks a tall chair, so they can choose between sitting or standing without changing their hardware.

      I have seen some desks with a treadmill that fits underneath the desk, letting you walk and work at the same time. I'm not sure I could handle that situation.

      • Re:Get a Geek Desk (Score:4, Informative)

        by neonfrog ( 442362 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @12:41PM (#40221071)
        There are many GeekDesks at my office. We like a height adjustable desk for a lot of reasons but primarily because tall chairs are rarely available in the broad ergonomic array that normal office chairs are. With a height adjustable desk you can use all kinds of things under the desk: a squishy mat under foot to provide some comfort and exercise when standing, a balance board or little stair-stepper thing (also standing), an exercise ball (sitting), etc. Sometimes I just want my feet on the floor or to use a footstool in front of me when sitting. No one has rigged up a treadmill yet, but it is only a matter of time. Height-adjustable is far more versatile than fixed height!
    • That looks awesome, but $900? Holy hell. I would rather buy some lumber and assemble something than spend $900 on a desk that simple.
  • by james_van ( 2241758 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @11:49AM (#40220175)
    that slapping some wheels onto a standing desk and pushing it with your elbows while you type would accomplish the task. Not entirely sure what pacing-enabled programming is though.....
    • He needs to get a junior dev to push the desk from side to side.

      Bonus points if you can pass it off to the PHB as pair programming.

  • Plantar Fasciitis? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @11:50AM (#40220201) Homepage

    I was also interested in the idea of a standing desk, until I heard about Policeman's Heel (Plantar Fasciitis) and how standing all day can contribute to that.

    Anybody in the know about that? []

    • by Loether ( 769074 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @12:00PM (#40220383) Homepage

      Planter Faciitis is a common overuse injury lots of runners get as well. Anytime you are using/overusing muscles in a way your body is unaccustomed to it can cause problems. Still, problems caused by exercise, usually have simple solutions, like easing up a little or adding a different exercise to compensate. Overall your risks of health problems are far greater from lack of exercise than from an overuse injury.

      I say if you are interested in a standing desk, try it out, but have a backup sitting station as your body gets accustomed to it's newly used muscles.

    • Standing bad, walking good. Our physical form made its last major changes when we were doing a lot of walking. Having a fucked up heel does not strictly prevent one from procreating, nor joint damage which tends to show up late in life, so presumably it will be some time before we evolve the ability to stand still for long periods of time before damage sets in.

      • by Jahf ( 21968 )

        Walking: good
        Standing: not as good
        Sitting: awful

        No one who works at a coding job is going to find a way to truly walk all of the time. Not today (someday I easily see this happening and a few hackers could definitely speed it up). But doing anything you can to avoid sitting is going to make you healthier. Standing is the way to go.

        • by TheLink ( 130905 )

          Sitting is only awful because most idiot furniture makers and ergonomics "experts" haven't made decent office chairs even though chairs were invented thousands of years ago.

          They've been telling people that sitting straight is better and making chairs like that when they've been wrong:

          Sure if you lie down and don't move for long you get bed sores, but there's no real problem if you recline for a while then get up and walk (or even run) about every now and then. I bet tha

          • by TheLink ( 130905 )
            BTW even that study seems stupid to me, since they just tested 3 positions and claim 135 is the best. Where's their proof that 180 or even 190 isn't better?

            Just shows how dismal the science of ergonomics is.
    • by Jahf ( 21968 )

      The difference is:

      1) Especially at a desk you can alternate regularly, which you should, which will vastly lower the risk.

      2) Plantar Fasciitis sucks (I've had it) and can take up to a couple of years (since every time you walk you are possibly re-injuring it) to recover from ... but ... you're alive after those couple of years. Current research shows the amount of time we spend at our desks flat-out removes years from our lives.

      Best solution: stand for at least 50% of the time.

      Ok solution: stand for 100% of

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Yeah, it feels like someone driving a spike through the sole of your foot.

    • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @12:08PM (#40220513)

      ANY pose that you keep for long time is bad for you. Your body is made to move, to change position frequently.

      To break the sitting posture, walking a few steps now and then is enough. Have your printer a few steps away making you get up to pick up a print-out is a great way to accomplish that.

      Sitting all the time is bad. Standing all the time is bad. Lying all the time is bad. Especially when it's in the same pose. Having a good sitting/walking/standing posture helps a lot but it's no replacement for changing position every now and then. Ask any supermarket cashier that has to stand all day long on how demanding and tiring that is. Police constables have the advantage that they can walk around more, giving them more movement.

    • by bazorg ( 911295 )

      Clearly the solution for office workers' woes is to have a desk setup that *allows* standing, without forcing it for longer than is comfortable. Last time there was this kind of debate on Slashdot, people pointed out that draughtsman chairs, coupled with a properly sized desk will allow comfortable sitting when that is preferable.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The best solution would be to find a way to prevent wasting away while sat in a chair.

    • by jj00 ( 599158 )
      I try to combat this issue by standing on a foam pad and breaking up my day by sitting on a tall office chair (called a drafting stool) once in a while.
    • I stand about 8 total hours each day, but never more for 2 hours at a time. Sometimes I sit to take a call. Other times it's walking around to talk to folks or sit in meetings. This is one of those times when "balance" is key. Don't *just* do one thing. Never just sit or just stand or just walk. The body wants to keep moving to spread the exercise around the body. I personally am at my worst when I'm not following a regiment, as I err on the side of physical laziness. But that's what Outlook is for. I typ
  • If you manage to put all the gadgets in the bathroom, i would develop day and night, night and day.....
  • treadmill desk (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    • by aclarke ( 307017 )
      This is sort of what I think might work for me. I have two large monitors, and that desk has a nice monitor arm that can swing the monitors to where they work for you, whether you're sitting, standing, or walking. With a desk like that, I could walk on a treadmill, stand still, sit in a chair or on a ball.

      The main problem with the idea is that the setup is very expensive. I'm self-employed, so while the upside is that I can buy whatever I want, the downside is that I have to pay for it. I haven't bee
  • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @11:54AM (#40220283) Homepage

    I'm currently working at my treadmill. I've clamped a cheap-ass particleboard shelf to the thing, and I walk at a nice relaxed 2-2.5 mph while I work. It holds my laptop, tablet, and phone, with plenty of room to spare for a beer. Works wonderfully. Granted, I'm not actually going anywhere, but it's an excellent way to get a long, easy, steady level of physical exercise in without actually impinging on your productivity one whit. Between this treadmill and carefully tracking my intake (using a Fitbit,) I've lost nearly [30 pounds|14 kilos] since January.

    As for mobility, we're beginning to hit the point where tablet apps can be used for real, if not necessarily heavy, work. Diet Coda is a good example. There's some nice connectivity out there, too: the company I work for uses Lync and Adobe Connect, both of which have surprisingly rich tablet apps available. If you do meetings and/or collaborative work, they're quite nice.

  • Here is an example in Orlando where I live. []

    You can adjust height and angle. I work on one similar to this and I stand all day. It was tiring at first but is great now. The tops are removable so you can customize it to your hearts content.

  • In REAMDE, one of Stephenson's character is a prolific writer who is constantly active. He litterally lives on a threadmill. Being rich, he works in a room equipped with an industrial robot that supports keyboard, displays, and a head-tracking camera so that the whole setup is bobbing exactly in synchronicity with his head and arms.

    I guess it *is* a solution. I'm just not sure anybody tried it for real yet.

  • Now Introducing Walking Workstations with 2x Brain Eating Power (tm)

  • A warm pool and a waterproof laptop?

  • As a developer who spends most of each day at the same desk in the same chair, I'm concerned about ergonomics and what I can do to keep my body from wasting away while I program.

    Our people here pretty much do the same thing. Hours on end in meetings or at a desk. Yet the fitness of the people varies wildly from morbidly obese, to triatheletes. Fixing your work situation may be part of the "wasting away" issue, but it's a small part. What you eat, and what you do during off hours in terms of exercise is likely to be a bigger part. As a desk jockey, you probably should be most concerned with repetitive stress disorders in the office, so your focus on ergonomics is good. Carpal

    • A lot of recent research, which I will unkindly not cite, since you can get it with the Google, says that, no matter how much cardio you get otherwise, sitting at a desk all day is trashing your heart. Something about chemical signals sent from inactive leg muscles.
  • Work on two computers at the same time, and have them be not near each other. While a command runs on the one, run to the other and do stuff there, and vice versa.

    Been there, done that, but not because for the exercise.

    • Work on two computers at the same time, and have them be not near each other. While a command runs on the one, run to the other and do stuff there, and vice versa

      Shop for RAM?

  • I have a treadmill at home; I have a laptop; I have wood and saws and clamps and stuff. Doesn't take much imagination to guess what I tried years ago.

    Results were it seems to be an almost stereotypical example of "sounds like a good idea but it doesn't work". I found walking made my arms/hands wiggle so much that mice/trackball were impossible, and even typing is hard. Also I stumbled a lot (insert jokes about can't chew gum and walk at same time here). Finally small detail is hard to see on a screen wh

  • The problem I've found with pacing-enabled programming or even reading is that if you're moving your body has a natural bob to it. What follows is that it is incredibly tiring to try to train your eyes on something smaller than a person on a screen. So while I can hop on an elliptical and watch TV, it's much more difficult to read and even more difficult to try to coordinate in a programming way. I have coworkers who use standing workstations that they can swivel to alternate to a sitting position and th
    • At work I'm allowed to walk around outside.

      Must not work for Foxconn...

      I commented on this years ago and still firmly believe that proper wrist exercises are necessary and probably the most important workout for my lifestyle

      You and me, both. Er, wait...

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @12:02PM (#40220415) Homepage Journal
    I've heard a number of folks tout the wonders of replacing your standard office chair with a big-ass inflatable ball.

    Wouldn't know myself, the cube farm I currently occupy has a standing ban on anything that might be construed as personality.
    • by aclarke ( 307017 )
      I'm sitting on a ball right now. it is great, and I find it much better than sitting on a chair all day. I have both and switch between them as I feel like it. I can definitely feel in my back (in a good way) after an hour or so that I've been sitting on the ball, so I know it's doing something. I'm sure if I used it more, the muscles would get more used to it.

      Anyway, I highly recommend it if you're able. If your workplace won't allow it, then they really suck, as it doesn't bother anyone else, it's
      • We recently received a memo that griddles are no longer allowed during food days, because someone complained about the smell of bacon cooking, so... yea. Suxxors.

        Working here reminds me of all the times I was told as a youth that when I became an adult, I would get to make my own decisions...
    • This. Just replace your chair with a gym ball. It's compatible with your desk yet keeps you from slouching. In the end you'll exercise your back all day long.

  • by Jahf ( 21968 )

    I've been using an Anthro (brand) Fit System (product line) Console unit (product name) for a few years now. As with other solutions posted already, you aren't going to get to walk with it, but it allows for quick switching between standing and sitting (the keyboard tray has a huge travel range). The product is rock solid after years and a couple of multi-state moves, so I am happy to endorse it.

    If your paying from your own budget, Anthro isn't cheap (I spent over $4000 on a console with 3 shelves and some

  • I believe the correct term for standing/walking workstations is ROBOT!!!

  • By itself, just standing is much better then sitting.

    If you want to mix it up a bit, set up a treadmill. But try one out first (before buying). Some people have complained that they can't type or aim a mouse/trackball properly while walking. You might also want to try out a recumbent stationary bicycle. The seat might hold your body steady enough to eliminate the trackball shakes.

  • If you're doing it to keep fit, wouldn't a stationary bike be easier? The motion of walking is much more difficult to compensate for. A bike would also be lower impact, which would be better for something you are doing for a long time.
  • You can only work while walking when you are a manager [].

  • I've been looking for a desk for the past several months and came to the conclusion that if I want something good I will have to build it.

    I currently have 6 monitors and plan on adding more and there aren't any computer desks big enough to handle them. I also wanted the ability be able to use it as a standing desk as well.

    I came up with a design to suit my needs but I haven't built it yet. Basically it is 2 desks. One is used for all of the monitors and the other is used for the keyboard, mouse, an
    • Look on Craigslist for a used professional drafting table. []

      They are counterbalanced to handle heavy desktops. You can easily take the desktop off and put your own customized one on. They are not only adjustable in height but angle as well.

      • These last forever. I have an old Neolt that I bought in the mid seventies. Still going strong. Heavy as hell. I've clamped some Anthro things (look above) to it for a large mostly standing workstation. Use a drafting chair for the times you need to sit still.

  • A year of standing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jbessie ( 325895 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @12:12PM (#40220569)

    I'm approaching a year at my standing desk. Here are the benefits I've noticed:

    - I've got more energy
    - I'm more productive, I don't seem to have that power down after lunch any more
    - Less loitering around my desk as people can't seem to stand for very long
    - Great conversation topic, people are extremely interested in the idea
    - The most surprising aspect of this has been that sitting has actually become a relaxing break. It feels great to take a load off and I feel much less lazy about going home and watching a show or two since I've been up all day.

    After some research I ended up using an Ikea Fredrik desk and it's worked quite well. [] I also picked up one of those anti-fatigue mats at Home Depot. It was too painful without it.

    Other developers here at the office are now planning to transition as well too. I'd encourage anybody to give it a shot. If you can make it past the first week or two of leg and foot pain you should be fine. It's not that bad and the benefits are worth it.

  • Just get your ass up and walk around for a couple of minutes (your break ?). Just go outside or walk around. Change your environment, the air, your surrounding for a couple of minutes, its free, relaxing and after a while, it will act like a drug. But you gotta start doing it and sometimes it acts like a car, it's slow to start this type of attitude, but once your doing it, you wont stop. besides, your boss cant make you work 12 hours non stop no break no lunch, that's just impossible and if thats the case
  • Get a balance exercise ball to replace your chair. Keep your chair for the first couple of months as it will take some time until your back is strong enough to sit on one for the entire day. In the end, the working position is just as comfortable as a chair but you spend a large part of the day working your core (not strenuously, but it adds up.)

    These [] are the ones that many people in my office have (adjust size according to your height.)

  • When you write software, write software. When you exercise, exercise, hopefully on a daily basis. Mixing the two will degrade each.
    • Not in my personal experience, which is all that is relevant to me.

      I switched from a regular desk to a standing desk and I've noticed that I have more energy throughout the day, less pain from things like sciatica, and feel the need to take fewer breaks. I've also noted that I am getting more work done in less time, and the work is generally the same to slightly higher quality by a number of metrics. My workday winds up being about an hour shorter than before, but I am a little more productive, basically.


  • Doctors sometimes use COWs (computer on wheels) in patient rooms instead of notepads and pocket references (or memory). This practice seems to be waning, since tablets and tablet applications have improved. And the pocket reference has already mostly given way to PDAs and now smartphones. Real hospital-grade COWs are hundreds of dollars, but if you feel it improves your health and productivity then it's not any more ridiculous than a high quality chair that suits your posture.
    • The big problem with COWS is privacy. The newer US regs make it illegal for anyone else to be able to see the screen. A laptop on wheels, especially with a newer screen, can be seen by bystanders which is a bozo no-no. The 'legal' COWS have flaps and doors and look essentially like a closet on wheels and are pretty useless and stupefyingly expensive (more than the laptop).

      Nurses liked them because they could hold various nurse gizmos like BP cuffs and thermometers.

      Tablets are going to replace this parti

  • The point is to give your brain a break and move your body. Working while standing will do neither and you'll only get half the benefits if walking.

    The best combination that I've found is work for 20 minutes then take a 3-4 minute break. During the break, do moderate exercises. My routine is 20 squats with 5lb weights, 6 burpees, 6 chin-ups, 20 jumping jacks and I finally run for the remaining time.

    I've been doing this for a few months now and not only do I feel great, my productivity has more than doubled.

  • Why do people keep dreaming of getting exercise from a desk job or of sitting in air-conditioned comfort while shovelling dirt?

    The very nature of those jobs dictate their sedentary/active styles. If you want exercise, join a gym.

    Personally the last thing I want in an office is some yahoo wandering around behind my desk, yapping on a bluetooth and tapping away at some tablet device because they want "freedom to move" while interrupting my ability to get work done.

  • As a developer who spends most of each day at the same desk in the same chair, I'm concerned about ergonomics and what I can do to keep my body from wasting away

    So you are the jerk that isn't showing up to the stand up meetings we have twice a day?

  • Here's my setup, I love it: Image on treadmill product page []
  • by whitroth ( 9367 )

    So, you want management to spring money for a treadmill, or whatever, in *addition* to your desk and chair? Just to add to the noise already, where so many jobsites are going for lower cube walls, because managers are enamored of "bullpens" (and how many of *them* don't have offices with doors)?

    No, what comes next is the old Dilbert cartoon: Velcro on our backs, and they'll stick us to the walls for cheaper office space.


  • I've had this for a couple of months and it has significantly changed my health for the better. []

    I have this setup next to my recliner. I use a splitter and dual monitor stands for both stations, so all I have to do is grab my wireless keyboard and trackball and move from one to the other.

    I found fine control of a mouse while using the treadmill to be very challenging. I would definitely recommend using a trackball.

  • I think within the next 10 years, this will be entirely possible. Medical researchers are making some great strides for mapping the brain and reading synapses firing from outside of the head. I think that as soon as it's practical, it'll be marketed like crazy, and it'll be a cheap technology very, very quickly. I think in 10 years we'll be thinking, instead of typing or using a mouse, and if you can program in your head as you walk/run, then sure, you'll be able to do it.

    Recent article with video []

  • The right way is to work about 20 minutes while sitting and then another 20 minutes while standing.

    For that you'll nedd one of those desks whose height can be adjusted easily on the fly. Just like ergonomical office chairs they are extremely expensive. I've had one when a was working at University in Scandinavia.

    • The right way is to work about 20 minutes while sitting and then another 20 minutes while standing.

      For that you'll nedd one of those desks whose height can be adjusted easily on the fly. Just like ergonomical office chairs they are extremely expensive. I've had one when a was working at University in Scandinavia.

      You know they make chairs that sit more than 20 inches off the ground, right? If it was OK for the desk to be mobile then why not just have the thing show up at my house every morning... Now THAT would be an improvement.

    • Or get multiple monitors, keyboards, and mice and set up two separate workstations connected to the same computer. Unless you already work with 3+ large monitors that will generally be considerably cheaper.

      You don't even really need the extra monitors - at my last job I simply re-purposed the top foot of a bookshelf into a standing workstation: set up an extra keyboard/mouse on a shelf at the proper height, and routed my monitor cable so I could easily move it back and forth between my desk and the top of

  • I got an Ergotron adjustable standing workstation earlier this year. I probably stand 4-6 hours a day and sit once my feet get tired. It was cheaper than the next cheapest adjustable standing desk by a factor of 2. I'm loving it. It clamps onto a regular desk and it has some internal counter weight so it glides up and down without fiddly cranks or buttons. []

    I got it after hearing that sitting all day, even for people w
  • Based on Joel Spolsky's suggestion [] I bought a details adjusTable. Being a heavy guy (nearly 400 lbs), I couldn't get their side-by-side setup with a flat treadmill, so I bought a heavy duty treadmill with the intent of hacking it together with the desk. If I had my time back, I think I'd just have bought the treadmill and one of these [].

    Having said that, there's a lot to be said for a standing desk with good quality lift and the ability to return to sitting position. You can multipurpose the desk for a lot

  • Also as someone who sits in a chair programming all day, I too have wondered. But my wonder was quite brief. I discovered the other side of things.

    I can easily, right now in five seconds, convert my desk into a standing desk. My monitor is a large 30" that telescopes, so it can orient appropriate for standing. Raising the keyboard and mouse, and grabbing a touch screen or air mouse is just as easy. But standing desks are great for 5 minutes of work. They royally suck for 5 hours of programming. After

  • Just stand up every 20 minutes, or take a short walk to get more Monster or RedBull every half hour and you eliminate 99.99876% of all the oogy boogies about how sitting will kill you instantly.

  • I bought a treadmill that was designed to handle running slowly all day long and which has a low profile to slide under my engineering workstation.

    I run it at about 1.5 mph all day long and it's very easy to type at that speed after a few days of acclimation.
    I imagine a job with quite a bit of mouse work would be a little more difficult, but my trackpad/wrist rest works fine.

    It's much easier on my body walking all day as opposed to sitting or standing. The first week I wore my usual hiking boots and was in

  • Move to the Delta Quadrant and become a Borg.
  • by WetCat ( 558132 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @02:43PM (#40222879)

    Install AIDE [] and go for a walk in a park with your phone, having your IDE handy with you. Or put your phone/pad to a treadmill in front of you.

  • I recently read an article about 6-8 months ago that revealed that sitting in a chair for more than 4 hours a day was as much of a risk to heart disease as a 2pack a day smoker. The article went on to say that even daily exercise did nothing to improve this issue. As programmers and high level IT persons, we are at significant risk of this problem. At work I threw out my office chair and replaced it with one of those Pilates/therapy balls, the large size. Until I can get a standing workstation, I want to at

  • Is that even possible? What if you are tired, sick, etc.?

  • I've been thinking lately that it would be great to be able to write while I walk: for me, walking makes it a lot easier to be creative. What I've been imagining is a heads-up display showing the text you're working on, and a chorded keyboard that you can operate with one or both hands at your side. No idea if that would ever be practical of course. Voice-to-text dictation would be an alternative to the keyboard, but I'd still want some sort of handheld controller that lets me choose alternate spellings

  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @04:58PM (#40225035) Homepage

    Standing desks are not good for you. Unfortunately neither are sitting desks if you sit too long. There's a good short look at the benefits and risks by the Cornell Ergonomics group.

    Here is the bottom line from the aforementioned article:

    Sit to do computer work. Sit using a height-adjustable, downward titling keyboard tray for the best work posture, then every 20 minutes stand for 2 minutes AND MOVE. The absolute time isn’t critical but about every 20-30 minutes take a posture break and move for a couple of minutes. Simply standing is insufficient. Movement is important to get blood circulation through the muscles. Research shows that you don’t need to do vigorous exercise (e.g. jumping jacks) to get the benefits, just walking around is sufficient. So build in a pattern of creating greater movement variety in the workplace (e.g. walk to a printer, water fountain, stand for a meeting, take the stairs, walk around the floor, park a bit further away from the building each day).

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.