I don’t always sit down at work, but when I do, it’s in the bathroom.
Being a programmer is hard on the body. Given, there’s not a lot of risk of slicing a finger off, or breaking a leg, but programmers don’t exactly have swimmer’s abs either. What tends to go wrong for the common fellow nerd who spends hour after hour exercising his or her brain rather than their body?
- Weight issues - This one is easy pickings. When you sit for 12 - 14 hours a day, your body goes into hibernation mode. You pile on the fat faster than working at McDonald’s.
- Cardiovascular difficulties - Being on your ass all day doesn’t do much for your heart, except break it because of weight issues (see above). Another negative factor is that your heart slows and weakens, becoming more vulnerable to disease. Also, your leg falls asleep a lot.
- Back trouble - That 90 degree position isn’t going to bode well on your lower back. In fact, I can’t think of any woman who would be excited about having you complain about how your back hurts during sex.
- Fatigue - Everyday you think to yourself, “After work, I’m going to exercise, ask that cute girl in accounting out to dinner, and sign up for salsa classes.” When work is finally over, all you think is, “but I am le tired.” Then, of course, you go home and browse Reddit all night.
Luckily, I work for a great company (Eventbrite), and because they recognize that I’m only fun to be around when I’m not slowing dying a pathetic office death, they decided to buy a stand-up work desk. I’ve been using it for two months now. Here are my results:
- I’ve lost 10 pounds. I always considered myself to be an engineer still in touch with society. I go to the gym. I run. I snowboard. I dance in my boxers and socks on my hardwood floor. But I’ve always been a little overweight right in the gut area (way too much beer). Standing has really helped me bring that problem area under control. I am now able to see 4 of the 6 abs underneath, and I’m sure if I keep up the pace, I’ll be back to the incredible level of sexiness I was back in college. Unfortunately, standing all day can’t fix my face.
- I feel like I just had a cup of coffee - all the time. Truth be told, I still have a coffee in the morning because I’m real, yo. However, during the rest of the day, I’m energized, and focused. I’m able to plow through tedious tasks and emails while still maintaining intellectual composure enough to carefully work on the complex problems that arise during software development.
- I’m simply more comfortable. Because of the increased energy level, it doesn’t take incredible effort to get off my ass and go to the bathroom, get a drink, or sneak in an epic game of ping pong.
- People think I’m smarter, but really I’m just more confident. I’m no longer achy and slow-moving, so I am innately more coordinated and quicker to respond correctly. This is a great trick. When I go to meetings or answer my co-workers questions, my brain seems to have all the blood it needs to properly and quickly articulate what I mean to say. No stuttering or social faux pas, just candid eye contact, an exchanging of words, and off I go to finish what I need to get done. I walk away and they think, stunned, “That man has beautiful green eyes.”
- I’m a machine. After work, I work out, drink beer with my friends, build iOS apps for my side projects, learn foreign languages, go dancing, see shows, and more. These were once only weekend activities. Now I do them every night. I might come home and cuddle up with my iPad and Netflix once a week, but no more than that.
Wait a minute. It’s great, and there are no drawbacks? That’s not entirely true. There are a couple problems with standing all day. Your feet will hurt the first few days, mostly because you’re just not used to it. My protip is to buy comfortable shoes, or if you have a hardwood floor like I do, just put a really shaggy rug under your desk. The other problem is that people will constantly ask you why your desk is so tall. I just put a sign on my desk that says, “My office is always open to you if you ever want to talk about how you can get the fuck out of my office.”
Seems to work.
Now I’m thinking about getting a treadmill desk.Sharing is caring -
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