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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My standing desk

A while ago my son in New York emailed me and asked me what I thought of standing desks. 

If you have been following it there have been a fair number of articles around lately on how sitting down all day is not all that great for you.

For most of us who spend part of our days at least at a computer, as he does in his office, this is something to think about. 

That of course also includes me in my work, teaching, blogging, blog reading, and general online cruising.

So I decided to implement my own standing desk and see how it went. 

What you see above is my cutting table, up on shelves to bring it to my height (my husband cut holes part way in the top of the shelves so the legs wouldn't slip) with my laptop on an ancient portable ironing board I had kicking around. I have a rubber mat on the floor in front of it and wear comfy shoes for this operation.

And yes that is a rack of old surf boards on the wall. My cutting table isn't in my actual sewing room but in another room in the basement where there is general storage. And those are my pattern drawers underneath.

The little shelves are great for putting one foot up on to break up the standing part.

My verdict after a couple of weeks of use. 

I love it. 

OK full disclosure here I decided to try this after I read that some woman had lost 5 pounds just by standing to read her email over a couple of months- that clinched it for me.

Here is why I like it:

  • It wakes me up when I have to mark first thing in the morning and that's the last thing I want to do. Up and at 'em is more true than down and slumping.
  • I completely don't notice I am standing once I get going and I move around a lot while I do it. This is good if you are a fidgety person like I am.
  • It is on my cutting table so I have something relevant laid out when I need a break.
  • Like I open an email about some kind of work related crisis and I am just not into it, and I can look across my table and maybe cut out a facing or two to build up my strength.
However to date I have put on a few pounds. There is more room for snacks at this table.

And my son's office has still not produced a standing desk for him. Maybe they are too expensive. Perhaps I should send that Manhattan law office my ironing board version for inspiration.

What do you think?


Cennetta said...

I think this is a splendid idea and hope to implement something similar. Plus I would love to lose 5 pounds. :-)

annie said...

What I thought was that you had taken up skate-boarding. Glad to know it was only surf-boarding. Now that might take off 5 pounds!

Bunny said...

I always serge standing up. Who knows why? When I am sewing things that require me to return to my nearby cutting table I stand to sew. I am short, not like you Barb, and it gives me a better field of vision.

LinB said...

I serge standing up because there isn't room to squeeze a chair in front of the serger, lol. A co-worker advocated a standing desk. He also drank Ensure to help him maintain his slim figure. Carl is gone, now, to a better place. (He's not dead, he just got a better job.)

Pearl said...

A friend of mine has a desk which can be used either sitting, or standing; the desktop moves on motorized legs. She injured her back a number of years ago, and when it acts up, she raises the desk up to standing height.

I would love to have one at work. They are expensive, but I envision a day when all offices will have them.

Oh - one thing my friend got that really helped as well, was an anti-fatigue mat; if you're going to keep your current setup, I would recommend getting one, as it will help your feet.

Anonymous said...

I built my cutting table on top of Closet Maid mesh drawer units so it is standing hight. It has become my work surface of choice for just about everything I do - sewing related as well as writing and planning.

Lois K

a little sewing said...

I've had the same experience - sitting all day is awful.
I have a pressing table and a cutting table, both high enough for standing. And, like you, I have my cutting table in a different room. I really like having it separated because that is the messiest part of sewing (for me, anyway) and I can shut the door on it.

Judith said...

This is fantastic!!! I also teach, and blog hop/surf/stalk in my spare (ha, ha) time. Standing for a change would give my numb buns a break...

Andrea said...

I like it! i have a standing desk/cutting table/sewing counter in my studio. I often like to stand and sew, peruse patterns, etc. If I need to sit, I have a bar stool handy. Standing seems to remind me to stretch more often.

Erika said...

I love to stand and work - it's the best for when I feel sleepy, for me that's mid-afternoon - but I don't want to stand all the time. I used to put my computer up on a copy-paper box, but then I got a keyboard tray (the kind that attaches under your desk) that rises all the way to standing height. Fab!! Now I can move up and down as I want to. When I'm standing I put music on and that encourages me to move just a little. It's an amazing mood lifter. I was shocked to find out how much the beneficial effect was on my mood.

velosewer said...

I stand when I'm at home on my laptop and also when I'm cutting out or pinning.
At work I do stand when I'm proofing on the screen. It literally gives me another perspective.

Patricia said...

Thank you to all who responded here. Years ago I had a portable cardboard cutting table that was tall. I loved it, through unfortunate circumstances I no longer have it and have been looking for a solution. You ladies and given me lots of ideas, thank you so much.