Yesterday, Valentine's Day, was our first anniversary. Lance and I ran off and got hitched on Valentine's Day last year, so he, being married to a writer, made up the new term, Valeversary for our day. And it was wonderful and we are blissfully happy. But that's not the point of this post. The point of this post is to tell you about my gift.
My gorgeous hunk of hubby got me a walking desk. He bought separate components after doing lots of research. First, a Jarvis adjustable electric desk base that raises up and down to whatever height you want and the touch of a button. He didn't like the desktop offered with it, so he just got the base, and then made the surface from a table we had stored as we didn't have a spot for it. It's a pretty table, and it's big, and it matches the other furniture.
So that was the desk part of the equation. Then he got me a flat Lifespan brand treadmill made to go underneath a standing desk. It goes from 1 to 4 mph, which is plenty. He set it all up for me yesterday at my downstairs work area, which is where I do email, social media, finances, PR, blog posts–everything except writing novels.
Now let me tell you the results. I'm writing this post with the treadmill on. I got my email this morning that way too. And in just that amount of time, time I used to spend sitting, I've walked almost 5000 steps. I've been wearing a pedometer wrist band thingie (I've had Fitbit and Jawbone, and one's about as good as the other) and struggling to get 10,000 steps a day into my life. I average around 7000 on busy days, and under 5000 on days when I'm getting a lot of writing done. However, now, today, 5000 steps just while doing my online routine, stuff I do every single day. Add that to my normal daily average and I'm going to be getting way more than 10,000 steps a day.
Recently, I've been dealing with some pretty nasty back pain issues. I'm done everything from the Pete Egoscue method in the PAIN FREE book series, to massage therapy, to the chiropractor, all of which helped. But nothing helped as much as the decision to write standing up. Since I've stopped spending hours and hours per day seated at a desk, the pain has eased up immensely. I'm working out 5 to 6 days a week, and it's not hurting my back at all since I've been writing standing up. However, I've been doing this by stacking my monitor, mouse and keyboard up on piles of large books. (Fortunately, books are plentiful in this household.)
And I've said several times, you know as long as I'm standing up at the desk, I could be walking at the desk and getting double the benefit. Which is what inspired my guy to get such perfect gifts for me.
Sitting, say the health pundits, is the new smoking. People who sit at desks for hours on end, die younger, have more illnesses, and more musculoskeletal problems than those who do not. Here's a great article about the harm sitting does to our bodies.
I just know this is going to change my life. Every time I have any sort of health challenge, it always results in me being forced to do things that will make me way healthier than I was before it. Every single time. This will be no different.
I'll still spend 2 hours a day, give or take, composing fiction in my upstairs workspace. I'll do it standing up. (Still stacks of books on that desk.) I'm loving this new setup so much that I'll soon upgrade to a standing desk up there too, and maybe add a second treadmill underneath. And as a result, I'm going to live forever. 😉
So for all writers, and all of you who spend hours a day at a desk, raise your desk to waist height or so, and start working standing up. This can be done for free (as I've been doing with the book stacks) if you have an innovative mind. Adding the treadmill is something I very strongly recommend as well. That can be pricey, but it's nothing compared to the extra years you're going to add to your life.
For more info: this infographic is from http://metro.co.uk/2012/10/04/could-sitting-around-doing-nothing-really-be-as-bad-for-us-as-smoking-592637/ If it's too small to read here, there's a link there for a larger size.