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Walking Desks and Translation
Thread poster: Huw Watkins

Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:58
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
May 29, 2016

Hi Guys,

Over the years as a sedentary translator I have put on a lot of weight. And I mean a lot. I have actually doubled in size since I was a skinny 19-year-old. I put a lot of this down to 15 years or so working as a translator sat at a desk (coupled with an unhealthy lifestyle in general and age). It has got to the point now where even my hips are really starting to hurt in sitting position because of the weight I am carrying. Something has to change. I am therefore seriously considering a change to a walking desk set-up.

Are there any translators out there with experience with walking desks? If so, what's it like to type and do stuff like copy and paste?

I tend to use Studio and pre-translate my files with MT and then go through them re-translating each segment. I do this because of a wrist problem I developed about 5 or so years ago due to a poor typing technique and an old wrist break injury. I have also grown to like the productivity MT affords and the saving on legwork on terminology searches and especially the automatic insertion of numbers, dates, codes and tags - in fact this is probably more of a time saver than the terminology. (My other favourite plugins are the Web Search one and more recently the Terminotix one. I digress...) This obviously means quite a lot of precision cut and paste work in addition to typing in order to rearrange sentence structures. Some years ago I did experiment with Dragon Naturally Speaking with Studio, but found it a bit clunky, although certainly usable - just about. I also really didn't like the 'hidden typos' where it would recognise the incorrect word, insert that and was later hard to spot as spell check doesn't pick it up. It just made proof reading that much harder. I'm not sure how it would fare coupled with MT pretranslation, however I imagine it would work great with a walking desk type set-up to eradicate the typing.

I'd love to hear from translators who have taken the plunge with a walking desk. Also if they have any equipment recommendations then they would be most welcome.

Thanks guys!

Huw

[Edited at 2016-05-29 13:12 GMT]


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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Get a bike May 29, 2016

Equipment recommendations: get a bike. This is another option that will solve most of your concerns.

I've found the only way to survive days tied the to computer has been to spend mornings cruising on my bike.

Keeps you fit, switches your brain on, lets you be healthy, strong, active, lean and PRODUCTIVE!

No clue about the desk.

Regards and best wishes intended.

DJH


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 13:58
English to Croatian
+ ...
There were threads about this before. May 29, 2016

Probably searchable in this forum.

You may wanna try a Pilates ball as your chair, since you reporting a hip problem. Personally I haven't tried any walking desks but did try some other ergonomic "solutions", various types of chairs, etc.

IMO you shouldn't change the long hours in sitting position with another sitting position, such as bicycle or driving a car. I'd suggest walking, running, hiking, or swimming.

Also you may wanna try mouse foot pedal, personally I haven't tried it.

Even if you come to find your best ergonomic solution, you will still have to go out, take in some fresh air, walk and/or exercise. Also avoid sweets or get them out of your house while working.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:58
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Lose weight May 29, 2016

Huw Watkins wrote:

Hi Guys,

Over the years as a sedentary translator I have put on a lot of weight. And I mean a lot.


You don't need a walking desk. You need to lose weight. There's nothing you need to buy and there are no gizmos that will help you. And putting on weight has nothing to do with being a translator. It's your whole lifestyle that needs to be reorganised.

[Edited at 2016-05-29 15:35 GMT]


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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sort of tried it... May 29, 2016

I have also been really interested in this, Huw, as a solution to long periods of sitting. A while ago I tried standing simply by placing my keyboard and mouse on a pile of shoe boxes on my desk. I use a PC with a big screen so not ideal, obviously, but it did give me a good idea of what it might be like to do the whole walking desk thing. I have to say I really liked it. It, or rather my solution for it, was rather cumbersome and the mouse part didn't work too well either...and the screen wasn't at the right height, although that too was on a box.

I found I was tired from standing...quite honestly I think I would be less tired from walking. I hate just standing at the best of times. But I did find I could type and manoevre the mouse without difficulty which I think are your main concerns.

I would love to try the real deal walking desk but the treadmill I have would be difficult to adapt to the PC. A laptop would be a cinch I would think. The thing about the walking desk is that you are barely keeping your body in motion, it's not meant to be a workout. But just that constant movement is enough to take kilos off your bodyweight over a few months.

Let us know if you try it and how it works out.

Best.

[Edited at 2016-05-29 15:40 GMT]


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Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:58
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes I trued this too May 29, 2016

patyjs wrote:

I have also been really interested in this, Huw, as a solution to long periods of sitting. A while ago I tried standing simply by placing my keyboard and mouse on a pile of shoe boxes on my desk. I use a PC with a big screen so not ideal, obviously, but it did give me a good idea of what it might be like to do the whole walking desk thing. I have to say I really liked it. It, or rather my solution for it, was rather cumbersome and the mouse part didn't work too well either...and the screen wasn't at the right height, although that too was on a box.

I found I was tired from standing...quite honestly I think I would be less tired from walking. I hate just standing at the best of times. But I did find I could type and manoevre the mouse without difficulty which I think are your main concerns.

I would love to try the real deal walking desk but the treadmill I have would be difficult to adapt to the PC. A laptop would be a cinch I would think. The thing about the walking desk is that you are barely keeping your body in motion, it's not meant to be a workout. But just that constant movement is enough to take kilos off your bodyweight over a few months.

Let us know if you try it and how it works out.

Best.

[Edited at 2016-05-29 15:40 GMT]


I did exactly the same. I raised my monitors and keyboard and mouse using boxes and I really liked it too. But as you say, moving your legs and hips would be even better. I think I will definitely try it once I get back to the UK - I'm currently in the sticks abroad visiting family.


[Edited at 2016-05-29 16:27 GMT]


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Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:58
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Precisely the plan May 29, 2016

Tom in London wrote:

Lose weight




[Edited at 2016-05-29 16:21 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:58
Member (2008)
Italian to English
How to do it May 29, 2016

Huw Watkins wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

Lose weight




[Edited at 2016-05-29 16:21 GMT]


1. Eat a balanced, healthy diet, in moderation.
2. Take at least 40 minutes' energetic exercise every day.

That's all. You don't need to do anything else.


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Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:58
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Completely take your point May 29, 2016

Tom in London wrote:

Huw Watkins wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

Lose weight




[Edited at 2016-05-29 16:21 GMT]


1. Eat a balanced, healthy diet, in moderation.
2. Take at least 40 minutes' energetic exercise every day.

That's all. You don't need to do anything else.


My original post is certainly not an indictment of the profession of translation and I would not want people to come away with the impression that it is an unhealthy occupation. It has been my ill-management of my health and lifestyle that is largely to blame. I do, however, see the benefits of making a fundamental change with the one activity that has me most sedentary in my day-to-day life. Furthermore, I think there is a piercing truth in the axiom "sitting is the new smoking".

[Edited at 2016-05-29 16:57 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:58
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Smoking May 29, 2016

Huw Watkins wrote:

think there is a piercing truth in the axiom "sitting is the new smoking". [/quote]

If you also smoke, your path to self-destruction is straight ahead.

I have a very rich friend who thinks money can buy everything. She thinks she can stop smoking if only she could find the right way to spend money on it - something to buy, someone to pay....


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Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:58
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Nope May 29, 2016

Tom in London wrote:

Huw Watkins wrote:

think there is a piercing truth in the axiom "sitting is the new smoking".


If you also smoke, your path to self-destruction is straight ahead.

I have a very rich friend who thinks money can buy everything. She thinks she can stop smoking if only she could find the right way to spend money on it - something to buy, someone to pay.... [/quote]

I'm not rich and I quit smoking cold turkey about 8 years ago and never looked back. I think you are jumping to conclusions here Tom.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:58
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I can't see it as the solution, personally May 29, 2016

Tom in London wrote:
1. Eat a balanced, healthy diet, in moderation.
2. Take at least 40 minutes' energetic exercise every day.

I'm sure No1 has to happen at the same time. But I'm wondering if a treadmill desk is going to satisfy No2. I've heard that ambling all day doesn't do anything much for your general health, let alone help you lose weight. It uses a negligible number of calories. And setting the treadmill really fast to raise your heartbeat and use calories would surely wreck your concentration, wouldn't it? I mean, we read that a vast number of road accidents are caused by using mobile phones while driving. Surely walking fast and translating aren't compatible activities either.

It's got to be better to interleave work with some really serious exercise, surely.


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Huw Watkins  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:58
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
And yet, logic dictates that May 29, 2016

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
1. Eat a balanced, healthy diet, in moderation.
2. Take at least 40 minutes' energetic exercise every day.

I'm sure No1 has to happen at the same time. But I'm wondering if a treadmill desk is going to satisfy No2. I've heard that ambling all day doesn't do anything much for your general health, let alone help you lose weight. It uses a negligible number of calories. And setting the treadmill really fast to raise your heartbeat and use calories would surely wreck your concentration, wouldn't it? I mean, we read that a vast number of road accidents are caused by using mobile phones while driving. Surely walking fast and translating aren't compatible activities either.

It's got to be better to interleave work with some really serious exercise, surely.


Ambling along has got to burn more calories than sitting on your behind for 12 hours a day surely?

I don't think that I view the walking desk as a replacement for cardio. I see it more as a way to get my aching hips moving and to stop sitting down all day.

As an aside however, I have a pedometer app on my phone. I am not sure how accurate these things are, but I am always surprised by how many calories you burn in an hour's walk in the park. Sometimes as much as 400...

It also depends on what studies you read I think. But I think that most health care professionals agree that walking 10000 steps a day is very beneficial for your health.

Just a quick google:

"According to Harvard Medical School, someone who weighs 125 pounds will burn about 240 calories per hour walking at a slow pace of 3.5 miles per hour, which is a 17-minute mile, and burn about 270 calories walking one hour at a more brisk pace of 4 miles per hour, which is a 15-minute-mile."

and:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/20050617/slow-walks-burn-more-calories

[Edited at 2016-05-29 20:14 GMT]


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patyjs  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:58
Spanish to English
+ ...
Informative article: May 29, 2016

You might find this helpful if you do think about buying:

http://www.cnet.com/news/my-life-with-a-treadmill-desk-e-mail-and-browsing-at-2-mph/

As I mentioned above, the idea is not to workout as such, but just to keep moving.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:58
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Hmmm... May 29, 2016

Huw Watkins wrote:
"According to Harvard Medical School, someone who weighs 125 pounds will burn about 240 calories per hour walking at a slow pace of 3.5 miles per hour, which is a 17-minute mile, and burn about 270 calories walking one hour at a more brisk pace of 4 miles per hour, which is a 15-minute-mile."

But someone who weighs 125 pounds is very unlikely to be obese unless they're extremely short. And then there's this:
https://www.sharecare.com/health/calories/brain-calories-at-rest
It says "The human brain is responsible for roughly 20% of our total calories burned each day, which is pretty amazing when you think about it! To put this in perspective, if your total calorie burn for the day is 2000, then approximately 400 of those calories burned will be from brain activity" and "Studies suggest complex exercises that challenge your ability to balance, move in different directions, and at faster speeds force your mind to work harder by engaging multiple parts of the brain."

This is in line with what I believe to be true, though of course you need to research further. But I really don't think that slowly, rhythmically, mindlessly moving your legs back and forth is going to do much for weight loss. And until you've got some weight off your joints and toned up your muscles then doing repeated movements hour after hour, particularly in your lower body with your weight on it, is most likely to produce strains and then tendinitis etc.

But I'm not a medical person. I'm also fortunate enough never to have been remotely overweight.


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