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Working at standing desk
Thread poster: xxxToon Theuwis
xxxToon Theuwis  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 16:58
English to Dutch
+ ...
Sep 7, 2016

I've been trying to translate at a standing desk for 2 days, after having heard this would have many benefits. My conclusion after 2 days:

- I find myself less productive
- less focused
- head ache
- feet ache

I had no problems before, but I wanted to have less of a sitting job. So I find it has brought me no comfort. Should I keep on trying or should I give up? Maybe this is just not for everyone. After all, I'm no Ernest Hemingway, Philip Roth or Winston Churchill, all of whom presumably wrote at standing desks. Alternating between sitting and standing up is difficult, since I have a second and wide monitor that is difficult to move.

I paid attention to the height of the desk (elbow or little below elbow height) and my 2 screens.

I was used to standing up practically all day as a teacher a couple of years ago. (and just for the record, I'm not overweight)

Any suggestions or experiences to share?

Thanks


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:58
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
get an adjustable one! Sep 7, 2016

Toon Theuwis wrote:

I've been trying to translate at a standing desk for 2 days, after having heard this would have many benefits. My conclusion after 2 days:

- I find myself less productive
- less focused
- head ache
- feet ache

I had no problems before, but I wanted to have less of a sitting job. So I find it has brought me no comfort. Should I keep on trying or should I give up? Maybe this is just not for everyone. After all, I'm no Ernest Hemingway, Philip Roth or Winston Churchill, all of whom presumably wrote at standing desks. Alternating between sitting and standing up is difficult, since I have a second and wide monitor that is difficult to move.

I paid attention to the height of the desk (elbow or little below elbow height) and my 2 screens.

I was used to standing up practically all day as a teacher a couple of years ago. (and just for the record, I'm not overweight)

Any suggestions or experiences to share?

Thanks


I think the key to happily using a standing desk is getting one that is adjustable. I've had mine now for a couple of months, and am slowly increasing my standing time, and switch between standing and sitting many times during the day. This is the one I got (which I am very happy with): http://www.posturite.co.uk/desks-furniture/height-adjustable-standing-desks/deskrite-500-writing.html

deskrite_500_writing_1

Some things are better done standing, while others are better done sitting, and it is very important to be able to switch between the two quickly and easily. I push a button and my desk moves up or down, in literally 10 seconds or less.

Michael

[Edited at 2016-09-07 15:21 GMT]


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Texte Style
Local time: 16:58
French to English
Victor Hugo too actually Sep 7, 2016

I don't understand the point of a standing desk really, but then I have circulation problems that mean I can't stand for very long.
What I've seen at the French post office is that workers are definitely quicker at going to fetch your registered letter or parcel when they don't have to heave themselves out of a chair, that's not your problem as a translator. It perhaps can encourage you to move around a bit as you mull over a particular term. I often take my coffee into the garden when I need to do this and a change of scenery often helps.
When you were a teacher, did you walk about in the classroom a lot or mostly stand by the blackboard?

How about finding a bar stool you can resort to if you find your concentration flagging or aches setting in?


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xxxToon Theuwis  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 16:58
English to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
As a teacher I walked around mostly indeed Sep 7, 2016

But that is not an option as a translator. Now I am just standing still, really. I think that next time I see a human statue in the streets, I will throw in an extra coin.

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Jan Truper
Germany
Local time: 16:58
Member (2016)
English to German
+ ...
adjustable 2 Sep 7, 2016

I also recommend a motorized adjustable one. I got one a few years ago from a large Swedish company (with a questionable tax avoidance strategy) for around 500 EUR. It helps my back tremendously to regularly switch between sitting on a chair, standing and sitting on a Gymnastics ball.

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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:58
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
I can even translate while walking around in my office (with Dragon)! Sep 7, 2016

Yes, a bar stool is definitely also a good idea! I use mine a lot when I have my desk in its standing position. I think the key here is to move around as much as possible and change positions. One thing I also really like about my current setup is that Dragon NaturallySpeaking is so much more fun when you are standing, because it allows you to translate (dictate) while walking around in front of your desk, which has definitely been an amazing experience!

Some people also insist that you need a standing mat, but I have very thick carpet here in my office (I live in the UK, were people just love carpet!), and haven't had a problem yet.

Michael

[This post was dictated using Dragon Professional Individual 15. Please excuse any typos!]


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 16:58
English to Croatian
+ ...
Just change body positions in any way that's comfortable to you. Sep 7, 2016

You are comparing standing while teaching in classroom and doing desk/computer work - not comparable I'm afraid. The latter is much more static. In the former you will be moving around, your eye movement span will be wider, your neck movement will be more intense, and much more, you'll be even blinking more and having deeper breaths (without realizing it).

(This post was typed while lying on my belly on two comfy yoga mats, and one large memory foam pillow. Feels like Thai massage). But I will probably be changing the position soon, maybe going back to the desk.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 22:58
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
An alternative Sep 8, 2016

Toon Theuwis wrote:

I had no problems before, but I wanted to have less of a sitting job. So I find it has brought me no comfort. Should I keep on trying or should I give up? Maybe this is just not for everyone. After all, I'm no Ernest Hemingway, Philip Roth or Winston Churchill, all of whom presumably wrote at standing desks. Alternating between sitting and standing up is difficult, since I have a second and wide monitor that is difficult to move.


I understand your purposes of such working gestures. But do not forget that translation requires high degree of concentration and relaxation at the same time.
In my situation, I switched to standing positions when my sitting positions were too long. Health status should have had signaled me when to change the gestures to avoid "office syndrome" etc.

Soonthon L.


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Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:58
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...


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No real position at all Sep 8, 2016

I am translating sitting/hanging on a chair, or even standing in front of it, but what really helps is Tai Chi. I don't have the experience of a "standing up desk", but when I do loose my concentration, I do a round of Tai Chi, and feel as "rebourne".

This works for me, but what I want to say is that everybody has to find his/her own way to relax during work. This is my way, but there are many others.


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 16:58
English to Russian
+ ...
Another option Sep 8, 2016

Can't say anything about standing desks, but can recommend a less radical solution with similar benefits for your posture - a kneeling chair. I have one and use it in alternation with a conventional office chair.



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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 16:58
English to Croatian
+ ...
I also tried the kneeling chair. Sep 8, 2016

I tested many different ergonomic chairs and solutions. I found the kneeling chair to be helpful, but some other people complained of knee pains after using it. Either these people were overweight forcing big weight/pressure into the knees or they just used it for too long in one go.

There's also a saddle chair. Usually if you ask orthopedic specialists to give you their opinion they will say the most anatomical position to sit in is the jockey or saddle position.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:58
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Also tried kneeling chair, use a good office chair Sep 9, 2016

I had a kneeling chair for a couple of years, but with time I found it less practical (and less comfortable) than a good office chair. I found that the kneeling chair effectively kept my knees in a fixed position for a long time and this made my torso rather immobile too, apart from the discomfort in the knees after many hours of use.

For some years already, I use a premium office chair with lumbar support, automatic movement/adjustment of seat based on the position of the backrest, and arms, but one additional feature that I find fascinating: the seat pivots slightly to all sides along with my movements (when I sit back, or lean to the front or to the sides...), and makes my back move and exercise a bit during the day, thus making my back a bit stronger and reducing discomfort at the end of a 12-hour working day.

Rather than standing or even walking on a treadmill while working, I find it more comfortable and productive to invest in a good chair and learn how to adjust it properly (professional office furniture always enjoy explaining regulation and the benefits or their chairs).


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:58
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
interesting Sep 9, 2016

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I had a kneeling chair for a couple of years, but with time I found it less practical (and less comfortable) than a good office chair. I found that the kneeling chair effectively kept my knees in a fixed position for a long time and this made my torso rather immobile too, apart from the discomfort in the knees after many hours of use.

For some years already, I use a premium office chair with lumbar support, automatic movement/adjustment of seat based on the position of the backrest, and arms, but one additional feature that I find fascinating: the seat pivots slightly to all sides along with my movements (when I sit back, or lean to the front or to the sides...), and makes my back move and exercise a bit during the day, thus making my back a bit stronger and reducing discomfort at the end of a 12-hour working day.

Rather than standing or even walking on a treadmill while working, I find it more comfortable and productive to invest in a good chair and learn how to adjust it properly (professional office furniture always enjoy explaining regulation and the benefits or their chairs).


Which chair do you have?

Michael


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:58
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Several options Sep 9, 2016

I don't imagine it would do anyone any good to stand all day. Varying positions is what works for me. Is your standing desk one that can be adjusted? I was initially very cynical about them but having found it increasingly uncomfortable to sit for long periods, I decided to get a Varidesk and it's been excellent. I now alternate between a good quality office chair and a Swiss ball when sitting and then raise the Varidesk and stand for an hour or two a day.

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Catherine Howard
United States
Local time: 10:58
Portuguese to English
+ ...
consider 2nd set of laptop accessories Sep 11, 2016

This is a great topic to discuss. I was recently told by a physical therapist that, to solve back problems, I had to start alternately between sitting and standing throughout the day, as well as breaking up my long exercise periods into shorter, more frequent ones.

I compared the total costs of two options: 1) keep my current computer set-up (laptop, docking station, keyboard, 2 large monitors) and buy a mechanized adjustable desk, or 2) get a second set of accessories (docking station, keyboard, and at least one monitor) for my single laptop and have each set on furniture I already have.

In my case, given how expensive the adjustable desks are, versus how cheap accessories have become, the second option was much more cost-effective for me. The cost comparison may vary in different countries, so don't take my experience as universal.

I also got a very cheap standing mat made of soft, delightfully squishy rubber, which I found to be so comfortable for my feet that I got a couple more for my kitchen.

Hope these tips help.


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