Standing Desk and Glute Activation

Please excuse the mess! This is my desk:

Standing Desk

I kinda wanted it all prettied up before I showed it on the Internet but I’m realizing in life that it’s okay to move forward even if things are not perfect.

I’ve mentioned in a few posts that I’ve been using a standing desk. First, I’d like to go over the reasons I implemented this, then I’ll talk about how I set mine up.

Reasons for using a Standing Desk

Glute activation

Nothing turns off glutes like sitting. This is the single most important reason we should all get up off our butts! We are simply not meant to be chair shaped! If I could pull you all up right now, I’d do it! Look around at rear ends nowadays. Anyone who has some meat back there is very likely overweight. Anyone who is at a healthy BMI very likely has a totally flat backside. This is not how we are meant to be and it’s not healthy. I’ve only just gotten my glutes woken up and working in the last 6 months. I’ll have to post some pictures soon so you all can see what I’ve been up to! Standing has been a large part of this program. Get up!

Posture

Sitting and slumping is terrible for your posture! Learning to stand without pain keeps most of your body engaged and helps strengthen the muscles that improve your posture. I’ve tried muscling my way to good posture by simply holding shoulders back and all that but it’s tiring if the muscles haven’t yet built up the strength and endurance and it just never seemed to work for me. When I’m sitting, my abs and glutes are completely relaxed. Standing: Not so much!

Neck Pain

Sitting on office chairs hurts my neck. I guess I could invest in a $2000 office chair. Or, I could get off my butt. The latter was free. You do the math.

Activity Level

I tend to be a rather sedentary person. I tried wearing a pedometer so I’d learn to take 10K steps a day but in fact, I just never really got there. I now simply make it my goal to not sit so darned much. I’m on my feet for hours and ┬áhours every day doing chores or standing at my computer. It’s perhaps not ideal, but in this age of technology, it’s better than sitting.

Strength

This is hard to admit but a few years ago, I had gotten so weak and my energy levels were so low that I could barely stand up. I never ever want to go there again. Even as fit as I now am, it took me a few months to work up to standing most of the time. I still keep the Ikea barstool handy in case I want to sit, but it’s a tad low and causes shoulder pain so I’m up again pretty quickly.

Sciatic pain

I have finally figured out what’s going on for me. When I sit, somehow, my piriformis muscle pushes on my sciatic nerve and I get tingling pains down the leg which keep me up most of the night for about two weeks at a trot when this little ugly problem crops up. I’ve kinda sorta known for over a decade that sitting was causing this issue but now I am 100% certain that too much sitting is just plain bad for me.

How I set up my Standing Desk

I googled and saw all sorts of ways to throw money on this project but in the end, I thought it wise to try it out and have a method I could easily back out in case I hated it. I started with 2 storage bins. Yes, they’re full of stuff. That’s why they’re called storage bins. I put one under the monitor and the other under the keyboard.

This was a great starter solution and helped me realize the desk would work for me. And I could easily take the keyboard off the bin if I wanted to sit. I realized I was slouching a fair bit so I swapped out the monitor’s platform for a sideways wooden drawer from an old dresser. I took the wardrobe door of that same dresser and put it across the keyboard bin. A small shelf would work just as well but this was kicking around. This gave me a more level surface and room for my mouse and cat. Yeah, usually my cat is actually on my mouse. Rather annoying but fetchingly cute.

A stuffed lion leaned up against my monitor completed the look and I’m done! You’ll notice I have wrist pads for both the keyboard and the mouse. I highly recommend looking into the ergonomics of your working situation. Little, inexpensive items like this can make a big difference.

The messy pile of books is entirely optional.

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