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Your lifestyle, your quirk
By now, pretty much everyone at StyleQuirk has heard about my computer problems (possibly because I insist on documenting them and then being offended when they don’t resolve themselves). I’m not completely bereft of computers; I have a working laptop that I’ve been using while I try to fix the big guy. Therein begins our story.
For practical reasons, I don’t like using the laptop at the desk – the desk itself isn’t ergonomic to start with, and running the laptop on it just leads to hurting wrists and elbows. I also didn’t want to be working from the couch, though, because…well, because my couch has a life-sucking force and I end up falling asleep when I try working there.
Besides the whole pain vs. sleepiness thing, a good friend of mine is a personal trainer, and she raised an eyebrow at me when she tried to teach me a specific workout move. I tried it…my muscles locked up.
She sent me her Disapproving Friend Stare. “You sit too long,” she said.
She was right, of course. The beastly desktop made it easy to sit, and sit I did.
With the beast out of commission and my thigh muscles apparently desperately in need of some stretching, I took the laptop to the little-used kitchen, stuck it on my gaudy blue tiling, and worked standing up.
I have to look down to see the screen, which isn’t ideal, but the countertop does put it at a perfect height for typing. I can type for hours without getting sore. I can also squirm around, fidget, dance around, turn to look out the window, pretend I’m a rock star when “It’s My Life” comes on, and all those other things you do when you’re standing around.
I’ve been doing this for a steady week and a half now.
My feet hurt for the first couple of days, but now they’ve gotten used to it. But that’s not the big deal here.
My pants are looser.
I generally consider myself to be in decent shape, but there’s been some definite weight loss. I haven’t changed my routine any – in fact, I ate terribly this last weekend, so if anything the pants should be tighter – but there you have it. It’s not just one specific pair, either. I tried on multiple pairs last night, and then, tonight, after dinner, I hopped into a pair that hasn’t fit me since last summer.
Still a bit snug, but they fit. If this keeps up, they might well be loose by next week.
Have I done it? Have I stumbled upon the weight loss secret that will do amazing things for our society? I can’t say specifically where the weight was lost from; I’m guessing hips and maybe my thighs. Every woman’s dream, right?
Energized, I did what any writer in my position would do: I searched for “standing vs. sitting.”
This New York Times blog gathers a whole bunch of articles about the subject. This one’s particularly scary – stop sitting, now! Further searches suggest that yes, you do burn more calories while standing, partially because you’re using different muscles, but also because you’re apparently more inclined to fidget and move around when you’re standing. I can vouch for this. I’m dancing around right now to Nightwish’s “Planet Hell” as I type.
(Yes, I can type and dance at the same time. WHO KNEW?)
Is it sustainable for the long term? I don’t know. I do like to sit down at the big desktop, especially when I’m doing hardcore editing work. Writing is fine while standing – I think I write a bit faster, actually – but sometimes it’s easier to sit. I’m sure a happy medium is the way to go; like my mother says, everything in moderation.
Give it a try, if you’re so inclined. See if it works for you. I make no guarantees, but I’m happy as a clam, and sitting down feels like a reward again, rather than punishment for my rump.
In the meantime, my jeans are looser, and I’m going to celebrate…by doing a happy dance.