Standing Desk

Our seating is not ideal for a 50 hour work week.

We’ve been sitting face to face at the booth in our Airstream for the past year and a half and we both complain from time to time about how uncomfortable it is, but then just carry on.

I usually shift around from sitting on my feet to raise me up closer to the table, to sitting on one ankle, to sitting like a normal person. I think the one ankle position has shot my hip, because this week its developed a sporadic piercing pain and everything is numb from my butt to my knees.

I’ve read a bunch of articles over the last few years about standing desks, and I actually knew someone who did that at my job a long time ago and I thought she was a real weirdo. Well, yesterday I couldn’t stand sitting anymore.

I moved my laptop to the counter and tried putting various books and boxes under it to find a good height and I stood for the rest of the day. I don’t know how long this will last, but for now I can’t imagine sitting again, or at least until I get the feeling back in my butt. Though, according to what I’ve read it seems like a mix of the two will be the best remedy.

Do you stand at your desk? I’m assuming if you do, you like it. I’d love to hear about it. Also I’d love to hear from any RV’ers with standing desks on the road.

– Time Magazine: The Dangers of Sitting at Work — and Standing
– Chicago Tribune: Sedentary office workers try standing desks
– Life Hacker: One Year at My Standing Desk

2013 Cost of Camping:
14 nights paid camping
50 nights free camping
Total spent on camping this year: $407.75
Daily average cost of camping: $6.37

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  • Reply Laura Domela March 6, 2013 at 7:24 am

    You probably saw…we just changed to standing desks at home last weekend. I’ve had one at my studio for a few years, too. Love it! Right now at home I’ve got my little trampoline in front of my desk and I’ve been standing on that while I wait for the cushy mats to get here. (I’ll post a photo later of that whole operation!). Whole thing’s got me concerned how it’ll be when we are back on the road, sitting at the dinette to work again! 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer March 6, 2013 at 7:47 am

    My favorite place to work in the Airstream is sitting on the bed — propped up with big pillow behind me, legs stretched out front, lap desk on my lap with the laptop on that. It works great. So great, in fact, that I bought a chaise lounge to work on at home in the same position. I can definitely see the benefits of standing, but haven’t tried it. The Airstream dinette doesn’t work for me because my legs are too short and so my feet don’t rest all the way on the ground — very irritating!

    • Reply Leigh March 6, 2013 at 8:26 am

      Brian worked from the bed for 2 years in our old trailer!

  • Reply Rick Wetzel March 6, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Maybe you could create a outdoor work space, under your awning, either standing or sitting.

    • Reply Leigh March 6, 2013 at 9:12 am

      Good idea. We’d need this:

      (I used to knit with the owner’s wife)

      • Reply Kerri March 14, 2013 at 6:12 pm

        I made a collapsible hood out of black foam core. Which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve ever used it since we started this “trip”! (I used to use it on my porch in the stick house). I’ve got to get outside more on workdays!

  • Reply robin March 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

    my boss has a treadmill desk. wish i could figure out how to post pic. he is big believer in moving around alot. bad for you to sit for extended periods of time. walks veeeerrrrry slowly. just keeps moving…

    • Reply Leigh March 6, 2013 at 10:52 am

      That’s awesome, I saw one recently online. Too bad it wouldn’t fit in our space! xo

      • Reply David & Mary Lawson March 6, 2013 at 11:30 am

        Could you develop your work station which would allow you to either sit or stand–depending on how you felt?

        I say this because my graphics art career involved using a drafting table with a tall padded drafting stool (with good lumbar support) which was also the correct height to allow me to stand and work as well.

        Worked great for manual drafting “back in the dark ages” and then morphed into a cool computer workstation.

        Hmm, maybe time to upgrade again–to an even longer Airstream, to have room for such a setup? The Flying Cloud 30 footer has just the perfect spot for a desk.

        I’m sure you’d have many buyers for the cool setup you’ve already invested in your 27 footer . . . heck, Mary and I might even want to sell our stock 27FB Flying Cloud and buy yours!

        Just a thought . . .

        • Reply Leigh March 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm

          Oh don’t tempt me! The day we took delivery, I said to the sales guy I really would have liked to merge the 28 foot living area with the 27 foot bedroom and he said to me “We probably could have done that.”

        • Reply Kerri March 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm

          Ideal scenario: hydraulic center leg for the dinette table – it could lower to convert to the sofa (instead of the unruly unhook-and-swing-out hing thing), and raise to standing height. Hmmmm…

          • Leigh March 15, 2013 at 7:26 am

            That’s a good idea, though we’d need to be able to extend so we could both use it standing side by side….hmmm.

  • Reply Andreas March 6, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I’ve been using a standup desk at work for over a year now. Two months ago I added a balance board into the equation, which makes it even more fun and challenging. I’ve noticed a huge upswing in energy. I’m not stiff and craggy anymore come the evening.

    If you’re on a laptop, could I suggest a tripod as a base? There are monitor tops available that screw on the top of tripods, they are used for film production, holding monitors on location shoots. This would give you a tiny footprint, stability and complete height adjustability, perfect for an Airstream.

    If you’re interested I can take a picture of one to show you, we use them at work.



    • Reply Leigh March 7, 2013 at 8:00 am

      Oh that’s an interesting idea. It would be great for outside, we don’t really have the room for the splayed legs inside.

      I love the idea of the balance board. I took a look at some this morning here:

      I’m not sure which I would prefer, a balance block, balance cushion or balance board. I’ve used the board before and it seems like it might be a lot of work!

  • Reply Andreas March 7, 2013 at 8:28 am

    If you use a heavier video tripod you don’t need much of a splay for stability. I’ve used one inside an Airstream, for filming, with no problems. 🙂

    I started with a balance block myself, but found myself getting bored with it after a couple of days. The balance board was challenging the first couple of days, like falling-off-challenging for a tall guy, but once I got used to it it was awesome. Highly recommend it.

    • Reply Leigh March 7, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Is your balance board round or more like a skateboard? Seems like the skateboard style board would be the better option.

  • Reply Laura Domela March 8, 2013 at 10:57 am

    After all week at my standing desk (on the trampoline while waiting for the cushy mats and stool to be delivered) I think I’ll forfeit standing on the mat and use the trampoline all the time. I love the constant movement and shifting, and at the end of the day my legs feel tired and awesome. I’m looking at the balance boards as well…for when I want to change it up. 🙂

    I thought of an outside office setup for you guys too…a nice quick pop up tent/shade thing and a couple of folding standing desks with balance boards! 🙂

    • Reply Leigh March 8, 2013 at 11:16 am

      We’re definitely ordering that balance board Andreas is using.

      Right now we’re switching back and forth, I stand for 2 hours and then Brian for two. Though 2 hours is too long for me to sit now.

      Meanwhile, we’re dreaming of a longer trailer with an office.

  • Reply Laura Domela March 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Yeah it’s funny how quickly your body tells you what’s best, isn’t it? I’m glad you’re working out the kinks for us so that I don’t have to figure all this out from scratch when we get back on the road. 😛

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