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How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 9:02 am
by G-Dog
This is something that has been playing on my mind for some time but I'm wondering how many of you out there spend large parts of the day at a desk working on a computer? I'm a software developer so I routinely spend 10 hours plus behind a computer. Movement seems to be a key factor in the frequency and duration of twitching episodes, I.e. the more you move the less you twitch...until of course you stop moving again. Can anyone relate to this?

I've realised that sitting for long periods is having a detrimental effect on my health and the growing body of evidence supports this idea. The most notable problem I have experienced is muscle soreness in my back, particularly in the thoracic region between my shoulder blades (I've always, perhaps wrongly put this down to BFS). Recent studies have also shown that the ill effects of sitting for long periods appear not to be offset by regular trips to the gym.

So last week I took a drastic step and bought a stand-up desk (Actually a breakfast bar from IKEA to save costs!). I spend all day in the office standing up at my computer, it's tough for the first few days but it gets much easier! It's still early days, but my back pain has completely disappeared and standing at work seems to focus my mind and the crashing you get at around mid-morning and afternoon (after meals) has all but gone!

But what does any of this have to do with BFS? Well maybe none, although there's good reason to believe that it may be effective. Standing up improves circulation, reduces blood pressure and allows your body to more effectively regulate blood sugar. It also "allegedly" assists with lymph flow and it almost certainly increases calorie burn (up to 50 more calories per hour, depending on weight). If you suspect that any of these may have some role in BFS then it may be worth investigating. I have always believed that BFS is strongly linked to anxiety. I do however feel that anxiety can be controlled by making broader lifestyle changes through diet, exercise or maybe even how you spend your day at the office! One thing is for sure if you twitch a lot in your legs...you won't standing up all day!

Also I should mention that stand up desks are not a modern phenomenon, Thomas Jefferson, Charles *beep* and Ernest Hemingway allegedly all stood up while working.

Further Reading:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/gue ... -kill-you/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20947605
http://ergonomics.about.com/od/office/a ... g-Desk.htm
http://www.forbes.com/sites/katetaylor/ ... g-disease/

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 9:03 am
by Yuliasir
12+ :( up to 14 in my worse time just before BFS

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 9:51 am
by christo
I would say 10+ for me too. I am glad you ask, I was also starting to notice this could be linked.

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 10:35 am
by Floydian
I'm also in computer business and before all of this started I was sitting way too long behind a computer. At the office but also at home. (12+ hrs)

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 11:17 am
by aztwitchy
same here 10-12 hours a day

I also bought and built this G-dog:
http://iamnotaprogrammer.com/Ikea-Stand ... llars.html

22 bucks ...win win

I do think sitting too long on the computer definitely increases anxiety ...

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 11:29 am
by christo
I do think sitting too long on the computer definitely increases anxiety ...


It depends if you use google or not :D

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 11:56 am
by G-Dog
aztwitchy that's amazing!! and how resourceful!

I wish I'd found this before I bought the breakfast bar table...especially given that attaching the legs to the base was like performing keyhole surgery. Plus one of the legs fell on my head, which didn't help my stress levels to much.

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 12:47 pm
by aztwitchy
G-Dog wrote:aztwitchy that's amazing!! and how resourceful!

I wish I'd found this before I bought the breakfast bar table...especially given that attaching the legs to the base was like performing keyhole surgery. Plus one of the legs fell on my head, which didn't help my stress levels to much.


its only 22 more dollars to do it over :D

it works brilliantly at home...I am considering building one for work. will look nerdy for a few days but only a matter of time before some co-worker is doing the same thing :mrgreen:

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 6:14 pm
by G-Dog
will look nerdy for a few days but only a matter of time before some co-worker is doing the same thing


I wouldn't worry about that...if it's for the good of your health, go for it! Anyway I heard many big companies such Google and Facebook are ordering in these desks in the 100s now!

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 6:36 pm
by aztwitchy
G-Dog wrote:
will look nerdy for a few days but only a matter of time before some co-worker is doing the same thing


I wouldn't worry about that...if it's for the good of your health, go for it! Anyway I heard many big companies such Google and Facebook are ordering in these desks in the 100s now!


true good point!

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: January 28th, 2013, 1:30 pm
by johnnythejet
I sit at a desk most of the day, and have similar pain/discomfort in the same region. Many coworkers have gone with the stand-up desk but I have yet to. I agree completely with the link b/w anxiety and BFS, and anything that reduces anxiety (including improving overall health) affects BFS in a positive way.
Good post.

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: February 11th, 2013, 12:09 pm
by G-Dog
I just wanted to report back on this thread as I've been working on my feet for nearly one month now. This is after spending half of my life (16 years) sitting behind a computer. I have to say it's one of the best decisions I've made in a long time, the pain in my mid back has completely disappeared! I always considered this to be much worse then any twitching I've experienced as it was physically limiting me to how long I could work...which I cannot abide by :)

For those interested purely in reducing muscle fasics then I can only advocate patience. This is one (albeit significant) intervention that has enabled me to cope with stress much more effectively. BTW none of those interventions include supplements, or cutting out things I enjoy (e.g. caffeine, sugar etc). Two years ago my nervous system was completely wired! Years of burning the candle at both ends...my twitching and anxiety levels were off the chart and it took me a while to get back on track. These days I'll twitch a handful of times a day, more if I'm not dealing with my stress. By eliminating my back pain it was one-less thing to stress about.

For those that want to try this, then don't worry about what your colleagues think! Build the IKEA hybrid (recommended by aztwitchy - only $22) and try not to cheat! (i.e. no bar stools). First few days are hard, but it gets easier and you'll probably shed a 2-3 KG in the process.. Happy days!!

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: February 11th, 2013, 2:17 pm
by aztwitchy
G-Dog wrote:I just wanted to report back on this thread as I've been working on my feet for nearly one month now. This is after spending half of my life (16 years) sitting behind a computer. I have to say it's one of the best decisions I've made in a long time, the pain in my mid back has completely disappeared! I always considered this to be much worse then any twitching I've experienced as it was physically limiting me to how long I could work...which I cannot abide by :)

For those interested purely in reducing muscle fasics then I can only advocate patience. This is one (albeit significant) intervention that has enabled me to cope with stress much more effectively. BTW none of those interventions include supplements, or cutting out things I enjoy (e.g. caffeine, sugar etc). Two years ago my nervous system was completely wired! Years of burning the candle at both ends...my twitching and anxiety levels were off the chart and it took me a while to get back on track. These days I'll twitch a handful of times a day, more if I'm not dealing with my stress. By eliminating my back pain it was one-less thing to stress about.

For those that want to try this, then don't worry about what your colleagues think! Build the IKEA hybrid (recommended by aztwitchy - only $22) and try not to cheat! (i.e. no bar stools). First few days are hard, but it gets easier and you'll probably shed a 2-3 KG in the process.. Happy days!!


awesome G-dog...glad to hear its working good for you. I need to build that same setup at work....I need to stop being self concious about being the only person standing at their desk at work too...superficial of me i know. Glad to hear its working well for you.

Re: How many of you spend long periods at a desk?

PostPosted: February 12th, 2013, 11:50 am
by G-Dog
awesome G-dog...glad to hear its working good for you. I need to build that same setup at work....I need to stop being self concious about being the only person standing at their desk at work too...superficial of me i know. Glad to hear its working well for you.


Well good luck to you, I'm sure it will be worthwhile! I got some strange looks in the early days, but then that was quickly surpassed by intrigue.