Hi there! My name is Katherine and this is my real-time, 5 day “diary” of sorts. It's my take on being new to a standing desk and being new to the FluidStance Level®. Full disclosure: I am part of the FluidStance team. But this is a pretty raw, honest day-by-day account of my experience with standing and with the Level. A little bit about me:
- Height: 5ft, 2in
- Weight: Ha, yeah right! But I sure do like my enchiladas… and tacos… and tamales. Mmmm, especially tamales. I don’t much like quinoa. Green beans = puke.
- Activity level: I’m a love/hate exerciser. I mean, I’ll get a crazy goal in my head like wanting to run a half marathon and so I’ll go crazy with training and do it. And then I won’t get off the couch for the next 3 months.
- Standing desk set-up: Totally DIY. 6 wooden crates from Home Depot, about 10 bucks each. One smaller wooden crate that serves as a laptop stand. The desk top part is a side panel of an old Staples-type desk that was on the way to the dump.
- Type of Level used: I’m the proud owner of deck #5 of FluidStance’s first 100 decks ever produced. I own the Handmade Original.
- AWESOMENESS: ’ve used a FitBit Flex as an activity tracker since July. (Makes me feel less guilty about the enchilada/taco/tamale thing.) For the 30 days prior to this journey, I tracked my calorie count day by day. Then I tracked it for the 5 days during this little experiment. The AWESOME part? I upped my daily calorie burn by an average of 26%!! That’s a guilt free Taco Tuesday in my book. Now, here’s the thing though. It’s not that standing and flowing in and of itself upped my calorie burn because how can a FitBit on your wrist track this time as steps? But it was the energy level I still had at the end of the day that did it. Energy to clean the house, play with my favorite 7 year old, and make that trip to the mall I’ve been putting off.
Before we jump in, here's a photo of my set-up:
Day 0: 2/25
Don’t have my standing desk set up yet. Using my Level during a conference call. My reaction as soon as I stepped on it: “This thing is so much FUN!” Instantly started spinning. I was apprehensive about need to balance on it because I’m a wreck with that sort of thing. But it isn’t an issue at all. Spent about 20 minutes on it. Feeling energized like a walk around the block does, ready to get back to my inbox.
Day 1 (3/1):
Began standing at 1pm. Now at 1:45 and my feet and ankles are pretty tired. Finding myself shifting weight from one foot to the other to give each foot a break. Have Pandora on my headphones and have broken out into 3 spontaneous dancing parties on the level. Don’t want to stop standing because it’s so fun and this standing desk is fun (feel so superior than thou even though I work from home. Alone.) Can’t wait to see how many additional calories I’ve burned on my FitBit. But going to sit down for a while and work and give my feet a break.
Day after update – abs are sore
Day 2: 3/2/15
Stood on Level for 1 hour, 45 minutes. So much easier to stand for this period of time than the 45 minutes on day 1. Felt more focused and plowed through a big chunk of to-do list. Did it to beat the after-lunch slump (tons of carbs for lunch today as I ate at my favorite Mexican food place) and it definitely worked. Only 1 dance party, but I pretty much tore it up.
[Work travel plus weekend 3/3-3/8; no flow time]
Day 3: 3/9/15
Starting at 10:45. Set up a new standing desk set-up this weekend. Facing a wall, which I’m not stoked about, but it takes up less space than my empty shoe boxes temporary desk. At 12:03: calves are slightly cramping, knee is killing me (but it’s because we have moisture moving in and I’m an old lady). Super tired of standing – wasn’t easy to go this 1.15 hours, maybe because I haven’t done it in a week? Was ready to sit after about 40 mins. I’m also wearing some shoes with 0 cushioning (a flip flop bottom) so that could be it.
Day after update: Abs sore. Like I pumped out 50 crunches sore.
Day 4: 3/10/15
Started at 3:15. Feeling fantastic at 4:30! Feeling super focused and just plowed through a serious amount of emails. This part of the day is usually a struggle to stay motivated and focused. Feet don’t hurt (wearing more cushiony sneakers than yesterday), joints don’t hurt. “All about that bass” came on and I couldn’t help but get down. Love that I can shake it in such a fun way on the deck.
Abs were definitely sore this morning from yesterday’s time.
Day 5: 3/11/15
Starting at 8:40 am. I’m sore all over, mostly because I tried a new cardio workout yesterday, so I can’t tell if my abs are sore from that or from flowing on the Level. Also – interesting side note, my lower back is usually pretty tight in the mornings after I do a hard workout. Didn’t feel that at all this morning.
10:30 update: feeling great, not tired at all. I had a conference call this morning and my energy level and attentiveness was through the roof. I’m really starting to see the Level as an investment in my career. I’m usually super mellow, even keeled. Some people mistake it as apathetic, but I just don’t show much outwardly. Being up, being vertical, and in an active state noticeably changes my energy level in a positive way. Crushed the two calls and presentations I had yesterday and today. Gonna keep flowing.
12:30 update: still feeling great. So much more focused. My laptop batter is almost dead, so I had to make the crucial decision of going back to my sitting desk, dock the computer, and work there or get my travel charger and keep standing. Not feeling tired at all, so I got the travel charger. Going to keep flowing.
The biggest win? How much more focused I am. I can seriously see this impacting my career in so many positive ways because of the increased focus and productivity. Also the physical benefits are so awesome. The fact that my abs were sore every morning-after tells me it’s working. And the energy level I have at the end of the day = 26% more calories burned. Win.
The biggest drawback? It’s kind of a pain the butt to duplicate my computer set up for the sitting AND for the standing desk. Until I’m completely standing, having to unplug and move everything could be a demotivator on lazy days.