For the last two weeks, the frivolous tones of my tweets were hiding the pain that I was experiencing with my lower back. Oh, what possessed me to move that heavy pot plant of my treasured coriander and dropped it – and abruptly bent my back with it?
I spent a few days on the floor in agony, nerve pain shooting from my hip to my knee and while I had melodramatic thoughts of never walking again, I hobbled over to the physiotherapist who checked me out and claimed that my back had spasmed and with some stretches and anti-inflammatory drugs I could manage the pain before I start to work on exercises for my core to strengthen these muscles.
Part of me just didn’t want to accept that I’m getting old. *Sigh*.
While still in some pain, I was asked to conduct a social media coaching session for our family friend (and client) Dr Daniel Lewis. (@Paths2Wellbeing). Daniel and his wife Beverly have been running the Pathways to Well Being an education service that helps people manage pain, arthritis; fibromyalgia; chronic fatigue; disorders of muscles, tendons, bones and joints and auto-immune conditions through the philosophy of living well, meditation, nutrition, mind and body awareness and exercise for many years in Melbourne. It was with some relief that Daniel had a fit ball in his home office and thankfully, I took the opportunity to sit on that to rest my back. I figured if I was going to roll off the ball and keel over in pain, I was at least under the watchful eye of a doctor…
A week later, I had gone back to run the second coaching session and saw that Daniel had set up a Varidesk. This desk allows you to work from either a standing or a sitting position, and makes it easy for you to switch positions as often as you like. There’s an app that you can download that keeps track of your standing and sitting time too. As an adjustable platform, it sits on top of your existing desk. When you feel the need to stand, you raise it using the side handles and then lower it again when you want to sit. We did our coaching session standing up, around his computer and it relieved my back. Surprisingly, I felt that we had more energy standing up and moving about.
Needless to say, I was sold.
I ordered mine immediately and the unit arrived within 2 days.
The unit itself is quite heavy to move and get out of the box but with the help of my husband, within 10 minutes, we had set it up and I was ready to go!
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) January 18, 2015
I ordered the Varidesk Single because I only work with the one monitor and limited space. It cost $AUD 401.50 including tax and delivery charges but I know it will save me money (and my back!) in the long run. The app also can be downloaded from the website and customised to however long you want to stand or sit down.
The only negative thing about the Single desk is that when I lower it to the sitting position, I need to remove the books that my monitor is standing on so that it comes eye level. However, it is not a big problem for me as I leave it on the standing position and then sit down at my desk to work on something else for a little while – or simply just to take a break and look out the window and see what the neighbours are up to. It’s a welcome diversion from just staring at the computer screen.
Overall, I posted my photo on Facebook too and my friends and family also had their own positive experiences of the unit so I guess I’m onto a winner.
A Product Review
Here is a product review of the Single Varidesk so that you can see how it works.
The Single Varidesk Not As Ergonomic
You saw the positives, now see the negatives. For me, however, this is no biggie as I have it on the standing all the time.
I’m keen to read your thoughts. What is your experience of a standing desk?