Cop a squat? Or should I rephrase that?

My knees scream just thinking about it.
My knees scream just thinking about it.

I’ve heard of standing desks and treadmill desks, but a squatting desk?

Not kidding. According to an article in Fast Company, squatting allows us to rest while on our feet. It’s a Zenlike thing, or is it Yogalike? Anyway, it evokes images of green tea and all that good stuff.

Here’s what blogger Feyyaz Alingan¬†(figures) said about squatting:

“It’s a posture that most of the West has lost its ability to do–tight hips and tight achilles due to spending our days in desk chairs might be the culprit–whereas folks in East and South Asia do it on the regular.”

Supposedly, squatting opens my hips, which prevents lower back pain. Or something.

I didn’t know I had a problem with closed hips. I wouldn’t know the difference between an open or closed one anyway.

But I do know this. Just squatting to get to the lower shelf at the supermarket hurts. My knees give me trouble. My Achilles tendons start hurting. It takes me at least a week to get back up. Maybe it’s part of being in my late 50s, but I am in shape.

About the only part of my body that doesn’t hurt is my hips. So maybe there’s something to this squatting thing.

My hiking buddy is in his late 40s, also in shape and a medical professional besides. We discussed this article on a seven-mile training hike the other day, and he says he can’t see the benefits either. ¬†Maybe it helps you give birth, he suggested

That’s not something I plan to do anytime soon. I’m too old for that anyway.

So the squatting desk, you can have it. I’m not going to put my laptop on a bench and squat at it. Forget that. I’d rather sit in a chair, and I’m not the sitting-down type.

Now, give me a standing desk any time. I have one, or at least it’s modified for that. A wine crate, a sheet of particle board nailed to the top to accommodate the mouse, and the extension keyboard is on another platform about waist high to me. Perfect. Ergonomically sound. It worked for Hemingway, and it’ll work for me too.

When I do my work at a McDonalds or Starbucks, I’ll shove the chair aside and set up shop on the counter. I’ll pull two-hour work sessions and stand up the whole time. Keeps me focused and gives me the feeling I’m going somewhere.

Standing desks are red hot right now. I see one from GeekDesk that looks pretty bare-bones to me. Looks like a glorified folding table, and it’s all yours for $525. For the frame. As far as a top, you’re on your own.

(H’mmm … about that squat again?…)

There are some DIY versions shown in Make Use Of, starting at around $40. Depending on which one you build, you’re using sawhorses or anything else. (Hey, sawhorses … now that’s an idea.) Here are a few more if you don’t mind the hipster look.

A treadmill desk, though, is a different matter. Trying to keep fingers on keyboard is dicey enough anyway, but it’s worse at a treadmill. Plus trying to watch the screen while my eyeballs are going up and down doesn’t sound very effective to me, exercise or not.

Squatting, forget it. I’ll stand, thank you.

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Author: Eric Pulsifer

Eric Pulsifer is a veteran wordsmith with experience as a journalist, editor, musician, and freelance writer.

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