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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

29

Up Go the Feet

Sometimes when people give up their seat for me—as they ought—they accompany this generous gesture with the words “I’ve been sitting all day.” “Me too!” I say, happily taking the weight off my feet. If I've sat on my arse all day—and it’s definitely my English arse I sit on, not an American ass—then what I most want to do come evening is sit on it some more. But I do like to change where I sit on it. In the day I'm at my desk in one of those Herman Miller Aeron chairs that make one feel like a mid-level executive with back problems. For a while in the afternoon I move to a red leather chair that tilts back like a prototype of the first-ever business-class airplane seat in order to read, i.e. induce a nap. Having recovered from my nap, I put in a further quarter-hearted shift in my Aeron before moving to the living-room sofa for some real sitting: sitting in the sense of almost lying down with all parts of the body evenly supported. “Up go the feet,” I say out loud and from then until bed-time they come down only reluctantly.
Ben Crair, a proud sitter and a story editor for The New Republic, asked a bunch of professional writers about the growing trend of standing (or treadmill) desks. Geoff Dyer, quoted above, is a proud day-long sitter; Zoë Heller wrote that "sitting is the least of my writing sins. The cigarette and Diet Coke habit is a much more pressing concern." You might not feel as passionate about the right to the sedentary life as Crair, but he does offer the most sensible solution to those horrifying medical consequences we keep hearing about: "The solution should not be to sit less, but to work less."


29 Comments / Post A Comment

crissywrong

Why does everyone want to live so goddamn long?! I'm going to die of something, may as well sit my ass down and enjoy life whille it lasts. I'm with Ben.

iceberg

I think I would quit if I wasn't allowed to sit down at work! it's one of the many reasons I hated working retail.

fondue with cheddar

@iceberg Me too! Working many years of retail definitely fucked up my knees.

Kikimora

@iceberg Exactly. Having a chair at all this past year has felt like a big work-related accomplishment.

fondue with cheddar

Longer lunch breaks, shorter hours, and more vacation sound great to me.

Jinxie

@fondue with cheddar Commie! Personally, I never eat lunch. In fact, I never even leave my desk. I gave up drinking water so as to not be interrupted by pee breaks. And vacations? Ha! That's not the American way!

fondue with cheddar

@Jinxie I can't even jokingly play along with you here. I'm taking a one-week vacation starting tomorrow for the first time in a really long time. At least since I started this job 8 years ago. I don't think I've even taken more than two days off in a row.

Jinxie

@fondue with cheddar Oof, dang girl. I am sorry it's been so long since you've gotten a true break, and I hope you enjoy the hell out of your week off. Are you going anywhere, or just enjoying a whole week of doing nothing?

fondue with cheddar

@Jinxie I'm going camping on Lake George! On an island that is only accessible by boat. Just me and my dude. E-S-C-A-P-E :)

EpWs

@fondue with cheddar I think they call that setup (longer lunch, shorter hours, more vacation) "France"

Jinxie

@fondue with cheddar That sounds lovely - I hope you guys have an absolutely wonderful time!

fondue with cheddar

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I still remember a little French from high school. I could manage. :)

@Jinxie Thanks! I'm sure we will. We went last year and it was fantastic.

dontannoyme

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Funny! My friend is currently unemployed in France and is on 5000 euros per month for 18 months by way of unemployment benefit. Truefax.

milenakent

This is so cool!@n

j-i-a

DOGS ARE THE ETERNAL SOLUTION TO ALL OF THIS

iceberg

@j-i-a a dog big enough to sit on?

anachronistique

@j-i-a I'm trying to convince my office that I should be able to get a dog and bring the dog to work so we can have an office dog. It could carry files for us!

EpWs

@anachronistique Like a Saint Bernard with the little collar keg of brandy, but also with files?

fondue with cheddar

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Actually, a collar keg of brandy would probably be even better for morale.

anachronistique

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Both, ideally, though we're also campaigning for a minibar in one of the storage closets. And I'm voting for a corgi.

EpWs

@anachronistique Yessssss.

stuffisthings

A bar is kind of like a standing desk right?

stuffisthings

I may not be doing "work" but I'm generating a hell of a lot of economic activity.

fondue with cheddar

@stuffisthings Drinking: Good for America

Lu2
Lu2

I find it funny that the name of this sitting enthusiast is Crair, which is almost exactly "Chair." It sounds like a portmanteau of something like "cringe" (or "crouching," or "crying," etc.) and "chair."

[sic]

@Lu2 Crair = cronut + chair.

Lily Rowan

I will now say "Up go the feet!" every night.

hellonheels

As uncomfortable as it might sound, I actually love my standing desk. I caved in and got one after about three months of suffering through sitting for 10+ hours each day with a herniated disc in my lower back. The key is to get an anti-fatigue mat to stand on - it eliminates most of the stress on your hips and knees that standing on a regular floor would cause. Boy is it ever a conversations starter though...I field questions about my setup at least once a day.

dontannoyme

I would love to try a walking desk. I hate the idea of a standing desk because I have really low blood pressure and just hate standing up - this is also why I hate pubs and football (despite being British). But walking is fine because it keeps your blood moving. So one of those desks where you walk at 0.01mph or whatever sounds quite appealing to me. Does anyone have one and how much coffee have you spilled down your front whilst walking and typing?

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