Proud owner of an Ergotron standing-or-sitting computer work station

So far, I have found that the only downside to being a blogger has been: My backside. Sitting all day, day after day, over time (1) has encouraged my butt to take on the shape of my office chair and not in a good way, and (2) of graver concern, has started to cause me recurring back problems so acute that doctor visits, muscle relaxants and painkillers are involved. I like to blog blog blog all the live long day — and want to continue on that path — but it is quite difficult when it only hurts when you move.

Hence, I am now the proud owner of the Ergotron WorkFit-S, Single LCD Mount, HD Sit-Stand Workstation (Model 33-344-200 to be exact). The Ergotron is an apparatus designed to hold your computer monitor and keyboard that hooks onto a table or desk and which can be raised – to use standing, or lowered – to use sitting. My goal: Spend at least 75% of my time typing and researching at the computer standing, rather than sitting.

DH did all the research looking into the new work station, and said that this model had more consumer recommendations that others. In particular, buyers said its was more sturdy than other models, which is important because you don’t want your computer monitor and stand to fall over on you and break your back, which you have just spent $380 to protect.

We assembled the bugger last night. The directions were okay, with only a few inscrutable turns. We didn’t curse at each other even once. It took about an hour.

However, in anticipation of assembly of the Ergotron, I also decided it was time to rearrange the office furniture. We swapped the locations of the honkin’ Hon tanker desk and table, added a new file cabinet, gave all the laminate surfaces a good cleaning with Countertop Magic, vacuumed the harvest gold plush carpet, and generally cleaned up the joint. Altogether it took a good three hours. But the office is looking darn good!

And indeed, the new standing workstation seems quite sturdy. This is my first posted typed out standing in front of my Ergotron WorkFit-S, Single LCD Mount, HD Sit-Stand Workstation (Model 33-44-200). My back feels better already. Addressing the booty issue is next, and alas, I fear it will not be nearly as easy.

Link: The Ergotron!

 

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Comments

  1. Chris says

    Pam,
    So sorry to hear about your problems but can totally relate. I have a desk job and have similar problems, not as bad, yet. . but totally empathize. Several folks in my building are turning to the set up you have and love them! Good luck to you! Take care of your health for sure! Oh, and yes, as JKaye says, shake your booty! I try to get on my treadmill several times a week to keep the blood flowing and the growing of the rear seat in check!! LOL!

  2. Ladybug says

    Maybe if you put the computer in front of a treadmill? All the commercials show people using them without holding on….

  3. Marion Powell says

    Hi, just FYI , I wear bifocals. Getting on the computer meant tilting my neck back so I could look out of the lower lens area. Last eye doctor visit, when I decided on new frames, my optometrist suggested using my old frames for the computer. Seems it’s a problem foe many bifocal users. The lens for the computer is different than just reading glasses. Actually, I forget why, but they’re great. I leave them on my desk and they’re always there when I need them.

    • pam kueber says

      Yup, I’m fussing with the prescription big time to get it just right for computers. Fighting aging isn’t a battle: It’s guerilla warfare.

  4. says

    Hi Pam,

    Please do an update down the road as to how the Ergotron is working out for you. I work from home, too, and in the last year have started having issues with my knee. I’ll get up after sitting for several hours and it will be stiff to the point of nearly immovable. I have to get the kinks out of it before I can even walk into the kitchen. I’ve thought about a standing solution and wondered how products like these work in real life application.

  5. Just another Pam says

    I’m also excited to hear, not only about this wunderkind but also to read your review. Have also read that using an exercise ball instead of a desk chair really helps and that we should get up at least once an hour and move around for five minutes.

    The getting up part I can vouch for and plan on trying the exercise ball when, if, I ever get through the boxes and get the hoard reduced so I can get my computer off my chrome kitchen set and into it’s room.

  6. Linda says

    Good for you, Pam! A guy I know who was pretty husky lost a lot of weight over last winter (we’re flea market pals), and when I saw him this spring, was astonished at how much more svelt he was. He said it was because he started standing, instead of sitting, when he was at the computer. No fance diets, no sweaty workouts. Hmmm, maybe I should get one too!

  7. hannah says

    Good for you Pam! I echo your sentiments and those of other posters. I too have a desk job – and I’m thinking about having my desk raised up like some others have at work so I can sit or stand.

    Re: your tush, may I recommend Tai Chi stretching? Two years ago I pulled out an OLD VHS I’d gotten and never viewed – you’ll laugh. David Carredine teaching Tai Chi! I was diligent for a few months and could not believe at my age (then 55) how my body was reshaping! I can’t do some of them due to an injured knee, and I added my own “tush move” : grab a door jam on angle, and extend your leg behind you – feet pointing out to the side. I do ten counts each and it really helps the ummmm, situation. In the day it was referred to as ‘secretarial spread’. 🙂

    Good luck!
    hannah

    • pam kueber says

      Thanks for the Tai Chi tip, hannah. I plan on getting disciplined about going to yoga — I live 1 mile from Kripalu, and can do classes there very inexpensively. I’ve always been interested in Tai Chi, and Qi Gong (sp?) — need to try to – yes: banish the cursed Secretarial Spread!

      • Lauryn says

        Here’s to a pain free blogging life, Pam … we all value what you do and don’t want you to suffer one bit from it!

        Yoga saved my life. Between being a musician and sitting at the computer, I was pretty much a mess. I do hope you take advantage of Kripalu. The past few days I have been experimenting with standing (with my laptop on my gorgeous new retro kitchen countertops). It is not quite ideal but I am blown away at how much better my back feels and will soon be looking into better options for the office, so thank you for the info! You might consider doing more barefoot walking too, which really strengthens those feet you’ll be putting to a new test!

  8. Angie says

    I can vouch for the effectiveness of using a stability ball in place of your desk chair, Pam! Try the 65mm sixe (large) preferably one with a weighted beanbag
    inside the ball-this will add a teensy bit of stability, as getting used to the ball will
    take some getting used to. Sitting on one of these will force you to sit upright so
    you won’t be able to slouch & it will work those “core” muscles which will help your back, too! You can also take “stretch breaks” every now & then by aleternately leaning back over the ball & then draping over the ball (on your tummy) for some nice long stretches. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels!
    You can get these balls at any sports retailer, or even Target and Walmart.
    Good Luck!

  9. JKaye says

    Husband has back problems and we started taking a tai chi class six months ago. Really helps. He stands up in his cubicle several times a day and does a few of the less attention-drawing moves. I wonder if he could fit one of these ergotrons into his cubicle? But does something like this result in knee or foot problems that can happen to people who stand all day in their jobs, like hair stylists or assembly line workers?

  10. Gavin Hastings says

    I use one of these at work all day….8 hours. Just make sure that you are able to angle your keyboad DOWN and AWAY from you….a bit trick-y as the mouse wants to slide off the extention to the floor. I fixed a drinking straw with tape across the mousepad area.
    Mine is on wheels…and though it keeps me at my high school weight of 150lbs, the knees and shoulders may not last my final 13 years of employment. : (

    • Gavin Hastings says

      AND…I have found that talking to people about pain medication is a very personal subject.

      That said: Aleve or Motrine WITH FOOD I would not hesitate to take….but please be wary of any type of pain-killer. Please.

      I am not a doctor…but I play one on tv……

      • Gavin Hastings says

        The Occupational Therapy folks at our hospital say that you want to keep a straight line-with movement coming primarily from the fingers and NOT an angled wrist,
        Your keyboard height should create a 90 degree angle at the elbow-with shoulders relaxed.
        The worst is when folks slant their keyboard at 45 degrees….and the same with their wrists.
        Also be aware or repeated mouse movements…go easy on that shoulder!

  11. Jennifer Schlute says

    I have had stand/sit desks for many years, although never as fancy as yours.
    Mine are usually built on the base of two 3 drawer file cabinets with a plank of wood stretched between. By day I run a sign shop, so I’m back and forth a lot to the pc. Not having to perch on a chair to see the monitor is great. At night when I work on my vintage website, I can be up to measure a dress properly and enter the info without sitting. I’ll never go back to a full sit down desk!

  12. gsciencechick says

    WTG! I also second the stability ball and, for anyone who wants to spend more, a treadmill desk. Exercise–yoga, tai chi, Pilates, core stability, will really help along with taking frequent breaks as prolonged sitting is recently shown to not be good for our health (this is the science part of my screen name talking!). It’s also good for your eyes to take a break. I developed an eye problem during grading finals due to too much computer time and lack of blinking.

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