Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Vertical Blogger

Chastened by a recent popular science article that warned of the dangers of the sedentary life, two days ago I reconfigured my computer setup so that I now stand instead of sit in front of my computer.

For years I have kept my computer on a card table in my bedroom.  (The card table, a wedding gift from the 1980s, is still serviceable, having now outlasted the marriage itself by fifteen years.)  But this computer location had a pernicious effect: I was susceptible to wasting time in long sessions on the computer before bedtime, harming my body through indolence and my sleep through residual nervous excitement.  It was time for a change.

I searched my townhouse for a place to relocate my computer.  The ideal place would allow me stand comfortably, with the keyboard and mouse at waist level, the center of the monitor at eye level, and the computer tower within easy reach of all my existing cables.  I first considered the various book cases that fill my house.  A book case would permit the computer equipment to be stacked vertically, I reasoned.  However, I discovered that no book case was deep enough.  And it's no use to have the computer monitor directly above the keyboard.  Eye strain or poor posture would surely result.

A makeshift pyramid of cardboard boxes atop my trusty card table seemed like a possible approach; but I knew that my younger son, a purist in matters of craftsmanship and household furnishing, would express his disapproval in laconic comments and withering glances.  He tries to discourage my tendencies toward lazy, slapdash solutions.

Finally, I found a good location for my computer in the pantry closet adjacent to the kitchen.  Now the monitor is at the right height and is recessed a foot back from the keyboard.  The keyboard is resting on a pair of telephone books to bring it into proper ergonomic position.  (A bit slapdash, I suppose, but not particularly objectionable.)

It's too early to be certain about the results of standing to use the computer; however, I notice that my legs get tired about about half an hour.  This may cause me to write shorter blog entries.  Time will tell.


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