10.17.2012

What if I was really as smart as I thought I was? It would be so weird.


Two notes that are totally tangential to my life as a writer and a photographer:  

1. Sitting down might kill you. At least that's what I keep reading over and over again on the web and in the last few paper newspapers I read. Apparently every hour of just sitting around (watching TV, reading websites, staring blankly at your computer screen, scribbling on index cards, etc.) cuts about 21 minutes off your life expectancy. I thought I was bulletproof because I swim hard for at least an hour six days a week and run a couple of days as well but the studies say: "NO."

And that's a nasty realization for someone who spends a lot of time doing file conversions and working in PhotoShop as well as for someone who really enjoys writing blogs. Because, in the past, I did all those things...sitting. By various study calculations I may already be dead and am just continuing on as a zombie.

When I had lower back problems a few weeks ago I did a bunch of research and found that a major culprit in the epidemic of lower back pain was.....ready for this?......sitting.  Around that time I started experimenting with my self by finding a piece of furniture in the studio that would allow me to read and write on the web while standing. My Sears Professional Craftsman Rolling Tool Chest was almost high enough but a stack of previous model laptops placed on top gave me the perfect elevation for my current reading/writing computer. I am able to stand in front of it with my elbows bent at ninety degree angles and type with ease.  I am also at the perfect distance from the matte screen on my 15 inch Powerbook. I have written a book chapter, a blog, an invoice and a scrunch of e-mails while standing in front of the assemblage and I'm feeling fine and productive.

I don't know what your situation is but if you are having back problems you may want to try a standing work situation. It's kind of fun. And if you rock back and forth you'll burn more calories than you would sitting (that's true just in keeping your major muscle groups flexing....) and that never hurts because it means you'll likely lose some weight if you are already at odds with your bathroom scale and, if you are either naturally thin or highly disciplined it means you can up the calorie count with reckless abandon.

The second note: I usually upgrade when new software upgrades are offered. Especially if they are offered at what I consider to be a reasonable price. For some reason I shied away from the first release of Apple's Mountain Lion, even though the price in the "App Store" was only $19.95. I just didn't want to deal with system trauma, no matter how remote the possibility. I didn't want to be one of those guys who writes (moans) on the web about loosing everything in a painfully tragic upgrade.

I waited until version 10.8.2 and today I updated the machine I'm writing this on. It was a fairly painless process. It took a couple hours to download the files and another half hour for the installer to do its dark and secretive vision. This machine is populated with most of what is also on another, newer Powerbook so I really wasn't tightrope walking without a net. But I needn't have worried. Everything seems to be going we the keyboar#$#$#%^%&$%*(*RHWRGATU$YWTGHWSTYETHEYWRYWRHYSGHAFYSRTWE%&$^^@#$^&#$%^#%&$YTHGQARYEDFGSFJERTWE&#%$&$%^&#%$*$TWETYWE

Ooops. Just kidding. I'll let you know if I run into any issues. I know, I know, you're a dyed in the wool windows guy... but the majority of our readers now read the blog with Safari so there has to be some interest in the operating system. 



25 comments:

Wolfgang Lonien said...

Hehe - good one. And no Windows (except for Olympus Viewer 2), but Linux. Most of us are IT guys, remember? ;-)

Oh, and some of my colleagues are standing while at work - maybe I should try it.

Mike Teegarden said...

I have been standing at work for the past 3-4 months and love it. I use this: http://www.ergotron.com/tabid/65/PRDID/381/Default.aspx

It lets me sit when I get tired and stand the rest of the time.

-Mike

Richard Alan Fox said...

I waited for 10.8.2 as well, everything is okay except I seem to be losing my cursor when exiting an adjustment brush in Lightroom.

Michael Matthews said...

Thomas Wolfe is reputed to have written Look Homeward, Angel and other novels while standing, using the top of his refrigerator as a desk. You're not in the worst company.

Anonymous said...

Mike! What a great product, thanks for the link!
I checked it out and as soon as I figure out the model to get, I'll order.

-Pierre.

Bill Beebe said...
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Bill Beebe said...
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Anonymous said...

I've been using a biomorph desk for a couple of years now. Will never go back to sitting down.

Walter said...

Since you mention it, I wonder if iPad-based traffic is included in your Safari traffic count? I ask because the current blogspot theme doesn't work very well, at least on my iPad2 (iOS 5.x) -- in fact, I had to retreat to my laptop/Chrome to leave this comment... (The prior, less "slick" theme worked much better on the iPad.)

Dennis said...

My wife has a Trek Desk that she uses for at least an hour each day that she works from home. I work in an office environment that probably wouldn't be too amenable to that, but I'd love to try it. Our several-months old Tempurpedic mattress has helped my back out tremendously. Maybe I should try to find a way to spend part of my day standing at work, though ...

shambrick said...

Hey Kirk,

On the topic of Mountain Lion, I agree. I waited and monitored any potential issues. Unfortunatley I have been stung with one painful issue. I use a Syder2Express to calibrate, and it will not work with Mountain Lion. The Drivers for Spyder3Express give awful colour, and Datacolor have no solution other than me upgrading to a new colorimiter.

As an amateur with a limited budget, me now sad...

Andreas Manessinger said...

You may want to consider a treadmill desk. Just google the term, there will be lots of hits from DIY to luxury solutions. It may keep you going longer, but in the long run there is always the problem that living kills. Nobody has found a solution so far :)

cidereye said...

Talking about updates Kirk, are you aware the new firmware for the NEX-7 is finally here?

Addition of capability to enable or disable the MOVIE button!

Addition of exposure settings of bracket shooting (three frames /1.0EV,2.0EV, 3.0EV)

Improvement of response for showing auto review image.

Improvement of image quality when using a wide-angle lens!!

Improvement of indication when setting “Flexible Spot”.

Finally disabled that darn video button I keep pressing. And the bracket settings update is most welcome!

Brad C said...

I tend to get up and walk around whenever I have a phone call to vary my position, but the standing work position has intrigued me for a while. It is especially nice when two or more people are reviewing something together - I know a designer who swears by it.

Anonymous said...

Oh Kirky, Kirky, Kirky. I love your stuff (you can photograph and write) but don't you mean dyed in the wool (not died in the wool)?

Kirk Tuck said...

Thanks for catching that typo. I've fixed it (I hope). This just lends more credence to the title of the blog...

typingtalker said...

From the "sitting" paper ...

Time spent sitting was assessed by using the question, ‘‘During the past year, on an average day (not counting time spent at your job), how many hours per day did you spend sitting (watching television, reading, etc.)?’’ Responses included ‘‘none, <3, 3–5, 6–8, >8 hours per day.’’ Time spent sitting was categorized as 0–<3, 3–5, or 6 hours/day.
http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/172/4/419.full.pdf+html?sid=4fe28f32-f1ed-4ee1-851b-1d528ffaa039

So we're not talking about time spent sitting at work.

The overall probability of any one person dying in any particular year was 0.00702 or about one in 10,000. The relative risk of dying (or the increased risk of dying) for men sitting for more than six hours per day compared to men sitting for less than three hours per day was 1.18. This translates into a likelhood of dying in any one year of 1.18 in 10,000 instead of 1.0 in ten thousand.

But it sure got a lot of press.

Bold Photography said...

The folks where I work have converted two cubes into "standing" cubes... no chairs, desks elevated... much happier employees...

Anonymous said...

Hi

try this to get a workable colour profile

http://blog.pinkbluephotography.com/2011/07/22/using-spyder-2-for-mac-os-10-7-lion/

maybe it works for you

David said...

Surfing with Safari on an iPod. Windows on the computer.

arg said...

Hi Kirk, welcome to the world of varicose veins and other health effects from your new standing policy. http://www.hazards.org/standing/index.htm

Even hard physical work can hurt us when it is part of daily life. Certainly the tradies I know are worn out with wrecked joints by the time they are 45-50. http://nasdonline.org/document/1836/d001772/human-health-effects-of-agriculture-physical-diseases-and.html

Surely the answer lies in moderation?

MartinP said...

Regarding the ideal posture, I think I recall a heel-hook product that extolled the virtues of hanging like a bat. That would presumably increase the blood flow to the brain and so might give a supercharged effect for more effective work hours. Worth a try ???

amy said...

What about a workstation on a stationary bike and you have to pedal the bike to generate energy to power your computer?

Andrea said...

From home, I use Firefox on a Windows machine. From office, the Android browser on an ASUS tablet. When on the move, the Samsung-customized on my Galaxy S3.
Usually, people use the browser that comes in the gadget, so I think no interest in the operating system...

Steve Gillette said...

Standing up to write did not help Hemingway, did it?