Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Varidesk Standing Desks

I had posted a couple weeks ago that I had received a new convertible standing desk at work and several people indicated interest in learning more about it.  So now that I've been using the desk for a couple weeks, I wanted to go ahead and provide more of a review.

The desk I have is a height adjustable standing desk from Varidesk.  I am sure there are other companies that provide similar products but I didn't research any other options because this is the one that was approved by my company for purchase.  And so far, I'm loving it!

Here is the desk at standing height for me.

The main think I love about it is ease of use.  There was no installation or complicated mechanics involved.  It came ready to use.  All I had to do was place it on top of my existing desk.  There is a clamp on each side and to change the height of the desk, you just press both the clamps and either pull up or push down.  It moves easily but is sturdy at the same time and I have no fears about my computer being in danger.

The only thing I don't like about it, and this is my own fault for not measuring properly, is that when it is down in sitting position it is big enough that it hangs over the edges of my desk a little bit.  So if you have a small or narrow desk, be aware that it is bulky and can take up a lot of the available space.  However, the company does have various size, style, and color options available.

Here's the desk at sitting height and you can see how much room it takes up as well as the fact that it hangs over the edge of the desk a bit.

I switch back and forth between standing and sitting throughout the day.  I stay in one position for 30-60 minutes before changing to the other.  I think what I've found is that my body feels best if I'm not in one position for an hour or longer.  Switching it up seems to work for me.  And I've noticed that I'm not as stiff when I get up now that I've started using this desk.  Here are some useful bits of information if you're thinking of changing to a standing or convertible desk.

1.  Adjust the height of everything as needed.  I had my computer, keyboard, chair, etc. all set up to the ideal height for me.  The desk changes things so I had to readjust all those components.  Because the keyboard was higher, I had to raise the height of my chair.  Because the monitor was higher, I had to lower the height of the screen when I'm sitting and raise it back up a bit when I'm standing. 

2. Transition gradually. This was the biggest tip I heard from other people at work who had received the desks before me.  You cannot go from sitting all day to standing all day overnight.  You have to adjust gradually and I will probably continue to just switch it up throughout the day instead of ever standing the whole day.  If you get a non-convertible standing desk, you can get a stool to go with it so you can change it up between sitting and standing.

3. Remember to still walk around during the day. I have to remind myself that this isn't a substitute for movement.  I still try to get at least 5,000 steps through the work day.

4. Think about getting a mat for extra cushioning under your feet. This was another tip from my co-workers.  Several of them experienced pain in their feet when trying to stand without the extra cushioning.

And that's it!  I'd love to hear if you've ever tried out a standing desk and your thoughts.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Oldfields Half Marathon training - week 3

This was another iffy week of training.  Some of it was because my allergies are back with a vengeance now that Spring is here and part of it is just a generalized lack of motivation, I think maybe because my body thought I'd be done by training by now.  But this is the last week of training as the race is this weekend! So here is how the week went.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - rest day

Wednesday - 15 minute warm up on the elliptical plus body pump

Thursday - A bit more than 40 minutes on the elliptical at the gym.  I had to move to another machine part of the way through because someone with really strong perfume got on the machine next to me.  This seems to happen to me more than other people or maybe I'm more sensitive to strong scents because of my allergies?

Friday - I tried to go for a run in my neighborhood but my eyes were watering and nose running by the end of the block.  It turned into more of a brisk walk, and I didn't even bother measuring it with the Garmin.  Just from past runs in my neighborhood, I would say it was somewhere between 1.5 miles and 2 miles.  But here are some of the pretty flowers I saw during the walk, though they were probably the cause of my breathing difficulties.

Saturday - Yoga with Adriene, strength training. Perry decided to supervise from the top of my yoga mat.

Sunday -   I actually had a pretty good run this day.  I did 6 miles with a friend on the C&O Canal tow path.  I wanted to get a run in on an unpaved surface as the race this weekend is on a similar sounding crushed gravel trail.  I'm a little nervous about it after this run but I think it should be ok.  I'm just going to have to watch my footing if there are large, loose rocks as I felt like I almost turned my ankle at one point.

Since this is the last week before the race, I'm going to cut out the body pump.  I'm going to try to get in 2 short runs and then a couple days of yoga before the race on Saturday.  Also, I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Five - Spring activities

This week has flown by and I can't believe it's already Friday.  That means that it's time for the Friday Five link up with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar. It was cold earlier this week but yesterday was some gorgeous Spring weather and it looks like we'll have more of that this weekend too.  Inspired by the weather and a recent post from The Acquired Sass, I want to write about five things I hope to do more of this Spring.

1. Enjoy my patio - we have a beautiful little patio and we bought some comfortable patio furniture last Fall.  I definitely want to take advantage of that more this year and spend some time outside in the mornings with my coffee and maybe some afternoons with a good book.

2.  Firepit - We also have a fire pit that we didn't even get around to using last year.  Cool Spring evenings are the perfect time for hanging out with friends around the fire, hopefully with marshmallows.

The last time we used the fire pit

3. Photography - I've gotten lazy and too used to using my phone for photos.  I want to make sure to set aside some dedicated photography time to experiment again with the DSLR.

4.  Taking Perry outside - Perry has always seemed to want to explore the outside, while Shelby is content to enjoy the indoors.  So we recently got a harness and leash for Perry so that we can see if he really does want to spend some time outdoors.  We've only taken him out twice so far, and just into our backyard, but he seems to have enjoyed those excursions. 

5. Vacation!  Towards the end of Spring, we have a vacation planned for Iceland.  I'm really excited for that.  We have the basics planned so far (air and hotel) but I hope to work on planning out some more details this week.

So those are some of the things I want to work on this Spring.  I've definitely been inspired by the recent weather.  Any fun things you're looking forward to for Spring?