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What do Walter Murch and Winston Churchill have in common?

So who’s Walter Murch? Well, he’s an author, award-winning film (and sound) editor and Very Clever Fellow. When you get a chance, check out his books In the Blink of an Eye and The Conversations (with Michael Ondaatje, another Very Clever Fellow). And Winston Churchill was a Very Productive Guy, and of course, Very Clever Fellow. He did some stuff, if you’ll recall.

But to answer the question, they both worked standing up.

According to this article in the Globe and Mail, sitting down all day just isn’t very healthy. We have to move, not just through exercise, but as a normal part of the day’s activities, and these two gents worked standing up. Murch edited from a high table, and Churchill wrote from a podium, to which the Globe attributes his longevity despite his well-known smoking and drinking.

For my small part, I’ve raised my working table to a standing height, and that may have contributed to my maintaining my weight loss in the face of an admittedly-reduced exercise regime. The change wasn’t expensive — based on an article on the web, I bought some 3-inch plastic (ABS) pipes and used them to extend the legs of my Ikea desk. The top and bottom half of the Ikea legs don’t connect directly, but the pipes act as splints, keeping everything together. With an extra leg to support a long span of desk, it seems to work nicely. I don’t work standing up all the time since I find it easier to write sitting down, but I’ve been able to do my motion graphics work standing up at least.

(Here’s another option if you’re not into the pipe thing.)

Not everyone can change their work environment, but if you can do it, I recommend it. Not only does it help while working, but it encourages more movement and standing in general, which is better than sitting around. Oh — when you stand, don’t lock your knees. (Thought I’d get that in.)

  1. Paul
    May 16th, 2011 at 17:21 | #1

    Yes indeed! This has been repeatedly covered on boingboing.net recently and answers precisely to my day-long urge to stand. My current desk is far too wobbly to take a tabletop table, but I’ve resolved to get a hand-cranked sitting/standing desk at my next stable location, home and office! I don’t see much point in GeekDesk’s electric solution (for the same reason I don’t believe in elevators and escalators: why carbon-power anything that can be healthy exercise?), but the Internet is awash with hand-cranked options, though most are rather expensive.

  2. Paul
    May 17th, 2011 at 17:01 | #2

    Oh what the heck, I’m giving it a go.


  3. SteveR
    May 17th, 2011 at 18:29 | #3

    Well done, Paul! Very ergonomic!

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