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“Stand Up, Sit Down…Fight, Fight, Fight!”

Remember this spirit chant from high school? Who would have thought that as writers, we ‘d have to live by the cheer? Alas, in order to maintain a healthy heart, writers need to go the way of a Jill-in-a-box: we better not sit for long intervals; we shouldn’t stand in one place at length, either.

Here’s what the New York Times says about sitting and wellness:

Even before I read this article, I was beginning to feel antsy after thirty minutes of sitting. I spoke to my brother about his stand-up desk, which he loves, and began to research options on my own. In fact, I plopped an end table on top of my desk that happened to be the perfect eye level for my monitor, and practiced the art of standing and writing. A few days of standing at my makeshift standing desk, and I said to myself: Do it. Buy one.

Now the question of what to buy. You might purchase a desk which you can move up or down at will. If you already have a desk you like (mine is a huge built-in), then a standing desk converter is the way to go.

You need a device with a quick/easy way to raise and lower the surfaces. Check the reviews. Half or a third of the time you’ll want to conflate the contraption so you can sit. You won’t want to exert much energy during the conversion. I chose an hydraulic mechanism, adjustable, with no limit to increments up/down. Here’s mine: (rises to 22 inches-top level, 17.3 inches-bottom level; flattens to 6.25 inches)

I didn’t price the desks, but the converters cost $300-$400. No small investment, even if it’s tax deductible. And that’s not all. To manage your new environment, you’ll probably need a mat for your feet. You could buy a spongy flat mat for around $30, but reviews tell me the best one (on Amazon for about $100) is the TOPO anti-fatigue mat:

I learned from reviews and articles about standing, to expect a period of acclimation. Plan on two to three weeks before the aches and pains are tempered and you learn how to move your feet/torso without losing focus on your work. I like the variety/freedom so far, and I feel more energetic, overall.

My new saying is: “Stand Up, Sit Down, Ka-ching, Ka-ching, Ka-ching!” My heart might be healthier, but the hit on my bank account is painful.

Any stander/sitter authors out there? What have you learned about the best proportion for sitting versus standing? Any other insights to share?

And speaking of healthy hearts. My golfer in BAD LIES, is in the best shape of all my heroines. She has hopes to be a pro golfer, but her trip to Italy brings danger as well as worries about fitness. Take a look at BAD LIES:

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