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Sitting Is Killing You (plus #WriteMotivation August Update #1)

A while back, end of last year I guess, I suffered from a repetitive stress injury in my hand, shoulder, and elbow. It got so bad I couldn’t even lift a one pound weight. I had to go through physical therapy and readjust my work space. Luckily, my boss was kind and bought me an ergonomic keyboard. Not a lot to spend, and it really helped. The only problem I have is the whole CTRL+C and CTRL+P that I do A LOT when transferring high amounts of data from spreadsheet to spreadsheet. Teaching myself a new way of doing things is hard. I still haven’t “fixed” the copy/paste issue but the fact that the beginning part of the year really slows down a lot at work…meaning we aren’t bombarded with 10 project sites all at once like we do at the end of the year…has helped my arm heal. I no longer have to wear a brace, and the keyboard keeps my arms in proper alignment. I’m grateful for that.

I’ve had a foot rest under my desk for years because these cubes the government provides are not the best ergonomically designed systems. I’ve been to OSHA and a multitude of sites that tell you how best to sit at a desk. The problem I find is that if I adjust my arms properly, my feet dangle. The joys of being short! If I adjust for my feet, my shoulders are up to my ears. I have what I have deemed a “mouse arm” by which I mean the neck muscles are so tense and locked that it causes a pull on my spine. I’ve learned how to make a conscious effort to relax my shoulders while sitting at my desk. But it took a long while to become aware of my shoulder and sometimes still I forget. I think that was my first “work posture” related injury, but I fixed that on my own. Sorta.

Now, though, I’ve been noticing a constant pain going down the backside of my legs, which causes achiness in my calves, ankle and toes. I didn’t quite understand it at first, and nothing…I MEAN NOTHING…took the pain away. In talking with several people, and doing my own research, I think I’ve narrowed it down to Sciatica. YAY! Not.


A few years ago, an article about the dangers of sitting all day circulated the office. A few people even adopted the standing all day mechanism and adjusted their cubicles so they could work like that. On occasion, I’ve stood for an hour or two but never took the step to readjust my work space so I could stand all day. I’ve spent my entire teenage work life standing for 8 hour shifts. I didn’t want to have to go back to that. So I stood when I needed to. Though, bending over to type really wrecked the back I guess.

I’ve been seeing many Twitter peeps hop on the treadmill desk and thought that was the coolest thing ever. But treadmills are so expensive. And the treadmill desk is even more expensive. Besides, how the heck would I get it to work? I hate trying to find a used one. I’m not a yard sale person, and I really don’t trust a lot from Craig’s List. I’m paranoid, what can I say. (Guess that’s why I went into computer security, LOL) So, I’ve been dreaming from afar.

I’ve done a little research on my company’s internal site to find out what their policy is on ergonomics. I’ve taken the training video which was stuff I already knew about. And there are some ergonomic things that are offered in the catalog, provided funding and manager approval. So, I’ve asked my boss, again, for more ergonomics. He was away on TDY all last week, and he probably forgot by now. I’ve seen a sit/stand desk mentioned on the company site. And I wonder if we could get that. But I’d really, REALLY, like a treadmill desk. At the least, I would like to have an ergonomic chair and desk, possibly found at office monster, to help correct my posture problems.

But I do not if any of this is going to be a reality. You’d think that they’d be proactive about this. Rather than paying out workman’s comp, doctor’s visits, and physical therapy, plus the time the employ spends away from work, you’d think it would be more economical to purchase ergonomics for everyone. But no…we are a reactive society, not a proactive one. So, now I have to fight to get something I need. Figures.

BEFORE: The Sitting arrangement

AFTER: The Standing arrangement

In the mean time, I’ve rearranged my desk. I went from the sitting position to standing all day. My sciatic seems to be better. But now, O.M.G. my feet and lower back hurt so much! I’m stretching and trying to find yoga things to do while standing to help alleviate the pain, though. But the sciatic seems to have gone mostly.

And we’ll see what happens next with my manager/company. It might just take another year to get anything.


Now, on to my August Goals

1) Be Positive, Try to find the positive in every situation, no matter how small. This has got to be ALWAYS!! Saturday was a failure. Had to go school clothes shopping for TheBoy and he just did not want to be there. He hated trying on all his clothes at home to see what was too small and how much we had to buy. He hated going to the store to pick out anything. He had no interest in choosing his own clothes. I was in such a foul mood! Me, personally, I hate shopping anyway. Always have. Maybe I put him in the mood. I don’t know. But I know I sure didn’t help him. And I hate myself for it. But I think I’ve overcome the negativity it so far. I hope.
2) Cheer others on with #writemotivation cookie flinging and positive thoughts! Another ALWAYS! Another fail really. Ever since I lost TweetDeck, I’ve not been able to find a comparable phone app that does everything Tweetdeck did for me. I can’t follow a hashtag in Twitter or any of the other apps I’ve tried. Nor do I get notified when I get mentioned in a tweet, or when someone tweets, period. So, out of sight out of mind and I’m really beginning to hate not being a part of this group! 🙁
3) Continue writing SOMETHING, EVERYDAY! Even if I can’t work on my novel, I’ll try my hand at short stories. Whatever it is, it has to be writing! DEFINITELY ALWAYS! I’ve been learning a little and had a sort of brainstorm at the end of last week on my novel. It isn’t writing, but it’s doing. I also started another short story….maybe….
4) Read another book. I’m currently reading the dark and angry HJ for Andrew. Halfway done already! 🙂
5) Continue submitting my short stories, “O.N.” and “S.S.” Let’s see how many I can get before someone accepts me. :) I just received another rejection for O.N. this morning. So that makes it 5 rejections for O.N. and 2 for S.S. And I’m starting to wonder if I’m not good enough for pro-pay. :/ I’ll keep plugging away, working down my list, though.



  1. Ping from Heather Jacobs:

    That’s quite the setup. Genius on your part. We have desks that raise up and down at one of our posts that require the most sitting. Those are nice to have.

    Great goals for this month darling. You are amazing. 🙂

  2. Ping from Cheyenne:

    The treadmill desk thing blows my mind. I’ve never seen one in person and would love to try it and see if I’d actually be able to work/type/concentrate while walking on a treadmill 🙂 I love the concept, though.

    I hope your desk situation works out soon with an easy solution. I’m trying really hard while I’m at home to do work in small chunks, and every half hour, get up and do something active, whether it’s laundry or cleaning or whatever. But I know that option doesn’t come at the office.

    Great job with the positivity and the writing – you’re an inspiration! Keep it up!! 🙂

  3. Ping from Patricia (@plynne_author):

    After the day job today, a sitting job sounds lovely. (I work in a restaurant. 8 hr shifts on my feet and running around the whole time.)

    Good luck with your goals. Looks like you’re well on your way.

  4. Ping from Jocelyn Rish:

    I bought a treadmill desk for myself in November last year (early Christmas present from myself). I LOVE it!! It was actually reasonably priced for all the ones I looked at. I’d recommend it in a heartbeat to you, but the desk height doesn’t adjust and even though I’m relatively tall, it’s still a tiny bit too high for me. (I now walk in those sneakers that have a thick sole, which puts me at the perfect height).

    I know there are lots of articles out there for making your own desk if you can find a cheaper treadmill. It’s definitely something to explore.

    Best of luck with all of your goals!

  5. Ping from MAJK (@Safireblade):

    I looked at the treadmill desk at the store that supplies my office. When I go back to work I am seriously considering buying it. It wasn’t as much as I thought it would be but first I need to make sure that there is no issue with my bringing it in to the office.

    Working from home has been a real plus in the whole pain dept because here I can lie down, stand, stretch, and sit any way that is needed to allow me to work comfortably. Have you talked to your bosses about allowing you to work from home?

  6. Ping from Safireblade:

    […] it. I’ll hop by and comment. For more Writing Prompts, plus a daily does of Positive Thoughts via Lady Jai stop by the WriteMotivation G+ community or visit us on Twitter under the hashtag #writemotivation […]

  7. Ping from CJ:

    A lady I worked with had some equipment that would allow her to raise and lower her keyboard and monitor so that she could work standing up or sitting down (she had a back problem and couldn’t stand or sit for long periods so she would switch between). Maybe something like that will work for you, although she had only one monitor so it might be more complicated in your case. Hope they give you something!

    I spend far too much time sitting. But I try to get up once an hour and stretch and move around. Not enough, probably.

    Great goals for August! Good luck with the submissions.

  8. Ping from Rebekah Loper:

    I have been seriously contemplating building a standing desk for my work area, and eventually investing in a separate computer monitor to hook-up to my laptop so I can stand PROPERLY.

    Besides the whole eating-too-much-junk-food lately and making me feel like crap, I think I’ve been sitting/reclining too much.

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