Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kari's Kave: Feeling like Quasi Motto These Days? I've Got Some Tips For You!

Okay, so this post was all written nice and early this morning, but then my computer decided to restart itself and I lost everything. ugh. Then I had to take a break and get the kiddies off to their last half day of school. Tomorrow they go in for just one hour, and then they are done for the summer. But now I'm back and attempting this again. Holy cow, I just posted this but no links showed up. I can't believe I have to edit this again! Okay, links still aren't showing up for some reason, so I'm going to type the websites and you can copy and paste the ones you want to look. Sorry folks, this doesn't seem to be my day :-(

You all know I have been a writing maniac lately. Works great for my deadline...not so great for my health. I have back problems. A friend told me she stands while she works, so I moved my laptop to the island in my kitchen. Perfect height and it worked like a charm. No more back pain. But then my legs and feet started hurting from standing still. I felt like I needed to move.

I suddenly remembered Cassie telling me about a work station she bought and used. And then I remembered a woman from my writing chapter who mentioned a Tread Desk. So I decided to do some research.

I started with a Tread Desk which involves an adjustable desk you can raise when you want to stand and lower when you want to sit. It sits over top of a flat treadmill. The treadmill only goes up to 2 for a speed setting so that you can adjust the speed to easily type while you walk. And when you sit, you just turn off the treadmill and sit your chair right on top of it. It looks like a simple flat mat.

Here's the link:

Then I moved on to an actual Walk Station which involves a whole unit. The desk also raises and lowers over a treadmill, but this treadmill is thicker and this desk is a little more involved. Indent for a keyboard. Monitor that is raised to eye level so no neck or eye strain like you get with looking down at a laptop.

Here's the link:

And then I started thinking which would be better. Laptop on desk or computer monitor at eye level. So I looked into ergonomic tips for these walk stations.

Here's the link:

When all was said and done, I realized these suckers are damned expensive. Maybe in the future I'll sell enough books to afford one. In the meantime, I will combine my island and standing with my treadmill on a low speed and walking by making my own version of a tread desk / walk station. I had my hubby cut a thick piece of board wide enough and deep enough to hold my laptop and give me a bit of room for my notes, etc. and put it on my treadmill. It fits perfectly on the arms, giving me plenty enough room to still stand and walk behind it.

I hate having to go down in the basement, but when my back hurts at my desk upstairs, I simply carry my laptop and notes to the basement, turn on the light, and walk away. I walked for two hours yesterday, wrote 10 pages, and burned 200 calories. Not many calories at such a slow speed, but hey, the point was to write without pain. I had already done my exercise for the day, so these 200 calories were an extra bonus...or a way to burn that glass or two of wine I had later as a reward :-) And if you don't have a treadmill, then find a way to prop your laptop so it's at the right level, and march in place or slowly step side to side while you type away. Give it a try. You just might be surprised at how much it helps.

Here are some extra tips for staying pain free while writing. This is our profession after all, and we are way too young to be feeling like Quasi Motto :-)

Tips for the injured writer

Here's the link:

Exercises for writers and other desk slaves

Here's the link:


Kari Lee Townsend said...

Ugh what a morning. Hope you all are having a better than me so far. I think it's time for a little walk / typing :-)

So tell me, have any of you ever tried to stand / walk / type? Did you make your own or buy some fancy device? Any more tips for what works for you?

CPatLarge said...

You're not alone! When the school where my hubby teaches computer security-geek stuff went to mostly online classes (meaning he sits in front of a PC rather than stands in front of a class), he built his own walking station.

Not sure how to add the photo, so here's a link, if it works.

Keep writing, keep walking. Your dedication is an inspiration!

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Wow, what a great station he built!

It really does help, and yeah, my dedication has more to do with "Oh my God, they paid me, I HAVE to turn this in. Eeek :-)"

Lindsay said...

Interesting post Kari about healthier ways to write. I think I'm going to save this one so when I get older and more broken down I'll have a reference to go to for better writing stations.
Look at the bright side, you've got200 calories less to worry about now and ten pages done

Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

Holy crap! I feel like a slug. My exercise has gone bye-bye so you've inspired me to somehow fit it in and quite possibly WHILE I'm writing! Since I can't write late into the night anymore, and getting up at the ***crack of dawn isn't working for exercise, then maybe a little early evening combo is in order. Just got to figure out how....

Damn make me tired AND look bad! ;-)

Luv ya, now get your pages in today!!!!!

Liz Lipperman said...

Geez, all this talk about exercise before I even have time for my coffee and doughnuts!!

In the summer time, I waterjog, so none of these things would work for me. In the winter, I stretch out on my chaise lounge and write longhand, so again, they wouldn't work. Are you getting the picture?? There's a reason I'm cute and chubby!!

And CP, your hubby is a genius.

Anita Clenney said...

This is great info Kari. I haven't tried standing or walking I type, but I could easily put my laptop on my counter and walk in place. And your board for your treadmill was brilliant.

As far as exercise goes, I tell myself that I will do chair exercises at my desk, but I get carried away and forget. I have some neck pain, so I really need to take breaks. At Nora Roberts Girls Night Out, a physical therapist was there to do hand and arm massages. She told me to at least stop every hour and just bend forward from the waist, letting my arms dangle, spine stretch out and shoulders relax.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Good for you Lindsay. I unfortunatey couldn't wait. I feel ten years older than what I am without taking breaks and writing standing up. I'm hoping this will reverse the clock a bit :-)

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Trust me Barbie, if I didn't have to I probably wouldn't. I'm wayyy too lazy for that. But these long marathon writing jaunts are killing me. Only I can't afford NOT to do them. Once you try it, you'll probably love it.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

You crack me up, Liz. I would probably still use my board and write longhand on my notebook while walking slowly on the treadmill.

Now i just need to fix my carpal tunnel. I might try Liz's thing, where you talk and the computer types it for you. I could still set my laptop on my board and walk, and just talk out loud. It would save a lot of strain on my arms.

Hmmmm, what was the name of that again, Liz? I'm thinking that might be the perfect solution.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

I need to stretch more too, Anita. My fingers get so cramped, and my neck and shoulders too. I get on such a roll, it's hard to stop

Liz Lipperman said...

It was Dragon Naturally Speaking, and I love it. I even have it on my iPhone (free app.)

Kari Lee Townsend said...

That's right. I have GOT to get that.

Lindsay said...

On my iPhone I've got iTalk and upgraded so I can email the dictation to my computer so I don't have to have the phone with me and can save the file to the computer.

CPatLarge said...

'And CP, your hubby is a genius.'

Yes, Liz, he is at times! Just don't tell him that too often ;-)

Often wish I had his motivation...


Cassy Pickard said...

Kari, my dear, I have lots to say about the WalkStation. Yes, sadly, it's expensive. But, it also does the job. If anyone wants more information on it, you know how to find me. I have had tremendous back problems for over 20 years. Too many stories to bore you all with.... this really has made a difference. Great! that you have invented your own. I love it.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

I just wish mine wasn't in a dungeon! I do use my island a lot too, though :-)