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fitness

Sunday Dispatch

20,000 Steps Kinda Hurts & Other Challenges

Hey friend 👋🏼, how was your week? It was a busy one for me. Yesterday, I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family, and it was filled with food and relaxing. I have been on this challenge to put 20,000 steps (approx. 10 miles) on my legs every day. It’s been hard work, so I was thankful that the gym was open on Thanksgiving morning so I could get most of the work done early. I post my daily step count on my Instagram Story. While jogging on the treadmill, I started thinking about the things I was thankful for. I know it sounds kind of weird, like something your Mom would force you to do, but I was feeling very gracious for where my life is right now. Things are not perfect, but they are pretty great. I think sometimes we need to remember just how good things are even when they might seem like they are not.

There are a few topics that will likely be common in my emails. The first is on building alternative sources of income. Besides my digital marketing agency, I produce YouTube videos, write reviews, and teach online. I am very close to having replaced my income with revenue from these efforts. I would love to share more about how I was able to do that.

The second topic is on productivity and life optimization. I used to like the term lifestyle design, but for me, it’s more about life optimization. Life optimization means doing the work it takes to make your current life better rather than always chasing something in hopes that it will bring happiness. There is happiness right here. It just takes work.

Before we jump into the topics and interesting things I have to share, I wanted to let you know that over 350 people have downloaded my Daily Log template in the last week. That’s pretty awesome. I plan to make a video about how I use it this week; I will share that with you in the next email. Of course, you can always subscribe to my personal YouTube channel so you get notified when it goes live.

Lastly, today is Black Friday. I am not sure if that is a common thing or not, but are you buying something for yourself on Black Friday? I always put away a few dollars in case something I want but wouldn’t pay full price goes on sale. This year I held back and didn’t purchase anything personal on Black Friday. I do make business purchases on Black Friday because, for some reason, companies that sell business services give deals as well. I’ll list my Black Friday Purchases below. Reply to this email and let me know what you are buying today.

Be Challenged Now

It’s almost the end of the year, so you are probably starting to think about those things you want to either start or stop doing at the beginning of the year. Wanting to start right away, I started challenging myself in a few ways already. In the last email, I shared my progress with you, and I will continue to update you at the bottom of each email so if I start slipping, you can call me out 😜

The hardest part about sticking to something for me has been staying motivated. I have found that the simple act of tracking it each day has been motivating enough. If I do something for five days in a row, I don’t want to have to start over at day one again, so I keep going. I have been testing a few habit tracking apps and also added a section to my Daily Log to track my progress as well.

Here are the three Apps I have been testing out. I will make a video about them soon, but to be honest, I prefer to track this in my Daily Log even though these apps are also on my Apple Watch, which makes it easy to check off achievements as they happen.

I’m not looking to develop a habit of anything specific; I’m developing the habit of doing things and challenging myself. Most people talk about doing things, few people do things. I want to be a person who is always doing things. What is one thing you always talk about but never do? Hit reply to this email and share that with me.

Habit Tracker Apps

Listed from left to right:

  • Productive – Nice interface. Easy to use. Has a monthly cost. (iOS & Android)
  • Strides – Simple interface. Easy to use. Monthly cost, but can be used for free with limitations. (iOS Only)
  • Streaks – Easy to use. I like the big buttons. App has a cost, no monthly subscription. (iOS Only)

If you are an Android user and want more options, let me know. I will test a few and include them in my video.

📺 New Videos This Week

VAVA 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector Review

State of Tech – Mobile Tech Reviews, Tips & News

Have you heard of 4K Laser Video Projectors? I spent some time with one to see if it would make a good replacement for our TV. This projector doesn’t have to go clear across the room, it goes up against the wall and projects almost straight up onto your wall. Pretty cool.

Check out the video.

Video Update!

I did a lot of filming and editing last week but only got out one video. Going into December, I have a lot of videos I want to put out on State of Tech, Ditch Auto, and my own YouTube channel. I will keep you updated in these emails but you can also go subscribe to my channels if you prefer.

My Black Friday Purchases

  • Freshbooks – This is the Invoicing & Bookkeeping service I use to run my business. I’ve been using Freshbooks for over 12 years now and it just rocks. They are running a Black Friday discount for new users. Save 50% off plans for the first three months if you skip the 30-day trial. Try Freshbooks
  • LensProToGo – I don’t need to own all of the camera gear. It’s actually cheaper to rent some of it just when I need it. I just rented a camera and lens I have wanted to try to take to Florida next month when my wife and I travel there for a friend’s wedding. You can actually use the coupon code “JERAD” to save 15% off of your rental. I don’t get paid for sending you there, I just like their services. Try LensProToGo
  • Teachable – I have hosted my online courses on Teachable for a few years now and Teachable just works well. They also run Black Friday deals each year so I renew at this time and save each time as well. Try Teachable
  • Namecheap – I buy way too many domain names (website addresses). Namecheap is running a bunch of sales right now so I purchased a new domain name for a small side project I have wanted to start working on. Check out Namecheap

Momentous Occasions

My youngest child turned one!

My youngest turned one the other day. We had a party for her last weekend. I captured this photo of her dumping the pumpkin off of the chair. That is totally her style. She keeps me busy. We brought her home at 11-days old and she officially became part of our family on August 12th. It’s crazy to think that this time last year we had no idea she was being born and that on December 7th we would get a call asking us if we could provide her with a home. One day I would like to tell the story of our adoption journey somehow. The entire journey took us almost three years.

What Resonated This Week

Ideas, quotes, and thoughts that are “resonating” with me make it to a new section in my Daily Log. Here are a few from the past week:

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C. S. Lewis

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” – James Baldwin

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami

Now

🇺🇸 Writing From: Home Office

💪🏼 Current Challenges:

  • 20,000 Steps/Day for 30-days (Day 9 – Friend me on Fitbit)
  • No Sip November – No alcohol (Day 28)

📱 App of the Week: Zero – Intermittent Fasting Tracker

🎧 Listening: The Side Hustle Show Podcast

📖 Reading: I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships by Michael S. Sorensen

🍿 Watching: Disney+

➡️ More now

Next

Several of you responded to my last email letting me know that you wanted a photography-related newsletter. I am trying to figure out what that might look like. Next week I will likely have a signup form, so make sure to look out for that if you are interested.

Thank You!

Thank you 🙏 for your support.

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Disclosure: My content occasionally contains affiliate links and I earn a small referral commission for your purchases (at no extra cost to you). This helps fund the costs to support the newsletter, and I’m grateful for you!

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The Value of Challenging Yourself

The Value of Challenging Yourself

Over the past few months, I have been challenging myself in different ways. I believe that we grow the most when we feel challenged. When we have a lack of challenge in our lives, we find ourselves deep in a comfort zone. It takes a constant level of difficulty to keep us sharp and feeling motivated.

There are many different methods for challenging ourselves. I try to challenge myself in ways that stretch me both personally and professionally. Some of life’s challenges will come naturally, such as when you get married or have a child. Other challenges we must force ourselves to take on such as losing weight or working to get a promotion.

I like this concept of challenging myself because it keeps me moving towards something. It is easy to get comfortable in situations you would rather be growing in. It’s easy to let things go when it comes to parenting your kids. It’s easy to eat that extra thing instead of throwing it away. The easy road is the most comfortable until it’s not anymore.

In this post, I am going to identify four different areas in which we can challenge ourselves. There are a lot more, but for me, these were where I started.

Common Types of Personal Challenges

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Relational
  • Occupational

These four personal challenge categories are all very difficult topics for me. I have struggled big time in each of these categories. Perhaps I will go deeper into that in a later blog post or podcast episode.

Physical Challenges

I used to be very physically fit. It was easy in my late teens and early twenties. I worked out a lot, was pretty active, and ate whatever I wanted. Pretty simple… Until it wasn’t that simple anymore. Responsibilities took most of my time and soon I was not going to the gym. My diet changed as well. I was not unhealthy, but I was overweight. I was giving my body more than it needed and it was storing that for me. I had to challenge myself to eat better and be more active.

Mental Challenges

Life would happen and I would just deal with it. That used to work for me. Handle it or forget about it. Those were the silos I put everything in until they were overflowing and everything came spilling out. I realized that if you don’t take care of your past you are carrying it with you. It was too heavy and I needed to get a handle on it.

Relational

I have never been good at maintaining relationships. I don’t have many friends and even fewer close friends. I was always too busy and didn’t want to spend time with people who had nothing better to talk about than sports facts. That made it hard for me to fit in with groups and I eventually developed some social anxiety. I have been challenging myself to make and maintain more friendships in hopes that some of them become deeper friendships.

Occupational

The problem with working for yourself is that there are often only two motivators: Money and Clients. You need money so you get clients. Clients want the work done or you don’t get money. If the clients are happy and my bills are paid on time, it is easy to feel safe. Feeling safe for too long leads to a lack of growth both in my business but also in myself professionally. I have had to find new ways to challenge myself to grow while at the same time not killing off what is still working.

Why Do We Need Challenges?

We need challenges to help us grow and get outside of our comfort zone. Without them, we stay comfortable until we get taken out by someone who’s challenge was to get ahead. It happens at work and in our personal lives. If I am not getting outside of my comfort zone then I’m not growing. I am finding ways to avoid frustration and avoid the change that I want in my life. That means I am saying no to opportunities that could be really interesting but might take some extra work and I am saying yes to relaxing and taking the easy route.

If we are ever going to progress, we need to expand beyond our current understanding. You might be a professional in your industry but there is always someone with more experience. My kids often feel like they know everything about a subject until I ask them to go up against someone with more experience than them. Whether it be a video game or their jiu-jitsu class, they need to seek out challenges to help them grow.

It is very important to put yourself up against others, even if they don’t know you are doing it. Sometimes my kids have a great jiu-jitsu session, other times, they get owned by some other kid. That is how life works. Sometimes we win and sometimes we get owned. You can have all of the techniques and lose in endurance. It happens. My kids have been in jiu-jitsu for over a year now and some days feel like they just started last week.

Challenges give us opportunities to learn more about ourselves. You don’t learn much about yourself from the couch. If you sit in your office all day and never bring that new idea to the table, you never learn whether or not your idea would fly. Sometimes we learn that showing up is what it takes and as long as we keep showing up, we keep winning. That is the case for me with my challenge to get back in shape. I just keep showing up. I’m not looking for perfection each time I go to the gym, I just get up and go.

Fear is also overcome when we challenge ourselves. You beat fear regardless of when you take on a new challenge. Fear is what stops you from even starting. Fear is what keeps you in bed at 4AM instead of getting up to go to the gym. Fear is what keeps me from blogging, recording a podcast, sending an email to thousands of people, or talking to my kids about something tough. The more you avoid fear, the easier it gets to stay somewhere safe.

My Challenges

I have been challenging myself to get to the gym first thing in the morning at least four days of the week. My goal is that I never skip more than two days in a row. For the most part, I have been able to stick to that. I have to get up early to get to the gym because that is the only time I can make it. Once the day starts, it’s too late. The demands of my family and work are priorities of mine so I can’t take off for an hour or two in the middle of them. I would prefer to sleep in, but I go to bed early so I can get up really early to work out. I feel great for the rest of the day when I keep that challenge to myself.

Another recent challenge has been to start sending a weekly newsletter to those who have given me their email address over the years through one of my websites. I had a list of over 22,000 emails and I was doing nothing with them. That’s 22,000 people who wanted to hear from me but didn’t. I have also wanted to get back into podcasting. I love podcasting and have been doing it off and on for about 20 years now. I would start and stop, because of fear. I know that I need to challenge myself to send something weekly by email and publish at least one podcast. This challenge is in line with the goals that I have for myself that fit into all four of the categories mentioned above.

My Challenge For You

What fear is blocking you from taking on a new challenge? It could be the opinion of someone else, or just a voice inside you telling you you’re not good enough. If you would be so brave as to share that with me in the comments section below, I would appreciate that. If not, please subscribe to my newsletter and reply to Issue #2 when it comes out. I will be making a similar ask at the end of this week’s email newsletter.

What can you do today to start challenging yourself? For my fitness challenge, sometimes it is just getting out of bed when the alarm goes off. If I get out of bed and head out the door, I will arrive at the gym and workouts will happen. The first step is getting out of bed. If that doesn’t happen, the rest of the plan is over before it even started. What is your first step?

Final Thoughts

Your challenge doesn’t have to be big. I know that on social media everybody looks like they are making these giant leaps ahead, but that is the problem with social media, it’s a highlight reel. We see the before and after pictures posted at the same time and we don’t get the story that includes all of the challenges they had to overcome to get there. Your challenge can be small. Small challenges add up to big change.

It also doesn’t have to be public. Often the first thing we do when we decide to do something is post about it. That does two things. It puts the pressure of other’s expectations on us and it gives people an opportunity to give us excuses as to why we can’t or shouldn’t challenge ourselves. I prefer to challenge myself in private as often as possible because sometimes I don’t know if what I want will benefit me or not in the way I hope it will. If I make it public, I then have to back down in public.

With other challenges, I have to give myself time to work them into my life. Lately, I have been giving myself 30-day challenges so I can measure the results and see if this is really what I want. If it is, I keep at it and hopefully, it will soon become an aspect of my life.

Sometimes we think that involving others whether it be friends, loved ones, or social media followers will help keep us accountable. I have found that people are actually more likely to give you excuses than to help you achieve your goals. When I would decide to stop working towards something I really wanted people would say, “well, you have four kids, you are busy enough,” or something like that. They are not trying to keep me from being the best version of me, they are just trying to help me feel better. But I don’t want to feel better, I want to feel challenged, so I keep it to myself at the beginning.

Whether you want to grow physically, mentally, relationally, occupationally, or all of the above, I hope that you decide to start challenging yourself today.

Thanks for reading! I ask that you would please subscribe to my Weekly Email Newsletter and if you like listening to audio, Subscribe to my Podcast.

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Office Workout of the Day – OWOD

Office Workout of the Day - OWOD

Since I was a teen I have always cared about fitness. Over the years, my level of motivation has changed as I have aged and entered into new life chapters. After I turned thirty, I started to realize that I need to stay more on top of how I take care of my body. Over the last five years, I have battled with acid reflux and an underactive thyroid. Due to general business and just being tired, I have let myself slack on staying fit. My eating habits have been less than desirable as well. I have not put on much additional weight over the last several years, but I have not improved in any way either.

A couple of weeks ago, I started going to bed earlier so I could get up and go to the gym before my family gets up for the day. This was and still is a struggle, but I have been able to get a good workout in at least 5 days each week for the last two weeks. Over two years ago, I purchased a few weights for my office and occasionally would work out from my office. I never worked out very hard at my office because I did not want to get sweaty or be uncomfortable. I don’t have a shower here. Today, I decided to challenge myself to do a simple workout every hour at my office to get me up out of my chair or from standing in place. I have a desk I can stand at and spend about half of my day standing at my desk versus sitting. To keep accountable and to challenge myself, I started blogging about my process at http://owod.fit. The idea is that I will do a workout-of-the-day at my office that is something anybody could do with limited or no equipment. You can follow along with me at the new website.

I hesitated using the acronym WOD, which has become synonymous with the Crossfit movement. I think Crossfit is a good thing, however, I also think that it has opened the floodgates to improper form and potential joint/muscle damage by those who do not take the time to learn proper form. This is not the case for all Crossfitters, but what I see on Instagram and Facebook is a good indicator that Chiropractors and Orthopedic Surgeons have a bright future.

I am not following Crossfit, nor do I plan to. I am simply using the acronym WOD, which stands for Workout-of-the-day, which was around far before Crossfit was a thing.

Goblet Squat - OWOD

Office Workout of the Day: http://owod.fit

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On the Effects of Eating Clean and Running

Last year I decided to start eating clean which resulted in me eating vegan for about 7 months. I felt that something must be wrong with me because I was having stomach issues that my doctor could not find an medicine could not treat. I have never been a fan of taking medication and less I absolutely have to so being on stomach medicine for almost a year without any real results was starting to really bug me. I decided that what I needed to do was go back to the basics and remove all potential foods that could be causing problems. Eating clean is not easy in the world we live in today. Everything has been touched by chemicals or some sort of treatment. I am not good at preparing my food in advance so most of the time I was eating foods that could be prepared quickly or came from a box.

Years ago I cut out most fast food and soda as I know that those foods are no good at all. I felt like my eating habits were good. When I compared my eating habits to others, I felt like I was doing pretty good. Going vegan is basically what I did for 7 months and I still eat more vegan than not. About a month or so ago I started having meat once or twice per week. I still rarely eat dairy. Now that I am noticing results, I plan to move closer to a full vegan diet without plan to end it. What started as a test to see if I could fix my stomach issues resulted in me learning a whole lot more about my body that I was not even thinking about.

I have struggled with running since I basically got out of high school. Once my bike was no longer my main mode of transportation I became rather sedentary. Though I have always worked out and tried to be active from time to time, I was not being as active as I should be and was not feeding my body properly. When I turned 30 and had my first child, I really started to notice issues with my body internally. I developed bad acid reflux that not only made me more sedentary but also effected me mentally. I was not ready to slow down, I was only 30. I knew that I had not given my body the attention it deserved in my 20’s but I was not that hard on my body during those years. For a few years I let myself believe that I was just slowing down and might not ever get back to where I was.

A few years ago, in an attempt to regain stamina I had not been able to find since my very early 20’s I started running. I used the Runkeeper app to track my progress and it was pretty sad. I would walk for about 1/4 mile to warm up, then run for 1/4 mile and be out of breath. I would walk for a while and try to run again and barely get another 1/4 mile out of myself. The last time I remember being able to run for 10 minutes straight was on a treadmill when I was about 20 years old and even making it to 10 minutes was hard for me. After going running about 5-6 times over the course of about 2 weeks my legs were so thrashed I could not concentrait from the soreness. I had my Chiropractor and a Massage Therapist work on my legs which were full of trigger points and very tight tendons. This was very disheartening for me as I felt I had let to much time go by not having taken good enough care of my legs to be able to run. Even my lungs would burn after running for more than 5-10 minutes. I felt that my whole body was fighting against my desire to run.

Two weeks ago I was at a conference in Seattle. When I am at conferences out of town I tend to work out a lot because I don’t have anything else to do in the early mornings or evenings. Because I was staying 1.5 blocks away from the water I decided to go for a jog. To my surprise I was able to jog for quite a while with out experiencing any pain. Knowing that I was going to be on my feet all day at the conference I did not push myself very hard. Even with that mindset, I was able to put down 2.8 miles at an average pace of 13.5 minutes. I was walking and jogging at what I was hoping would be a manageable pace that would not kill me. I was really quite surprised at the fact that I had no pain in my legs and knees. I could have jogged another 2.8 miles and increased my pace if I had wanted to. While in Seattle, I walked a lot and ran two more times. When I got back home, I went for a couple of runs. The first run was 2.4 miles at an 11:40 minute per mile pace and the second run 2 days later was 4.6 miles at a 12:17 pace. At this point I was really surprised at what was happening. I would get home from a run and ice down my knees, shins and ankles preparing for the worse. I would eat some food and take some ibuprofen just to make sure. I was expecting to break down or have issues at any time, but I have yet to do so. All I want is more.

Yesterday afternoon I ran just shy of 6 miles with an average pace of 10:26 and then woke up this morning and rode my mountain bike for 11.5 miles at a 3:54 pace. It’s 4:30pm and I feel like I could go run another 6 miles if I wanted to. It’s crazy, almost unbelievable. Besides pleading to God asking Him to fix whatever is broken with my body I believe the answer came in my decision to eat clean. There have been a few times that I have fasted in an attempt to grow closer to God and I feel that I have relied on Him the same way through my decision to eat clean.

As I mentioned before, eating clean is not easy. We go out to eat a lot and it is hard to find vegan friendly food in my area. When I was in Seattle for those few days it was easy to find restaurants that only served vegan and clean foods but not in Modesto, CA. I have found that at most restaurants you can modify what they have on the menu and make it work. There were times I would just eat a salad with no dressing because that is all that I could make work while eating out. Some of my family treated me like I had a terminal illness because I told them I was not eating any meat or dairy. It’s almost unheard of around here especially coming from a guy who has a 55 gallon meat smoker in his back yard. I love meat and I like it medium rare. I love cheese on pretty much everything. For a while it was a difficult transition.

There are right ways and wrong ways to eat vegan. Grocery stores have vegan items you can buy. For a while we were using vegan ground beef which is basically veggie protein to make tacos and stuff like that but I would still feel bloated or have acid reflux issues. Even though many of those products seem healthy, and for the most part they are, they still had something in them that my body did not like. Regardless, I was eating a lot cleaner than I was prior to my decision to eat vegan. Though I did not lose any weight or notice any physical changes on my outside appearance I continued on.

The first time I noticed any difference was when I went on that jog in Seattle and then later read about clean eating and recovery times in a book called “Eat Run” by Scott Jurek. I had read “Finding Ultra” by Rich Roll, but was to early into my vegan diet and had not started jogging again. My goal in reading these books was just to find out what extreme athletes like this were feeding their bodies to be able to sustain that level of endurance. I never imagined myself being able to run again, I had mostly given up on running altogether. Now that I have been able to log a few miles gaining speed with each attempt, I have realigned my goals with my new found enjoyment. Never did I assume I would be able to enjoy running. Now I am planning to attack some goals I set for myself a few years ago but was assuming I would never be able to achieve. I plan to run a 10k in the next 30 days and run a half marathon in the next 90 days.

If you can relate in any way to how I have described my struggles, I suggest giving clean eating a try. Some people can tolerate the chemicals and toxins in most of the food out there but many of us can’t. I surely can’t handle them. They only explanation I have for being able to once again run and bike as often as I have been with out any pain is the change in my diet. I am actually excited about this change in my life and new discovery. Running is something I can do that I can measure and can only be done with my body. God willing, I will continue on this path in an attempt to endure more and care for my body even better. Though I have slipped a little bit over the last month with my clean eating regimen  I am going to get back to where I was and strive to eat even cleaner than I was before now understanding it’s positive effect on my body.

What’s next?

As I mentioned above, I have some goals I feel I can put on the fast track to achieve. I need to focus more on the foods and fluids I put in my body. I want to track how my body performs not just in miles traveled or average pace. Once I have a better handle on eating cleaner and vegan I would like to attempt to eat raw. I like to measure, I am an analytics junkie. The more data I can gather the better. I look forward to achieving new goals, setting personal records and then working to break them.

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30 Days at a Standing Desk

Standing Desk

Exactly a month ago I posted this Tweet:

Standing Desk Tweet

Many of the fitness blogs I read were talking about how unhealthy it is to sit at a desk all day long. Since I started designing websites full time back in 2005 I have spent the larger portion of my day in a chair behind my desk. Since having my first child I have been able to make it to the gym much less. My wife is a stay at home Mom and my son is there with her, so I want to be home with them when I am not working. In the past I would justify sitting all day by spending a good 2 hours 5-6 days per week at the gym. 2011 has not been a kind year to me as far as time spent at the gym goes. This is what prompted me to move to a standing desk. Now that I have been at it for 30 days I thought it would be good to report my findings.

Sitting Desk Standing Desk
Click the photos to view them larger. Sorry for the horrible iPhone photos. I did not think to take nice photos when beginning this journey.

I have found many good things and bad things about being behind a Standing Desk, however some of those things may just be specific to me. I will first outline how each week went and then recap my findings below. If you have spent any time behind a standing desk I would love to hear about how it went for you in the comments section below.

The First Week:
The first few days of standing my legs got tired. I noticed that my body was burning more calories per day as I found myself more hungry around each meal. During the first standing week I sat on a stool about 20% of my work day. During this week I was very busy and moved around a lot which made it easier for me to be standing.

The Second Week:
During this week I was very busy with app reviews for Dailyappshow.com. This meant that there was a lot of round tripping between my desk and the app recording station. I sit on a stool while I record the app video demos which are about 3-5 minutes in length each. At my standing desk I probably sat on the stool about 15% of the time and stood the rest. I also started noticing that my ability to focus on a project for long periods of time was a bit more difficult but I figured it was due to how busy I was with the app demo videos.

The Third Week:
This was another busy week with app demo videos. I also had several meetings outside of my office and a few meetings at my office so I had some mixed sit down time while driving and being in those meetings. I don’t recall using my stool at my standing desk at all this week. I also added in a 2×3 foot Anti-Fatigue mat (Amazon Link). It took me a few days to get used to the mat because of it’s texture, however I did notice an increase in overal comfort. This mat was easier on my knees through out the day. I also noticed that I would lean on my desk a lot to take pressure off of my legs. I started thinking about how my back had not hurt at all during this process of standing for 8 hours a day, sometimes longer. My productivity was still a bit distracted as I was very busy working on small projects. It was hard for me to attempt to start a larger project. At this point I was not sure why. I also had a wedding this week, a very long 12 hour day of shooting. I felt that my legs were good to go and not even tired at the end of the 12 hour day. My body and mind were tired but my legs were good.

The Fourth Week:
I finished up last week strong. I actually had some items sitting on my stool and did not use it once. I was standing for 100% of the day while at my desk. The only times I sat was at home and in my car. I made it to the gym once this weekend and being that it had been a month since my last gym visit I was surprised at how much leg stamina I had while doing normal workouts I typically needed weeks to get into after lapses this long in gym visits. I noticed that my leg strength was improved. Standing at any time was no big deal. I never looked around for somewhere to sit, I was fine standing, unless everybody else was sitting.

Thoughts on a Standing Desk for fitness and general well being:
I believe what I had read. Standing as opposed to sitting all day is much better for health. You don’t burn but a few calories sitting down but when you stand you burn around 800+ more calories per day. This is a huge increase in activity during those times I was not making it to the gym at all. If you do not have any issues with your legs then I suggest a standing desk over a sitting desk. Don’t worry if you have to use a stool and start off standing in moderation. I attempted to go from all day sitting to all day standing from the start. I decided to take sitting breaks rather than breaks to stand up from my sitting position. Overall I did feel healthier. I am not sure if I lost any weight. I have always fluctuated in weight depending on how active I am, how I am eating and the stress levels I am currently undertaking. It is hard to determine if anything works for weight loss because all of the stars must be aligned for me to really make change happen.

When at home I got much more enjoyment out of sitting because I had spent my entire day standing. I could really relax at home when sitting on my couch or laying in bed.

Thoughts on a Standing Desk for productivity:
I mentioned how things went from week to week so you could see how my productivity was. Notice how I was really good with short term tasks and I didn’t really complete any long term tasks in one day. I truly feel that the standing desk gave me Task ADD. I was unable to just knock out an entire website project in one day like I used to be able to. I had to break it up into chunks or I wouldn’t get it done. In my current office I do not have enough room for a sitting and standing desk so I actually removed the sitting desks to place standing desks for myself and Ben who works with me part time.

I had this realization that my productivity style has completely changed today and Ben confirmed that he feels the same way however he didn’t really notice it until I brought it up. It is really hard to say if this is the same for everybody but I feel that it makes sense. When sitting you are not worrying about much. You don’t have to balance yourself, you don’t feel like moving around and you don’t get as restless. Standing in one place makes me feel like I have to move around more. I am even changing windows on my computer much more often. I have one display but I use Mission Control or what used to be called Spaces on my Mac to have the applications I am using open across multiple screens. I feel like I have ADD there as well. I switch through screens more often and have to see what is going on in each app rather than focusing on one for any particular length of time. It is quite possible that standing has just brought out the fact that I have some form of adult ADD but I think it is just a restlessness that is brought on by standing in the same spot for long lengths of time.

Most people who have standing jobs are moving about. When I used to work in retail at any given time I was behind the cash wrap, in the stock room or out on the floor. When I had my own store I was packaging shipments, working on motors, talking to people, placing orders and doing all sorts of other activities that all took place in different spaces. At my current office, my computer is at my standing desk and that is where I would spend most of my day. To be honest the only reason I feel I have written as much as I have right now is due to the fact that I am sitting on the stool instead of standing.

Angles: I also noticed that the angles of using a keyboard and trackpad from a standing position is much harder on my hands. It is much more of a bind on my wrists then before. This may also play into the lack of ability to work through longer tasks such as writing code. At a sitting desk I used to write code for hours on end with out stopping for more than a drink of something. At a standing desk I find myself switching to something else so I can stop typing and most of the time I do it subconsciously.

Standing Desk vs. Sitting Desk:
I believe that everybody should at least try standing. I would not suggest that you make the switch until you have tried it for at least a week and can see how it effects your productivity and of course your body. We all want to be healthier but we also need to finish work and get paid. I moved out my sitting desk when I started this so I have adapted to my standing workspace. I really wish that I had the room for both. I believe that for longer web projects that I would be better served by sitting a comfortable position while I write code. I plan to look for a good bar height chair so I can recreate my sitting desk environment for when I need to concentrait on projects for a long period of time. I will however continue to use my standing desk because I know that it is better for my body.

If you are in a job where you are behind a computer all day with out moving, a standing desk may be kind of hard for you. It will be much easier if you can have tasks separated by space or location as opposed to one space such as your desk. I found myself most productive when I was able to move to different locations and handle a task away from my standing desk. When I came back to my standing desk I was always more productive for the first hour.

We were created with the ability to move about which is why I am left wondering if we are designed to stand in one place. If standing was so productive why would sitting ever have came into the picture?

Let me know if you have tried a standing desk or considered it. What are/were your thoughts and concerns? I would love to hear more about what others have experienced so I can determine if I am just crazy or if there really is something to this.

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