On your feet or on your butt or on your bed


How do you write? On your feet or on your butt or on your bed?

I used to write sitting down but then I saw a research study that found that sitting six or more hours a day was linked to 37 percent increased risk of premature death. So I got a little portable standing desk and set my laptop on it. (Of course, sometimes my “work” might involve asking my kajukenbo or kung fu sifu how my character might best get out of a bad situation.)

I would definitely have a standing treadmill if there was any room for it. The only possible place I might put it would be upstairs, but I understand treadmills are extremely heavy and we have the steepest stairs imaginable. (I don’t think they were to code even when the house was built in 1921.) The idea of trying to get something that weighs 200-400 pounds up there is daunting.

I also understand with a treadmill it’s best to have a separate screen at eye-level so you aren’t looking down at your screen. That is a drawback of my standing desk. The ideal height for my hands to type on my laptop is not the ideal place for my eyes to look. Sometimes I look up and not at the screen, but that leads to typos.

A friend who created a makeshift standing desk also calls it her imaginary treadmill. She steps up and down in front of it. She felt it helped her get through a killer deadline.

I do have a Fit Desk, a exercycle with a resting place for your computer. It only weighs about 40 pounds so I got it upstairs okay. But the seat is extremely uncomfortable. I can only sit on it for 30 minutes at a stretch. After a period of it gathering dust I have started using it to read on.

What about you?

Check out how other writers have written over the years. Dahl wrote in a sleeping bag and another tall author wrote on top of a fridge (an old fridge, obviously).




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I could never write in a sleeping bag. I'd be worried someone might wash it, then I'd lose everything ;)
On my butt mostly. But there's a counter along a window wall in the library I've been writing at. It's high and has tall chairs which you can step off of and continue to write. So I remember to stand next to my chair every once in a while to give my butt and my back a rest.
It took me a while to work up to it but now I write at least 50 percent of the time standing. When it doesn't work is when I need to type something in from a paper source - the little standing desk isn't big enough.
Can't you replace the seat on the bike with a more comfortable one?
I was using a treadmill and laptop with a usb keyboard attached.
I actually did get another seat - and a sheepskin cushion. I notice a lot of users were only using it for 30 minutes at a time. I was looking for something I could do all day. Maybe that's just not possible. The company talks about people "adjusting" but they have also changed the seat for the latest model.

Did you put the laptop up higher? How did you support it?

That sounds like a company spin for a lot of complaints on an uncomfortable seat. I don't see why you couldn't use it all day if you can find a comfortable seat. You might be pedaling instead of walking after a few hours of it though. That was my experience after a 2 hour bike ride.

Yes, I had the laptop on a shelf over the treadmill and a board over the handles for the keyboard.