* standing desk: I love mine. 2x6 legs, 2x4 connecters, $50 at Home Depot, and 4 hours of work -- http://www.flickr.com/photos/niels_olson/5097452401/lightbox...
* live close enough to work to walk or ride. Ride to the train or ferry if necessary. (I ride 17 miles, take a train, then another 4 miles)
* Move to Southern California. I'm not kidding.
50 low crunches, 5n pushups, m half-down pullups
50 side crunches, 5(n-1) pushups, m-2 half-down pullups
50 crunches, 5(n-2) pushups, m-4 half-down pullups
50 opposite side crunches, 5(n-3) pushups, m-6 half-down pullups
Vary n and m to ability
* Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
Michael Pollan, Unhappy Meals (Food, Inc; King Corn, and Omnivore's Dilemma condensed into one essay) --http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/28/magazine/28nutritionism.t....
Join the Slow Food movement: http://www.slowfood.com/about_us/eng/manifesto.lasso
Four books I'd like to see in every kitchen:
* Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (number one among vegetarians, but also the vegetable cookbook everyone should have) -- http://www.amazon.com/Vegetarian-Cooking-Everyone-Deborah-Ma...
* Mark Bittman, Fish (If you can't cook fish after this, kill yourself) -- http://www.amazon.com/Fish-Complete-Guide-Buying-Cooking/dp/...
* Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking (unrivaled, in depth, the go-to resource for food hackers) -- http://www.amazon.com/Food-Cooking-Science-Lore-Kitchen/dp/0...
* Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (the original food hacker) -- http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Art-French-Cooking-Vol/dp/03...
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, AKA the Big Orange Book, is fantastic. The mushroom risotto recipe is to die for.
I bike commute here, but it's maybe probably less practical or convenient than when I was commuting to downtown Pittsburgh or lower Manhattan. My commute would be nontrivial for someone of normal fitness & not much experience on a bicycle: 20 miles round-trip, 2000 feet of climbing, a portion along Interstate 5.
> * Move to Southern California. I'm not kidding.
Seriously, the streets are pretty much deserted in LA--most people are driving and those who aren't, are on a bus. The normal bits of exercise and fresh air that a person might get in an east coast city are not something most people experience in LA. Or in many parts of California. If you're not the sort who makes time for the gym or outdoor activity, you're not going to be in good shape (literally and figuratively).
FWIW, btw, there's this NY Times blog post which suggests New Yorkers are healthier than the norm (though it suggests that the walking may not be so significant...but who knows--all that tramping up and down stairs for the subway, running for the bus and just walking around town might make a difference):
Then, of course, there are the mental/emotional aspects of living in places that are more socially-oriented (e.g. NYC) vs. those that are not (e.g. LA)...
So, all in all, I'm not so sure that Southern California is necessarily such a panacea :-)
"It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something."
> linear relationship between bad weather and increasing ADHD diagnoses
That linear relationship could just as easily be due to something like vitamin D deficiency, SAD, environmental factors of growing up in such an environment, etc.
Potential errata: crunches may damage your spine, fish may be full of heavy metals and corexit.
Why would isometrics work better than range-of-movement(using weights and cardio) in this case? When doing static exercises you are simply pushing until you're stopped by your weakest link, while in range-of-movement, momentum from other muscles can help you cheat on the weak areas, so that even though you expose many angles of contraction, not all of them are always fully contracted. Hence you can end up with spots of underdevelopment.
I'm pretty sure static holds also help to counteract the sitting problem, since flexing has a very relaxing effect on stiff muscles - it would follow that flexing them as much as possible is an even better idea!
If someone was unable to get a standing desk, do you think kneeling at a normal desk might be better than sitting all the time?
Maybe you could get a bar, like this one for $229:
Work on it, or use it as a bar when you have company over. Throw some casters on the bottom, and you can easily move it around.
Edit: Like this one http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/181-7379211-8663135?asi...
However, I found fairly quickly that I needed to get a stool for occasional sitting. If you've been in a desk job for 15 years like me, going to a standing work position is killer. Worse for me was I found that I couldn't think standing up! I had to sit to think. I think it's important as a transition, otherwise you'll most likely go back to a sitting desk after 2 weeks.
A month or so later and I don't use the chair nearly as much, and I'm actually enjoying getting sore feet BEFORE my back hurts.
No doubt there were people in history who moved about more than we do. There were also people who moved far less than we do, on account of being snowed in all winter, or chained to a Lowell sewing machine. And I think our diet is on average, better than theirs was. I don't claim to know the causes of the increase in heart disease, but I know specious pop sociology when I see it.
Meanwhile, I don't think you can assert that sewing at the professional level is approximately as sedentary as keyboard work without data. The cloth doesn't cut itself. It doesn't load itself. You are constantly moving your hands and arms. Until the advent of electrical controls the machines had to be clutched and unclutched by hand, even if the actual power came from a central belt drive system. And so on.
I don't mean to suggest that walking and thinking is useless. It's quite productive, actually. But theoretical hacking will only get you so far. Sooner or later you have to type things, and read the results, and read the manuals and blogs that explain the results, and I can't really do much of that while strolling around the block.
Selfishly, my question can be boiled down to "build a standing desk or splurge on a GeekDesk?", but I am genuinely interested in how people use them long term.
Get 10 packets of 8.5 X 14 printer paper. (8.5 X 11 works too, but not as well)
Make a tower for your keyboard. Make another tower for your mouse. Tilt your monitor back by putting something underneath it.
Adjust the height by adding or removing packets.
I have no idea why people don't do this immediately when they're considering a standing desk. Everything you need is in the printer room of your office!
Having said that, there are several reasons to throw a few dollars at the problem:
Tilting your monitor up is, itself, lousy ergonomics. My monitor is already balanced on a tower of books to get it to proper height when I'm sitting; another 18 inches and it will be like playing Jenga with my company's LCD.
Your first days as a standee will necessarily be the hardest. The feature where you can swap from seated to standing and back in five seconds with one hand will never be handier than in the first month. And if you skimp on this feature you'll be in danger of giving yourself a bad experience, needlessly.
I've since upgraded to boxes.
I've been contemplating a geekdesk for ages, but at ~$800... I can't bring myself to do it. I'm a little nomadic, live in a 1 bedroom, and not sure how it will fit in a Mini Cooper or smaller SUV trunk.
The only way to make it go is to hover over "Home".
This is bad usability.
Some of the things in this article are just wrong. For example that sitting will cause "bad" forward pelvic tilt. Sitting generally eliminates forward pelvic tilt- which is the real problem. Forward pelvic tilt (sticking the but out) is the posture all humans used until recently in Western civilization.
Also, the idea that sitting will make you fatter because you aren't burning calories is fairly silly. In that case, an hour at the gym would be able to make up for all your sitting. At any rate, most people's appetites/metabolism will simply adjust (read Good Calorie, Bad Calorie for an overview of the obesity evidence).
All this being said, as a personal theory I consider sitting in a chair to be harmful. Any time civilization does something like this it usually has bad consequences. Sitting in chairs could be the number one thing we do that ruins our flexibility. Humans are supposed to be able to squat with their butt on the floor.
Standing while working is a fine alternative (and a treadmill desk would seem even better). However, other postures are going to be required to start re-gaining natural flexibility. I am experimenting now with different postures- squatting, sitting on the ground, and standing with a bent back. It is possible to work at a computer while doing all of these.
They say it works in the video for doing things like e-mail and phone calls... maybe it would work for things that require more concentration...I wonder if anyone has had experience doing something like this while writing code.
Looks like a neat idea either way.
If you think about it from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes some sense. No use in thinking deeply while hunting; while hunting you just need to stay alive and kill your prey. But when you sit down to rest after a long day of hunting your brain is ready to think through more complex things (planning, etc.)
I'm reading Spark right now and I'm pretty sure I read about the above in that book, but I can't find a source. If there's a neuroscientist on HN who is up-to-date with the literature, it'd be cool to hear your viewpoint on this.
Even so, I find treadmill extremely annoying. I wouldn't use it for work.
I run in the real world, and do it seriously.
I would think that this might not be good for you either, though I could be wrong.
It was linked in the article. It is very interesting, even if you workout some of these might be hard to obtain.
In 2009, Katzmarzyk studied the lifestyle habits of more than 17,000 men and women and found that the people who sat for almost the entire day were 54 percent more likely to end up clutching their chests than those who sat for almost none of the time.
It reminds me very much of an old SNL skit with Jerry Seinfeld about "news-at-11" style reporting. I can't find a better link than this one:
But the whole thing is filled with quotes like "Connor, it's no bark and all bite for golden retrievers and other so-called family dogs. What's causing these sweet and furry creatures to viciously attack sleeping toddlers? Stay, and we'll tell you in a minute.".
But what about intense, all-day excursions on the weekends? The kind that keep your heart rate up all day long and leave you limp and beaten?
Did you mean to include that "not" in there?
Anyone know what I'm talking about?
It's better to have something that adjusts easily (like a counter-balanced monitor arm and keyboard tray).
Ooh... like this! http://www.ergotron.com/WorkFit/tabid/640/language/en-US/def...
The main downside I've seen is that greater mobility makes the kitchen (which is only 15 feet away) way to easy to get to. I think I've replaced the extra calories I burn with more snacks.
My desk is an old coffee table top sitting on my keyboard stand (as in musical keyboard). I also have a stool for when the feet get sore, but I try not to use it too much.
1. Barefoot running. (check for me)
2. Paleolithic diet. (nope)
3. Stand while hacking not siting. (nope)
#3 is easy to implement, just put the chair in the other room. #1 is already done. #2 is hard to do because I don't make the choice to shop for X food plus potato chips are tasty.
Of course, even if they had not, it does not mean that the paleo diet is somehow automatically better: the only conclusion that can be made is that it is an adequate diet to sustain a person.
Regarding cattail flour, there are several things to note. One, it was coarsely ground which is in direct contrast to the majority of flours that we currently consume. Whole grains are in general better than overly processed grains if you're going to eat grains. That being said, the evidence for our ancestors eating cattail flour comes in around 30,000 years ago. The Paleolithic period goes back 2.5 million years and the evolutionary history of our digestive habits is largely without any grains. Just because we have been eating grains for 30,000 years does not mean that's what we ate throughout the majority of our evolutionary history.
I'm not a nutritionist but I do eat a predominantly lacto paleo diet and the changes in my body fat, sleep habits and energy levels have been extraordinary. Anecdotal? Yup but it can't hurt to give it a try. That's usually my advice on the paleo diet. Far from being a fad diet, it's much more like a lifestyle change that seems to make sense in my experience.
This is true. Even granting the paleo premise, though, eating something through evolutionary history does not in any way imply it is the most optimal food for humans. Only that it is a sustainable diet. It irritates me that people (many of the fad-chasers at any rate) seem to think that way. Then again, it also irritates me that people generally think evolution is an optimising process.
> I'm not a nutritionist but I do eat a predominantly lacto paleo diet and the changes in my body fat, sleep habits and energy levels have been extraordinary.
Did you make any other lifestyle changes along with it?
I did not make any other lifestyle changes, at least not on a conscious level. My exercise, stress, job and the usual suspects are all still the same. My body fat is down 2% without any increase in exercise. My sleep cycles have increased (at least according to my Sleeptracker watch) by about 50-60% on average. My energy levels are completely subjective but it "feels" like I have more energy. I haven't done blood work yet to see what my cholesterol and thyroid levels are but should have that done in the next few weeks.
I'm sure you're very well aware of that, but just noting that cholesterol levels itself is not a good predictor of anything. It is more important to look at the levels of high and low density lipoproteins (or "good" and "bad" cholesterol).
In fact, it might be a bit late for a blood test if you haven't done one before starting a diet, because you wouldn't know what was the change in cholesterol levels that the diet induced.
For example, if HDL went up a lot, and the LDL went down a little, I would consider it a good thing, even though the total cholesterol might go up.
Again, my suggestion to people is to try paleo for 30 days then go back to your typical diet and see how you feel. If you feel fine, you lose 30 days. If you feel terrible, you discover something.
It was pretty amazing since my metabolism has definitely been less efficient than when I was younger. (I'm 36)
The key thing for me was probably not eating processed food, as I had trouble eating only few potato chips or crackers.
It took a couple months for the cravings to go away, but now the thought of eating that kind of food is kind of disgusting. Now 70% of my shopping is at my weekly farmers market.
Disclaimer: I'm 99% macrobiotic. Every couple months, when I happen to be around it, I'll have a piece of bacon and eat it really slowly, savoring every bite.
edit: The idea that "America == Bad" and also " !(America) == Good" is a fallacy that seems to get up-voted way too often here (and celebrated in way too many other places).
As a european who went to university in Rochester and has lived for quite some times in different countries Asia and Europe. I can say that I've never seen any countries where food habits was as bad as in Rochester... Of course, there were some good restaurants in Rochester, there were farmer markets but all of the restaurants at the university served greasy unhealthy food (I couldn't stand the food there and actually lost 10 pounds in 6 month because after 3 weeks I got tired of all the food served there and just didn't feel like eating much).
Now, Rochester might be extreme, it is after all the home of the "Garbage Plate" but really it was shocking and while all of this is anecdotal, the statistics do show that US has a very high number of obese...
And this is not due to starvation - there are plenty of developed nations where people have access to all the food they desire, yet do not suffer the same health problems we do.
The poster's point is valid - there are obviously many nations out there that are developed and wealthy, where food is not in shortage, where paleolithic diets aren't widely practiced, where cheeseburgers aren't the standard food, yet they do not have many of the same problems that are prevalent in the US. This seems to suggest that paleo is far from the only way to maintain your health.
I recently started to dismiss comments that include statements like "all carbs you need, all protein you need" etc. as not only useless, but actually harmful.
The source of carbs, fats, proteins is way more important than the fact that a certain amount of nutrients is present in a certain food.
If all a human needed was a certain amount of nutrients, it would be possible to be perfectly healthy on a diet of table sugar for carbs, industrially extracted vegetable oils for fats, some amino acid pills for proteins and a multivitamin complex. I think we can all agree that this would not work well.
This is what I hope to do when I am ready to do a marathon.
* Bench 1.5 Times Your Body Weight
* Run 1.5 Miles in 10 Minutes
* Touch the Rim
* Leg-Press 2.25 Times Your Weight
* Swim 700 Yards in 12 Minutes
* Do 40 Pushups
* Measure Up
* Run 300 Yards Sub 1 Minute
* Touch Your Toes
* Toss a Basketball 75 Feet Kneeling
A couple are pretty intense. I lift 3 days a week, climb, and do cardio 1-2 times a week. I cannot bench 285 (1.5x bw; my 5 RM @ 235), or squat 425 (2.25 bw; 5 RM @ 275). Also not sure about the swimming.
That's pretty aggressive for anyone who doesn't swim very often. Even a relatively fit person who doesn't swim all the time would have trouble hitting that.
Even at my peak I could probably only pull 18s/length, and definitely can't sustain it for 28 lengths.
I'm fresh out of college, at my first desk job. I'm in the best shape of my life. A commute is an exercise routine that you're not about to skip.
I have no concerns as far as fitness goes, I'm very confident I'll be able to keep myself healthy in that respect.
The physical activity levels of hunter-gatherers is actually pretty low, day-to-day. They spend a lot of days sitting around.
Do you disagree?