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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In praise of working standing up

I'm in the middle of writing a very long article. In an effort to galvanise myself and guard against the usual web-based procrastination - check the Test score, check the email, check Twitter, etc - I worked standing up for three hours this afternoon. That meant composing a sentence, then advancing toward the laptop and tapping it in before walking round the room to compose the next sentence. I don't know whether it's any good but I do know I got more done than I would have done in the same period if I'd been sitting down.

Ideally I'd like a work surface around about chest height. Then I could work either perching on a stool or standing up. I'm convinced I would get more done. I've recently concluded that I can't really think without being on my feet. When I have to really think I have to be walking. When I have to think and compose I have to be walking quite a long way. I'm sure there's some simple physiological explanation for this involving blood and the brain.

Lots of radio DJs like to broadcast standing up. Since radio is all about attack that makes a great deal of sense; so much sense that you wonder why for years studio design made this impossible. If you wanted to stand up and broadcast it was difficult to reach down and work the faders. Similarly we tell anyone who wants to take part in True Stories Told Live that they have to talk standing up. It's impossible to command a room of seated people unless you're standing up and you can't project the amount of energy you need from a sitting position. Unless, of course, you're Ronnie Corbett.