Mobility At Work

Having worked in an office, I understand when most people say that sitting for hours at a time is required.

After all, what the hell else can you do? Even though there are some avant garde companies out there that have standing desks, most are not so progressive. And although more and more workplaces will get adjustable seating, it doesn’t make a difference if people have no understanding of what to do with the tools at their disposal. Simply standing is not going to solve your back pain.

Believe me, I know. I’ve dealt with low back pain for years, and standing in shoes with elevated heels and pointed toes hurt my back as much as sitting did (yes, men’s shoes also have heels). Not to say standing is bad. It’s a step in the right direction.

But what direction to go? Answering this, and visualizing how you want to be, will guide you through each day for the long term. For me, the goal was to be a standing, upright, limber human being. Not just as work but in life in general. I didn’t want tight hips. I didn’t want aching knees and back. I didn’t want knots in my shoulders. I didn’t want to be a slouching leaning tower of persona.

The workload, and the fact that most of it is at a computer, limits most people to think that they have to sit. Well, rethink it. Visualize yourself as mobile and embody it.

You don’t need a standing desk to be mobile at work. Allow me a bullet-pointed list of ways to not be sitting in a corporate office, doctor’s front desk, home office, wherever:

  • Go knock on office doors or cubicle walls instead of email or phoning. Your impact will be greater.
  • Get up and walk for phone calls. Use an earpiece. You will be more creative.
  • Meet people in the middle of halls and spaces for talks, rather than where they or you sit. This is called a standing meeting and it doesn’t have to be super deliberate. Make it subtle like, “Oh hey, I was just going to see you, so, what’s up?” Things will be easier.
  • Body language does wonders. Learn to Jedi-maneuver so you stay standing and avoid going to your or another person’s desk. This works with your bosses too. Beware, they are probably more practiced in body language than you. The first few times you may find yourself somehow sitting in their office. But it’s only a matter of time before you are both still standing at the end of your exchange.
  • Time your sitting-prone activities. Have some emails you need to respond to? Set a fifteen- to thirty-minute timer to get them done. Then get up to finish, face-to-face, the remaining interactions.
  • Schedule email responses. If you respond live, there’s high potential to get an immediate response. How do people do this? I don’t know. But it’s insane. Schedule your responses to go out in the next hour or two. Outlook does this, and so do others. You just have to find the setting (usually in the same place as “read receipt request” type stuff). You will be able to send your answers and be free of your “work box” without having to return volleys of mail in the moment.
  • Take your shoes off at your desk, and sit cross-legged or with at least one leg crossed under you. Lace-less shoes make this much easier. This will save you a world of back strain. It opens up the hips and stops the pull on your low back from your pelvic and abdominal connections. Smelly feet? With increased “air time”, this problem will diminish.
  • Elevate your screen to eye level and brighten it so that you can easily see it from a straight-postured position. Why cause yourself to lean forward because it’s too dark to see? Life hack!
  • Keep your keyboard close enough to reduce forward pull at your shoulders. It helped to have mine on my lap. With laptops, this is going to be difficult. Get a separate keyboard to plug in (I am still paranoid about wireless stuff).
  • Wear flat shoes with wide toe space. If you must wear shiny dress shoes, go as flat and wide as possible. And keep them off as much as possible at your desk. Do lunch barefoot if you can. Fancy shoes are meant to not be worn.
  • Take your breaks, take your lunch. Don’t be a ninny about break time. Get the hell out of your desk. Chances are you are not a coal miner. So why take fewer breaks than coal miners do? Effective, executive-level people take breaks. They breathe. They get out of their setting regularly. How often do you actually see your CEO, COO, or CFO in her office? Making a connection now?
  • Ditch your phone. When you step away from your desk, put it on silent and leave it at your desk. It will survive without you. That’s what VM and texts are for. Follow this rule for the next bullet too.
  • Remember that you have to pee, and sometimes poo. Do not neglect this urge. Follow it, and take forever walking back to your desk. If done correctly, you will find many chances for standing meetings, Jedi maneuvers, and creative, on-the-spot solutions.

Want happier, more mobile coworkers? Forward this to them. Oh, and don’t be a ninny. Send to your boss.

Live powerfully,

Steve

The Semi Conductive Body

It is the year 2016.

I stand barefoot on the ground and listen.

A four hundred thousand kilogram vessel of shining metal soars through the air above me. It’s so far up I barely make out the glint of light and whisper it makes as it passes. The jumbo jet glides ten kilometers above ground at 900 km/hr.

My mind travels further up, past the stratosphere, where another four hundred thousand kilogram structure swings past the plane. The International Space Station zooms 400 kilometers above ground at 27,000 km/hr. It’s been circling this planet since 1998.

My kind, Homo sapiens, have forged technologies that allow us to roam the skies and beyond like no other creature can. Michael Faraday made the electric motor in 1821. The term “electricus” was coined in 1600 by William Gilbert upon studying static electricity. The ancient Egyptians wrote of Thunderers of the Nile, electric fish that held the power to shock. Earliest record dates to 2750 BCE.

From the gargantuan, we humans have developed down to the miniscule. There is a microrobot in development to insert into and operate on a diseased human eye. Others can crawl through a blood vessel to visualize and treat exact deficiencies.

I turn my attention to ground level, to the oldest and most sophisticated technology available to us. Within the cells of my body, and even closer, to the proteins that form these cells. When wet, these proteins allow electrons to flow. The entire structure of my physicality consists of proteins that are interconnected and surrounded by water.

The earth’s electrons are pulled through the protein complex that makes up my skin, muscles, bone, and even cells and DNA at the tiniest level. Every bit is connected by semi-conductivity. The protein complexes allow electrons to flow because of the water that surrounds them.

There’s an electron reservoir within my body. My tissues can hold a “full charge” of electrons that are used when there is oxidation. If I don’t step outside, I’m depleted of my electron source. I must then draw on other sources. Antioxidants from my diet and body synthesis can only go so far to fight damage. When these are depleted, especially with a life of stress, my immune system weakens.

So I bring my body, this formulation of ancient technology, out to connect with the earth. I renew my supply daily. I have had to engineer a life that allows me to step outside, barefoot, every day. I’ve rediscovered the way to more fully harness this technology. There’s more, I’m sure of it. So much more to discover. Yet, I’m quite certain it’s already been known, by someone, somewhere, some time in the past.

I bring my attention back out to the world, and I take pride in the amazing accomplishments we humans have made, zipping by, humming deep below, and silently providing comfort in every way.

Live powerfully,

Steve

The Brilliant Beast Blog Daily