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Day 2 Day Realtime

Fidget & Focus

(Pure Mental Focus)

Day 10/30

One of the metrics Cubesapien uses is productivity, particularly how the behavior that's being tested effects productivity. We are looking for a positive relationship, meaning the more we do the behavior the more productive we are. So, how has Standing@Work affected productivity?

Well, it's complicated (never good words to hear). Firstly, I've noticed a good deal of fidgeting. This might include shifting weight alot (<30sec), leaning against the back of a chair, or stretching up against office furniture. Other times the fidgets show themselves as a quietly "rocking out" in the cubicle. It defiantly feels that as the body is more fidget-y so is the brain. You just do not want to stay on task or stand still. There could be many causes for this behavior. I suspect it is directly related to how clear the current task priorities are and if a deadline is approaching. After receiving or working on a clearly defined project, the fidgets tend to dampen out and focus remains. In these cubesapien experiments, the time that focus can be maintained is one of the measurable items that productivity can be profiled by.

In the next couple of days we, my faithful reader, will be getting an opportunity to measure that focus first hand. I will be measuring both: how long the fidgets last and the length of my focus period. The nature of the my upcomming project is mainly word processing, formatting, requirement verification, and minor numerical analysis. So buckle in, very exciting stuff around the corner!

Will this be a repeatable experiment? Odds are not very, but it will give a good pass/fail evaluation to the productivity portion of Standing@Work.


Internal vs. External

Day 9/30

When standing up all day long, it can become clear where you are applying pressure to your feet. There are three options in this regard:

  1. Internally Rotated: This is also seen as a collapsed arch. If you don't have an awesome pressure plate to visualize as seen above, you'll know you are internally rotating if you're knees want to track together and if your footprint is blob like.
  2. Externally Rotated: Where all your weight is distributed on the outside "edge" of the foot. Looking at the image above you would see a solid line on the outside and colors ranging from yellow to red.
  3. Optimal Pressure: This is the ideal position, not internally rotated nor externally rotated. Neutral and even this is the place to be in a perfect world. I attempted to represent this optimal position in the image above.

Pulling from personal experience, I grew up with a collapsed arch. I was given orthotic at a young age and told to wear them. I did not. I have come to the decision that how you distribute the pressure on your feet is as much a choices as standing vs. sitting. The key is actively regulating what you're body is doing. I strive for the optimal positioning, but due to a propensity to internally rotate, I will exaggerate the externally rotated position hoping to land somewhere near optimal even when I'm fatigued. I make this effort not just when standing, but when walking and running. The feet are at the base of the skeletal structure, and are fundamental in determining the body's overall posture.


Standing is a Skill

Day 8/30

Per my comment at the end of the work day yesterday, "Kstar is a genius, nuf said". I was feeling a good deal of discomfort in my knees standing. Watching this vid, the first thing that is mentioned is to stand feet parrallel. I was mistakenly turning my feet out, and increasing the angle as my knees complained more. The parrallel position is preffered because standing with "ducked" feet cause your short hip rotators to get tight and you will trend to over extend your back (think sticking your chest out while exadurating the lumbar curve). This posture of over extension and tight hip rotators will put a shear through your knees. As they are turned out that shear force is being applied in a direction your knee isn't supposed to bend. Bingo Bango, you have ache knees. 

Enjoy the vid, if your standing already it'll be 5 min well spent.


WorkStation pt. 2

Day 7/30

As promised, this is my workstation. I've cleaned up a little and removed the proprietary documents, but this is it. You may notice Post-It notes are a big part of my "method". I've made a slight alteration since yesterday, i've added some metal supports to bring out the keyboard further from the shelf.

As I mentioned in the D2D Realtime, my knees have been sore today. This I believe primarily is a result of leaning forward on my toes. So hopefully the shelf extension will be a benefit to correct this.



Day 6/30

A little background first: I've been working at my current job for the past two years. In that time, I've been at the same desk. My office is very modern, not web start up modern, but I'm certainly not sharing a cube in a windowless dungeon. As nice as my cubicle is, it is still a cubicle in a cubicle farm.

The clear advantage that my position affords is that there is a shelf above what would classically be the computer's altar. I don't understand why, but none of the other cube dwellers have taken to using their shelves in the manner I have.

At the beginning of the Standing@Work Mod, I dropped the shelf down a couple of inches allowing me to stand up and have a near 90 degree bend in my elbows with everything else aligned. I've moved my dual monitor set up on to the shelf as well as the keyboard, phone, mouse, and my myriad of post-it notes. Ultimately I have "less" desk space on the shelf, but it's much more rewarding to be standing.

My cube is equipped with a non-swivel chair, I use it to lean against but only on occasion! I suppose you could call me out on not "standing" all the time if you really really wanted to. But for the sake of 30 day Standing@Work, I'm saying that having the majority of my weight on my feet, including leaning on something, to be an acceptable non-sitting posture.

A downside to my set up, the lower desk still gets in my way while standing. I have observed a tendency to lean forward on my toes as I work on various tasks. Picture something is interesting and leaning forward to investigate. The result of this inquisitive posture is that it puts added strain on my toes, knees and supporting tendon structure. Whenever I'm feeling these get tight, I either have to lean back resetting my stance or I need to spend 10min working through on my pain ball (Lacrosse ball). To be honest sometimes I stand that way just so I can get to use the pain ball. ;)


Pics to follow...