Do you go to a Chiropractor? Osteopath? Pay for massage? Acupuncture? Chinese medicine? a Podiatrist? All of these therapies are usually on top of the NHS – and cost money! For example, I’ve been shelling out £40 a month for the last 20 years, to see a chiropractor for my back. Wouldn’t it be better if my back didn’t seize up in the first place? Or we didn’t get RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) from working at our computers for too long? Or our muscles weren’t so knotted up? Or our digestion wasn’t so sluggish etc?
I have been testing out a couple of devices that are designed to help. Firstly the Penclic Mouse – £59.99 – which counteracts RSI. It’s shaped like a pen and connects wirelessly to your laptop or computer. I am Mrs Techno-Dinosaur but even I could set it up and use it easily (and I only looked at the User’s Manual once). I generally don’t use a mouse at home because I have a laptop, but, when I go into an office, I now have to use my left hand because I was definitely starting to get RSI (stiffness and pain in my right hand and wrist). For the initial cost of a wireless pen-mouse, the Penclic can save you (a) time off work because of pain, (b) paying for massage, physiotherapy etc for RSI and (c) paying out for other devices [stress balls?] to remedy the effects of RSI. So a definite saving.
I have been thinking about getting a standy-uppy desk for a while. My brother-in-law, who is Swedish, actually has one, and finds it very useful, for his bad back. In Sweden, employers have to provide staff with the option of one, if they request it. The main attraction for me is that is uses 52,000 calories a year! OK, that’s only 1,000 a week. Which is 143 a day – a large banana. How come it’s always a banana? Maybe it’s not worth it? On the other hand, 143 calories is also a finger of Twix. So let’s give it a go.
The Varidesk (£335.00) comes in black or white and is simplicity itself to assemble (ie take out of the box). I procrastinated for a fortnight because I thought it’d be difficult to put together, but in the end didn’t even need a 2nd person to help me and there’s no self-assembly. Two grippy things on the sides release it and it has adjustable heights, and can be lowered back down when you’re not using it (it clicks back into place). The thing is, when you’re working on your laptop/writing, you sometimes don’t even notice you’re standing. Today is the first day my legs have been complaining slightly, and I have been standing up for 2 hours straight. You can always set to the down position, and work sitting for a bit. You can vary it, is the point. Perhaps stand for laptop work and sit for phone calls?
This particular model is pretty handsome too, wooden, black powder-coated (I thought it’d be plasticky) and looks good in my home office/bedroom, don’t you think? Anything that makes sitting at our desks into a form of exercise has got to be good, right?! There is some expense to buying it, of course, but anything that can reduce my chiropractor bills has got to be considered a saving.