A Life Less Sedentary: CG Artist Health

I decided to write this blog post because honestly, I wish I had read one like it years ago. After 12 years of making my living as a 3D artist, I can tell you this is not a career path that inspires healthy living. The realities of any CG artist’s daily life can steer one into a cycle of unhealthy behavior which can be very difficult to fully recognize and break free from. Modern living is potentially sedentary enough without us making it worse! Only recently have I come to better recognize my unhealthy daily habits and begun the processes of breaking the cycle.

My goal in writing this post is to simply share what I see as the big obstacles for the healthy living of those in the CG industry and some solutions I have found that work well for me personally. Hopefully some of you will find this information helpful and it maybe even encourages you to make some changes in your own routines.

What is the Sedentary Lifestyle?

I would have been insulted if someone suggested that I’m basically a couch potato. “No way! I do stuff! Like sometimes I run and surf, and I have a membership to a gym and my kids keep me busy… and..” Living a sedentary life doesn’t mean you literally never move, I’m sure you do stuff, rather it’s a combination of factors that equal a daily routine that involves little to no REGULAR physical activity. Regular is the key word here. Doing a little something now and then means it’s not part of your routine. On other hand here are some things that probably are: Sitting, using a computer, reading, playing video games, watching TV and so on which are all sedentary “activities”. Wikipedia gives a decent breakdown of the risks associated with the sedentary lifestyle. Now, certainly any office job involves an excessive amount of sitting, using a computer etc. but I believe 3D / VFX & Game artists are often lost in the eye of a perfect storm of sedentary habits with an extra helping of stress & sleep deprivation on top! Opening our eyes to these habits and their adverse effects on our health is the first step in getting our daily cycle moving in a healthier direction. Let’s take a look at what I see as the big issues and what we can do about them.

The Big Issues:

Sitting

Sitting is the big sedentary “activity” and most likely the biggest part of our day. We tend to work long hours which pushes an already unhealthy amount of sitting into overdrive. This compounded by the fact that many of our favorite pass times involve more sitting in front of screens such as film, video games, TV etc. The hours spent not sitting start looking pretty slim. As mentioned in the Wiki entry, sitting still for periods of 4 or more hours already carries increased risks never mind 8, 12 or even more hours. I myself have had crunch days that ran from 8am to 3am the following morning or not sleeping at all. That’s potentially 19 or more hours of sitting! My more typical days run in the 10 to 12 hour range, as it does for many in our field, which is a huge amount of sitting. Note that even those who exercise regularly need to take a serious look at their sitting habits.

Well, Get up!

It’s just that simple. Don’t sit so much dammit! There are a number of ways to help make this happen.

      • Sit/Stand Desk
      • Regular walking breaks
      • Alternative Seating like a kneeling or forward sloping chair (though you’re still sitting technically so it’s more help with posture really)

My personal favorite is the Sit/Stand desk. In fact there is a whole movement around the concept of standing while you work as you can see here at JustStand.org. I myself picked up an adjustable standing desk from Geek Desk a few months ago and I tell you I will never go back! It’s not that you stand all day, as that can also be not so great. Rather it’s the change of position and giving your body regular lengthy breaks from sitting. I stand roughly 50% of my work time now and it feels great! As a bonus all this standing burns additional calories (as many as 50 per/hour of standing) which is helpful for anyone looking to shed a few pounds!  Here is a calorie calculator so you can see how much you might burn a day by making the switch. I can confirm as many “standers” claim, that they have an increase in energy and focus since sitting less. Obviously there is significant cost associated with the sit/stand desk option so it may not be for you or your employer but I urge you to seriously consider it as the positive benefits are huge and nearly immediate!

Nutrition

Nutrition, though not directly related to the sedentary lifestyle, is another area we CG artist tend to slip. Since we are often under the gun, we go for food that is fast, and easy to come by. Pizza, sandwiches, bags of snacks and soda are par for the course more often than many of us would like to admit. That’s not to mention our caffeine intake which is almost our life’s blood in times of creative crunching. Even if we eat healthy once we’re home our work nutrition is most likely sub par.

I admit, I’m one to talk. In high school I would have two slices of pizza, a Mountain Dew, a chocolate milk and two frozen Snickers bars for lunch! (Please don’t tell my parents) Obviously this was horrible nutrition, but I had a fast metabolism and ran almost year round for school as well as skateboarding most afternoons so it never occurred to me how bad it was. It wasn’t until college when all my physical activity came to a screeching halt that I noticed these were really bad choices. Freshmen 15? How about 25, maybe more.

Today I eat pretty well mostly thanks to my wife’s healthy cooking but what I have learned about nutrition along the way is that moderation and mindfulness is all it takes to build healthy eating habits. Nothing Earth shatering here but here’s some of my nutrition tips:

Nutrition Tips

      • Cut back on the sugar! For example if you’re a serious soda drinker, put it down and get some water. Even “Healthy” flavored waters often have a ton of sugar even if they do have “electrolytes”. Now and then is fine, but chain drinking sugar water seems to be a national epidemic in the States at least! Sugar water isn’t what plants crave and neither should your body!
      • Did I mention cut back on the sugar?
      • More veggies, fruits, nuts etc. as your snacks.
      • Read labels! You would be amazed how just knowing the nutritional content of your food can change your behavior in a positive way. Ever seen how much sugar, fat and calories are in a few oreos? Take a look sometime, it’s impressive.
      • Eat reasonable portions. This is a big one and is also maybe the hardest to do. If you eat out a lot it’s even harder since we tend to eat what is put in front of us. A good rule of thumb for most is to eat half of that Pad Thai and take the rest home for lunch tomorrow. Saves money too!
      • Always remember food is fuel. Cheesy to be sure but that simple thought can help you make all around healthier choices.

 Sleep Deprivation

Touched on this when talking about sitting but it’s worth singling out. Excessive late hours bleed us dry and makes us much more likely to adopt unhealthy habits. Always being under intense time pressure while simultaneously lacking sleep makes enormous amounts of stress on our mind and body. Constantly pushing ourselves to the limit only serves to burn us out and harm our health. More on this in the Work Schedule & Stress section below.

Repetitive Motion

The nature of our work means a ton of keyboard and mouse jockeying. This means our days are full of repetitive motion, perhaps the most dangerous of these being mouse movements and clicks. It is a well know fact that these kinds of motion make us very susceptible to Repetitive Motion Injuries (RMI) such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Throughout my career I have had to take special precautions per my doctors orders as I have had numerous compound fractures of the wrist (that’s another story). Many don’t think about it until it’s a problem. so how do we go about saving our wrists from future catastrophe?

What’s wrong with just writing?

The mouse is a great invention of productivity that just happens to have some really bad side effects. I say dump the mouse when working in your primary apps! I made the switch to working with a Wacom for everything (except gaming of course) years ago. I use a medium size Intous along with the keyboard and there is nothing I can do with the mouse that I can’t do faster and more comfortably with my wacom / Kbrd combo. Again there is cost with this option but if your wrists are your living what’s a few hundred dollars really? I admit there is an adjustment period but for those working in 3D programs, Photoshop and the like I can’t recommend this enough! The exception to this is when you need to do a lot of tying and the occasional mouse move like I am right now.

Exercise (or Lack Thereof)

Regular “vigorous activity” is what the human body is built for. Walking, running, hunting, hauling, lifting etc. Primitive humans didn’t need to hit the gym because daily life provided more than enough activity. Our bodies needs haven’t changed but life habits have, especially for those in our industry. Granted our thumbs and hand eye coordination are second to none but otherwise most of us have gone pretty soft. Lack of exercise in our daily lives puts us at risk for all sorts of bad things.

The Bad Things:

  • Anxiety
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Mortality (premature death)
  • Deep Vein Thrombrosis
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Colon Cancer
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Lipid Disporders
  • Kidney Stones

Get Moving!

If you’re active playing soccer, cycling, tennis etc. you are most likely filling the vigorous activity void modern living and working in this industry causes. Otherwise you need to think about hitting the Gym or creating your own home exercise routine. This can be the most intimidating part of breaking the sedentary cycle so know that many have tried and failed here, myself included. Many times I have started something up just to get too busy, or lazy to keep it up. So I will say whatever you do make sure it’s something you can maintain and build upon. Don’t go into the gym with a 1.5 hour workout that has you aching for days and hating life in general. You need this to become a habit so start small and keep it regular. Once you can do that you can build it up to whatever you need.

Thankfully there are others out there to help you get started. I recommend checking out Steve Kamb’s Nerd Fitness Blog. He’s knowledge, funny and knows where you’re coming from. His recent post on Playing is a great example of why you need to go there. Also make use of great sites like LiveStrong.com. There you can find help with nutrition, workouts and inspiration. My current workout is based the this 40 minute full body strength routine as described here along with a few miles of running each off day. In the past 2 months of this routine I have lost over 15 lbs, gotten stronger and feel great! Previously I had always just kind of winged it and never really committed to making it a habit. I can tell you having a set workout and goals makes all the difference. What’s my goal? To fit in my old wetsuit and get back to surfing year round. The best waves in Maine are in the winter after all.

Remember there are no good excuses for not keeping yourself reasonably fit. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn but I finally get it. Fitness is the foundation all your other healthy habits can be held up by. Not to mention the increased energy and overall feeling good! And if you are having a hard time getting started let Steve fire you up!

Work Schedules & Stress

I make my own schedule based on our workload so I usually have no one to blame but myself when that schedule has me working around the clock in a perpetual crunch. Though I hear things aren’t much better in many facilities out there, so the negative effects of crappy schedules is important to note. Crunching now and then goes with the job to a certain degree but there need to be limits and let’s not forget a 40 hour work week should be our baseline. All too often we fall into these 50, 60, 70 hours a week or more becoming our baseline. Not good!

Creating a sustainable schedule

 I’ll admit it, historically I have been pretty horrible at this. I am learning though and trying to change my ways. So let’s think about how the shitty schedule comes about, shall we? Here’s the factors as I see them:

      • Too much work, not enough time.

That was easy! So what to do about it? As a small shop, Russ (my business partner) and I find ourselves often in the position having to turn down work or commit ourselves to many long days and more all-nighters then we care to admit. To help remedy this we have tried to plan better by being more realistic about the hours involved in a given task. We then determine between the deadline and our available hours what kind of overtime are we talking. If it’s more than we feel is reasonable it’s time to plan ahead and make some calls to our list of freelancers we know and trust.

All too often we want to keep everything under our control or feel we can just get it done faster/better, but there is a high personal cost for such things. Simultaneously we discuss timeframe with our clients. I can’t tell you how many times I have worked all night for days to meet a deadline that turned out to be completely arbitrary. Find out when they REALLY need it by and try to base scheduling on that. Everyone wants it yesterday not everyone needs it yesterday.

If you work for a facility that has you crunching, I feel for you. That means whoever is in charge of scheduling is either delusional about how long things take or is looking to save $$, or worse just thinks the job should demand limitless devotion. In either case it’s a tough nut to crack. You’re only option may be to look inward and see what changes you can make to make your time more efficient which will hopefully reduce the amount of overtime you need to work. For efficiency I highly recommend the Pomodoro Technique! The idea is to break your day into many 25 minute (or whatever works for you) segments with short breaks in between. You can use a timer like Pomodairo to keep you on task. I use it regularly and it certainly helps reduce distractions and I find myself typically much more productive. Other than that you can always try talking with your employer and hope that they understand healthier workers make better work.

Good luck!

It’s a lot to consider but I promise you, being honest with yourself about your daily routine and the impact it has on your health is one of the best things you can possibly do for yourself. I only recently had my eyes opened after going through the busiest work period of my life. I allowed my work to take over every aspect of me life. I watched my energy levels plummet, my weight increase, my cholesterol levels skyrocket and so on. All because I settled into the thought that I was just too busy to do anything about it. One day I sort of panicked with the realisation I have one body and I’m sending it down the crapper for really no reason at all!  Don’t let your health take a backseat to work and everything else like I did. It only gets harder with time so stand up and make a change now. You’ll thank yourself later!

Author Description

Samuel Conlogue

There are 50 comments. Add yours

  1. 5th July 2012 | Mike Secrist says: Reply
    Great blog! I too have fallen into this trap as i haven't worked out in about a year. But i've managed to start working out again and have felt better doing so. Fitting into things better too! Thanks for sharing!
    • 5th July 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Hey Mike, thanks! Good luck keeping up with it! Isn't it great when you can reclaim your old clothes! Hope everything's good with you. When my next insane busy spell hits you'll be hearing from me, if you've got the time that is.
    • 12th July 2012 | 3dimensions says: Reply
      Thanks Samuel! In my eyes, most reasons for to long sitting and no sleep are the "special ideas and changes" of clients few days before the deadline. That's very demotivating We all hate that! Even if it's all planned out to the end with them, our work shedule is often fucked up! You just have to start saying "no" to some changes, but that is not possible very often....
  2. 6th July 2012 | Ron Martin says: Reply
    Very helpful blog! And good to see that somebody is thinking of the results on every artists real life way beyond shiny making of's and famous film work. I started off myself when certain symptoms appeared that where clearly visible to everybody. I reached 80 KG weight (i'm 176 cm) and lost my face pigmentation. Medicine calls it Vitiligo (desease of white stains) which simply means like in 99% of all other things they don't know nothing about it. Here's what i did and do: I quit Alcohol, Coffee, Sugar, Salt, Noodles, Pizza, Bread, Meat, Fish, Milk and anything cooked at all. Cooking means destroying! I started swimming and running as well as a few other exercises. Result: I lost about 15 KG weight and my Vitiligo is nearly gone. No doctor can get this result at all !!! I overall feel much better now and i will continue to improve. So my recommendation is: Don't smoke, move your body, eat nothing but raw and fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits. Avoid work overload. Have enough sleep in a quiet place with fresh and clean air. You will see - very soon you will feel like Tarzan! :-) Reading recommendation: All Books from Dr. Norman Walker.
    • 6th July 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Thanks Ron! You make some great points! Glad you've found a routine and diet that's getting great results!
  3. 6th July 2012 | SIT collective says: Reply
    Great blog, keep moving http://tinyurl.com/cba3yt8
  4. 6th July 2012 | Anthony Lester says: Reply
    Nice blog; balance is the key as with every industry. I find it best to assign times to things like family, sport etc and make those time sacred, ie not to eat into them with things like work or 'paperwork'. Obviously this is sometimes unavoidable in which case you have to compensate but taking back the time at a later date but but within 2 weeks. I also run as part of my daily commute (6miles home), it is my time to clear my head resolve any problems at work or home and plan for the next day. There is always time, it is how we use it that is important, doing nothing in front of the TV is not a productive use of time!
    • 6th July 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Thanks Anthony! 6 miles is great, and I agree it's a great time to clear your head and helps make that transition to being home. You're so right about making family etc. a priority and making sure you aren't short changing the real living part of your life.
  5. 6th July 2012 | Gavin McGinty says: Reply
    Top stuff! I had this realisation of how harmful the lifestyle is, I'm making sure I never fall into my bad ways again. Simply not worth burning yourself out at an early age and suffering for it later on. You have a life to live as well as work.
    • 8th July 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      100% Agree with you Gavin. Glad you've broken through, keep it up!
  6. 6th July 2012 | Chris says: Reply
    I'm a VFX artist and web designer. I had an eye opener a couple years ago when I noticed that I had gained weight and had bad posture with back aches. What helped me was picking up weightlifting. It allows you to eat whatever clean food you like and it's a lot of fun. Here's the program I started with: Strong Lifts 5x5 And here's a bit about diet. People would also benefit from trying a program like crossfit or doing functional movement.
    • 8th July 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Hey Chris. I'm glad you mentioned having fun, as that really is key to making any life style change work. I know a number of folks who swear by weight lifting / body sculpting combined with the style of diet your link recommends. Thanks!
  7. 8th July 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
    We've been talking a lot about the gym and workouts so I would like to shout out to anyone who feels intimidated by that kind of routine and just say getting regularly active in whatever way works for you is all it takes to make big positive changes in your daily routine. (I'm pretty sure that's a run on sentence) If that's a 3o minute bike ride with your kids or an hour walk at a favorite park or beach it's all good! Just get moving in a way you enjoy and you'll be on your way! Good Luck!
    • 12th July 2012 | Harry says: Reply
      Incredible! Congratz for the amazing report, I can't stress enough how important it is to have a healthy routine, and many many people simply seem not to care enough about it. It was a pleasure to read your post, beautiful blog, Samuel!
      • 19th July 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
        Thanks Harry! You said it. It's so important yet most of us have a hard time caring enough about it to do anything. Awareness only takes us so far, at some point we have to WANT a healthy life.
  8. 9th July 2012 | Sumeet Gupta says: Reply
    Hi Samuel ! Very interesting read . Very inspiring . I am also an 3D Artist and those points you've discussed are quite valid . Luckily , I've found a good job near my house where i don't have to work beyond 8 hours . That way I can spend my time outdoors ! I too would like to share my experience .Here's my typical schedule . I love to play tennis . So , I play 4 days a week tennis around (2-2.5 hours ) and rest 3 days , I hit gym (45 - 60 mins of exercise) and you are right it feels great ! I admit , i eat like a pig ! and love to eat junk food such as pizzas , Burgers, Ice creams , Cakes yummmmmmmmm. Well , we deserve some "fruit" in return as we work so hard in the office !! Since, i exercise almost daily in the form of tennis or gym , I don't put much weight . But , I try to eat healthy stuff such as veggies , fruits etc as often possible . I think participating in any outdoor sport is much better then hitting to a gym . It's so much enjoyable , challenging and fun ! Great article. Thanks for sharing !!
    • 9th July 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Hey Sumeet, Thanks! You speak the true. Getting involved in a sport you love gives you a great workout and a great time all wrapped in one. Playing hard will have anyone in better shape before they know it.
  9. 9th July 2012 | Daniel says: Reply
    I sat so much I now have bulging and herniated discs in my spine. Now I can't sit even if I wanted to. I've been standing ever since. I don't love it, but it's much more natural. LISTEN TO WHAT THIS GUY IS SAYING PEOPLE! One day I'll be able to afford surgery so I can sit again for part of the day. If I could, I would split the sitting/standing 50/50 just like you. A great way to counterbalance the long hours of inactivity every day is 30 mins of full body activity every morning. I use and elliptical, it's great!
    • 9th July 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Wow Daniel, so sorry to hear about your spine! I hope your able to get back fully mobility as soon as possible! Good luck! Also, great tip on the elliptical, no impact and great exercise. I've been thinking about changing up some of my running with an elliptical as my knees are in pretty rough shape from skateboarding.
  10. 10th July 2012 | Kelly says: Reply
    Thank you so much for writing this up! I've been a casual game artist for the last 3.5 years. A bout of overtime with equipment I'm not used to (I use a 21" Cintiq) put me out of work on med leave with severe tendonitis and medial epicondylitis ("Golfer's Elbow"). Even before the injury, it was obvious I was unhealthy. I had gained weight (mostly due to antidepressants), I never exercised, and my diet was...lacking. I signed up to my local kickboxing gym and felt the difference! Humans aren't meant to sit so long, and the industry needs to recognize that awful conditions make for sick and suffering employees. I work for a wonderful studio that can't wait to have me back. :) Thank you, again, for just letting people know what's in store, and what they need to do to make themselves healthy. It helps that you've lived it, instead of just preached it!
    • 12th July 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Thanks! I hadn't even thought of the risks that come with using the larger tablets. 21" would have you moving that elbow a lot. Sounds like your current employer is very responsive to health needs. That's great!
  11. 12th July 2012 | JustinS says: Reply
    Awesome post. Like everyone, I've gone through spells where it just feels like I haven't moved in a month.... The single greatest thing I ever did was buy a road bike. Once you get into the groove, using a bike for simple things like grocery runs, or even commuting is absolutely awesome and you don't really have to set aside that much extra time for it. Boy do I struggle with nutrition though. So much sugar...
    • 12th July 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Thanks Justin. It seems lately I have noticed a number of artists talking about road biking, mountain / race biking etc. Using a bike as your daily transportation is definitely a great way to work activity into your routine! And you're right about the sugar. It's almost impossible to avoid unless you really make it a priority. I'm not a big fan of structured meal plan based diets as I find them too restrictive and hard to commit to, but it's one way to take control of sugar intake. I know for diabetics who manage their blood sugar levels without insulin injections etc it's the only way to go.
  12. 12th July 2012 | Alex Parsons says: Reply
    Fantastic Blog post! Really informative, and its great to see I'm not the only one who really suffered a huge waist line increase after school and at university haha! I've recently been trying to get back into shape with regular visits to the gym, 5 times a week, but I still have yet to challenge my bad diet habit. Hopefully this post will push me to stop eating so much damn sugar, it's my kryptonight....
    • 10th September 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Thanks Alex! Yeah, diet is a tough one. Good luck!
  13. 12th July 2012 | Brian says: Reply
    Cg and two young children have sucked most of the time away from being active. But I have developed a daily workout regime that actually works and takes very little time. Now to start off I am fortunate to be living close enough that I am able to jog to and from work every day. But at night I take 10 minutes to work my upper body. The entire routine is 1 set of as many pullups as I can do, as many pushups as I can do, as many situps as I can do, and then something for the lower back to balance the situps. If you don't do much running or walking through the day then you could add in some squats to add balance for your lower body. A backpack stuffed with sandbags (sand is cheap) can give you enough weight to shorten up the number of squats you need to do and still be effective. Each one of these is a compound exercise so it hits multiple muscle groups. Small variations in positioning can change how these exercises will work your muscles (so your muscles don't get into a rut). Now this is a far cry from my old days of lifting weights and playing sports, but you do see strength benefits from this workout (which is surprising considering how little time it takes). It doesn't have the same time/energy commitment as going for workouts at the gym so even a very busy person can squeeze this in somewhere in their day. Its completely free unless you need buy sand.
    • 10th September 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Hey Brian, sound like you've found an efficient way to keep fit even with your busy life. Thanks for sharing!
  14. 12th July 2012 | Justin says: Reply
    Just....wow...I've thought about this but I didn't really take it into account and I didn't realize it would literally hurt my life and even my personal life. Truth is people....we (CG Artists) are kinda "used" to this life style even if its not good, we're used to stay indoor, to watch movies, play games, and not go out, even for days at a time, but to a normal person that's used to activity and going out, this can be depressing and very unhealthy. Thank you Samuel.
    • 10th September 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Thanks Justin! Glad I could raise some health awareness!
  15. 13th July 2012 | Nikita Saini says: Reply
    Good stuff.. thank you for sharing.. :)
  16. 13th July 2012 | Rakesh Eligapalli says: Reply
    Thanks Samuel! Sometimes we are so engrossed, that we hardly realize where we stand on our health issues. But again to confess, I will gradually fall back into the trap. Guess the best i can do is to summarize this post, print it all and stick em up!. And NOT FORGET! :) Cheers
    • 10th September 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Thanks Rakesh, yep not forgetting is the toughest one of them all!
  17. 13th July 2012 | Chaminda lakmal says: Reply
    This is very good for all of us... I mean why we doing all of these stuff? without good health....
  18. Pingback: Tips to better a sendentary lifestyle | Alyssa Lee's Animation Mentor Blog July 16, 2012

    [...] A Life Less Sedentary: CG Artist Health by Sam Conlogue [...]

  19. 18th July 2012 | scott turner says: Reply
    man i am so going thru the same thing now thinking im going to die sitting at my desk and trying to think how to start withto get away from it...the standing desk seems like a good option..then quiting CG seems like another
    • 10th September 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Starting is tough, but it If you quit make sure you become a black smith or something.
  20. 7th August 2012 | gie yogie says: Reply
    thanks for share,...;)best regards
  21. 10th September 2012 | Jeff Patton says: Reply
    Thanks for this article. I've worked out of my home office for the past decade and I've fallen deep into the sedentary trap as well. I'm ordering one of those quick-adjustable desks and getting out of this routine.
    • 10th September 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Hey Jeff! I can't recommend standing at least part of your day enough! You won't be sorry. Getting the cycle moving in a positive direction is all it takes to break the routine. Good luck!
  22. 6th November 2012 | Kneeling Chair says: Reply
    Samuel, I just read your post and am sad that I didn't read it earlier and am just now seeing it. I think unfortunately that the majority of people do live a sedentary lifestyle, and that most people aren't even aware of that they are doing so. I think that the sit/stand desk is an awesome concept, but with the exception of those working from home, I would imagine most people would have problems getting their employers to get on board with it. I don't know much about people in the CG industry so it is certainly possible that a lot of people in your industry can work at home, I don't know. A solution that I found to work for me and the issues that I was having with poor posture, gaining weight (and overall just becoming lazy all the time) was a kneeling chair. While it is still sitting, it can have a lot of the same effects that a sit/stand desk could, and it was pretty easy to talk my employer into paying for. I simply told them how much more efficiently I could work with one, and than proved to them that I could once I had it. This obviously isn't the solution for everyone, but for the people who maybe can't get something as drastic (I mean this in the best possible way) as a sit/stand desk, a kneeling chair is a decent substitute. Personally I have gotten in the habit of getting up and walking around whenever I get a phone call that I know will take more than 5 minutes, and this has proven to be a great way to keep myself from staying in a chair all day. I have lost only a couple of lbs. in the last few months, but my posture has gotten a lot better, and most importantly I feel much less tired and lazy all the time. Everyone's body is different though and what works for me might not for someone else, but I know that I don't want to ever give the kneeling chairs up! Thanks for the article Samuel, I'm looking forward to seeing if anyone has a response! -Drew
    • 6th November 2012 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
      Hey Drew, Thanks for you comment. I agree a kneeling chair is a good compromise when ones work situation doesn't allow for a standing desk. I think it would be tough for an employee in most "traditional" work environments to acquire a sit/stand desk. This is really the larger issue I suppose. What is the future of the work environment? Will it adapt to healthier practices? Certainly many companies put forth an effort to create a healthier environment through various methods (on-site gym, group athletics, education, improved ergonomics etc.), that said I cringe when I walk in somewhere and see row after row of employees in their rolling chairs hunched toward their screens. Knowing what many companies spend on a typical cubical & work surface the issue really isn't cost. There are sit/stand solutions for comparable cost and that should only improve over time. It's more the rigid mindset of what a work space should be. Many managers talk about wanting better collaboration and interaction between their employees but have them sit in a cube or even in open formats they are still rigidly fixed in their chairs. It would be great if that could change. One thing I can say is in our little studio we discuss and collaborate on ideas much more since we are on our feet. The effect is immediate, you move around you step away to think or discuss. I suppose it could be chaotic in a large office but I hope more companies see the huge benefits all around of re-thinking the work space.
  23. 6th November 2012 | Kneeling Chair says: Reply
    Samuel, I couldn't agree more. I think that the smaller the company is the more open their minds (and wallets) generally are. Of course their are exceptions like Google and Microsoft for example, but most larger companies don't open their minds to much when it comes to ergonomics. They will work on company wellness, ie. healthy foods in cafeteria's, gyms, etc. but they seem to overlook the basic concept of people sitting in a chair all day. I think in a larger office getting a sit/stand desk would be very plausible if you have your own office, but virtually impossible if you are one of many sitting in a line of desks. My company works as a contractor for many office buildings and as you mentioned, it is incredible the setups so many office buildings have of lines of people working next to each other. I hope for those people's benefits especially that their are some bigwigs checking out articles such as yours! While a sit/stand desk I think is ultimately the best option, anything the company is willing to do to help the situation has to be looked at as a positive. -Drew
    • 3rd December 2012 | Back Pain Chairs says: Reply
      I dont agree with you because bigger companies like Microsoft or Google do care for there employes specially on their health they have chairs which are very comfortable so that every employe can work for hours without developing back pain.
      • 9th January 2013 | Samuel Conlogue says: Reply
        The issue here is inactivity. No matter how comfortable or well designed a chair it cannot address the inactivity issue caused by sitting for extended periods. At least I don't know of such a chair.
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