After reading a great article on the Kramm court reporting blog, it shocked me how many illnesses and conditions are attributed to excessive sitting. As court reporters, it’s easy to forget that from a health standpoint, working tirelessly away at a transcript is just as good for your health as sitting on the couch watching hours and hours of TV. In fact, our bodies don’t really know the difference.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can lead to increased risk of heart attack and (this one surprised me) a 50% increase rate of death from ALL CAUSES according to a doctor from the Mayo Clinic.
For many court reporters, sitting is the way it is and the way it always has been, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change the game a little bit. Here are a few products that will help you create the most ergonomic, healthy, and productive environment for court reporting at home.
Standing desks have become increasingly popular in recent years. While we can’t cart these around from deposition to deposition, having one at home for transcribing and proofing might eliminate a large amount of sitting hours. LifeHacker has an awesome article on the 5 Best Standing Desks. If you’re into a little weekend project, you can also build your own on the cheap by getting your parts at IKEA.
Anti-Fatigue Floor Mats
While standing for the sake of not sitting might be good enough, people are actually more productive while standing. That’s probably because we know that we are going to get tired standing for long periods of time (ugh!). That’s where anti-fatigue floor mats come into play. Retail institutions like Wal-Mart and Walgreen’s have been using these mats for decades, and if you’ve ever worked in the retail business, you know that they won’t spend money on anything unless it brings a return on investment!
The Sky Mat is available at Amazon for just under $60 and has a lifetime warranty and great reviews. If you plan on a standing desk, one of these is a must for anyone planning on doing some court reporting at home.
One thing to remember about standing desks, thought, is that posture is still important. Your elbows should always be at 90 degrees when typing, and your computer monitors should be at eye level. Many standing desks have a monitor platform to accommodate this, but don’t be afraid to prop up low sitting computer monitors.
Protip: If you really want to have an ergonomic workspace, consider an adjustable arm instead of a simple platform. That way you can be sure to adjust your home monitor to the perfect height and angle for you.
It seems like everything can kill you these days. Red meat is out; artificial sweetener and 90% of the food we eat contains GMOs, but the way we work is something that we can control. Give it a try, try standing while editing your next transcript and see if you are more productive, let us know how you did in the comments below.