1329: Standing

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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At first I was making fun of them, but joke's on me--the deer is surprisingly ergonomic, except for the kicks.
Title text: At first I was making fun of them, but joke's on me--the deer is surprisingly ergonomic, except for the kicks.


Standing desks are a current fad in modern tech companies. Supposedly more ergonomic and comfortable than sitting all day, they can be combined with treadmills or stationary bicycles to enable exercise to be taken while working. Cueball tells Megan that standing desks are inferior to his solution, strapping his laptop to a deer. The deer constantly runs away from Cueball, forcing him to chase and get exercise (and probably get kicked if he catches up). Additionally, by mentioning the common line of "humans weren't meant to sit all day", he is saying that his deer-based solution is much more similar to the task that humans evolved to do, namely hunting and gathering.

The title text takes this a step further, saying that the deer was surprisingly ergonomic, apart from the kicks — which would, presumably, be quite debilitating. The ergonomics could be due to the soft, warm nature of the flesh compared to typical cold, hard tables.


[Cueball is running after a deer with a laptop strapped to its back, while Megan looks on.]
Cueball: Humans aren't built to sit all day. This is much healthier.
My Hobby: One-upping the standing desk people

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I was bold, and made a start on the page. 10:08, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Note that the part which is really bad about "sitting" work is being in same position all day. I'm sure standing all day would be just as unhealthy (and more tiring), while the deer would be even more tiring and probably lower productivity. Even walking is not as ideal if you walk on treadmill, because it's too flat. So, real solution is having desk which would automatically (so you don't forget) change height periodically, forcing you to spend part of work sitting, part standing and part searching for repairman to fix the desk after it will get stuck again. -- Hkmaly (talk) 10:41, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

The research conclusion is simple: The more you sit the earlier you die. True, there are no conclusions on those who stand most of the day. I mix sitting and standing at work. My adjustable height desk works fine. tbc (talk) 13:20, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
You say "The more you sit the earlier you die". Obviously, dying earlier means less time for sitting so the more you sit the less you sit. *SCNR* (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

PS: The argument of "we are not built" is flawed. Humans are built to be mostly dead in thirty, forty if they are lucky. The reason cavemen were healthier that we are is not because of healthy exercise. It's because if he developed back pain problems, something eated him soon. -- Hkmaly (talk) 10:48, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Humans were living 70 or 80 years several millennia ago. True, most died by age 40 from a variety of hazards modern humans don't face. The theoretical maximum age hasn't changed. It's been stuck at 120 for millennia. tbc (talk) 13:20, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
"Theoretical maximum" and "observed median" are probably different numbers. The second one seems like it would be more relevant to the discussion of general health trends over time. 15:58, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Anyone notice that it's a part of the My Hobby series? 11:46, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Somebody has - it is now part of that category as seen at the bottom of the page. Kynde (talk) 13:31, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

"In the comic, Cueball tells Megan that standing desks are still not the apex of innovation" Where exactly "in the comic" does he do this? 19:23, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

Presumably that's what "one-upping" entails. We can't see the whole discussion in one frame, so we have to fill in the details. 02:55, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
The word "apex" was mine, as a replacement for a grammatical slip in a turn of phrase that appeared to mean that. However, replacing the "standing desk" with the "running desk" at least relegates the former to "non-apex" status, on the assumption that the move was an improvement. (Not sure if the deer-desk is apex, itself... How about tied to the back of a velociraptor, Randall? How much exercise (physical and mental) would you be getting then! ;)
But, anyway, I feel no heartfelt desire to retain that phrasing, if anyone wants to (re-)rewrite it. 10:50, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Yesterday I ran across this article that summarizes the finding Randall is referring to: http://www.mayoclinic.org/sitting/expert-answers/FAQ-20058005 tbc (talk) 13:31, 13 February 2014 (UTC)