The Diseased Tree
After your first long hour at a standing desk, the body requires stability, balance, and medical attention. The tendons of the feet have begun to weaken, the legs to grow restless, the spine to quiver with ancient memories of chairs. While you work, place the sole of your left foot against the inner right thigh, toes pointing toward the floor. Your left leg will thank you, and your right leg will swear a blood oath to wipe your seed from this chair-bereft land. Hold until lunch.
The Billie Jean
By midmorning, blood has pooled in your lower legs, preventing higher-concept thinking, and you may find simple tasks difficult, such as remembering your name or where you live. To bring blood back to the head, insert your earbuds, place left hand on crotch, extend right arm toward a nearby colleague, and undulate your groin to the rhythm of the music. It is important to maintain eye contact with your partner. Hold until contacted by human resources.
The Lurking Bird
You can stand almost anywhere, including during staff meetings, where colleagues will be shamed by your brave decision. Why are you standing there? Are you upset? Do you have a gun? Nobody knows. Find a comfortable spot near a window. Hook your right foot behind your left knee. Spread your arms outward. Slowly flap them. Dream of releasing yourself from the surly bonds of gravity. After the meeting, make sure to get all the handouts.
You may find that your new standing work posture has helped you notice things you hadn’t noticed before, such as how you seem to have the lower back muscles of a small invalid child. To regenerate muscle mass in the erector spinae, press both hands against your lower spine, bend legs to a squatting position, and scream uncontrollably for 5-10 minutes.
You have been shoeless much of the day, standing on your special mat, but now it’s time to put those shoes back on, because you have been called into human resources. When attempting to tie your shoes, do not be surprised that you no longer possess the ability to bend at the waist. Raise your left knee toward your waist, raise your right hand towards the ceiling, and cry out for assistance.
The Sign Here
Standing desk users should prepare to be discriminated against by colleagues who demand you read or write on paper, a brutal 19th-century practice created to humiliate immigrants. Your innovative workspace has moved beyond the archaic demands of signing office birthday cards and sexual harassment prevention pledge forms. You may be tempted to sit and sign the document in a more comfortable position; instead, ask your supervisor to turn around and bend over, place the document on his or her back, and without bending at the waist, sign the document while pretending to mate with him or her.
By mid-afternoon, your feet are tired, your back is tired, and you have become an object of office derision. Standing has never seemed so painful, so difficult. Once, after college, you waited tables, and didn’t you stand for hours then? And didn’t you play on a coed softball team once, and didn’t that also require standing? To give your back a much-needed break, spread your feet, place hands on your knees, and bend over towards the floor in the manner of a pregnant woman in labor. If you are a woman, then please be aware that under certain conditions, a baby may fall out of you in this position.
This pose mimics sitting in an actual chair while stimulating the diaphragm, the heart, and deep sadness. Exhale while bending your knees, bringing your thighs parallel to the floor. Breathe deeply. You may feel a slight burning sensation, which can trigger sustained weeping.
The Go On Without Me
Similar to Corpse Pose, this restorative position is one of total relaxation at the end of a long day. Turn off your computer, lean down to pick up your briefcase or handbag, and then black out. In this state of total relaxation, all your muscles will be restored. Hold position until blood returns to the brain. Upon opening your eyes, you may find the office is dark, because it is night or you are dead. In either case, stand up slowly and walk toward the light.