Preventing Cubicle Fatigue

After reading that sitting at a desk all day is as bad for you as smoking, I’ve been experimenting with ways to combat the onset of cubicle fatigue. To that end, I’ve been doing my best to build spurts of activity into my day. Some of my methods–not all of them successful–appear below.

• Taking periodic breaks to walk up and down my building’s flights of stairs while reading tweets on my phone. I have yet to fall down, but I definitely see it coming. Luckily the maximum number of stairs I could possibly tumble down is in the range of 8-10 stairs, which is nothing. And no one ever takes the stairs in this country, so if I do fall, no one will see. And if I seriously injure myself and really need assistance, I can just tweet for help.

• Going into the men’s room, waiting for it to be empty if others are present, and then proceeding to go buck (the human version of this, kinda). Gets the heart rate up for sure. Especially if someone walks in while I’m going buck.

• Standing instead of sitting and using my cubicle’s storage shelf as a desk. Which I’m pretty sure freaks everyone else in this block of cubes out a little bit.

• Taking laps around the building–and the Extended Stay America next door–during my lunch break. Mind you, I walk at a brisk pace; I don’t run. And I often carry my lunch box with me. Which I’m pretty sure mildly freaks out everyone in offices with windows as well as those staying in the Extended Stay America.

• Wild, elaborate stretching within the confines of my cubicle.

• Pacing back and forth while on conference calls. Sometimes while doing these shoulder exercises that I need to do to help heal my recently-separated left shoulder. It’s not as weird as it sounds. I swear.

• Standing in lieu of sitting during all-intern meetings. I’m pretty sure I’ve been silently labeled as the weirdest of the interns.

• Repeatedly getting up to check and make sure that my lunch is still in the fridge (something I haven’t been doing, but that I could certainly start doing if I wanted to). I mean, no one here has ever tried to steal my lunch. But it did happen to me when I was a teacher in St. Louis (someone–another teacher, mind you–stole my tuna salad sandwich… out of my lunchbox). And I think about my lunch a lot. So maybe I’ll start checking in on it periodically.

• Taking the long (can hardly call it “scenic”) route to the fax machine and/or copy machine.

Suggestions welcome in the comments section.

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4 Responses to Preventing Cubicle Fatigue

  1. Karen says:

    It is probably a good strategic move on your part that you don’t mention your name or the location of your internship, which apparently isn’t yet overtaxing your neurons. Loved the stoat video. And lunch theft is an unstudied workplace phenomenon. Perhaps you can add value to your summer experience byquantifying the effect of lunch theft on worker productivity?

  2. Michael says:

    In the interest of bringing it all full circle, have you considered taking up smoking?

  3. tjl14@duke.edu says:

    pull a Jacob and start doing sets of push-ups throughout the day…

  4. Karen says:

    PS: If the policy wonk thing doesn’t work out, I think you have a future in comedy.

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