This post is sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and HP. All opinions are mine. #BTSwithHP #CollectiveBias
Hey there! Long time no talk, huh? I moved into my dorm room about a week and a half ago, and have just finished up Resident Advisor (RA) training. Training days were pretty long, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m, and afterwards, we worked on making bulletin boards and door decorations for our residents so they’ll feel welcomed when they show up to campus.
I’ve also been working to resolve some blog technical troubles (pictures weren’t showing up in posts, oh boy!), so hopefully everything around here should be running smoothly now.
This year, I actually got to move into my exact same room as last year. I kept a lot of the room’s layout the same since it worked well last year, but one change I’ve made is to the study set-up in my room. I do a lot of my studying in the library since I like studying near friends and I can usually be extra productive there.
But since there are definitely times that I do study in my room, I’m creating a better study set-up in my room this year. The first thing I’m doing to create a more productive and healthier study space is…
Sitting on a stability ball instead of a desk chair
I’ve noticed that when I sit at a desk, I tend to majorly hunch over as I type on my computer or read a textbook. My posture has actually gotten noticeably worse since I started college since I spend a lot of time at my laptop. For times that I study in my room, I knew I needed to figure out a better solution than slouching in my chair for hours at a time.So, I bought a stability ball on Amazon for about $15, moved the desk chair to the corner of my room for extra seating, and I’m now exclusively using the stability ball for working at my desk. It forces me to sit up straight and I can absentmindedly bounce a little bit while I type or read textbooks, which engages my core.
I originally bought a 65 cm ball, but I’m swapping it for the next size up (75 cm) so it’ll be a better fit for my desk.
As I bounce up and down while I study, I get to enjoy using my new laptop! This year, I got the chance to try out the new HP Notebook 15-ay041wmok. With a 15.6 inch HD screen, it’s a few inches bigger than the Macbook Pro I’m used to, but it actually weighs about the same. (4.75 lbs– this sounded like a ton, so I actually weighed both myself to check.)
My favorite feature is the touchscreen, which works really well and is fun to use. With the HD feature, there’s a noticeable difference in quality whether I’m viewing photos, videos, or websites. It also has a lot of hard drive space and the latest Intel processor. I think it’s a great, super affordable back-to-school laptop option for a college student.
For my second healthier study option, I created…
A makeshift standing desk
Like lots of people, I get antsy when I have to sit for long periods of time. So, I cleared off part of my tall dresser to use it as a standing desk. After days filled with lots of sitting in meetings, I love being able to stand up at my “dresser desk” at night when I’m on my computer trying to fix blog issues, working on my political science research, ordering textbooks, etc.
This way, I can stand up straight and look straight at my computer instead of hunching over to see it. There’s the added bonus that standing burns more calories than sitting, but mostly, I’m just hoping to get my posture back in check!
I originally thought about asking my dad to help me build a little platform to elevate my laptop on my desk, but I think I actually prefer this way. Another benefit? This set-up prevents me from tossing clutter on my dresser like I tend to do when I’m in a hurry.
A final benefit is that I get tired more quickly when I’m standing, which motivates me to stay on track and work efficiently so I can finish!
Up next, I’ll share a recipe or two, a “life lately” type of post, and a tour of my dorm room this year…
If you like your HP computer as much as I do, be sure to visit Walmart.com to share your thoughts! Encourage other students to shop smart this back-to-school season with your online review.
So tell me…
What are some tips or tricks you use to be healthier or more productive while you work?
Have you ever used a standing desk or a stability ball for a desk chair?
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
Ooh I wonder if a stability ball would be the right height for my desk. I love that idea! And I usually set my bed at school as high as it goes, so it’s the perfect height for me to stand and be on the computer or read. Plus, there’s the added perk of way more storage space under the bed. 🙂
I used a tape measure to see how big I wanted the ball to be to fit my desk! I just edited the post to add that I originally bought a 65 cm ball but am returning it for a 75 cm ball so it’ll be a bit higher– maybe that’d work for you, too 🙂
Emily @ My Healthyish Life says
I used a stability ball as a desk chair in my apartment! I couldn’t find a chair I liked and the bouncing/good posture benefit sounded great to me! I sometimes made a makeshift standing desk too (just with boxes). I liked it and just moved to the dining room if I needed an actual chair. Hope the rest of training goes well!
So great that you’ve already been doing this! It feels so much better!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
Love these tips! When I lived in my apartment I would use my dresser as a standing desk when I had a long day of studying ahead of me and would try to spend a few hours standing at it instead of sitting at my desk. I found that I was better able to stay focused and even found myself practicing tree pose a few times (haha) so I guess I got some yoga practice out of it too!
I haven’t found myself doing tree pose yet but now that you’ve put the idea in my head, I bet I will! 🙂
Beverley @ Born to Sweat says
omg i love your makeshift standing desk and using the ball for a chair. seriously tho – sitting is a freaking BUZZ KILL. i subconsciously feel my hips getting tighter, my lower back hurts, and my neck – dont even get me started.
For a couple weeks at work i found ALL the boxes I could, and put both my screens, my keyboard, and my mouse on them, and had a cardboard standing desk. It was hilarious and worked perfectly. Not very pretty tho.
Whatever works, right? For a while, I set my laptop on a giant stack of textbooks on my desk to elevate it, but it wasn’t very pretty or stable haha.
Diana @ Live Lean Eat Green says
I live for my standing desk. I swear 2 hours into working my office job and my back in already in pain.
That’s great that you can have a standing desk at your office!
kerri mcgrail says
I love the idea of a stability ball! Last year i actually bought a bike desk so I can pedal while i study because I was so tired of sitting from 8-5 all day during school. I literally thought I was going to go crazy if I sat still for any longer lol!
I’ve never heard of a bike desk! What a cool idea.
I LOVE this. Standing desks are my favorite; however I was just standing at the counter and bending over my laptop. O_O Oops. 🙂 You made me strand up straight. I don’t really like sitting that much, so I love to stand at my sister’s bunkbed which is almost the perfect height.
I’m so guilty of bending over my laptop, too! Reallyyyyy trying to get better!
Kristy from Southern In Law says
When I’m in my actual office I often sit on a stability ball instead of a chair as I have terrible posture, however, if I’m working from home I either have really bad posture and sit on a stool (my computer at home is at our bench) or I sit on my kneeling chair!
Those all sound like great options!
Standing desks are my favorite! I find I am way less tired throughout the day when I’m able to stand and walk around. Figuring out the right height is so important though!
I agree! Standing helps keep me awake!
sitting on a stability ball is SUCH a great idea!! Also love your dorm and the decorations- looks so nice and organized 🙂 Happy Friday Liv!
Thank you, Alyssa!
These are great tips! I used to have a stability ball that I would use at my desk but it got so deflated I finally threw it out..
Sometimes I stand at the high counter at Starbucks when I study there but for some reason I have the hardest time doing it at home. I’m definitely going to give that dresser trick a try though!
P.S your dorm room looks really good 🙂
Thanks so much, Megan! And definitely try out the dresser trick 🙂
masala girl says
i’ve used a stability ball since my senior year of high school, i love it!
and the standing desk as school is a great idea! i had one at home, and i could so us it here 🙂
Ah envious that you have a real standing desk! Very cool!
A stability ball and a standing desk. You are definitely doing it right!
Roy Lees says
Using a stability ball instead of desk chair appears to be a decent way to sneak in some center exercise while you work. But, is that really effective? You have to use it correctly and with good posture to be benefited accordingly….