THS is pleased to welcome Andrew ‘clawlan’ Lloyd to our blog. Andrew produces Left Hand Reviews and knows a thing or two about table-top gaming. Today, he’d like to share his experience using an UPLIFT desk base to make his gaming table height-adjustable.
Board gaming and tabletop gaming are incredibly popular hobbies around the world that continue to become more ubiquitous year after year. But it doesn’t occur to most people that, to get the most out of the hobby, you need the right tools. Think about it. No matter what your hobby may be (painting, woodworking, golfing, etc), everyone will agree that having the proper tools is essential, not only for improving your experience, but often for safety and ergonomic reasons as well.
My name is Andrew ‘clawlan’ Lloyd and I have been an avid board gamer my entire life. I currently produce a video review series called Left Hand Reviews [www.lefthandreviews.com], showcasing both games and accessories alike. Unfortunately, for many years, I have suffered from lower back pain caused by a trifecta of degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, and lumbar arthritis. Recently I suffered an episode that left me bedridden, which lead to epidural spinal injections. It was while I was laying in bed in excruciating pain that I decided to make some serious changes to my routine. I identified the two largest exacerbators of my back pain as sitting all day at work and the combination of sitting and leaning over a table while gaming. Let me explain how I tackled the latter.
A friend of mine has a counter height table at which I have gamed before. I immediately realized that, after long gaming sessions on that table, my back pain was greatly reduced versus when I gamed on a standard dining height table. The reason for this is twofold. First, with the table at that height, I was able to stand for much of the gaming session, alleviating the discomfort caused by prolonged sitting. Also, when reaching over the table to move pieces on my turn, I didn’t have to lean forward as much, drastically reducing the strain on my lower back. I decided that my table needed to be taller.
The conundrum I faced was that I loved my existing gaming table. It is a 48” x 103” solid mahogany monster that serves as a family dining table as well as a gaming table; replacing it was not a realistic option since my wife and I didn’t want to lose this dual functionality. So I started to think of possible ways to raise the gaming surface. Then, while I was researching solutions to my “sitting all day at work” problem, I came across adjustable-height desks. I thought to myself, “Why can’t I use the same technology for my table?” After more research, I found the solution. In addition to selling complete standing desks, The Human Solution also sells just the adjustable-height frames! Long story short, I was able swap the existing pedestals of my table with THS’s 3 legged UPLIFT Sit-Stand Electric Desk, thus converting my table into a fully height adjustable gaming table! If you want to see exactly how I accomplished this, I encourage you to check out my assembly and review videos here:
With a sit-stand desk, I am able to raise my surface to the most comfortable, which is actually considerably higher than standard counter height. If some of the shorter members of my group are in attendance, then I can easily lower it so the height is comfortable for everyone. It’s also important to note that numerous studies have shown that standing for extended periods may be almost as detrimental as sitting for extended periods, so at regular intervals, I can simply lower the adjustable height table back to dining height and sit on my existing dining room chairs. This ability to alternate between standing and sitting while reducing unsupported leaning has nearly eliminated my post-gaming back pain. But don’t think that this solution is solely for back pain sufferers. I have a close friend who experiences cervical spine (neck) pain and he has commented that using the height-adjustable desk, and thus reducing the amount he needs to angle down his neck, has drastically reduced his pain.
But what if you don’t suffer from any chronic pain? An UPLIFT Adjustable Height Desk is still extremely beneficial. As mentioned briefly above, studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time can be extremely damaging to your body but standing the entire time instead may not be much better. Rather, a combination of the two is required for optimal health and well-being. And if that isn’t reason enough, standing burns upwards of 30% more calories than sitting!
I can honestly tell you without a shadow of a doubt that this is the best and most important addition I’ve made to my hobby. Regardless of whether you enjoy casual game nights with friends or have regularly scheduled sessions of Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder with your RPG group, an adjustable-height gaming table should be both the figurative and literal foundation of your collection.
Thanks Andrew! Find more ways to game healthier at TheHumanSolution.com.