I’ve been standing at my desk now for two weeks. I wanted to provide an update on my original post about using a standing desk for a couple of different reasons:
- the overall response has been overwhelming – I know the old adage about “when the only tool you have is a hammer, all you see is nails” but I do believe that both the interest in and information about standing desks is really gaining momentum – and more of my friends are using one and commenting about it
- there is new research suggesting that the more hours you sit, the higher the likelihood you will die prematurely
- I think (anecdotally) that standing makes me more effective, gives me more energy overall, and makes me more effective
It turns out lots of people use standing desks
The most amazing thing about the last two weeks has been the process of finding out how many people I know are either using or considering the use of a standing desk. These people have made the choice for a variety of reasons – many, to resolve back issues – and the constant theme among their comments is that they feel better, get more work done, and that it has been a habit that they’ve been able to maintain.
The discussion spanned people from all walks of life. I thought that this was mostly a trend for geeks, and found that it’s much wider than that.
The other interesting observation about the people who use standing desks is that they are among the most productive and successful people that I know. I don’t think there is a correlation here yet – but it’s still interesting – and worth more thought in the future.
The media is starting to pay attention
For the average person, the standing desk probably seems like a weird fad that will fade. But the media is starting to pay attention to the possibilities raised by the long-term effects of sedentary behavior. So what? It means that whatever you can do to reduce the amount of time sitting is good – either taking a brisk walk once a day, making sure that you do your household activities in a burst of activity so that you are standing for a longer period of time. Note: there is definitely a segment of the population that can’t exercise this way – and it would seem that other low-impact activities like swimming might be a great substitute.
It still feels great to stand
I was really tired the first week of using the standing desk. I’m doing better now, and still feeling the same benefits of being intentional, feeling focused, and getting good amounts of work done. I look forward to seeing how I feel after a few months of this activity, and whether anything else has changed.
I’ve been working standing up for about 18mths now (after hurting my back). It’s hard. It took at least 6 weeks before I could comfortably do it every day. A couple of times in the last few weeks I’ve been forced to sit for long periods and find it horrendously uncomfortable. It’s tempting to give up, but once you get through a month or so, you’ll never look back.
I have a stool next to me that is good for a break every now and then, but only use it when talking to team mates. The great them for them btw, is that it gets them up and walking around when they want to talk to me.
One tip, if you want to stand, do it without shoes. I wear shoes at work and it’s not nearly as easy as standing at home without the shoes.
Yes, agree that the first few days/weeks were challenging. After about a month of this it seems second nature now and I don’t mind it. I agree that having the right shoes for the job is essential – I’ve gotten the best results from running shoes. I alternate between wearing shoes and barefoot.
Great post! What, if any health benefits do you see when using them? Also did you build your own standing desk or buy it? I am thinking about building one out of all wood – and would love to hear your suggestions!
Benjamino – primary benefits are a clearer head and ability to think and focus – I also found that my core strength (ability to stand, ability to do simple exercises like squats, deep knee bends) is better. I bought this desk – it’s a drafting table – and had it around which is why I used this method.
Hey Greg, thanks for the update! I’ve been standing up at work, too, for several months now and I really feel a difference, both while I am at work and even after. I am more energetic, more productive, healthier, and less tired after I leave the office. Personally, I use a NextDesk which is an adjustable height desk. Have you thought about getting one of these?
I think that is the best solution, honestly. With this, you have the option to switch between sitting and standing and moving around all day, which is nice (and I hear better for your metabolism, joints, and blood flow.)
They’ve also just released a new, smaller, and more affordable version of their adjustable height desk that I’m thinking about getting for my house.
If you’re interested, you can check it out on their website: http://www.nextdesks.com/
And thanks again for the post– happy standing! ;o)
Natalie – thanks for the comment! I’ll check out that site.
Greg, your post has me thinking of switching.. Did you see this table? thoughts?
Mike – have seen that table before and it would definitely be on my list of tables to try. Is there a place you can go to test-drive?