Three months ago I swapped out the desk in my home office–which is really just my office, as I work at home–for a standing desk, a process I describe here. How’s it going?
This morning my publisher sent me a link to this New York Times piece on the health benefits of standing, by fitness writer Gretchen Reynolds. Hundreds more calories burned in a day simply by standing instead of sitting. Many more benefits as well, including longer life and less fat deposited in the liver and other useful organs. But wow, hundreds more calories!
My experience with the standing desk seems to bear out, in a completely unscientific way, the science that says that standing is lots, lots better for you than sitting. Various health metrics have improved. So has my posture, which has always been, well, terrible. Still far from book-balancing perfect, but better. My overall energy level has risen, too.
Adjusting to the standing desk was far easier than I expected. Although I bought a high stool to use with the standing desk for sitting breaks, I’ve probably used it fewer than half a dozen times, and briefly. What I do use is a small, one-step footstool that I keep under the desk. From time to time I rest one or the other foot on it; this lets me change my posture without leaning forward onto my elbows or shifting my weight to one hip.
When using a standing desk, you want to keep your hips level and your back straight. The ergonomics should resemble this illustration, from Tinkering Monkey’s article on choosing or making a standing desk:
Is there a downside? People with foot, leg, or circulatory problems should do a little research and maybe check with their doctors before drastically upping their standing time. I don’t have any of those problems, and the desk is a great success for me. It does help to have a cushy gel mat underfoot. I bought one on Amazon for about $25.
I’d love to hear from people who’ve used a standing desk–bad experiences as well as good ones–and from anyone who’s thinking of taking the plunge.