Standing Desk

This article is part 1 of 7 in the series Standing Desk

I’ve recently been reading a lot about standing desks, and figured I should give them a try. A try, mind you — I’ll want to figure out how I am with them before committing any amount of time or money to them.

Why a standing desk you wonder? And what, pray tell, is that exactly? I’m glad you asked…

A standing desk, quite simply, is a desk at which you don’t sit but stand. Doh. Shoulda figured.

More interesting than what, however, is why

The quick answer is that there’s mounting medical evidence that sitting down for long stretches of the day is really quite bad, and not in the “you don’t move around enough” kind of sense, but in the “you’re sitting too much” kind of sense.

I can personally attest that my health has improved once I stopped using regular chairs. I went through big gymnastics balls, and ended up settling for a kind of stool that mimics the degrees of movement of gymnastics balls without being so fucking big. By not being able to just slump into that but expend (a little) effort on sitting up, I’ve noticeably reduced back problems.

Now I’ve always had a slightly crooked back, so keeping my back muscles in use is kind of essential to me. If standing up all day should improve on my posture and use of back musculature, I’m willing to give it a try. That alone was reason enough for me to get curious when the intarwebs was suddenly buzzing about Donald Rumsfeld and his standing desk. The growing amount of medical evidence is almost icing on the cake in comparison.

Standing Desk

So I fished an old shelf out of the garage, adjusted it to the appropriate height, and plonked it on my desk as a first, temporary attempt at working standing up. And here is this thing of beauty:

According to all the reports I’ve read, I can expect cramping back and leg muscles for a few weeks, plus painful feet. I can’t say I’m looking forward to that, but I had the same problem when switching to a gymnastics ball back in the day. I’m expecting a lot of good results in return, though.

I’ll let you know when I’ve either given up on the whole idea, of am accustomed to it — whichever comes first.

And if this experiment is successful, which I expect it to be, then I’m already looking forward to shopping around for or designing a less haphazard standing desk…

  • lobotony

    beautiful, been thinking about that as well recently. 

    • unwesen

      Well, the first few hours were a success. My legs and back feel the strain, but I can just push the whole thing back and work sitting down again for a while.

  • Anonymous

    Wouldn’t a program of regular low impact cardiovascular exercise be something that would also eliminate the problem of ‘you don’t move enough’?

    I’m skeptical of things like this, so I’m very much looking forward to reading your review in a few weeks.


    • unwesen

      The problem apparently isn’t about the amount of effort you expend, but the amount of time you invest. If you exercise for 8 hours a day, it may be fine for you to be at rest for the remainder of the day. Who does that, though?