A standing desk is pretty much what it says on the tin: A desk for writing or working while standing up instead of sitting down. Men's Health and The New York Times wrote about recent studies that show sitting all day is really unhealthy, even for people who exercise.
"It doesn't matter if you go running every morning, or you're a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting -- in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home -- you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you," wrote Olivia Judson in the NYT.
More energy: Standing keeps blood flowing and your mind more alert. It’s a lot harder to get sleepy at your desk if you’re standing. You are constantly aware of your body.
More engaged with co-workers: Sitting at a desk, you often miss opportunities to talk with colleagues or take notice of something important happening.
Posture and core strength: Standing all day and maintaining a good posture really adds to the strength of your core. Less soreness in your back and tailbone compared to when you sit for eight to ten hours a day.
Ready for action: When you’re sitting and sedentary, it can take a few moments to get up and away from your desk in the case of an emergency or you just realized you’re late for a meeting. Standing at your desk you are like a keen-eyed antelope, ready to spring away.
Leg/feet soreness: The first few days/weeks are brutal if you don’t prepare. It will take different people a different length of time to get acclimated to standing that long. It will be uncomfortable for a bit, but if you can power through, it pays off in the end.
Lunch:If your workplace is an “eat-at-your-desk” type of place, then this can make lunch annoying. It’s hard to stand over your desk and eat. My advice: have a place to sit or go elsewhere to eat. If you must work and eat, be mindful of spills and the fact that everyone can see you eat.
Long days: If you work long days, it can get a little rough toward the end. I realize the whole idea is that the standing is good for you, but after ten hours, even the hardiest of folks will start to get a little fatigued. If possible, have a sitting option like a tall stool.
Everyone can see you: So yeah, this part has its disadvantages too. Need to pick a boogie, people can see you. Bad hair day, people can see you. Did you spill some coffee on your crotch, yup, people can see you. Now this only applies if you are in a relatively open workspace (which is becoming more common). If you have your own office, this won’t matter as much. On the other hand, if you have a most bodacious posterior that looks great while standing, well then, everyone can see you (and it!).
Vericose Vein: Although undeniably a much healthier option than using a sitting desk, using a Standing Desk can actually increase the possibility of acquiring the dreaded varicose vein.
TIPS BEFORE YOU DRINK THE KOOL-AID AND STAND UP :
Mats: Think about getting an anti-fatigue mat. This will cushion your feet and really make it easier on your body. Standing all day on office carpet or a wood floor is a one-way ticket to “this sucks” town.
Shoes: If possible, bring a pair of comfortable shoes to leave at work. If you work in a more casual place and can just wear more cushioned shoes to work then just do that.
Health issues: If you have back, leg, knee or other health issues that might not jibe with a standing desk. You don’t want to run the danger of doing something for yourself that might actually be worse.
Ease into it: Standing for your entire eight hour shift from day one might be a little intense. Try easing into it if possible. Stand for 2 hours, sit for thirty minutes or an hour, repeat. Or whatever is most comfortable for you — the key is comfort and doing what is best for your body type, health condition, and personal work scenario.
Ergonomics: If your workplace has a dedicated ergonomics person, use them. They probably already have standing desk solutions or equipment to help get you started (if your workplace approves). This can ensure you are building a correct standing workplace and not doing anything to harm yourself or create long-term arm, shoulder, or other joint problems (or carpal tunnel syndrome).
WOULD YOU OR DO YOU USE A STANDING DESK?
PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH THE REST OF US.