Sitting at your desk for 8-9 hours a day is definitely a daily reality for lots of people, but studies showed that sitting is actually potentially deadly, a theory supported by Apple CEO, Tim Cook, who said sitting is the new cancer. Then Richard Branson came with the benefits of standing during meetings and the world was entering a new era of working: the standing desk!
Standing desks were a simple way to ditch sitting and return to your natural state of “caveman” by rejecting to sit for hours on end, and replacing this modern habit with an even more modern one. Yes, humans were not made to sit on a chair. Sitting makes our spine ache and leads to obesity, among other conditions, so adopting a standing posture seemed to be the best option for all of us, busy bees who work in front of a computer.
Of course, I was one of the first people to embrace standing, partially pushed by curiosity, partially pushed by my fierce back pain. I am not going to talk about all the benefits of a standing desk, but I will tell you what others won’t tell you: how it really feels to work standing.
1. You will focus better.
The first things you are going to notice about your standing desk is that it’s very distracting: on my first day standing I was really struggling to focus. However, as you get accustomed with the standing desk, you will become a lot more productive, as you will focus better.
2. Your feet will hurt.
Another first side-effect of a standing desk is feet ache. I tried standing without a special mat, which could provide some cushioning, so my feet were complaining big time. However, the back pain was gone and it still is, along with all the neck and shoulder discomfort which forced me to spend lots of time lying down on the floor of my apartment, in an effort to relieve my pain.
3. Standing helps you exercise more.
You know how everyone says you should be moving around more, like take the stairs and walk to your colleagues instead of texting them? Well, it’s hard to do it when you are sitting, but standing makes you prone to moving around.
4. Standing also helps you take breaks.
As you are standing on your desk, you are going to remember about taking a break from time to time. For me this was a huge advantage, because I have eye problems and I usually neglect pausing and stepping away from the computer. Yet, since I am using a standing desk, I do remember to take regular breaks and my eyes feel a lot better, there is no redness and no itching.
As someone who is used to eat on her desk, I must confess the standing desk pushed me to go to the restaurant room for the first time in six months since I got the job. No more bread crumbs on the keyboard!
5. You feel more energetic.
One of the most interesting side effects I experienced after testing the standing desk was my energy level, which simply boomed! Standing encourages more movement, yet, I haven’t went through my usual energy drop, which happens just after lunch. For the entire day, I feel fresh and ready to take on the world, which is something I love.
6. When you get home you do take a seat.
Bottom all, a standing desk makes you more grateful for sitting time. When you arrive home and see the couch, you are thrilled to be able to sit down and really relax, because over the day your entire being was working, not just your hands and brain.
From my experience, a standing desk can be a welcomed change, but don’t push yourself too far, too soon, otherwise you are bound to fail. Take your time to get used with the standing desk and if your knees are weak, have a stool nearby to mix sitting with standing.
Featured photo credit: Teknion via teknion.com