I have terrible posture, particularly when sitting at a computer, and suspect this has been the cause of some shoulder and neck pain. So a couple of months ago I hopped on standing desk bandwagon. My “standing desk” is simply the taller version of the UTBY bar table from Ikea and a pile of old books under the monitor. I also purchased a fatigue mat to soften up the hardwood floor a bit and a stool for when I’m feeling extra lazy.
So far the standing desk has been really great. While I’m only using the desk at home and still sit at work, I’ve noticed some improvements. First off, I’m an abnormally early riser and like to work on personal projects over coffee in the morning before getting ready and heading into the office. Before the standing desk, I was pretty slow to get going, but now I stumble to the desk, fire up reddit, and after just a couple of minutes I’m good to go (and awake enough to make coffee without injuring myself or the cat). Working from home has been interesting, too. The first time I tried it at the standing desk, I couldn’t really make it through the entire day and ended up on the stool quite a bit. Now, though, it’s not really a problem, and I do feel like I get much more done (though this is probably attributable to the lack of office-related distractions). Another feature of the standing desk is its utility for “quick checks” of things like a recipe, bus times, or the weather. It’s a lot harder to get sucked into a time wasting email thread without collapsing into a cozy desk chair. I simply walk over, find the information I need, and return to my previous task without distraction. One thing I have noticed, though, is that when I need to read a long article or ponder something for an extended amount of time, I still find myself reaching for a laptop and heading to the couch. For writing or programming, though, the standing desk is a clear winner.
If you’ve been thinking about a standing desk and have the time and money to try it out, I highly suggest it. Regardless of whether or not any of the claimed health benefits are true, I’ve found standing to help me wake up, focus, and get more done.