There is so much hype around standing desks. A lot of people, such as Apple CEO Tim Cook, is saying that sitting is the new cancer. So when I hear enough hype around something I like to try it to see what the fuss (if any) is about.
When I first heard about standing instead of sitting, I laughed. Why would I want to do that when sitting is exactly what you want to do when you’ve been standing for too long? I put standing desks in the same category as being vegan, soy chai lattes and growing a beard. It’s trendy but a bit of a wank.
Our office has started to receive more and more standing desks lately. When you look down the open plan office you can see a few more people standing each week, like sprouting mushrooms in the yard after a lot of rain. After conversations with them I kept being told that it has done wonders for them physically, mentally and that they’re also more productive.
I am a big believer in saving the one thing no one can generate more of, time. ANYTHING that makes me more productive and time efficient will grab my attention, now I really wanted one.
Since I already had a fixed desk in the office I needed a retro-fitted standing desk. Google around and boom, found one made by Varidesk. They have a few variations so I bought the biggest one I could, the Pro Plus 48 and a matt, because apparently they’re good.
It all turned up and let me just say, it is a big kit. Fully assembled already so it took me a minute to plonk on the desk, add things on top and away I stood. During this process I removed my desk phone. I set it to call forward always to my mobile and unplugged it, less clutter.
The desk rises and lowers really simply. A couple of handles in the Varidesk allow you to lift a lot of weight with ease. It is fairly stable however it did take me a while to trust so much stuff on the desk at full height. I had two monitors, a laptop with dock, keyboard and mouse. No problem.
Now to how it is to use…
The matt is exactly what everyone needs, no hype around that – buy it if you’re buying a standing desk. Some will opt to take their shoes off when they’re standing but since I like to remain civil in the office I kept them on. This was also a problem as before long you start to feel the skin of your feet bleeding through the soles of your shoes (not literally, but they hurt) even with the matt. I went and bought some gel filled soles from Scholl and that problem has gone away. The other minor issue you’ll face physically is your lower back muscles, they feel the stress. This is because you haven’t used them much in a long time!
The benefits for me in using the standing desk has been many:
- I can see more of what is happening in the office so I feel more alive, seeing people is nice compared to staring at a cubicle wall
- I tried spending some time sitting for an hour, standing for an hour etc. That became a hassle so I now stand all day.
- I break up my standing sessions by sitting for meals (morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea) away from my desk. A real break also helps you reenergise at work.
- I don’t get a slump during the day. I’m more social, more active and more energised by relaxing in my chair less. Strange I know.
- When you’re standing at your desk, wearing bluetooth headphones and listening to music while you work, there is a chance that you’ll jive on your matt. You ol’ DJ!
- When I am at my desk, I work, I feel more focused because I am standing for a purpose. When you get comfy in a chair it is easy to switch off and turn the Facebook time killer on.
- I can make jokes to those who sit.
– You know who sits? Dogs.
– You know who sits? Jabba The Hut
– You know who stands? Heroes.
Good jokes right? Use them at will 😉
So, am I converted? Yes. Have I switched to soy chai lattes and started protesting the sheering of sheep? No.
You can be cool, manly AND have a standing desk. But more importantly, it has helped me be more productive and more active in my day – and that is what had me hooked.