One of the things that really surprised me when I entered the working world is how sedentary it is. After years of walking to and from my classes in college, it was a big adjustment to sit in front of a computer for 8+ hours of the day and then come home at the end of it exhausted… only to sit in front of the TV for the remainder of the evening.
There are hundreds of articles out there talking about the benefits of getting up and moving throughout the workday and the benefits of stand up desks — it increases your metabolism, improves your posture, and reduces the health risks of sitting for long periods of time.
Last November I converted to a stand up desk, and absolutely love it. A coworker of mine had one, so I decided to try it out and see if it improved my health and energy.
Would you like a peak into my office to see it? Of course you do. :)
My “standing desk” is really just a simple desk shelf that I keep my mouse, keyboard and notepad on. I like that it’s easy to convert back to a sitting desk without changing the furniture drastically (like a lot of standing desks out there). I don’t think standing desks are for everyone, either because your work environment doesn’t allow it (aka: this would be awkward in a cubicle), or because you can’t be on your feet for long periods of time, but for me it has definitely helped, and I don’t plan on ever going back to a sitting desk.
Here are a few FAQ when I tell people I have a standing desk:
Did it take a while to get used to?
It took me about a week for my body to get used to. The first few days I came home feeling exhausted, like I do after spending a long afternoon of shopping. But by the end of the week, I noticed I had a lot more energy throughout the day, and didn’t even notice pain in my feet or back.
Does your back or your feet hurt at the end of the day?
Honestly, not at all. I’m technically not standing the whole day, but leaning against my desk and occasionally I’ll rest my foot on my chair to help transfer the weight from my feet. That has a lot less impact on my body than just freely standing.
Do you wear heels?
I work in a corporate office setting, so I try to wear heels at least two or three times a week, and flats the other days. All of my heels are pretty comfortable (that’s one thing I don’t mind spending more money on), so it doesn’t bother me too much standing in them. However, it does start to weigh on your calves by the end of the day, so I keep a pair of cheap black flats under my desk as back-up and slip on my heels when I walk around the office. So far, so good!
Have you seen an improvement in your health?
I have! This was unexpected, but I’ve seen a lot of improvement in my digestive health. For the past few years, I have experienced stomach aches later in the day (read more on that here), and I really think part of the problem was eating lunch fast and then immediately sitting for the rest of the afternoon. Now that I stand, my food seems to digest easier and I have fewer stomach aches. I have also noticed my core and posture are improved.
Do you ever sit?
I sit when I am reading or editing, but try to stand whenever I use the computer. I have at least one or two meetings a day, which are all sitting around conference rooms, so I have a few breaks from standing.
What is your favorite thing about it?
I love that when I come home at the end of the day, I don’t feel guilty relaxing on the couch and putting my feet up.
Have you ever considered a standing desk?
Do you have this option at your office?
What other questions do you have? :)
PS – You may or may not find me occasionally in the tree pose behind my desk. ;)
Update: I asked my office manager and I am using the Safco Heavy Duty Desk Shelf, for those curious.