The hottest trend around my office is the standing desk. While a traditional standing desk can cost thousands of dollars, a coworker of mine found a much more affordable alternative. She enjoys the ability to stand while she works so much that she has convinced several other coworkers to give it a try, and the standing desk has been just as popular with them. In this article we will look at the benefits of the standing desk and who it would work for.
Benefits of a standing desk
Recent studies, like this one that CNN wrote about tell us that sitting too much is bad for your health and is correlated with all kinds of bad stuff like higher weight and higher risk for diseases such as diabetes. Yet, more and more of today’s jobs involve lots of sitting. Every year there are fewer people working outside and more people working at computers.
When you are standing, you may not feel like you are getting exercise, but you are actually much more active than when you sit. Just the act of having to support your own weight means you are being much more active than being in a chair and leads to all kinds of health benefits.
The unexpected benefit
When I asked all my coworkers what they thought of their standing desk, there was a benefit they told me about that surprised me. One of my coworkers in particular is one of those people who tend to always be cold. She frequently wears an extra sweater when everyone in the office around her is perfectly comfortable, and uses a space heater in her office during the winter.
But when she uses her standing desk it keeps her blood flowing and she tells me that she feels much warmer than when she sits all day. If you are the type of person that is always cold (and by that I mean a woman), you should definitely consider the standing desk.
An affordable standing desk
A full standing desk where the entire desk moves up and down can be really, really expensive. The VARIDESK Pro Plus is what folks at my office have been using, and they love it. It isn’t cheap, but the price of $350 at Amazon isn’t too bad, and it certainly is less expensive than what many people spend on exercise equipment or gym memberships.
This model doesn’t have a tremendous amount of space, but there is plenty of room for a keyboard, mouse, and two monitors. If you are working exclusively on your computer, this should give you all the room you need. If you need more space on your desk the Varidesk easily folds down to be more even with the rest of your desk top to allow you to sit down for a bit, or work with stuff on the rest of your desk as shown to the right.
The down side to the standing desk
On the other hand, being on your feet all day can get pretty uncomfortable. You will want to wear a comfortable pair of shoes to work, and I would think that high heels simply won’t work.
To make your feet just a little more comfortable, I do have a couple of ideas. First of all, you might think about bring an extra pair of shoes with you to work. You can wear your dress shoes when you walk around the office to your various meetings, but then slip on a good pair of walking shoes when you are behind your desk and nobody will see you anyway.
The other thing you might consider is getting yourself a standing mat. A standing mat is just a nice soft mat that you stand on for long periods of time to reduce fatigue and make your feet more comfortable. My wife doesn’t work at a computer, but she has one in the kitchen for when she is cooking. The most popular standing mat on Amazon is only $18 and is rated 4 stars by users.
Using a standing desk will make you healthier. A very good one is available for $350 on Amazon.
Disclosure: Links to Amazon are affiliate links.