How Getting a Stand Up Desk Made My Work Day Better

standing deskAfter reading many horrifying articles such as this one (LiveScience Staff, that references a study done by the American Cancer Society, I decided that I had to find a way to get a standing desk. Several sources have made dramatic suggestions about the effects of sitting for 6+ hours a day, including that it can be as dangerous for your heart as smoking, and that it can undo the good done by working out. WHAT?! How is that okay?! Since I rarely even have a daily workout to speak of, and I am often working for 9+ hours a day at my desk, I was terrified.

The desk (it’s called a desk, but I think it’s more like a desk adapter) that I got was the Varidesk Pro Plus (affiliate link, if you buy this I will get a small percentage. I paid for my own desk). I was nervous about standing all day, especially since when I purchased this I was still healing from a calf injury. I wanted to be able to sit if I needed to. I also knew there was no going back once I got this, because my coworkers were all going to have soooo much to say about it. So, the Varidesk. They’re not kidding when they say sitting to standing in three seconds. It’s super easy. However, it’s expensive. If you work at home, you can just find a surface that is a comfortable height and put your laptop there, or you can build your own. Colin Nederkoorn has a great way to make one for $22.

Once my desk arrived, I started by standing for an hour then sitting for 20 minutes. It felt so natural that I actually kept forgetting to sit down. After a week I was standing all of the time (which makes me think you could probably get away with building a cheap, permanent standing desk). My feet and legs get tired more than they did when I sat, but I now don’t have any pain in my back. I used to wait tables and bartend, and never had problems. When I got a desk job four years ago, my back started to hurt. Standing fixed it! Plus, I find myself walking around more. It’s easier because I’m already standing. I track my steps, and I average about 1,000 more a day than when I was sitting. That’s about half a mile.

There are also calories burnt to consider. A 130 pound woman burns 21 calories more per hour standing than sitting (Andrea Cespedes, In theory this means that if that woman was previously walking and standing for an hour of her eight hour day, and she switches to standing all day, she should be burning 147 more calories per day. That really adds up.

I get so many comments on my desk. A lot of people want to try it, and probably an equal amount make fun of me. What do you think? Would you try it? I know that some companies will buy them for their employees if you ask!