Standing Desk: How I Felt After Using One for a Month

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Standing Desk seem to be all-the-rage these days. I decided to get one myself and here was what I found after using it for a month.

There’s been many major studies that suggest sitting is the new smoking as the health hazards accumulate over time.  It’s a little exaggerated, but it does have a point — we sit way too much in the modern work that we do.

I can’t speak for anyone else but that was part of the reason why I became a Freelancer — between sitting at the office (like most people for 8 hours a day, except for the the coffee breaks) and sitting in the car during my 3 hours commute, I would sit around 11 hours a day. It doesn’t matter what else you do, what work you do, sitting is just not what we’re meant to do for half our day.

So here’s what I did about it when I became a work-at-home Freelancer.

 

My First Standing Desk

So the desk I have at home (my sitting desk) is very small.  We living in a small two-bedroom apartment and our office is the 2nd bedroom.  I take up half the space and my desk is maybe 40″ x 29″ long.  It was from Ikea and it was cheap so that’s why I bought it.

I didn’t want to buy a desk that was convertible.  I still wanted to keep my old desk.  So I decided I’d put an extension, something that would sit on top my sitting desk to make it standing.

I can’t remember how I found out about this — it was likely from an press release I read, but I pre-ordered this cardboard, totally foldable standup desk for my laptop. It’s called the Oristand — take a look here:

The reason what sold me was that it seems rather portable because it’s foldable and very affordable.  At a fraction of the cost of most other standing desks, it’s great as a first experiment.  But as you can see on the picture it also required me to have:

  1. a wireless or long-wired keyboard
  2. a wireless or long-wired mouse

Once you set all the things up, it looks pretty strange actually and honest takes much too much space.  But it did it anywhere and there are other standing desks that are much much more fun and doesn’t look as bulky.

Standing Up for Standing Up

So I used the Oristand for a month, mainly when I did sales calls with clients.  The first thing I noticed is that I felt like I had more energy.  It’s hard to explain but perhaps sitting with my belly folded over meant that I was compressing my diaphragm.  By standing, it made me feel like I had more energy to put into speaking and I felt more confident too.

Simple things that you can do to improve you day.  And most speech coaches and singing coaches advise the same thing.  That’s why most people don’t sit when giving or speech or when singing.  You should stand when you’re in a meeting too at home.

 

Getting Tired

By standing, I also felt like I needed to wear slippers.  I was tired from standing actually especially for more than 3 hours and I wore some Birkenstocks to help with my foot’s arch.  That helped.

But either way, you can get a fatigue mat or some good shoes to make sure you’re feet aren’t tired out or your posture is well formed from good insoles from good shoes.

It also happens that standing burns more calories at day.  What-do-ya-know?!  That’s probably why I’m tired before standing makes you use different muscles and engages different muscles.  Sitting makes your gluts atrophy over time.  As they say, what you don’t use, you lose.

 

Being a Freelancer

Being a Freelancer means that you can build the environment you want to work in.  No longer are you given a cubicle or need to sit under fluorescent lights if you don’t want to.  You can have daylight and stand all day.  That’s part of the ability to be free.

I can say that standing desks in general has helped me work more productivity and made me feel physically better after a long day of computer work.  Do yourself a favor and try out the Oristand if standing is what can help you by staying healthier before you try out the more expensive options like a standing workout desk!

What has your experience with standing desk?  Any other thoughts on how you can improve your home office.  Share with us and thoughts and we’ll add it to this article!

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3 Comments

  • Ian

    I have been using a standup desk for 16 years give or take. I have always had lower back issues and i simply can not sit for 8 hours without serious pain. My fellow co workers mainly thought i was a bit weird but o er the years it has become more normal to see other people doing the same. I can honestly say i am much more alert and feel more energised when standing up but the really important thing to remember is to move throughout the day. Standing in one position isnt good either and i find after a few hours i will slouch my shoulders lock my knees and tilt my pelvis forward giving a similar poor posture as to those sitting. I find 45 to 55 mins in the hour standing with a walk break best. I also have a usb set of 3 peddels from alibaba that i use for keyboard shortcuts and they both force me to move at least to shift weight from one foot to another and makes some coding tasks faster. I tried to hook up a wii balance board as a mouse but gave up with driver support a few years ago migbt be fun to try again. If anyone is into good written material to help with posture and how best to stand at your desk check out Deskbound: Standing up to a Sitting World. https://www.mobilitywod.com/deskbound/

    I have tried many chairopractors, physiotherapists movement coaches etc. Over the years and none will give you exactly the right advice so self education and experiment with whatever works is key to better posture, healthy spine and hip position, you may even have more energy and enjoy your “desk” job more too. My favorite desk is ikea jerker as you can position keyboard at chest height and monitor eye level. Also go big or multiple is my monitor advice. I have at leat 2 monitors and that helps to keep moving while at work.

    • eugene

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Definitely individual behaviors need to taking into account. Though I hope more employers are giving their employees more options to have standing desks. But it is one weapon amoung other things you’d do to combat the sedentary lifestyle.

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