Stand up desk – does it work?

I can’t remember which one of the lifestyle television shows I first saw it on, probably one where they gave grief to fat people, picked on teenage bodies or used some crazy technology to show that although we live three times as long, we are in fact unhealthier than the Neanderthal and should say "Ohm" more, be more vegan yet eat more meat.

But it made good sense – should deliver benefits like:

  1. Higher energy levels because your blood will flow better
  2. Really good for problematic back, neck and hips as you just can’t slouch
  3. Excellent for your core strength which seems to be the solution for just about everything
  4. Be more mentally alert
  5. Lose weight 

So on and so forth.

So when my trusty steed (three-year-old computer) needed replacing (gloriously shat itself) I replaced the computer at hot desk that I frequent and set up the standing desk.

The configuration was a windows 8 with a 28” Dell touchscreen, voice dictation software, mouse, standard ….Let’s have the windows 8 conversation at another time. Height of the keyboard set to be about the same as my desktop computer. Screen set up to be about 2 feet away from my face.


Astoundingly, everything pretty much has been true.

  • Phone calls are much more fun standing up
  • Getting used to the touchscreen and a keyboard combined with a mouse and voice dictation took some tuning but it feels very productive
  • I find myself moving around a lot, particularly when working through problems as opposed to slouching
  • I can stretch whilst I read emails
  • I’m probably drinking less coffee. Sometimes

The most amazing thing is I don’t feel tired. I expected to be feeling really fatigued . Sure after the third day my legs were a little bit achy but actually felt great overall. Three weeks later and feeling great. Hooked. Recommending whole heartedly.  Comfy shoes become important though!

What’s it not good for?

Anything with graphics is harder and eating at the desk while standing up doesn’t seem to work quite as well. Then again it’s probably healthy to work away from the screen a little bit.

So is it for everyone?

I can’t see why not. Maybe if you are thinking about doing at your office, try couple of stand-up desks and see how your staff and customers alike react. You might be very surprised.

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