In my line of work, I do a lot of writing. Because of this, I try to rotate between my office and patio as much as I can to shake things up a bit. However, there is still a significant amount of time spent sitting at my desk. And all this sitting takes its toll over time, both physically and mentally.
One of the best ways to combat this to start standing! I’ve been using a standing desk since 2012, and all I can say is, it’s now one of my secret weapons.
Below I’ll share a few reasons why I use a standing desk, the specific brand I recommend, and some additional tips I’ve learned over the years.
Why I use a standing desk
I work remotely from home, and so a lot of my life revolves around the computer. Some days I will be on my computer for more hours than I would like to admit. That’s not healthy, and the human body was just not meant to sit that long. The body was designed to move; that’s why we have muscles. Moving helps circulate our blood, is better for our digestion, and can help us lose weight.
I started noticing some discomfort back in early 2011. And I decided to invest in a standing desk. After all, the computer is how I make a living. So I don’t see it as a waste of money, but rather an investment long-term in my health. And fast forward nine years, I can tell you that buying a standing desk is one of the best investments and decisions I’ve ever made.
Standing desk benefits
Here are a couple of benefits I’ve personally noticed since transitioning to a standing desk.
No back pain ever
Seriously, I used to get horrible upper back pain. Probably from slouching too much. I got so bad that I regularly visited a Chiropractor. Since moving to a standing desk, I can’t even remember the last time I had lower or upper back pain.
I’ve been 100% gluten-free since 2015 (check out my gluten-free blog), so I don’t get those afternoon lows after eating anymore. But I remember back when I used to eat cheeseburgers and a soda during the middle of the day; I would be almost falling asleep at my desk right after lunch. A standing desk is a great way to get the blood flowing and counter that afternoon lunch fatigue.
Much better focus
For some reason, whenever I’m standing, I write like a racehorse. Whenever I start writing a new blog post, I always do it standing. I crank my synthwave music and blog away.
I’m a super skinny dude. I’m 6.2″ and weigh under 150 lbs. So for me, burning calories is almost a bad thing. But I’ve chatted with friends who’ve had great success with burning weight off when using a standing desk. Your body has to work to support you when you’re standing, so you will burn more calories than when you’re sitting.
And trust me, no matter what your physique is, you’ll feel that when you first start using one.
My sit-standing desk
So the big reveal, yes I am going to show you my workstation area. Please ignore the messy cable management. 😬 But you can see from the picture that I have a standing desk with my MacBook Pro on it. This allows me to go up and down throughout the day. In fact, it’s 9:58 pm right now, and I’m standing up writing this blog post.
This is actually my second standing desk. I purchased both from a company down in Portland, OR called Fully (previously Ergo Depot). I bought the Jarvis model both times. They don’t have an affiliate program, so I am just sharing this with you because I want you to be healthier!
I live in Arizona, so they shipped it to me, and I put it together within about an hour. I’m not good with my hands, so that should tell you it’s very easy to put together. Note: It’s very heavy. The piece of wood you get, they aren’t messing around.
When you purchase one, you can get a motor to go up and down and even one with presets. On my first standing desk, I had the basic motor model. With my second standing desk, I went for the one with the memory presets. They range from around $400-$750. Not cheap by any means, but if you’re on your computer constantly, it is the best investment you will ever make. And they also have free shipping.
If you’re curious, I sold my first standing desk on Craigslist for $200. I bought it in 2016, so it holds its value pretty well!
Can’t afford a standing desk or unsure if you will like it? Before I invested in one, I actually created a makeshift standing desk out of cardboard boxes. 📦 This helped me to see if I could get into the groove of sitting and standing throughout the day. You can start small, or they also make cheaper alternatives that simply sit on top of your current desk.
Standing desk tips
There are things you should be aware of, especially when first transitioning to a standing desk.
Get past the pain
The first couple of days, you will probably be in some pain! If you aren’t used to standing, take it in strides and rotate a lot. You have to build up your leg muscles first.
After a week or so, your legs will adjust, and you can easily stand for hours. I usually stand from 8 am to noon. Sit from noon to 4 pm, and then stand again in the evening. Technically I am doing a lot more standing than sitting. But do whatever makes you comfortable.
Invest in a mat
Get yourself a mat! I have wood floors, and so unless you want to wear shoes, your feet might start to hurt. I bought my mat from Get Rung. They have a lot of different options, colors, textures, everything you would need. Or if you have a yoga mat, that would also work great.
Switch things up with a barstool
After sitting and standing for a couple of years, I decided to switch things up even more and introduce a third option: a barstool. So now I have three different height levels I use. In my opinion, the best thing you can do is keep shifting the positions you’re in while working all day. This helps build different muscles and keeps burning more calories.
Standing isn’t a substitute for exercise
Just because you have a standing desk, doesn’t mean you can slack on your regular exercising. I set aside some time every day to exercise, even if it’s only 20 minutes. I also often rotate between working in my office and out on my patio. This way, I’m not sitting in the same position all day. I advise you to do the same.
Using a standing desk has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made. If you don’t work from home, start nagging or dropping hints to your boss about getting you a standing desk.
Trust me, my past colleagues have done this and have been very successful. This is especially true if your company has an HR department. A standing desk is in their best interest to make sure you are healthy, comfortable, and productive.
After all, the better you feel, the better work you can produce. If you have any questions about using a standing desk, feel free to drop me a comment below!