A few months back I wrote about my transition to a standing desk. Fed up with sundry aches and issues caused by sitting for hours on end, I grabbed a few file boxes, propped my monitors, keyboard and mouse on them, and started working on my feet. From day one, the change agreed with me. Nagging shoulder and back issues quickly subsided, and I found myself feeling better and more alert during the work day.
Since my initial blog post, my workplace experiment has become a lifestyle. Unwilling to spend hundreds of dollars on a dedicated standing desk setup, I threw together a spare chrome shelving rack and some 14-inch chrome posts to create a more permanent standing alignment on top of my existing desk. About a month into the experiment I absconded with one of my wife’s yoga mats to put a little padding under my feet. That’s helped with some of the soreness, though I still find myself shifting from foot to foot quite a lot later in the day.
As a number of readers warned, fatigue is a factor. I need to take occasional breaks and get off my feet for a spell, especially in the afternoons. These breaks don’t have to be long — five minutes will do it — but it definitely helps to get the feet up for a break. A number of people also suggested keeping a drafting chair or other high seating option around, so I can switch between sitting and standing. I’ve tried using one of our kitchen stools for this, but it’s not really tall enough for the job. Cheap skate that I am, I’ve put off looking into a drafting chair.
It’s worth noting, I embarked on this experiment at an opportune time. We’ve been working on an ‘extra’ issue of MSDN Magazine focused on Windows 8, which will go out to subscribers in the next couple weeks. The project had me working overtime all summer. The way I figure it, my standing desk experiment probably saved me a lot of physical wear and tear.
So is a standing desk for you? I’ve heard from quite a few readers who have made the switch and have offered some good advice. What tips would you offer for someone looking at a standing desk? Let me know!