My Week with a Standing Desk

My Week with a Standing Desk

Shane BarnhillFriday,18 April 2014

The Snap:

By now, you’ve probably heard the news: Sitting is the new smoking, and it’s killing us all by increasing our risks for multiple health hazards, such as obesity, cancer, physical disablement and more. The news is even worse when you factor in that the average American spends 13 hours per day sitting, and that excess sitting even mitigates the benefits of moderate exercise.

The Download:

With the increasingly clear connection between our derrières and chronic maladies, what’s the solution when we can’t necessarily exercise or eat our way out of these health risks? Simple: we have to spend less time sitting down.

For this reason, I recently decided to install a standing desk in my office. But I didn’t have to break the bank on an expensive solution in order to make it happen. For about $135 total, I picked up some IKEA furniture and hardware, and then — with my dad’s help — assembled an adjustable standing desk based some simple instructions from Jessica Allen. The desk took about an hour to put together on a Sunday afternoon, and I moved it into my office the next day.

So what’s the result? Well, I’ve been using a standing desk for less than a week now, but I can already feel the difference. My first impressions include the following:

1. I have much more energy throughout the day. This benefit became clear to me almost immediately. For some reason, standing has eliminated my mid-afternoon slumps and reduced my craving for afternoon caffeine infusions. Apparently, this is a common result.

2. I have better posture. Like a lot of people, I’ve been slumping forward over a computer for years. This is an easy habit to fall into while sitting, but I’m much more aware of my posture while standing.

3. My meetings are shorter. I’ve hosted a few meetings in my office this week, and they’ve all been incredibly brief. I don’t know whether the participants were more focused because they were standing, or whether they just wanted to get the hell out of my office in order to sit down again, but I’m chalking this one up as a win either way.

4. I’m more productive and focused. It’s easy for me to browse Facebook and Twitter when I’m sitting down comfortably. But while standing, I feel more focused on the task at hand, and less distracted by devices sitting on my desk. My mind doesn’t wander as often.

5. I dance more. Yep, you read that right. I usually wear headphones and listen to music while I’m working, and now that I’m standing while the songs are playing, I frequently catch myself bouncing and dancing around my office while the music is playing. Perhaps this is contributing to my increased energy levels.

These five items are my observations from the past week. But don’t take my word for it. Both the Smithsonian and ReadWrite have outlined the many benefits of standing desks. Check them out, and consider a standing desk for yourself. I can already tell that it’s going to be a long term solution for me.

At my standing desk


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Hat Tips:

ReadWrite, Runner’s World, Standard Media


  1. […] for about a week, and then it just feels natural. I don’t really even think about it anymore, and my initial impressions still stand. Overall, I feel more energetic, productive and focused. But there have been a few […]

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