Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Should you get a stand-up desk?

Yes, you should.

OK, that's a sweeping generalization. A stand-up desk isn't for everybody, but I would suggest it's a good option for most people. I have one in my office and have benefitted greatly from it. Here's what it looks like:

You will note a few things:

(1) See that blue mat? It's a life saver, especially the first few weeks when you're getting used to standing up for most (or part) of the day. Vitamix Chef Adam Wilson gave me that tip, something culinary professionals who are on their feet all day learned long ago.

(2) The desk is adjustable. It can go down to desk level in case I need to sit for any reason.

(3) That little shelf is nice for my coffee cup, Post-It Notes, a handy pen or pencil, knick-knacks, etc. I also have on my mine (you can see it on the left side of the shelf in the bottom photo) a rock from the Appalachian Trail given to me by my neighbor Tim Warneka. It's a reminder that one day I really will walk the entire 2,150-mile AT. I'm telling you, I'm going to do it.

The adjustable height thing is important because you want to get your monitor level just right. Otherwise you'll eventually pay for it in your neck and shoulders. But once you make the initial ergonomic adjustments, you'll be golden.

I find that standing all day keeps me more alert and attentive, and lends itself to having more energy. It's to the point that I can't take sitting for long periods anymore.

Speaking of which, the reason I got the standing desk in the first place wasn't because I have back problems, which is why a lot of people prefer to work standing up. It's because of the emerging body of research suggesting that long periods of sitting are just plain bad for you. That whole "sitting is the new smoking" thing is real. Or at least it's real to me, which is why I keep myself upright most of the day.

Anyway, it's something to consider, assuming your company will allow and/or pay for it. There are other types of stand-up desks from which to choose, including some with larger shelf/desk space, and even treadmill desks on which you can walk while working and get your steps in. I haven't tried one, but they do seem cool.

Ultimately, I wholeheartedly endorse the stand-up work lifestyle. It's what all of the cool kids are doing! Or maybe it's just one uncool kid: me. Either way, think about it.


  1. I just got my adjustable standing desk a few months ago and echo this entire post! I have the gel mat (from Costco). I can "come down" for sitting meetings with my team (or now they sometimes stand too!). And, I've knocked off a few pounds. As a result of standing? I'm not really sure about that, but I do feel better overall. To anyone reading this... try it!

    1. Well, that's about as much of a ringing endorsement as anyone could ask for! Thanks, Christy.

  2. Agree, got mine just like yours scott a few years ago. i have been preaching it to my coworkers and sadly falls on deaf ears. More energy, better posture and i do agree that it may help with weight loss, stretching the spine and can even walk in place at times to get the circulation going. how do we get the world to catch on?

    1. Keep talking it up, I suppose, especially how much better it makes you feel. I think people will start to fall in line over time.