Since the dawn of mankind, human beings have usually produced their best constructive and intellectual efforts whilst maintaining an upright gait. You wouldn’t have for example seen a caveman engrossed in one of his hut illustrations whilst nestled into a makeshift bench – no, said Neanderthal would’ve been stood bolt upright using his custom designed length of slate to produce his intricate work of art.
Swiftly moving out of the stone age era and we find that during the 18th and 19th centuries that standing while working was desired, as it was seen as a means of working with the highest degree of productivity, extremely popular and even considered as a sign of prestige and wealth. Indeed many a great mind during this and following periods made use of the Standing Desk and a wealth of great decision making, artwork, inventing and literary prowess took place whilst they were doing so.
Throughout the ages the likes of great leaders, artists and novelists have used the Standing Desk which apparently served them to a very agreeable level of their respective professions.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci who brought us masterpieces such as The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, did so whilst using a Standing Desk. A great many of his inventions were also designed whilst using the standing facility – he would laboriously reason new methods of ways of which man would be able to fly (he was fascinated with idea of aircraft) and in turn designed the parachute and the armored vehicle; all done whilst using a Standing Desk. So dating as far back as the early 14 hundreds, the Standing Desk had already made a considerable historical mark.
Moving into the 17 hundreds and we find that Napoleon also favored the use of the standing facility. Whilst mapping out tactical strategies, the French military general could usually be found pondering the deployment of his army over a Standing Desk. It allowed him to think quicker on his feet, so to speak, and should the need arise for an unexpected retreat, the desk would allow him to shut up shop post haste and run from his adversaries without having to haul a conventional workstation over the hills and far away. Monsieur Bonaparte was definitely not a man who considered slouching into a sitting desk conducive to winning epic battles.
Remaining in the 17 hundreds and we learn that arguably the most famous user of the Standing Desk was Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was an American Founding Father and the third president of the United States. He was possibly the first man in history to create a desk which he was able to adjust according to his needs. He would be able to stand for lengthy duration whilst penning great works such as the Declaration of independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, or adjust it to a level at which he may sit and enjoy a pot of coffee. His desk was a six legged affair and also boasted an adjustable work surface. This was his own design and he and indeed the entire nation benefited from Thomas Jefferson’s Standing Desk.
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Then I shall continue..
Moving forward to the 18th century and we begin to look at works of great literary prowess. The author Charles Dickens who composed works of arguably the finest fictitious prose of the Victorian period was also a user of the Standing Desk which allowed his mind to muster some of the most popular characters in print. Even to this day High School students are lapping up his work in their English literature classes. Stories such as A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield and Oliver Twist are leaving the aghast learners begging ‘Please, Sir. Can I have some more?’ I’m rather quite sure that as well as Mr. Dickens fine mind, that his Standing Desk was also a contributing factor to these timeless tales.
Next we find ourselves midst the anarchy of World War Two, and discover that probably the most influential of the allied leadership, Sir Winston Churchill, would use nothing but a Standing Desk whilst hatching battle plans which essentially would end the war. Churchill was a stubborn man and would insist on standing whilst working – a conventional sitting workstation simply would not do. He also lived up until the ripe old age of 90 years old, and whilst he didn’t live the healthiest of lifestyles – he apparently smoke 10 cigars a day, and leading a nation whilst it was being bombarded by a hearty fleet of Luftwaffe may have been somewhat stressful – but never the less, on he lived and perhaps we can put it down to the fact that he favored standing over sitting that he had such a prolonged innings.
The history of Standing Desks is vibrant, creative, artistic and sometimes a little dramatic. But it would be a fair assumption to state that the famous users of the standing facility made a lifelong impression on the world as we know it today.