Get up, go to work, come home, eat, sleep, repeat. The odds in favor of your life being somewhat more robust than the above ode to monotony might suggest are pretty decent, but when more and more jobs are done by people sitting behind a desk for eight-plus hours a day, your job – that thing that takes up a full one-third of your life, if traditional 8-8-8 divisions of the twenty-four hour day can still be trusted – can definitely suggest otherwise. The fact is, the prospect of sitting in one spot for forty years or so while the hours tick, tick, tick by is enough to send anyone running for the hills, mortgage or no mortgage. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if there was a piece of office furniture that tossed “normal” out the window and had people cheering it in droves?
Well, it’s time to get excited, because “What if?” just turned into “When would you like that delivered?” The standing desk is here in a big way, but a remarkable number of people have yet to hear of it. That’s changing, though – niche enthusiasts are singing their praises, and now big names like Endgadget are boosting the signal, bringing dedicated sites like NotSitting.com to prominence. You can check out their story right here.
As the above link shows, standing desks are exactly what they sound like – desks the user can choose to (or must, in some cases) stand in order to operate and use. While they probably won’t replace the traditional seated desk any time soon given the level of corporate mystique that surrounds a gargantuan slab of shiny wood in a big corner office, it’s fair to say they’re catching up quicker than anyone probably thought they would, and with good reason. What reason, exactly? Well, these, actually.
Standing Desks are Awesome Because…
- They set you apart, placing you in such august company as Ernest “Papa” Hemingway, Charles Dickens, and other such geniuses and avant-garde luminaries
- At home or at work, you can maximize economy of space and scale with standing desks in a way that just isn’t possible with “normal” desks
- As NotSitting.com points out, there are a range of health benefits and related perks attached to the use of standing desks, ranging from increased energy, weight loss, and even increased life span
Honestly, there are a ton of benefits to be gained and enjoyed if you decide to embrace the standing desk and all its charms – too many, in fact, to discuss in one little blog post. The above points should whet your appetite, though, and if you’re paying attention, you’re probably wondering about the specifics of the whole thing. How do these things work? Are there different types? Where can I get one? It sure would be great if there was some kind of blog post that answered all those questions, huh? Oh, wait a second, there is!
A Brief Sketch of the Biology of Standing Desks
The simplest way to turn your regular, run of the mill seated desk into one of the stand-up variety is to just stick a converter on top of it. Also known as a riser (due, no doubt, to its functionality), these little guys raise the height of your monitor, keyboard, and other work surfaces to the point that you need to stand in order to access them. They’re great in that you still have all your regular desk space to work with, and when you get tired, you can just lower everything back down again. They fall short in their reliance on an existing traditional desk; such a handicap severely limits their ability to offer some of the aesthetic and ergonomic benefits of other standing desks.
Stationary Standing Desks
The stationary / non-adjustable standing desk is another option worth considering, although you probably shouldn’t go for one of these if you’re new to the whole idea of standing up to do your work; it takes some time for the average office worker’s body to acclimate to the new stresses associated with these desks. On the plus side, these are legitimate, if Spartan, standing desks, with all the benefits that entails.
Adjustable-Height Standing Desks
Adjustable-height standing desks are what most people think of if and when they visualize a standing desk. They combine al the best features of a stationary model standing desk with the perks of the seated desk most people are already using. In practical terms, this translates into the user’s ability to sit or stand on the fly, a lot of saved space, and the ability to add cool peripherals – more on those in a minute. Assembling them, or even figuring out which model to go with, however, can sometimes be a pain.
Standing Desk Accessories
No discussion of standing desks would be complete without at least a passing mention of the accessories you can buy for them. Treadmills are great for maximizing the exercise and health-related benefits of these desks; the variety of articulated arms and extenders make multiple-display support a breeze. A variety of squishy, supportive, and (sometimes) moisture-wicking and / or cooling mats and pads make even day-long stretches behind a standing desk pass like a gentle breeze in the summertime.
You can get a more thorough rundown of standing desk types, manufacturers, accessories, and more by clicking here.
Well, folks, there isn’t much more to say on the subject at this point: In a world of desk jockeys, standing desks are your thoroughbred. Using them will make you better, faster, stronger, and smarter like no sit-down desk ever will, and hey, if that doesn’t motivate you, consider this: If you ever decide to go postal and leave your two weeks’ notice in the form of an office-wide PowerPoint presentation on the many reasons to hate your boss, you’ll already be standing up and ready to leave before anyone can yell at you, let alone fire you! So go on then, Seabiscuit – run the race of life like you were always meant to – on your feet.