I once helped create ergonomics documentation and training for an organization I worked for. We covered how to sit properly, foot placement, monitor height, and proper wrist angles to prevent repetitive movement injuries and conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
We didn’t talk about standing desks. I am not sure if that was because they weren’t a thing, yet, or if we just didn’t include them in the content because we weren’t aware. They certainly weren’t as popular as they are now, nor as easily available.
Fast forward to 2014 or so, and a series of articles came out about how sitting is killing us. You probably read one of them, or perhaps a counterpoint article with other research showing that sitting is NOT killing us. Either way, it made me think. I had been working in office environments and on computers for about 17 years at this point. None of those years did I spend standing while working.
So, I bought a small IKEA standing desk and mounted it at the appropriate height in my home office. It was small, but well-suited for my Macbook Air. I still had my giant Galant desk and a decent task chair, but I loved standing at this little desk. Not only was it potentially beneficial to my health, but it definitely helped me focus. A smaller desk area meant no clutter, no giant monitors, no phones or papers to distract me. It was just me and my laptop, doing work.
After a couple moves, I haven’t remounted that desk, but want to use it in my bedroom now for a quiet writing space. I have since purchased other standing desks, including the wonderfully designed cardboard self-assembled desk called Spark, from Ergodriven (since discontinued) for $25. I still have it and am using it now as I type this. I also bought one to keep at my mom’s house in Oregon for when I visit. While not adjustable, it works very well with standard-height surfaces like dining room tables and patio furniture.
A more expensive, but more portable option is the StandStand. It folds up nicely and slips easily into a backpack. It’s a bit heavy, though, so I ended up giving mine to Sarah to use because I found I never wanted it in my backpack.
Last year, I found out about two standing desks that I really want to buy, but didn’t because I didn’t really need them, nor did I have the budget for them. If I had office space with a window, or a gorgeous view somewhere, I would definitely opt in for the DeskView, a window-mounted, bamboo-surfaced standing desk that’s easy to mount and unmount.
If I had more square footage or was outfitting an office for multiple employees, I would buy them all Autonomous convertible desks. They’re fairly priced and super easy to use to raise and lower, and I dig their core values.
Whether you’re a fan of standing desks is irrelevant, I suppose. What matters most is comfort and productivity where you work. I’m writing this now to let you know I have really enjoyed my standing desks, and I think you might, too. They are more accessible than ever before and come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
If you end up building your own, or have another option you love, I hope you’ll share it with me.