“If sitting is to blame, standing is going to be the solution,” says Dr. James Levine, champion of the treadmill desk, which he has tirelessly promoted for the past several years.
There is no champion for the stand-up desk as there is for the treadmill desk, so I will rise and salute this wonderful innovation.
A stand-up desk gets you up off your butt, which is benefit enough on its own, but many other benefits of a stand-up desk have been noted:
- Prevent and/or reduce back pain. Estimates of the extra strain on your intervertebral joints due to sitting range as high as 50%.
- Improve concentration. Standing increases alertness.
- Create a sense of engagement. Standing is more active than sitting.
- Improve posture. It’s much more difficult to slouch when you are standing.
- Burn calories. You use more energy (as much as 50 more calories per hour) standing than you do sitting.
Buying a Standing Desk
There are many options for buying a stand-up desk. Here are just a few:
- Six Stand-up Computer Desks – detailed do-it-yourself plans for stand-up desks, $50 to $550
- Graham / Peterson Desk Company – $500-$1,250. I love the picture of his uncle standing at his stand-up desk on his 100th birthday (note: the company offers no guarantee that you’ll live to be 100 if you use a stand-up desk).
- Standupdesks.com – standing tables and desks, $700-$2,000
- Relax the Back Sit to Stand Desk – $1,700
- Workrite ergonomics – fancy, high-end adjustable workstations, with options for pin-set, hand-crank, and electric adjustment.
- Connect-A-Desk – offers a portable option, essentially a little tray table that hangs from straps over your shoulders so that you can walk around with a laptop in front of you. $40
- Consider an easily adjustable model to vary your position throughout the day. See the photos of the Soho Adjustable Computer Workstation for examples of seated and standing positions.
- Use a foot rest to elevate one foot at a time, much like standing at a bar. In fact, many stand-up desks come with a foot-rest rail much like you’d see in a bar.
The Stand-Up Desk Experiment offers a good list of pros and cons of a stand-up desk.
The Stand Up Desk. Read the comments for a variety of ideas about stand-up desk options.
Where can I get a simple, affordable, adjustable standing desk? includes some do-it-yourself stand-up desk ideas.
A Few Unique Ways to Burn Extra Calories, KCBY, Coos Bay/North Bend, OR
Standing Desk, Wikipedia
About the Author
Larry Swanson is a massage therapist in downtown Seattle, WA. His practices focuses on the unique needs of office workers and also includes injury treatment for sports and car-accident injuries as well as massage for wellness and athletic performance.