Standing desks have become quite the trend these days. And rightfully so! From improved posture to efficient use of space, the benefits of the standing desk are numerous. If you’re considering making the jump (rise?), here’s a quick overview to help you get started.
Let’s put a little science behind the standing desk! According to the BBC and the University of Chester, standing for just three hours a day on weekdays (i.e., five out of seven days per week) can help blood glucose levels return to normal much faster after a meal. (PS – “High glucose levels have been linked with increased risks of heart disease and diabetes.”)
Need more proof? The same study showed that, versus sitting, standing increases your heart rate by about 1o beats per minute. That adds up to an additional 50 calories burned per hour. Over a year—again, sticking with the five out of seven days model—that yields about 30,000 more calories burned per year. Or better yet: eight pounds of fat. For the full recap, check out this Lifehacker article.)
Last piece of evidence: According to Mark Benden, Ph.D., an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at Texas A&M’s health science center, “Standing more is the single healthiest change most desk jockeys can make… and it can improve your posture.” And that makes sense given the fact that virtually none of us sit correctly. We all slump or slouch. It’s actually very hard to sit “correctly.” (Read this article in Men’s Health for more info.)
OK, I’m Convinced! What are my Options?
Glad you asked, because there are a ton of standing desk options.
Let’s start with the DIY model. In reality, all you need is a raised desk. While putting your current desk on risers or some other jury-rigged method isn’t recommended (we want you to stand safely!), there are a couple of alternatives. Here’s a quick anecdote from Dave on our team:
I work in a cowork community. Lots of us have standing desks and we all built them by hand. Mine starts with two old three-foot filing cabinets, about eight feet apart. On top of them, a door. The studio space had a bunch of unused doors when we moved in. This in essence, creates a shelf where I can store things. Moving up, I stacked cinderblocks on the outer edges, bringing the structure to about 4.5 feet. On top of the blocks, another door. Then, another layer of cinderblocks, for stability. Does it look totally DIY? Absolutely. But it works great and cost about $8. Cinderblocks are cheap!
Chris on our team also has a great standing desk rig. And yes, he has four monitors.
If you’re not the DIY type (or you don’t have spare doors lying around), there are alternatives.
NextDesk has some incredible power-adjusting desks. Be prepared to spend. But hey, you can write it off, right?!
Amazon has a bunch of options as well that cover the cost spectrum. About $100 on the low-end all the way up to four figures.
One thing to keep in mind as you shop for a standing desk is desk space. Do you need a large surface area for additional equipment like a printer or a second monitor? Or do you just need a space for a laptop?
Finally, consider what you’ll be standing on. A hard floor is going to exhaust your feet. You should invest in a mat that gives you a little cushion. For some, something like a yoga mat might suffice. Others might want to go the gel pad route.
While we may be cloud accounting software experts, we know a thing or two about standing desks—so feel free to shoot us any questions you have! firstname.lastname@example.org.