A few things came together in the last month to make me try a standing desk yesterday.
1. My lower back was hurting. I had lower back surgery when I was 21 and I felt some of the same pain coming back. This was not good. Plus, it always seemed worse when I sat down for a long time.
2. I have been working on this pinball project. It required me to stand up and sit down a lot. It also was in another part of the office with a crappy wooden chair instead of my fancy Aeron. It didn’t help the back problems.
4. I thought that it would make me actually WORK more. It would limit my time at a desk and hopefully make that time more precious and productive.
So, in trying to fix my back, and be more healthy and productive, I tried it. I went to Home Depot and got a few cinder blocks. Turns out 16″ (the size of one block) was the perfect amount to raise the desk to make it a good height for standing. No new desk, not expensive. A few bucks and some rearranging and I was standing.
Day one wen’t pretty well. It was about 5 hours on my feet and I was definitely getting a bit sore. I did feel tired at the end of the day, but in a good way. In a “I actually worked today” kind of way. I’m currently writing this half way into day two and I definitely feel more productive. It’s not as easy (or comfortable) to watch an hour long youtube interview or another damn TED talk. I find, so far, that I am propelled to get shit done. I also moved the pinball project to the desk as well, so I can easily go back and forth without sitting in a crappy chair, or getting up a lot to test it. Extra Bonus? Dancing while working is now an option. Pretty fun!
I will let you know how it goes after a month or so. Have any of you tried a standing desk?
UPDATE: I now work in a shared office and don’t have the ability to customize my desk like this. But, I have experimented with sitting on yoga balls and other weird looking seats with good results. I used the standing setup above for about 9 months and still recommend it for anyone who wants to try a standing desk inexpensively.