Newest Trend in Office Furniture: Stand-Up Desks

The Newest Trend in Office Furniture

Figure 1 Adjustable height stand-sit desk by Ergotron

Figure 1 Adjustable height stand-sit desk by Ergotron

The stand-up desk revolution has been rapidly spreading over the past few years.   I can’t believe that I’ve been completely unaware of this newest trend in office furniture.  Sure, I’ve heard people talking about them and all the benefits they provide.  But honestly, I put it in the back of my mind as just a great way to burn calories while you worked.

My neighbor has one for his home office.  I’ve seen them on TV shows.  But it wasn’t until my shoulder issues required some physical therapy that I realized my constant sitting (and the way that I sit ) was a problem.

In years past, when I spent a lot of time working at my adjustable drafting table, I stood most of the time.  It was more comfortable, and made working easier.  It just felt natural to me.  When I’m cooking in the kitchen or playing with clay in my studio I always prefer standing.  So why have I let this poor posture develop through hours of computer work (and driving)?  Habit and tradition must be the answer.  We’re programmed to think “desk…sit”.

Well, those days are done!  Have you ever had something brought to your attention so many times in a day that you have to finally take notice?  That’s exactly what happened to me and the stand-up desk.  First it was my physical therapist talking to me about the benefits of it.  Then, a friend posted about it on Facebook.  By then I was curious and wanted to learn more about them.  I wanted, first of all, to see how much it would cost to buy one.  Then I wanted to see what it looks like.

Figure 2 White ergo top by EVODESK

Figure 2 White ergo top by EVODESK

So I did a little digging, learned that there are many options to choose from, and here I am…sharing them with you.  Did you know that switching to a standing desk can improve circulation, alleviate back pain, reduce stress, and strengthen muscles?  Wow!  So much improvement with one simple change.

One of the best things I learned is that using a stand-up desk on a regular basis can help you burn hundreds of calories each day.  Check out www.juststand.org and try their calorie calculator.  Sad to say, but not surprising, I am at risk of “sitting disease!”

Here are a few stand-up desk options that I discovered in my search.  From the mack daddy version all the way down to the DIY version, there seems to be something for everyone.

Figure 3 Adjustable height stand-sit desk by Ergotron

Figure 3 Adjustable height stand-sit desk by Ergotron

Figure 4 Black ergo top with keyboard try by EVODESK

Figure 4 Black ergo top with keyboard try by EVODESK

Figure 5 Adjustable leg desk from IKEA

Figure 5 Adjustable leg desk from IKEA

Figure 6 DIY stand-up desk featured on www.lifehacker.com using a crate and a block of wook

Figure 6 DIY stand-up desk featured on www.lifehacker.com using a crate and a block of wook

What I’ve learned in my search is that the benefit of a standing desk is an increase in your focus, alertness and activity level, and they all work to support each other.  Have you ever noticed yourself walking around when you talk on the phone?  When a person is standing it’s easier to release restless energy.  The added benefit is good circulation and an active metabolism which make it easier to focus on the task at hand.  And who knows how many extra calories we’ll burn.

One feature that I haven’t seen in any of the desks is a place to rest your foot.  To help your back be in better alignment and combat fatigue, it’s helpful to have a foot stool or a crossbar on the desk.  For this reason, some people opt to stand a while, then sit for a while.

But in the end, I think that the best benefits of using a stand-up desk are the improvement in your ergonomics, your health, your focus, your mood, and your productivity.  Since I’m focused on my posture at the moment, that’s a good enough reason for me to take a closer look at this newest trend in office furniture.