Standing Desks: 4 Great Benefits Beyond Health

If living a longer, healthier life isn’t enough of a reason to sit less, here are more benefits of a standing desk – benefits that go way beyond the medical.

The comments that follow come from the source. They are not from researchers or manufacturers, but from the experiences of people who actually use standing desks.

The Joy of Standing

Photo: jonny goldstein

Let’s look at what the happy converts have to say about standing while they work.

1. More Energy

Career writer Michelle Goodman reports that she has more energy since she switched to a standing desk:

“Before I had my adjustable desk, sometimes when 3 p.m. rolled around it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. Being able to stand while I work helps me fight the 3 p.m. slump without resorting to that late-afternoon cup of caffeine…Whatever the reason, it’s easier for me to stay alert and awake on my feet than on my rear.”1

After three weeks at a standing desk, business writer Corbett Barr was excited about his increased energy:

“I have more energy during the work day. I haven’t experienced the same mid-afternoon lulls that I used to while sitting. I’m also more energized during phone calls, Skype sessions and while recording video and audio.”2

2. Greater Productivity

In addition to having more energy, Michelle Goodman is more productive when she stands:

“Sitting, which is a lot like reclining, is much more conducive to frittering away the workday than standing is. Being on my feet, which requires the body to work a bit harder, reminds me that I’m at my desk for one reason and one reason only: to work.”3

Jason Stevens, Director of Software Engineering at Matrix Group International, finds he is more productive, efficient, and collaborative when he works at a standing desk. He says working at a standing desk enhances collaboration because it is easier to share the monitor and keyboard with coworkers who come to his office. On the other hand, since everyone is standing, coworkers don’t linger when they drop by.4

3. Enhanced Creativity

Standing desks aren’t a new invention. Thomas Jefferson, Ernest Hemingway, Leonardo DaVinci, Winston Churchill and many other creative individuals used standing desks. As a visitor to the home of Charles Dickens reportedly said: “books all round, up to the ceiling and down to the ground; a standing desk at which he writes; and all manner of comfortable easy chairs.”5

Robert Vlach, a veteran user of standing desks, explains the creative benefits this way:

“Free movement leads to inspiration. When you cannot catch the right idea or untangle a problem, it doesn’t really help to sit and stare at your PC screen. Much better to leave your desk, pour yourself a cup of tea and look out of the window to collect your thoughts. Your quick action radius expands from your desk to the whole room, books and folders are suddenly within reach and inspiration can come more easily.”6

4. Better Focus

Marketing strategist David Risley appreciates the greater focus that comes with working at a standing desk: “I am much more focused when I’m standing. I don’t know what it is, but I don’t find that I’m as easily sidetracked when I’m using the stand-up desk…So, I find I get more work done.”7

Brett and Kate McKay talk about how standing increases focus:

“Standing up can increase your focus in several ways. First, you don’t get that sleepy feeling where you desperately want to put your head down on the desk and pass out; your muscles are engaged and you’re less comfortable, so you stay alert. And second, it lets you be more active so you can release your restless energy. You can move around more, shift from one leg to another, and start pacing around whenever you’d like.”8

More energy, greater productivity, enhanced creativity, and better focus –all great reasons to try a standing desk.

 

References

  1. Goodman, Michelle. “Unexpected benefits of using a standing desk.”. July 25, 2011
  2. Barr, Corbett. “My Standing Desk Experiment.”. June 16, 2011.
  3. Goodman op. cit.
  4. Stevens, Jason. “Standing Desk, Matrix Minute.”. January 12, 2012.
  5. McKay, Brett and Kate. “Become a Stand-Up Guy: The History, Benefits, and Use of Standing Desks.”. July 5, 2011.
  6. Vlach, Robert.  “Stand by your Computer (Your Health May Depend on It).”. December 13, 2010.
  7. Risley, David. “Standing Up At Your Desk: Insane Or… Not?”.
  8. McKay op. cit.

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