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Stand-up Workstation - questions for any that use them

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  • Stand-up Workstation - questions for any that use them

    Hi all! I have been thinking about converting to a stand-up workstation at work for awhile now. Things have gotten increasingly busy at work, and I find myself sitting for longer and longer periods and suffering the consequences - I can actually feel all of the places that my body is starting to hurt, and I know it's from sitting for WAY too long. Turns out that my office is looking into getting a few demo stand up workstations, which I am psyched about! So I am on the waiting list - it could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. However, in the meantime, my facilities director (she handles everything to do with ergonomics, etc.), said that she would be happy to help me convert my current cubicle into a stand-up using some boxes, etc. if I would like. I definitely want to get started standing, so to speak! My only concern about converting for now is that I won't really have the option to sit. I've got 3 monitors that I'm going to have to prop up, and that won't be easy to adjust! Can I go directly from sitting for 8-9 hours a day to standing for just as long, comfortably? Or is there a period of adjustment?
    Another concern I have is my footwear - which is what I will be standing in all day. We're business casual, and I stopped wearing heels awhile back due to a joint issue in my big toe. I don't own many shoes that go with my work attire that I could imagine being comfortable enough to stand in all day. I work in an open cube layout, so kicking my shoes off isn't really an option. There is an all black version of Vibram Five Fingers that I've had my eye on for awhile... I might be able to switch out of my work shoes while I'm standing and put the Vibrams on.

    Anyone with any advice, experience or tips? I'm wondering if I should just hold off until the demos come in so that I'll have the option to stand or sit throughout the day. I just hate how much my body hurts at the end of a long day sitting.

  • #2
    You won't be able to go completely. I jury-rigged my own desk into a standup station. Used to keep my chair close by, because I'd have to sit from time to time. Now, I despise sitting. Stand all day. It's enjoyable.

    Probably took me a week to get where I didn't even think about sitting.


    • #3
      My husband added a stand up workstation within the last six months or so; I'll ask him some of your questions when he gets home and get back to you! Im pretty sure he trades off between sitting and standing throughout his day...


      • #4
        I have been working stand up for about a year. My day can include 2-9 hours at my desk. Some days I have meetings or group work sessions that cause me to sit, sometimes I am presenting and can stand, sometimes I go on drives to work locations and get out and walk around. It doesn't matter if I am sitting or standing I despise being stationary in front of the monitor for extended hours.

        I weat merrell trail and tough gloves to work(workboots to the field) .

        Find a counter stool or cheap barstool to lean against or sit on from time to time(there are sit to stand seats that I would recomend.(during extended hours I like to switch back and forth or take breaks and go for walks. I actually find the more varied I keep my reutine(stand for an hour-go sit in meeting for an hour, go to the field and drive+walk around for a couple of hours, go back and stand and enter information and answer emails for an hour--makes for a comfortable body.

        Any body position sustained for too long can become unhealthy so just don't stand there, try to incorporate some movement and position changes into each day. Expect a little soreness if you are not accustomed to standing for long, it passes(if you incorporate the position changes from time to time)
        Integrity is what we do when nobody's watching.


        • #5
          I spend many hours at my desk at home, and converted to stand up in Aug of last year. In the beginning I took breaks every hour or so - but that's actually what they recommend for sitting workers anyway - just that nobody does it. It is so cool that your work is supportive. I have to share a workstation and work is extremely CW.

          At home I prefer to stand barefoot, I think in the beginning I mostly wore low support running shoes. Initially I felt some discomfort through my heels, and in my core. To the point that I was considering changing it back, but then I figured it was proof I was supporting myself, and after a few weeks that was gone. I find it a lot easier to tend to other tasks as well, since I don't have to get up and down all the time, I can just turn and walk. I often eat my meals at the computer and do that standing as well.

          In the early stages you will probably want to sit down at times and that doesn't mean it isn't working, just that it's a huge change. I recently saw some architect seats in a catalog that I thought would be handy. If you take up the offer of building your desk up, it may mean that you could get bumped up the waiting list for a proper desk, or if someone that gets a trial decides they can't bust through the barrier and sits all the time you could get theirs

          Good luck.
          Live. Grow. Flourish.

          My Journal/story is at


          • #6
            Whatever became of those "chairs" that you kneel on? They were a type of desk chair where yousat on your knees and your butt was supported at a higher level.
            Learning the intricacies of healthy eating and nourishing my body the right way.
            I am not bald, that is a Vitamin D collector. Time to Grok and Roll!
            Eased into a primal diet starting at Christmas 2011. Goal weight - 205 started: 240 pounds waist 40, now 227 pounds and waist 38 Summer 2012 - weight =215 and waist is actually still 39"
            ljbprrfmof = LJ = Little John = John


            • #7
              Thanks for all of the responses! I think I'll take the advice of finding a cheapy high barstool that I can use while I'm transitioning to standing up all day, and just go ahead and make the modifications for now, prior to getting the adjustable workstation. I've started doing some standing while being on the computer at home, putting my laptop on top of my dresser and just standing in front of it. I have knee issues that I'm trying to rehab, and I have a feeling that more standing will prove to be beneficial in strengthening the muscles that will help keep my patella tracking properly.

              As for the kneeling chairs, I looked into them, and they seem to me that they would be really uncomfortable, especially as I have knee issues! I think the idea, as someone mentioned, is to keep changing up your position throughout the day, be it standing or sitting or moving around, etc.


              • #8
                Also wanted to mention that you could try sitting on an exercise ball for the portion of the day that you are sitting. It's quite different from sitting in a chair and fairly inexpensive. I work as a medical transcriptionist, thus sitting ALL F'ING DAY, and would love to stand up part of the day; however, in order to play the audio of the dictating docs that we type from, we have to use a foot pedal to stop, start, reverse to replay, etc. I have not found a way to comfortably do that while standing, dammit, so the exercise ball is my next best option. I can't even sit on THAT all day, as my back and shoulders get tight, but it is surely a welcome change from my standard office chair!


                • #9
                  I have a sit/stand arrangement. I like to split my time. I got a very decent tall office stool from - it was around $150 and has lasted me years. Much more comfortable than a cheapo barstool and adjustable in case you switch workstations and it's not the same height. It can also be converted to a regular office chair. I recommend checking out their selection if only to see what's out there.

                  Just a note on work station configuration; I see some stations where people only elevate their computer, but to me it's so much more natural to have the entire work surface at one height.


                  • #10
                    I went ahead and converted my workstation today. I've gotta say, my company is way more awesome than I ever gave them credit for. One of the Facilities guys was going all over the building finding props to boost my monitors and keyboard/mouse all up to the right height. I happened to mention the barstool idea, and he said he'd see if he could grab one of the tall chairs that the guys in our mailroom use. I think he got busy and forgot about the chair, but I ended up standing all day and really loved it! It felt very natural, moving around was easier, and it seemed to keep me more alert as well. The only time it got uncomfortable was towards the end of the day. The shoes I was wearing have these little cushions in the heel of the insole, and they were really starting to bother me at that point. I'll definitely follow up on the tall chair tomorrow so I can vary my position up a little bit.
                    It'll also come in handy on the days that I'm not wearing the most comfortable shoes. But so far, I'm really digging it! Quite a few people who walked by inquired about my set up, and I was more than happy to tell them about the studies that have been done that show how bad sitting ALL day is for you!


                    • #11
                      Vivo Barefoot shoes have some women's boots and mary janes that could be work appropriate:

                      Vivo's website

                      I can vouch for the Kali mary janes. I wear either them or my Vibrams most places.


                      • #12
                        It took several months of fighting with my boss' boss but I finally got to order a sit-stand station that is motorized to move up and down.

                        I can't wait for it to arrive. In the meantime, I do most of my paperwork at a drafting table near my desk.
                        There are two wolves fighting within a man's heart, one is Love, the other is Hate. The one that wins is the one you feed.

                        My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. - Jack Layton

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