Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
March 23, 2010

How-to Guide: Standing at Work

By Mark Sisson
327 Comments

Besides stuff like tribal warfare, cannibalism, and high infant mortality, it seems like most any divergence from our ancestral norms is ultimately detrimental, or at least problematic. Nutrition is an obvious one, along with sunlight, sleep, and exercise. The mainstream media is even beginning to question the superiority of modern footwear. And then there’s the seemingly simple act of sitting down in a chair. It seems harmless, but as I discussed last year and a recent NY Times piece mentioned last month, sitting for extended periods of time is strongly linked with increased mortality and metabolic syndrome, regardless of how much exercise a sitter gets.

The chair is a bit like wheat, actually: a relative novelty to which we aren’t physiologically adapted that has become a cultural staple nonetheless. For at least eight hours each day, we twist our bodies into weird Tetris blocks with poor posture and sit, for the most part unmoving, on chairs. When you stop and think about it, sitting down in a chair for extended periods of time seems a little silly. I mean, it’s not even all that comfortable (isn’t that why we distort our bodies with terrible posture – to make sitting more comfortable?). We aren’t “designed” to sit in chairs. We’re certainly meant to stand, but we sit in chairs because we designed them to fit our anatomy, and I somehow doubt that whoever came up with the chair was thinking about long-term effects on our physiology.

Acutely, sitting weakens our muscles, especially in the legs and the hips. When you sit, your glutes are totally inactive. They aren’t being used. They’re stretched out. It’s just one big static stretch, all day long, which weakens them. Strong, engaged glutes are required for effective, natural movement. Running, walking, lifting weights – if you’re doing any of this with weak, inactive glutes from excessive sitting, you’re an injury waiting to happen. Sitting also causes permanent hip flexion. It shortens your hip flexors and makes them tight. Without good hip mobility and strength, your ability to perform the compound lower body lifts, let alone just walk around and perform day-to-day motions, is going to be severely compromised.

Besides, is sitting really all that comfortable? What are we trying to avoid here, really?

Most people just don’t know any better. Sitting down is part of our culture. Try going on a first date at a nice restaurant and waving off the chair. Try being that weird guy that stands in the movie theater, or that chronically unemployed applicant who refuses to sit down for the job interview. That guy is weird because he’s rare; he doesn’t even really exist. Sitting down is about the most uncontroversial societal expectation out there. You could have massive drag-out verbal fights over tipping or saying “bless you” or holding the door open for people, but sitting down in a chair has the wind of consensus at its back.

Which is why lobbying your boss for a stand-up workstation might be tricky, perhaps trickier even than convincing management to let you nap on the job. There’s nothing particularly objectionable about standing – it probably comes off as a bit weird or wacky – but it does require structural changes to your workstation, and changes can be expensive or time-consuming. Many of the larger companies have ergonomics teams dedicated to helping employees sit and work well. Asking them for assistance might work, but whatever you do a new desk is going to be installed and feathers will be ruffled. Sure, if they’re going to ask you to work a full day at a computer, they probably owe it to you to provide a standing workstation, but it’s not a perfect world. People will see your fancy new standing workstation as an extravagance.

“Why can’t he just sit/eat normal food/wear shoes like everyone else?”

If your boss offers resistance, you have a couple options. First, bring the data. Send an email, print out copies, whatever – just create a compendium of powerful references showing the dangers of sitting for hours on end. I’ve thrown a little something together for just such an endeavor:

Australian study (PDF) reveals sedentarism/sitting at work leads to more sitting at home, and eventually obesity. You want a healthy, vibrant workforce, don’t you?

New Zealand study shows that workers who sat for long periods of time were more likely to get deep vein thrombosis.

Excessive sitting was linked to negative metabolic and cardiovascular effects in another study.

One doctor even compared sitting to smoking cigarettes in terms of negative health effects.

Here’s that NY Times piece once again.

To round everything up, healthy employees are productive employees. Healthier employees incur lower health care costs. They miss fewer workdays. They work better, harder, and smarter when they’re at work. And workers with standing workstations are more energetic and more focused (no crippling back pain to worry about). They also take fewer breaks than sitters (PDF), which, once again, leads to greater productivity.

If your boss seems amenable, and you’re feeling cocky, slip in this final link.

Still, jobs are scarce, and employees hold few real bargaining chips these days. Your boss or your department may still balk at any additional short-term costs, even in the face of all that evidence. If that’s the case, I suggest you take matters into your own hands. Build your own. Even if your company won’t spring for a standing workstation conversion, I doubt they’ll complain if you handle it yourself.

A standing workstation doesn’t have to be fancy; it just has to work.

When I work from home, for example, and I feel like standing, I just put my laptop on a stack of hardcovers sitting on the counter.

If you like to work out of cafes, you’re in luck. I find that most people in coffee shops avoid the tall tables at all costs, instead opting for cushy chairs or plush sofas, so they’re generally available. Just push the tall chair aside and work standing. Tall café tables tend to be the perfect height for standing and working.

If you’re a laptop user at work, a bunch of books from the corporate library (no one reads those – c’mon) stacked up could work in a pinch.

You could spring for one of the official standing workstations in the link above, but that’s unnecessary. I’d recommend doing what this woman did and spend $20 to build your own. She essentially bought a light baker’s rack that fit on her desk, attached some no-slip shelf paper to the bottom of the laptop, and was done with it. If you have a desktop computer, you’re going to need more room, but you don’t really need a dedicated “standing workstation.” You simply need a reliable surface at the proper height.

Whatever method you choose, just make sure you’re actually comfortable working in the position. You shouldn’t be hunched over, bent at the waist, or straining with your arms to reach the workstation. You shouldn’t be leaning on the desk for support. Standing up to work is about comfort in addition to health, and you defeat the purpose if you have to strain to make it work. Before you buy anything, test out different workstation heights. Measure the one that works and keep that measurement handy when you’re shopping or building.

If I make standing to work seem like a panacea, I don’t mean to, because there are potential problems. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety caution against prolonged static standing, which can increase the chances of “sore feet, swelling of the legs, varicose veins, general muscular fatigue, lower back pain, and stiffness.” (Check your posture if that’s the case!) But the problem isn’t standing, really; it’s standing and never moving, which probably isn’t all that different from sitting and never moving (the symptoms of both are almost identical). I’m not worried about MDA readers being inactive while standing, though. You guys’ll probably be busting out random burpees and lunges in between TPS reports and video-conferences.

Anyone use a standing workstation currently? Got any tips for newbies looking to convert? Let everyone know in the comments section!

rKnight Flickr Photo (CC)

TAGS:  mobility

Subscribe to the Newsletter

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

Leave a Reply

327 Comments on "How-to Guide: Standing at Work"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Ben
Ben
6 years 6 months ago
I’m quite lucky I guess because my company uses, in almost all its locations, pretty state of the art desks that raise from a seated position to a standing one, together with all graduations inbetween. This was done for ergonomic reasons although its notable that I’d estimate that less than 20% of people ever use the desks in the stand position and even those who do (aside from me it sometimes seems) rarely do so for more than half an hour at a time. I use it standing a lot. Sometimes for entire days although this can be tiring. However… Read more »
Patrick Clark
5 years 3 months ago

“Active Sitting” is like standing in that the spine is kept in the same position as standing. It is the spine that gets crunched when sitting in a normal desk/chair situation, cutting circulation, bulging disks, back pain. This is alleviated by a chair I designed called the Tilt Seat which slopes forward. Alternate standing with active sitting and you have the best of both worlds. http://www.bodyfriendlyfurniture.com/tiltseat

trackback

[…] Original post by Mark Sisson […]

rob
rob
6 years 6 months ago

Someone should invent a car that can be driven while standing up.

Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 6 months ago

You mean a Segway?

Benpercent
6 years 6 months ago

Can Segways reach highway speeds? (I hope not.)

Ben
Ben
6 years 6 months ago

Try a bicycle 😉

Tom
Tom
3 years 18 days ago

Motorcycles! I can stand any time I want, just not for extended periods.

Between the passenger footpegs and highway pegs, I can change position from almost lying on my belly to sitting, to standing to the Lay-Z-Boy posture. (I have a cruiser, BTW. Organ-donating “crotchrockets” won’t let you stand.)

And after riding several hours, you feel like you’ve had a moderate workout, not like a car, where you feel like a, um, uh – like a piece of pasta! 🙂

Charles_M
Charles_M
6 years 6 months ago
I actually started standing myself at work just last week due to another post where Mark mentioned the increased benefits and calories burned that would result. To create my own workstation, I’ve just used two empty boxes with a board propped across the top to provide me with a platform to use my keyboard and mouse, and the height works perfectly for typing etc. As for the monitors, I just tilted them up, so now I just look down at a slight angle (which I’ve heard is most natural) and I’m good. I’ve had a few people comment on it,… Read more »
karen
karen
5 years 5 months ago

I went out and found a closet-maid shoe shelf (called a 31″ stackable organizer) at wal-mart. I found it in the home improvement department, it has two shelves and is exactly the right height for my keyboard and mouse, and it cost $12. I have been standing at work for a week now and feel better and sleep better. If I need to sit down, the shoe shelf goes beside my desk, but I get more done standing.

Neenie
4 years 11 months ago

I bought bed risers ($5 at Big Lots) and raised my existing desk up to standing desk height. I know it wouldn’t be high enough for some people, but at 5’3″ it suits me just fine. I wrote about it at http://spinnergal.blogspot.com/2011/10/standing-desks-and-back-pain.html

Lee
Lee
6 years 6 months ago

So what’s your best option if you really have no option to build a standing desk? Obviously, get up a lot, but anything else?

Sarah
6 years 6 months ago

Wow! I’d actually never even considered that sitting might be terrible. Where I work, we actually have tall chairs to sit on, because the workstation is high. I think I’ll switch to standing as soon as I’m done with my lunch break! Thanks so much! 🙂

Deborah
Deborah
5 years 8 months ago

I just took some boxes and put my keyboard on them. I could not modify my work desk, but I could use boxes to put my keyboard and mouse at a good height.

Steven
Steven
6 years 6 months ago

Pretty interesting post. But tbh standing for extended periods of time doesn’t sound comfortable at all. Might have something to do with my poor posture though.

I have always wondered what would lying down most of the time do to your health? Sure your muscles don’t get activated (that’s where the breaks come in) but at least the posture should be natural and comfortable, right?

I guess it would be very difficult to design a lying-down workstation though 🙂

Patrick Clark
5 years 5 months ago

I have designed one. You can either lounge with laptop on your lap, or lay face down, or anything in between.
http://www.bodyfriendlyfurniture.com/backrest.html

It is a nice change of pace when standing or active sitting and your back gets tired.

Patrick Clark
5 years 3 months ago

Actually, I have designed one. It is called an Eco Backrest and allows various positions from lounging to lying flat on your stomach like a salamander or like floating in the air. I like to stand most of the time but a little time working on the Eco Backrest in between standing helps incorporate movement into the work day and sort of incorporate part of the ‘hunter gatherer’ lifestyle into the office setting. http://www.bodyfriendlyfurniture.com/backrest.html

Helen
Helen
3 years 3 months ago
Actually, there are solutions – not for average work environment, though. 1. There are high end workstations with declining chairs (zero-gravity chair position), with twin adjustable monitors. 2. Then there are custom made laying workstations for people with sitting disability (http://www.mosken.com/sit.html). 3. Laptop stand for use in bed (http://timesnewgeek.blogspot.ca/2013/01/cool-stuff-lying-down-laptop-stand.html). 4. DIY PVC pipes laptop stand for programming in the bed for long hours, with Alpha-grip as keyboard, so you don’t have to keep forearms up all the time (http://rifers.org/blogs/gbevin/2008/2/4/programming_while_lying_on_back). 5. Laying down post-operative setup for coccydynia (http://www.coccyx.org/personal/2004/fritz.htm). 6. The cheaper solution, similar to (1), is 40″ LCD TV as monitor,… Read more »
fireandstone
6 years 6 months ago

“Besides stuff like…cannibalism…it seems like most any divergence from our ancestral norms is ultimately detrimental”

Come on now, maybe there’s an inherent health benefit to this that’s being overlooked. Sounds pretty Primal to me.

Kelly
Kelly
6 years 6 months ago

Logically, a healthy human should have all the nutrition a human needs. 🙂

Anne
Anne
6 years 6 months ago
When I want to stand at work, I do this (the key is a wireless keyboard/mouse set): (1) Raise my adjustable monitors (all flat screen monitors nowadays seem to be adjustable) (2) Bring the box out from under my desk (nice black “leather” storage box from Winners, file-box size (3) Put my wireless keyboard and mouse on the box, stand up, et voila! One caution, though — I stood too enthusiastically for the first few weeks on concrete covering by thin industrial carpet and developed plantar fascitis. 🙁 The ideal would be a treadmill that fits under the desk so… Read more »
DianeC
DianeC
6 years 6 months ago

The treadmill thing has been tried:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6656631.stm
“Get slim on the office treadmill” (from 2007)

The article doesn’t say how many of the test subjects fell off, or whether the quality of their work suffered. Also, at the end of the article they mention in passing that “The desks cost £1,000 each.” So that might be a deterrent. 🙁

Patrick Clark
5 years 3 months ago
There are other options for preventing foot problems while standing. I use a “Footsie Roller” which massages the feet-one foot at a time. It is basically a foot massage tool cylindrical shaped with groves. This is overall good for the whole body because the feet have pressure points. A Coke Bottle might work almost as well. Also I sometimes put round river rocks and stand on them–similar to Footsie Roller only more primitive. In winter I heat the rocks in a crock pot–crazy I know–and it heats the whole body through the feet. Hey–think of a Native American Sweat Lodge–pretty… Read more »
nicolle
nicolle
5 years 1 month ago

brilliant! i would love to hear more of your cool tips Patrick!

Seth
Seth
6 years 6 months ago
Just this past January I was having a lot of back pain (due to a special/rare type of arthritis) and had recently read about standing workstations on another blog. Additionally, other coworkers recently acquired sit/stand stations that convert between the two modes with a button-push. I decided to give it a go and reconfigured my cubicle to the same effect by setting my monitor on a wall-mounted rail shelf and putting my keyboard an mouse on file boxes. I am standing at my desk as I write this post just under 3 months later. My boss has offered to send… Read more »
Michael
5 years 10 months ago

I read somewhere else (Sorry I forgot the link) that while standing you need something that supports your arch. I’m not 100% sure this is needed, but I thought you might want to know.

Aja
Aja
6 years 6 months ago

I am a nurse and I love the recent trend towards the standing workstation. Most of them adjust to sit or stand but I prefer to stand. It’s easier on my back and I’d just have to get back up in 30 seconds anyway.;)

Satchel Paige
6 years 6 months ago
This post was a nice surprise for me, as I recently made the decision to get rid of my standard desks and build a bookshelf/desk designed for remaining upright while working. As a musician/songwriter/self-recording engineer and producer, I spend a lot of time hunched over at the computer or mixing console researching all kinds of things, typing out lyrics, uploading/editing videos, etc. No matter what I do, I experience a lot of shoulder tension, lower back aches and neck problems if I’m at the computer for too long. Since I can’t see any way around computer use itself, I got… Read more »
TammyB
TammyB
6 years 6 months ago

Actually, I asked my boss for one of these two years ago… Why not? A treadmill with built in workstations. Just think of it!!

http://www.details-worktools.com/product_details.php?pid=740&gclid=CMPc4Mawz6ACFcth2godlQNQzg

Luogotenente
6 years 6 months ago

Tammy, I love it… if only my company would spring for one of these

Konstantinos
Konstantinos
6 years 6 months ago

Another great article !Have you read Jane Clapp and Sarah Robichaud’s book Working on the Ball: A Simple Guide to Office Fitness?what do you think stability ball as an alternative?

Josh
6 years 6 months ago

Do you have a link to the adjustable standing desk that you have in the image? That looks like a really nice one.

Bill
Bill
6 years 6 months ago
I read that Vladimir Nabokov (who wrote the novels Lolita and Pale Fire) did a large portion of his writing while standing at a lectern. If it worked for one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century, it’s probably a good idea. Here’s a quote from Nabokov: “I generally start the day at a lovely old-fashioned lectern I have in my study. Later on, when I feel gravity nibbling at my calves, I settle down in a comfortable armchair alongside an ordinary writing desk; and finally, when gravity begins climbing up my spine, I lie down on a couch… Read more »
Brandon
Brandon
6 years 6 months ago

I hate sitting, especially at work in front of a computer! It is so uncomfortable and unnatural. I totally just snatched some file boxes off the ground, placed my keyboard and mouse on them, and raised my monitor. Awesome! Standing workstation, presto. Grok on!

Underwaterer
Underwaterer
6 years 6 months ago
god, I absolutely hate sitting down at work. I’m a firefighter… everyone knows fire houses have recliners. I’m the only one who doesn’t use the recliner. There are these cheap metal frame chairs with padded cushions on the back and seat and a few office chairs that roll around. I am in school so I use my laptop a lot. I do sit, It bothers me because I have to sit. I would rather lay on the floor or a bed and do my work. I don’t sit for extended periods. I usually make myself get up and walk around… Read more »
PBJ
PBJ
6 years 6 months ago

How true this post is! After a very long car and a week of 12 hour days sitting in a chair, I have had continual pain in my hip (groin) going on almost a year. Physical therapy helped but it still won’t go away. I make sure to stand and stretch every 30 minutes or so. The idea of standing all day sounds great.

Catlet
Catlet
6 years 6 months ago

I have that same nagging hip/groin pain; for me, it’s my psoas. All the stretching and slow yin yoga in the world can’t get rid of it if I spend all day in a desk chair.

I’m seriously considering a used treadmill for home and building a bootleg laptop shelf onto it (I work from home).

PrimalWannabeGirl
PrimalWannabeGirl
6 years 6 months ago

Yes, I’m curious, too, about the idea of a stability ball. My brother-in-law with back problems uses one at work. Any thoughts?

Sooze

Peggy
Peggy
6 years 6 months ago

Sooze, I have been doing the stability ball thin for over 2 yrs now. I prefer it (for sitting). I can dance around or do crunches or whatever I want. At a different job I have one of those Gaiam chairs that is a ball on a rolling frame. That is my favourite chair ever. Because of what I do at that job, I end up standing most of my shift anyway. Back at the main job I’m rummaging in the storeroom for props to facilitate standing after reading this article 🙂

trackback

[…] Mark’s Daily Apple has a great article today (which is where I got these links from) on how to go about changing your “sitting habits.” […]

Laura
Laura
6 years 6 months ago

Just worked this one out for myself last week too. Just popped my monitors on top of a huge stack of old papers and useless memos… and yeah, I’d probably get tired/sore from standing the whole time, but I’ve found that I’m either swaying or dancing to the music on my iPod at least 4 hours out of the day, so…. : )

Russ Hutto
6 years 6 months ago

I think this is a timely article for me. I’m a print designer (graphic design for magazines) and I spend SOOO much time sitting down. I work from home so I am TOTALLY in control of this and have NO excuses for sitting on my bum all day!

Thanks for this!

Ryan
Ryan
6 years 6 months ago

Is there a way to loosen hip flexors? Standing actually kills my lower back. If I’m moving I’m fine but standing is torture. I do think my hips are tight though, maybe that’s the reason?

Stephanie
Stephanie
5 years 7 days ago
There is a good stretch for hip flexors I like it, cross your let over the other so it’s ankle to thigh pointing your knee out to the side, and squat, I do this all the time. Dont push down on the knee though because you could injure yourself. I have never had a job where I sat down all day, I was a server and now a bank teller, so I dont know how it differs for me but standing in one place versus walking around is a big differnce I need high arch shoes and I need to… Read more »
Al Kavadlo
6 years 6 months ago

This is one of my favorite posts of yours ever. Once I started reading it, I moved my computer onto the counter where I am typing this right now!

Steve
6 years 6 months ago
Sassy
Sassy
6 years 6 months ago

Checkout Ikea’s $119 work station

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00115992

Lauren Muney
6 years 6 months ago
I have made a standing desk with tiling my iMac and putting the keyboard on a telescoping magician’s table. Due to a short bone in my foot I can’t stand for 12 hours a day (my muscles and bones twist and turn from the forces), I now have a telescoping masseaur’s stool: allows for great posture and legs can turn every way. I can also stretch my body on the big desk that my computer sits on… right now I’m stretching while typing this! To cure the ills of the body from sitting, try the Egoscue Method exercises (try the… Read more »
Todd
6 years 6 months ago
I purchased a stand up workstation back in January this year. It was around $230 and worth every single penny. I am working at my computer for 5-7 hours a day and standing up instead of sitting has been an absolute blessing. I sometimes choose to sit. But, standing is so much better. While reading this article I was actually sitting. Then, I decided I had enough and placed my laptop at my standup workstation. My focus soars when I stand compared to sitting. But, if you are going to stand for long hours be sure to take short breaks… Read more »
Ant
Ant
6 years 6 months ago

As a chiropractor here in Australia I think this is WONDERFUL!!!! Keep up the great work at getting the truth out there Mark!

Kevin
Kevin
5 years 6 months ago

Todd,

What workstation did you buy?

Kevin

Jonathan Atkins
6 years 6 months ago

I have been doing this since the beginning of the month and love it!

trackback

[…] Original post by Mark Sisson […]

Michael
Michael
6 years 6 months ago

I can’t believe the timing of this. I just read an article in Macworld magazine about this last week, and was thinking “it would be nice if Mark posted something about this”.

VaMomof2
VaMomof2
6 years 6 months ago
I work from home and started standing years ago when I noticed my posture getting worse from slouching at my computer all day. I elevated my keyboard on a shoestand (think closetmaid stuff) and put my monitor on a taller but similar storage cabinet. Works great and not only has it helped my posture but totally cleared up my carpal tunnel. Because I stand almost all day, I am actually not comfortable sitting for long and get serious odd looks when I stand at my daughter’s sporting events – men are always offering up their chairs to me.
barb
barb
6 years 6 months ago

when you do stand and work -the ergonomics still come into play – i.e. be sure your monitor, keyboard etc are all still in the correct position for you – bend of elbows, height of wrists at keyboard, level of head to view monitor.

lebowski
lebowski
6 years 6 months ago

The ergonomics team at my work actually offered to have me be the pioneer for the treadmill work station. I went with the plain old standing desk. It’s great, but I wish I didn’t chicken out and went with the treadmill.

Matt
6 years 6 months ago
I started doing this a couple weeks ago and this is what I noticed 1)The keyboard and mouse need to be at about elbow level or else it’s hard on the wrist 2)Monitor needs to be in line with head I used old phone books to prop these things up to their proper height; you don’t have to be fancy. What I’ve noticed since: 1) My posture has improved significantly 2) My breathing is deeper 3) I move around a lot more while I’m at the computer. I do body weight squats, lunges, or wall push ups if I begin… Read more »
Matt
6 years 6 months ago

P.S.

I think it would be nice to have a nice soft mat to stand on as well, but I haven’t tried this out yet.

Jen
Jen
5 years 14 days ago

I’ve had good luck switching from dress shoes to Crocs when I’m standing instead of getting a mat.

Benpercent
6 years 6 months ago

If you don’t mind the goofiness, all you really need are boxes, perhaps a solid tote container. At home, I’ve turned my computer desk into a stand up desk by placing the monitor on a large tote container, the keyboard on a very large box, and the mouse on top of three shoeboxes. My writing desk is simply six Avon boxes stacked in columns of two. I find this methodology to allow me to *perfectly* adjust the height of my desk; any authentic stand up desk I have seen so far has been a disappointment.

Darcy
Darcy
6 years 6 months ago

I have almost that identical setup at work! Chronic hip pain is now gone!

Nathan
Nathan
6 years 6 months ago

Oooh what about a sod covered treadmill work station!? Walking barefoot on a grass treadmill all day while working!? Sounds like a little slice of heaven.

Glenn
Glenn
6 years 6 months ago
I’ve been using a stand-up desk at work for several months, and love it. It does take some getting used to, though. At first, it wasn’t my back or legs that hurt at the end of the day… it was my feet! Now, I have a cushioned floor mat, and will often slip off my shoes and stand in my socks. I’m fortunate to work for a small federal agency that has a very high worker satisfaction rate. The building staff completely accomodated my request-down to the precise height I wanted–and my co-workers are curious, but not in the least… Read more »
Bo
Bo
6 years 6 months ago

Glenn, a few weeks ago I tried a standup workstation… and I had the same experience! My lower back didn’t hurt (it does sometimes when sitting), my legs didn’t hurt, but my heels hurt like hell after a week or so! I wear “barefoot” style shoes with minimal padding, and the floor is essentially concrete covered in thin carpet. Maybe I need a cushioned floor mat too… do you have a link to something similar to what you used?

Richard Nikoley
6 years 6 months ago

I’ve been at it for 1 1/2 years, now. Work bench from Cosco, under $300, nice solid wood top, super sturdy steel construction, and it’s long enough for both the wife & I.

Photos:

http://freetheanimal.com/2008/09/life-tweak-57.html

We do have some barstools now and I go back & forth from standing to sitting to standing.

epistemocrat
6 years 6 months ago

I stand while I write (and work on the computer): I like to think on my feet!

Best,

Brent

Laura
Laura
6 years 6 months ago

I realize we are talking about standing at work, but I have a related question to the subject of standing vs. sitting at work. I have heard that sitting on a stability ball or a ball used for pilates will help your posture and strengthen your core muscles. Would this be an option to consider if you cannot stand at work?

Dan
Dan
6 years 6 months ago

Great article!

John Medina goes a bit further and suggests putting treadmills in the office. He goes into it in more detail here: http://www.nypost.com/p/item_IvjtJooZyow82YTtQmrFzN/0

Appleaday
Appleaday
6 years 6 months ago
Four herniated discs in my back lead me to develop my own sit-stand desk set-up. It didn’t cost my employer a penny. I just put my monitors up on the book shelf, which just happened to be at my eye level. I used an old monitor riser for my keyboard and mouse and borrowed a tall chair from our cafeteria so I can sit periodically when my feet get tired, which isn’t much anymore!! Necessity is the mother of all inventions, but it’s interesting to know that this was also a healthy choice! Considering I commute for 3 hours a… Read more »
Matt
Matt
6 years 6 months ago

I enjoy standing on my BOSU ball…you know the half ball with a solid plastic platform. This gives me cushion and works my balance all day. I can also change my foot placement and stretch my calves.

Patricia
Patricia
6 years 6 months ago

What a great idea! Thanks for the tip.

Kevin McDonald
6 years 6 months ago
What an interesting coincidence: I’ve been standing at work for about 3.5 weeks now! I decided that if sitting for 8 hours a day wasn’t good for me, the only alternative was to stand. Luckily, I work for an incredible company, and I didn’t even bother to ask my boss before trying it out. I just harvested a few toner boxes and built a shelf for my keyboard and mouse to sit on, then elevated my monitors on another couple of boxes. It was my “trial run.” It wasn’t pretty, but it gave me an idea what it would be… Read more »
John
John
3 years 9 months ago

The picture is gone. Could you take another picture?

Melina
Melina
6 years 6 months ago

I’m lucky I guess. Right now I work as a baker and I’m always bustling aroundon my feet and don’t stand in one place for very long (think iron chef).

The downside is that I work nights and I work in the disgusting food industry which is everything but primal ; (

Ted
Ted
6 years 6 months ago

I work in an office that insists on me sitting in my chair. What is the best way to sit?

I read here http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/12/health/12real.html?ex=1323579600&en=232f0439ec a118c3&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss that you should recline in order to open the angle between the hips and the legs. However this creates a neck-forward position which doesn’t seem ideal either. Should I be sitting straight up or reclining?

Cheers,

Ted

Craig
Craig
6 years 6 months ago

Can you try kneeling and/or squatting at the desk?

I’ve started alternating my sitting periods at the desk with kneeling, and kneeling hip flexor stretches, kneeling hamstring stretches and so forth.

Regards,
Craig.

Victor K
Victor K
6 years 6 months ago

I recently raised my wooden desk at home for this very purpose!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12377946@N04/4415327350/in/pool-alphasmart

wpDiscuz