Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
23 Mar

How-to Guide: Standing at Work

StandingDeskBesides 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)

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. FYI – Check back tomorrow for the new Definitive Guide I promised.

    Mark Sisson wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • Thanks, Mark! I work at home and normally sit at the computer all day. I don’t even have the excuse to go visit a colleague’s office. So as of one hour ago, I have placed my monitor, keyboard, and mouse on my largest books, and have created a stand-up work station.

      Barbara

      Barbara Place wrote on March 31st, 2011
    • I have been using a file box on top of my desk for my laptop at work and it works just fine. The height seems just right for me. I also have an exercise ball to sit when I need to. I am now thinking of adding a bosu ball to stand on when I am standing at my desk. Any comments on what benefits or drawbacks that might have?

      Helen wrote on April 30th, 2012
  2. 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 I do find that it does have ergonomic risks attached. In the seated position we have had ergonomic risks drummed into us so much that we sit bolt upright, monitor at right height, keyboard in right position etc, all to minimise possiblity of discomfort. Standing, because it can be a bit tiring at times, you can have a tendency to slouch or lean on the desk at times. Its something to guard against.

    Ben wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • “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

      Patrick Clark wrote on June 8th, 2011
  3. Someone should invent a car that can be driven while standing up.

    rob wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • You mean a Segway?

      Aaron Blaisdell wrote on March 23rd, 2010
      • Can Segways reach highway speeds? (I hope not.)

        Benpercent wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • Try a bicycle ;)

      Ben wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • 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! :)

      Tom wrote on September 11th, 2013
  4. 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, and lend their support and also note they know others who are doing the same thing. Its for sure not common, but you are probably not going to be the first person someone knows if you do try this at work.

    Charles_M wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • 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.

      karen wrote on April 18th, 2011
  5. 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?

    Lee wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  6. 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! :)

    Sarah wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • 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.

      Deborah wrote on January 23rd, 2011
  7. 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 :)

    Steven wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  8. “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.

    fireandstone wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • Logically, a healthy human should have all the nutrition a human needs. :)

      Kelly wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  9. 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 that one could walk slowly all day. With each step, the foot is able to relax, helping prevent PF (unlike with static standing, when it’s stretched in one position)

    Anne wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • 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. :(

      DianeC wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • 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 PRIMAL! I’ve been standing for several years now.

      Patrick Clark wrote on June 23rd, 2011
      • brilliant! i would love to hear more of your cool tips Patrick!

        nicolle wrote on August 11th, 2011
  10. 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 the ergonomics committee rep over for an evaluation for a “proper” station but I haven’t bothered. I haven’t busted out any burpees yet although I will often occasionally perform various standing balance exercises while reading. The one change I might make is cutting off a piece of an old yoga mat since my stocking feet don’t appreciate the flat hard surface (I take off my shoes while in my cubicle).

    Seth wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • 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.

      Michael wrote on November 7th, 2010
  11. 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.;)

    Aja wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  12. 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 to thinking that I should create a standing workspace more akin to a laboratory than a cubicle. I’m also planning to buy some chalkboard paint and place idea bubbles around the room. Anyway, I’m just glad the concept of limiting chair use is becoming more widely considered, as I’m certain it’s one of the biggest compromisers of our structural integrity. Cheers, all!

    Satchel Paige wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  13. 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

    TammyB wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • Tammy, I love it… if only my company would spring for one of these

      Luogotenente wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  14. 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?

    Konstantinos wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  15. Do you have a link to the adjustable standing desk that you have in the image? That looks like a really nice one.

    Josh wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  16. 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 in a corner of my small study. It is a pleasant solar routine.”

    Bill wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  17. 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!

    Brandon wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  18. 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 or do some other activity.

    Underwaterer wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  19. 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.

    PBJ wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • 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).

      Catlet wrote on March 25th, 2010
  20. 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

    PrimalWannabeGirl wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • 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 :-)

      Peggy wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  21. 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…. : )

    Laura wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  22. 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!

    Russ Hutto wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  23. 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?

    Ryan wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • 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 stretch alot when I work.

      Stephanie wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  24. 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!

    Al Kavadlo wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  25. Steve wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  26. Checkout Ikea’s $119 work station

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

    Sassy wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  27. 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 hips section in “Pain Free” by Pete Egoscue) and Somatic exercises. And MOVE. Take movement breaks. Hips will benefit from the Egoscue exercises and yoga, and moving….

    Lauren Muney wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  28. 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 to move around! I tend to stand in one spot for way to long and my feet hurt. But, I think I have learned my lesson as I now take a short 1-5 minute break every 15 minutes or so. :)

    Todd wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • As a chiropractor here in Australia I think this is WONDERFUL!!!! Keep up the great work at getting the truth out there Mark!

      Ant wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • Todd,

      What workstation did you buy?

      Kevin

      Kevin wrote on March 1st, 2011
  29. I have been doing this since the beginning of the month and love it!

    Jonathan Atkins wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  30. 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”.

    Michael wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  31. 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.

    VaMomof2 wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  32. 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.

    barb wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  33. 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.

    lebowski wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  34. 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 to feel stiff.

    4) I don’t waste time on the computer because I don’t want to stand there all the time. When I was sitting I would be okay with sitting all the time.

    Matt wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • 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.

      Matt wrote on March 23rd, 2010
      • I’ve had good luck switching from dress shoes to Crocs when I’m standing instead of getting a mat.

        Jen wrote on September 15th, 2011
  35. 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.

    Benpercent wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • I have almost that identical setup at work! Chronic hip pain is now gone!

      Darcy wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  36. 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.

    Nathan wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  37. 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 discouraging.

    Glenn wrote on March 23rd, 2010
    • 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?

      Bo wrote on March 24th, 2010
  38. 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.

    Richard Nikoley wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  39. I stand while I write (and work on the computer): I like to think on my feet!

    Best,

    Brent

    epistemocrat wrote on March 23rd, 2010
  40. 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?

    Laura wrote on March 23rd, 2010

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