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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...

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September 11 2013

How-To: Standup and Mobile Workstations

By Mark Sisson
115 Comments

A few years back, my general manager and editor hurt his back deadlifting. He found the only way he could comfortably work at a desk was to stand. It worked really well for him, even offering benefits above and beyond the improvements in lower back pain – stuff like improved energy levels and increased focus and cognition. Once his back recovered, he continued to stand because of these benefits. It eventually spread to the rest of us at Mark’s Daily Apple and Primal Blueprint, prompting me to devote an entire post to standup workstations.

The first standup desk at our headquarters was cobbled together using a stack of shipping boxes laid flat, but, as the video shows, we’ve improved on it. And, as more of our workers have taken up the practice, we’ve realized that while standing in one place all day may be better than sitting in one place all day, it’s not ideal. Man was neither meant to stand nor sit in place. You stand long enough and you start resting on the desk, leaning forward or to either side and picking up some other bad habits. Some research even indicates that standing at a desk all day comes with certain risks of its own, including increased risk of varicose veins and carotid artery damage. Now, we think in terms of the mobile workstation, and emphasize changing things up throughout the day (i.e. sitting, standing, and walking).

In that vein, we’ve brought in treadmill desks. My favorite is the TreadDesk, a standalone treadmill that fits underneath most desks. It’s just the tread; no podium, no handles, no bulky set-up. Super simple. You walk while you work at the computer. Some folks do around 1.5 miles per hour, others can handle a little over 2 mph, but the most comfortable range seems to lie between 1.5 and 1.8 mph. Every worker gets a TreadDesk if they want one and if it makes sense for their job.

The real beauty of the treadmill desk is that you never feel that incessant need to workout tugging at the back of your mind. Since you’ve already done 5, 6, 7 miles at work, you don’t necessarily have to find time to trudge off to the gym. You can relax, unwind, and spend time with friends and family after work. It doesn’t replace exercise, but it certainly takes the edge off it.

If a TreadDesk doesn’t work or make sense for someone, I encourage frequent movement: walking, squatting, pushups, pullups (there’s even a bar in the office), a light jaunt outside in the Malibu sun. The key is to break up the stasis. Even just five minutes every two hours is plenty.

Since our shipping department processes hundreds of orders a day, we’ve made a simple but revolutionary change to the setup there: we bumped the tables up eight inches. This allowed the guys to do all their packing, taping, and shipping standing up straight, with open hips, rather than bending over hundreds of times a day to reach the materials. 45 degrees of hip flexion doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up (and eventually turns into dangerous lumbar flexion!) and wears the body down.

At home, which is where I do most of my work these days, I don’t find I really need the TreadDesk, since I’m the boss and I can take as many breaks as I need. Instead, I have a Locus Workstation from Focal. This is a great standup desk with a “human kickstand” to lean against when you get sick of standing, promoting excellent posture and proper ergonomic angles.

I reached out to Focal to see if I could score some kind of special deal for Mark’s Daily Apple readers. They provided me a coupon code that gets you a free anti-fatigue mat ($75 value) with purchase of a Locus Seat. Just add the mat to the cart and use the code “Upright!” during checkout. (They also informed me about their affiliate program, so full disclosure, the Focal link above is an affiliate link. If you happen to purchase something from them after clicking on the link, I’ll earn a small commission. Proceeds go towards maintaining Mark’s Daily Apple.)

The mobile workstation is a no-brainer for me – and for anyone, really. Not only does it promote better health in my employees, it makes work more enjoyable and workers more productive. And though the gadgets and the treadmills and the fancy desks might make staying mobile easier, they certainly aren’t required. Anyone can get up and go for a short walk, right?

Standup and Mobile Workstation Tips

1. Start with short bouts of standup time – use boxes to elevate computer
2. Take 5-minute walking/exercise breaks every two hours
3. Practice good posture – elongated spine and proper ergonomic angles

Do you have a standup workstation? How have you found it? Do you stand all day, or mix things up? Let everyone know in the comment board!

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115 thoughts on “How-To: Standup and Mobile Workstations”

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  1. “The real beauty of the treadmill desk is that you never feel that incessant need to workout tugging at the back of your mind.”

    Right there is the reason to get the equipment!!!!

    1. I am not sure about the TreadDesk, but I bought this sit/stand desk a couple weeks ago and LOVE IT! I like that it goes on top of an existing desk – makes it more portable if I need to move it.

      http://www.fitter1.com/Catalog/Items/VD.aspx

      Only $350 too for the dual monitor version!

  2. OK… 4 minutes into the video I started worrying what was in those frittatas my wife made me this morning

  3. That Lotus workstation is beautiful but pricey. I am going to start with a stand up desk at the $200 price point.

    1. Good luck trying to find a desk at $200. Stand-ups are still in the niche market and highly overpriced.

      Let me know if you do! Because i’m currently hurting (desk jockying) at work.

      1. I changed to a standing desk about a year ago and will never go back.
        I found a nice, moderately inexpensive modular desk set at IKEA that allows for an elevated surface height and has sectionals that you can put on different height risers for mice, monitors, keyboards, etc. It allows for fast and easy removal of any unnecessary platforms if I want to spend a few minutes sitting on my kneeling chair and working. Then I just put them back onto the desktop to return to my standing position. This way my keyboard can be at the optimum height and my mouse or monitors can be at a different height if I like. Whole setup with elongated L shaped work surface and underneath file cabinet was about $1000.

      2. I should say it was pretty basic as I intend to use for 1-3 hours per day or so as a break from the computer and regular desk. If I order in the next day or 2, I will post link.

      3. I can’t afford one either.

        So I make do with my “Asian Squat” Workstation:

        I squat in front of my computer that is set atop a stool!

        No chair either…

        LOL!

      4. I built my own standing desk workstation about three months ago for under 30 bucks and it’s been working great! You can customize it to any height you need as long as you take your measurements right.

        I agree that Locus Workstation look incredible, but I don’t think I could ever spend that much on a desk. Maybe one day I’ll work at a company like Mark’s… fingers crossed 🙂

        My standing workstation:
        http://imageshack.us/a/img850/4613/i55w.jpg

      5. Try Varidesk. $300.00. Sits on top of your desk and rises to desired height. I have had mine for a week and totally dig it.

    2. I just purchased a “Varidesk” from Amazon. I think it was the “pro” model. $300! I love it! Easy to set up and adjust. Very simple, and there’s even room for a legal pad as well as a keyboard on the keyboard platform.

  4. I had a similar experience incorporating standing. I built a makeshift desk riser out of 3 pieces of wood but also noticed I tended to just end up slouching in different ways. It’s hard to get into the habit of taking that break and moving every so often. Drinking a lot of tea during the day helps, if you know what I mean…

  5. I wish I could rig up a treadmill desk, but that’s not in the picture at the moment. I do love standing while I draw or paint, though, & have just convinced one of my sons to try standing up while doing schoolwork on the computer!

    If my feet start to get tired, I find it helps a lot to stand on alternate legs for a while. I like to do it yoga tree pose style as it further opens the hips, but you could also just rest one foot on something.

    I’m a natural wiggle worm, so I’m constantly shifting positions slightly (in a MUCH healthier way than when sitting, when I tend to twist my legs into weird contortions without realizing it).

    Also I keep my rumble roller under the drawing table, & once in a while treat my feet to a nice little massage. 🙂

  6. I use a makeshift stand up work station- my laptop on a wooden step stool on top of my kitchen counter top. Sounds crazy, looks a little crazy, but I don’t look like that crazy woman all hunched over after a day hunched over at my desk anymore!

  7. Very cool! Loved seeing how everything works for and acknowledgment that there are different types of desk work that require different types of set-ups from person to person (Siena’s cave).

    Plus it was good to see the people that work for you, Mark! 🙂

    1. I used this guy’s website for a DIY tutorial on how to make my own treaddesk. (http://www.treadmilldeskdiary.com/) and made my own treaddesk using a Ikea Jerker desk (from Craigslist $25) and a dismantled cheaper treadmill ($250). I had to figure out how to switch between the sitting desk and standing desk quickly ( I only walk for 4 hours a day) ….made tread desk with bluetooth peripherals and casters to move away in 1 minute to convert to sitting desk…cannibalized a treadmill to just it’s treads and controls. Still trying to find an ergonomic wireless mouse and keyboard., but this is a great start

  8. I asked about a standing desk and was told that I had to have some kind of medical problem to get one. ??!! Pathetic! So I now have my monitor on a box. My mouse on a huge stack of binders. And my keyboard on a lap tray for a computer. I love it. I’ve always been fidgety and standing lets me do it. Fidgeting while sitting would have my legs twisted up in wierd position because I can’t sit like a “normal” person with both feet on the floor. I’m also too small/short to be able to fix the chair right and still be able to work sitting. If I wear heels then I bring in socks and just take my shoes off.

    1. “Back pain”

      It’ll cost you an $80 visit to your MD for a note. (If you’re an American that is.)

      1. Exactly – that’s what I did. Everyone who comes to see me now says, “oh, you must have a bad back.” Well, I would if I sat all day for the next 2 decades of my career, in addition to a myriad of other problems!

  9. I work in a cubicle and thought I’d never figure out how to get a standing workstation that didn’t look trashy. Then I saw the plans here: http://iamnotaprogrammer.com/Ikea-Standing-desk-for-22-dollars.html and I made a very nice setup. I have 2 monitors, so I used 2 Lack desks, 2 shelves, and four brackets. I’ve since made the legs a bit shorter and inserted 1.25″ square dowels into the legs (the legs on the Lack tables are hollow), and added adjustable shelf brackets so that it would still work ergonomically if I need to sit down. I have a drafting chair for when I need to sit while I work, which is rare now. (It took about a week to get used to working standing up.) I sit when I eat lunch, but that’s pretty much it. Our IT manager recently went to IKEA and bought some desks to make himself a standing desk. I get lots of stares when people walk by, but I think they’re starting to get the idea.

    1. This is exactly what I did for home and it’s been working great.

  10. Treadmill desks are a “liability” and not allowed at the company where I work. So I asked for and received a tall “stand up” desk then bought a $100 mini-elliptical machine (from Amazon, search for In Motion Elliptical Trainer) that I use for hours. And hours. The only drawback is that it is difficult to keep my heart rate at 55% of my max and type…

  11. Any thoughts on how to get the head honchos around here to support this idea? So many people would benefit from this but to purchase one on my own is way out of my price range (and I’m not sure if that particular one ships to Canada, although I’m sure there are others!). I feel like so many people could benefit from it but my workplace isn’t great with the whole work/life balance thing.

    1. I purchased one of these for my desk about a month ago and I love it. For $275 plus shipping it was much cheaper than buying a new desk. It adjusts easily and allows me to shift from sitting to standing as needed. It’s big enough to hold both my monitors and is steady enough I do not fear them flying off!

  12. Great post! I have been standing at my desk for about a year now. I have a laptop and I sit it on an iCraze lap “desk” which I configured to stand on my regular desk. I purchased it, along with an attachment for my wireless mouse (called Mouzpad, I think), for about $50 total on Amazon. Maybe I’ll graduate to the Treaddesk one of these days, but I sometimes still want to sit and sometimes need to write too.

  13. My company just got 2 new treadmill workstations. You can sign up to use them for an hour at a time. They have been booked every time I walk by them.

  14. We have used our ‘mobile desk’ for about a month now. When considering a standing workspace, I knew immediately that standing would be challenging, but walking would be the ideal situation-as Mark describes above. After much research and finding either unstable-rigged setups, or super expensive pre-maide desks, I am thrilled with what we finally ended up with. Since my husband and I are sharing the space, the desk needed to be easily adjustable. I found a table base called a Multi Table at amazon.The Multi Table has a hand crank to raise and lower the desk. They also have an electric version for more $. Mutli Table sells a top, but I found a nicer, cheaper option at IKEA-a 72′ countertop. To raise my iMacs off the desk to eye level, I bought a “LACK wall shelf” that is 43″ long and attached the shelf to 4 ‘CAPITA Legs’. The bottom of the ‘legs’ are foam covered so they protect the desk surface.
    Because the Multi Table is adjustable, and IKEA has many countertop colors and cut-to-size options, you really can make this YOUR space. Color options and desk surface (countertop) are many.
    Finally, I paired it with a Lifespan treadmill. They have two options- one for 3hr a day use and one for 6 or more. I am thrilled with it’s function and truly feel like it is a superior option for WAY less. The next best option on my list was the “uplift 900”. Very nice option, but can get pricey too.
    We have $650 in an infinitely adjustable desk that is 73’x25 and $1k in the heavy use treadmill (LifespanTR-1200DT) I don’t regret my purchase and will be using this for years to come! (I do not work for any of the above companies, just sharing what we did in the hope that it might be an option for someone)
    Have a great day!

    1. I neglected to mention that this desk works great for walking on one side of the desk and a sitting area beside the treadmill. Simply crank the desk down to a comfortable level and have a seat! One would have to have the leg in front of them, but it sets back so it doesn’t come into contact with the seated person. The leg support on the floor is low profile so your office chair would have no problem getting right next to the desk (imagine an ‘L” that has the short leg toward you, or google the desk for a visual).

      For this option a monitor stand with an arm that would easily swing from side to side would be ideal. A keyboard tray might also be desirable. Both of these options add some expense to the desk, but it is a two in one solution for about the cost of just a ‘small’ standing treadmill desk.

  15. I had a sit-stand that would adjust height between sitting and standing levels. I liked it a lot. One thing I noticed is that I could really tell when my sleeping and eating habits were off or when I was feeling really stressed. During those times I noticed that my sitting time increased dramatically and I could stop and reflect how I needed to adjust to get back in the game.

    I recently switched jobs and am back to square-one with the traditional desk. I need to find a new (cheaper) standing solution.

  16. I paused the video about 4 minutes in, went into the warehouse, got an old recycling bin and a piece of shelf and voila, I have a standing desk. Thanks Mark!

  17. Thanks for the show & tell of mobile / standing desks at your office and at home. Very interesting stuff.
    I’m not sure I would be able to do the tread-desk, but a standing desk is an interesting idea.

  18. I couldn’t imagine workkng a desk job. Sometimes I’m glad to be able to use the computer sitting.

  19. What about “standing” on your knees? I work in a cubicle, and I don’t think the suits will let me modify my desk, but I could reach everything just fine at this level if I were on my knees. Anything research on that?

  20. I have been using a makeshift standing desk for just over 4 months now. And I love it! Because I had to just makeshift what I could out of the reception desk, I had to jump in and am not able to break up the standing with sitting very often. And I always love the tips/reminders on things I can do to keep it healthy on your site!

    I am always looking for tips on more subtle things I can do frequently to break up the standing. I am at the front desk like I said, and things around here are very strict, so hourly exercises are challenging (can’t get caught doing a set of push-ups not during a break time). I do try and do pushups/squats when the opportunity presents itself (maybe 2 or 3 times through the day). And go for a 5-10 minute walk at lunch. So in general I have a tendency to become very stagnant, while I walk around some, its only ever 30 seconds at a time going to the printer etc, not enough to get the blood flowing before it’s back to the standing. Any suggestions/ideas are appreciated.

  21. I work from home and use a kneeling chair. I converted to that after realizing I was slouched down for 8 hours a day with the keyboard at chest level. Slugdom was in my future. I’ve used a kneeling chair for about 8 years, now. You can’t ‘sit’ in the kneeling chair for more than an hour without discomfort. So you are forced to get up and move around. I also put on a pedometer every morning and make every attempt to log 10,000 steps (5 miles). After seeing this video, I think I may convert to a standing/treadmill desk. For the desk, I would just buy a tall heavy duty fold up table like the ones I use in my painting studio. I do most of my painting, standing. I store all data online, so don’t need a desk with storage. For now, I need to use the current set up until end of life – a few more years. Thanks for this info!

  22. The whole time I was watching the video I was thinking I want to work for Mark! 🙂

  23. Cool video. I like the new use of the format. Do you know where that pull up station is from? I’ve been trying to find a cheap flexible format to use at my apartment, but everything is huge and expensive.

  24. Love the leaning lotus chair – hope someone posts a DIY version to Instructables soon for those of us who can swing the $690 for it.

    1. Search “human kickstand” if found a bit of images. Maybe an instructable is already in the works.

  25. A few months ago I purchased an Ergotron WorkFit-S Combo LCD and Laptop Sit-Stand Workstation (http://www.provantage.com/ergotron-33-340-200~4ERGT0KU.htm) that clamps to my desk and supports my keyboard and Mac Thunderbolt monitor, plus a worksurface. A fraction of the cost of most other stand-up solutions.

    I quickly switch between standing, sitting, and perching (with a straight back) on a draftsman stool with circular footrest that cost under $100. The pain I used to feel in my hips toward the end of the day is gone. As a 61-year-old software engineer, I was getting worried about being unable to do my job. This has removed that worry (now I just worry about competing with others less than half my age).

  26. I made a DIY standing desk and it gave me terrible tendonitis in my mouse arm after about 6 weeks of use. I have to refigure some things–it’s difficult to figure out the best ergonomic placement and where everything should be. But the first fews weeks before the pain set in I felt invincible and wonderful!

    There are a million DIY standing desks instructions out there, but this is one of the best I’ve seen–both for money and aesthetics:

    http://kotaku.com/how-to-build-a-healthier-pc-gaming-table-for-under-200-510211038

  27. Excellent information. I’ve heard exercise balls are a good replacements for chairs. Mark, do you have more information on this topic?

    Thanks,

  28. Hi Mark,

    Great video on your office and the benefits and use of stand up desks. I’ve been using a stand up desk for a few months and as its my home office keeping it on the cheap side.

    Check out this Youtube link for a $28 stand up desk set up from Ikea that goes on top of an existing desk.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykGspcKFlTg

    Best,
    Mark

  29. i have a stand-up computer station and a sit down desk for paperwork – wish i had that chair leaning post thing mark has thats awesome

  30. http://iamnotaprogrammer.com/Ikea-Standing-desk-for-22-dollars.html

    I used the link above as a guide to make a modification to my current workdesk to make a standing desk. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE!!

    I have been using it for about 2 months now and am beyond happy with the decision. I also have a table in my office I can use on the rare day I don’t have meetings. Otherwise I use my meetings as my sitting times and my desk is standing.

  31. Well Mark if you work mostly from home and can take as many breaks as you want because your are the boss, then I imagine the bees are taking as many as they want as well since you aren’t there to watch them 🙂 Go bees!

    I enjoyed the peek at “Primal HQ”.

  32. Desk dancing! Crafted a standup using a small coffee table in the corner of my L-shaped monstrosity. Bonus storage space under the table. No treadmill – just good tunes and happy feet! And, fortunately for all, a private office.

  33. Love these videos. I think this was the first full 7 minutes I’ve spend on your site. keep the videos coming!

  34. I love the idea of the Treadmill Desk. I already had a treadmill in the basement that was collecting dust so I could not personally justify buying another treadmill just to make a desk. So I used the treadmill and designed my own desk from parts I bought at Ikea. I finished it last Thursday and I love it. Here is a link to a picture I posted on Pinterest. The total cost of the parts I bought at Ikea was around $200.

    http://pinterest.com/pin/454371049876224942/

  35. i have a height adjustable desk (my department bought me one when i broke my tailbone and could not sit). push of a button i am standing. then back down when i need to….but never into an office “task” chairs. i use a balance ball for sitting. i have found that i have improved posture, i feel better, AND, i SWEAR by this, my productivity increased (less time reading paleo and crossfit blogs!). my office has since committed to buying height adjustable desks for anybody interested. the investment in employee health is one of the reasons i work here!

  36. Great video Mark. I made a stand up desk about nine months ago and I love it. I work in a hospital so I got an older bedside table that was going to be tossed when we uprgraded one of our surgical units. The height can be adjusted and has wheels I can lock into place. My monitor came on a movable arm but I was able to mount it on my desk hutch and adjust the height as needed. Works great!

  37. Years ago I was in a car accident and it was very hard for me to sit. So I makeshifted a stand up desk. Just added boxes and items underneath my laptop.

    About 5+ years later, the trend of stand up desks started. Just like your worker, once my back was stronger, felt better, I couldn’t imagine going back to sitting all day. In fact, it was very hard for me to concentrate when I did have to.

    I encouraged bosses to let me make my own, so it wouldn’t cost them anything extra and they didn’t care as long as I got the work done.

    People thought I was weird, but this was my lifestyle anyway: I ate standing, watched t/v standing, etc so me standing was more normal than sitting.

    I do agree that standing all day is a bit hard – but I am so energetic, so I am constantly moving around or walking around.

    Being an entrepreneur, you can get creative with your desk workstation area in terms of how you build one. You can get one of the premade ones and spend a lot of money, or you can just get a high table and makeshift from there.

    The Locus one you have is quite expensive. It’s just an architecture table but a tiny bit smaller in size. Not impressed at all, because it doesn’t even come with drawer attachments.

    You can get an architecture table for less than $300 in most places, so not sure why you would spend all that money Mark. You could get bed risers to put under the architecture table legs to make it higher if you want. Bed risers are $24 for 4. So you can do all this and do it ‘perfect’ for less than $350, and probably cheaper if you get stuff on sale.

    I went to Ikea, got the table top I wanted, got the legs that expand the most, and just use apple’s laptop holder on top of something to make my laptop as high as I want, use my angled laptop holder so the keyboard is angled and the screen is higher, and I now have a very nice desk area with lots of space and this all cost me less than $300.

    I would never do the treadmill thing b/c I don’t want to focus on walking, I want to focus all my attn on what I am doing. To some extent, I would have to think some of your concentration or focus or energy is being expended in the walking, and walking straight, and with somewhat good posture. I take my walks daily, and get plenty of exercise.

    You do make a good point about the weight shifting thing. I have found myself doing that a lot, so now I will just make sure to move around a bit more for breaks.

    The best benefits of stand up desks are increased energy, focus, forcing you to stand up taller and you are burning more calories by standing vs sitting 🙂

  38. Thanks Mark,
    loving your videos. I have been using a stand-up desk for over a year now and it has been amazing. I would wish for more employers to offer it to their staff for a generally healthier and probably happier workforce!

  39. I am currently hunched over a desk reading this right now; I’m not sure if it’s possible to be wanting a standing desk setup more than I currently want one! I tend to suffer from back pain if I am coming off of my 3 day on workout cycle of major lifts and cardio. I’ll be giving a standing setup a shot here in a week or so once I get the required supplies. Thanks so much Mark!

  40. I was interested in Treadmill desks for a long time but had a lot of trouble committing to buy one. So at the beginning of the year I got a used (but good condition) treadmill and just took the arms off and put together a desk area with some saw horses and boxes. Whenever I make the time I plan on building a more permanent solution, but for now this thing has been awesome. I set it up with my laptop too, so if I do need some time when I’m not standing/walking I can do that too. The Focal desk seems really cool as well though, maybe I can try and include something like that in my final design.

    My desk (a bit messy, correction a lot messy): http://i.imgur.com/rNzI6d9.jpg

  41. Just literally figured out a way to set up my own stand up desk!! That was easy, thanks Mark!

  42. Before buying a treadmill desk I tried just about everything to help with my back trouble. The Swiss ball, executive chair, saddle chair (expensive), and stand up desk didn’t produce the desired results. As an academic, my job made me either sit at a desk or stand to lecture.

    The stand up desk promised a lot, but I’m not sure it was good for my legs. So when I read about the treadmill desk, I went all in and decided I wouldn’t cobble one together: I bought the Infiniti 1200 for my home office. Now I do all my non-lecturing work at home, switching between sitting at a small computer desk, standing, and walking an hour or two (sometimes more) each day. I’m pretty sure I haven’t lost any productivity because while it can be hard to write while walking, walking seems to even out my energy (ie focus) through the day.

    The only issue seems to be that certain muscles get used more than they like, and so stretching is mandatory.

  43. I’m wondering if there’s anything negative about walking on the same flat surface (treadmill) all day? I know I feel worlds better if I’ve been walking on a pathed path for a while and switch to something a little uneven.

  44. Do any of you with standing desks use a graphics tablet? That’s been the one thing holding me back from rigging one up as I work almost exclusively with the tablet. At the moment, the tablet’s on my lap, the keyboard & monitor on my desk. (I’ve been working that way for over a decade, & it’s much easier on the wrists than using a mouse.) Not quite sure how that would translate. But I love my standing drawing table so much, it’s starting to make me dread computer time!

  45. Please. #1 over the long run this will do the same thing as all treadmills, I don’t care how “padded” it is, give you repetitive stress syndrome, knees, back, hips, shins. #2 don’t tell me that if you have more than the most clerical of jobs you can really get anything done on that thing … write code, architect a system, do web design, etc. Standing at a tall table to do stuff, sure, that’s sane and a good thing to do for periods of time.

  46. Thanks Mark for sharing this awesome video. Many peoples are working in their office without any body movement in a whole day. This is very bad for their health. You posted some fantastic techniques of working. I hope many people will be benefited from your article. Thanks again.

  47. There was no point even asking my bosses for a stand-up desk (others have tried, the cost is considered prohibitive) so I improvised one from a dis-used cupboard placed sideways on top of my regular desk with computer screen on top. It’s not ideal cos there’s not a lot of room for keyboard/mouse/notepad/etc and I can’t get a stool tall enough to have sitting breaks on. Even so, I love it! It’s crazy to me how slowly this is being adopted. The information about how bad for us sitting is has been around for years.

  48. I take a 5 minute walk every 40 minutes, and a 1 minute pushup or squat break (with water) every alternate 40 minutes. that works out to 4 walks in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.

  49. I bought a cheap standing desk platform on Amazon (about $70) that I put on top of my traditional desk at the office and it works great. I also work from home, where I bought a “Surf Shelf” on Amazon for $39 that attaches to my existing treadmill and now I can walk and work for as many hours as I like.

    Two days ago I clocked in 17.8 miles of walking. WHILE WORKING on my computer.

  50. Wow the treaddesk sounds really great! It’s too bad in my office that everyone would look at me pretty strange if I started working while walking at my desk. They’d think I’m nuts! Really neat idea though, might be worth it for an at home office even. Thanks!

  51. I happen to have a bookcase in both my home and work office. It’s just the right height (I’m 5’8″) to type on a computer resting on it’s top. All I have to do is move the laptop back and forth between it and the desk. I find I do things like read e-mail and conference calls standing up, design type stuff sitting down. It breaks up the day nicely.

  52. I’ve been standing for a lot of months now. My sit-down desk was a hollow-core door on two two-drawer filing cabinets. I bought two $5 plastic crates, and stood on end they provided the perfect height. I work at home and am crowding 75 years old. I stand most of the morning and then spend most of the afternoon with my iPad and Kindle in my recliner. Exercise consists of daily joint rotations and a brief walk outdoors or on an 8-degree-incline treadmill.

  53. I actually own a used office furniture store in Utah and have found 5 of the Steelcase Sit-to-Walkstations that sell new for $4500. I’m going to be selling them for $1,099, which is still pricier than a do-it-yourself set up, but they are practically new so they should last at least ten years or more. I’m not sure how many people here may want one, but feel free to reach out to me and maybe shipping will make sense for you.

    I’ve noticed that when I am in stressful conversations I really prefer walking, as it helps my mind focus. I just have a hard time imagining typing while walking, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

    1. Ha, the stand looks pretty good, but when I went to the Amazon link, the “Customers also bought” section included a giant box of assorted snack chips!! A bit counterproductive, perhaps? 😀

  54. That’s a pretty awesome way of getting exercise while still working at your desk! Haven’t actually seen one in person yet, but it would be cool if more workplaces started using them. Sitting at your desk all day for work is so unhealthy!

  55. The future office could be a Segway with a large tablet…
    Standing up and getting around in one package…

  56. I actually have a stand up desk, not a treadmill desk, just stand up. It has made a WORLD OF difference in my life. I used to not only feel incredibly lazy and guilty for sitting for a majority of my day thanks to working on my computer most days but it also started causing back pain. Now that I have been standing in front of my computer for almost two years now, no more back pain! It’s amazing!

  57. Also to help with my feet and legs from standing all day, I purchased acupuncture magnetic insoles. Amazing!!!! I bought them on amazon.

  58. Love the concept but not sure I could type at optimal speed whilst using the TreadDesk – needs a bit of co-ordination!

    Generally liking the setup at MDA offices!! – could consider a few more green plants for the mental benefits though =)

    If sitting at a desk (like most of us) a small change I like to make is tennis-ball rolling with my shoes off. Therapeutic!

  59. I have designed an adjustable Stand-up/Sit down workdesk which will be significantly more affordable than what is on the market at present. Currently, I am evaluating a desktop mounted prototype, but there will also be wall mounted & free standing versions – watch this space…

  60. I’ve long been a fan of standing and working. I swear I think more clearly while standing! But I also live in tight quarters and don’t have room for a special desk of any kind (standing or sitting). I got a high-top table to use for mealtimes, and when I work at home, I just move one of the barstools out of the way and stand at my dinner table. It’s just the right height for me.

  61. I’ve been using a stand up work station on and off for a year. I had to stop for several periods of time when I injured and re-injured my foot and ankle. I made the station from boxes. I use the box from my printer (on it’s side) to hold my monitor, one box to house the mouse and another box to hold the keyboard. It’s taken some tweaking to get the height and ankle right.

    After watching your video, I think my keyboard was too low and that was what was aggravating my wrists. I’m hoping a book under the keyboard will give me the right height.

    Great video! Not sure if I could put in a treadmill and still focus on all of the mental work while walking.

    Rachel

  62. I requested a VariDesk from my VP right before I left for a crossfit competition. To my surprise, it was delivered within a few days. I love this thing! My posture has improved, my shoulders and back are not as sore, my productivity has gone up, and by raising only part of my desk, I can use the rest of it to eat/read papers/take phone calls that requires note taking. The only thing that took some getting used to was my feet… the tissue in my feet was not used to standing all day, and I got pretty sore. I have since added a yoga mat for intermittent standing and a lacrosse ball for massage. My co-workers are envious and most have talked about how they think sitting all day is hurting them.

  63. I love my standup desk and have been using both a mini elliptical for quite awhile and a balance disc that I stand on with one leg or two and have noticed a great improvement in balance and flexibility. Thanks Mark.

  64. For super-entry-level experimentation with standing, before working on (& investing in) tread-desking, I spent $15 (YES FIFTEEN DOLLARS) on a ‘tall’ plate shelf (10″) from the Container Store. Its 4 little rubber feet sit squarely on top of my (square, flat) printer and, with the regular height desk (30″) gets my laptop, which just fits the plate shelf, to elbow-height (I’m 5’5″ish). I wrote an entire paper (12,000 words) on that apparatus this summer and it was great! Definitely found the limits and downsides of standing too long & so broke it up with leaning on a barstool now and then, but I know now that I can and want to do this. The space on my desk where I used to sit is still availabe for sitting, and I found I went back and forth between writing and checking source texts, a great way to break it up. Mt laptop is very happy having all that air under it as well. Next up: a double-wide conductor’s music stand from Manhassat ($123) to expand my eye-level work surface.

  65. Can you please tell me where I can find video of Mark’s PEMs video workout. Thanks

  66. Hi Moderator, One more note to my previous comment. TO be successful with a treadmill desk and/or standup desk its crucial people get their monitors up to height and their keyboards also to the correct height. The top of the monitor should be 1″ below eye level and the keyboard shuld be 1″ below palms WHILE the elbows are at 90 degrees. Most standup desks do NOT go up high enough for anyone over 5’10” to achive these relationships in height but simple monitor stands and props can get thes heights right. I can’t emphasize how important it is for peopel to feel comfortable and want to work standing or walking. ONe can also prop up their stand up desks at teh base to add the 6″ or so needed to work on a treadmill.
    Whateever people do, GET UP AND MOVE.