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Friday, April 13, 2012

About Standing Desks

I've never heard of "standing desk" until I read @ppearlman's blog post today.  On the other hand, I just realized I've been using one for weeks.

In my office I have an LCD TV on the wall above the bookcases.  One day after I replaced my old Dell XPS 400 desktop PC with a new one, I thought I'd use the old PC as a "media PC" using the TV as the display.  I can play DVD's, view videos and photos with my family, gain an extra PC desktop, etc.  One thing that worked out really well was that I was able to use the old monitor stand as is, for its sliding tray for keyboard and mouse.  The keyboard is positioned at just the right height (with the bookcases being the standard 36" you can probably guess my height, ha!)

As the old PC still contains most of my old files, I've had to access it quite a bit.  And in the process I fell in love with the setup so much that I actually  make conscious effort to use it more.  First, obviously I love the larger display.  Second, it is refreshing having to switch from prolonged sitting position to standing position from time to time, with the standing desk being just 2 steps behind my real working desktop.  By the way, this is my sitting desk in case you're curious.  And you can rightfully imagine that it's normally a bit more messy than this. Ha!

I didn't realize there are health benefits for standing desks, and that employees at Google and Facebook had to be "promoted" to use one.  I guess I should promote myself and use it a lot more regularly!

By the way, personally I feel it is in fact more tiring standing than walking/hiking.  Heels and ankles really get stiff quickly and I'd need to alternate my standing leg and perhaps stand my my toes for a change.    I wonder if there is a physiological reason for this.

UPDATE: My skepticism above was somewhat validated by Cornell University's take:
The use of a height adjustable worksurface for sitting and standing work is becoming fashionable. However, there is scant evidence that sit-stand furniture has cost effective benefits. The evidence suggests that there may be a reduction in back discomfort, but the research for this has not used adequate comparison groups (e.g. testing people who stand for the same time at the same frequency without doing keyboard/mouse work). There is no evidence that sit-stand improves wrist posture when keying or mousing. Logically, the real benefit of sit-stand is just that, changing between sitting and standing. But standing in a static posture is even more tiring than sitting in a static posture, so movement is important. We recommend that the most cost effective way to obtain the benefits from sitting and standing is for people to sit in a neutral work posture and then intermittently to stand and move around doing other things, like filing papers, making phone calls, getting coffee, making photocopies etc.) rather than trying to keyboard or use a mouse while standing.


  1. Excellent job...Honestly, I will consider myself a CEO of multinational whenever I will be able to arrange all home accessories in such a way. LOLzzzz
    Your Ergonomic desks are covering up most of those things which seems to create a dirty look of house, including, CD's, Books, Books and Newspapers. I will try to copy your idea if I can :)

    1. I agree about the mess. It was back when we were cramped up in a small townhouse without a basement nor much storage space to speak off.

  2. I just read your blog and found it very helpful for those who are still looking to know the benefits that are associated with using standing desks. While there are many different options available in the market so it is difficult for a user to buy the best one and if someone is looking for the best one then comfort and safety are the most important things to consider. If you are looking to buy the best one then you should take a look at this list of best chairs for standing desks. I bet you will find the best one for your needs on this link.

    1. Thanks for commenting and reminding me that I had this blog 5 1/2 years ago :) I ended up spending a few moments reminiscing the good old days because of it.

  3. Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article.
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