The joy of standing(desk)

Long periods of sitting activity have various downsides that seriously impact our overall health, even if you exercise on a daily basis. One obvious way to reduce the risks associated with it is to, well, sit less. But how to do it when your work routine involves working with a computer in front of you or on your lap? You guessed right, use standing desk!

The story starts way, way back, to the time I’ve read a couple of articles about software engineers switching to standing desk setup and never going back. The idea sat in my backlog for some time, until a couple of months ago I decided to try it out. Naturally, I’ve done a lot of research on the topic, especially in regards to various variants available on the market, like desk add-on and standalone desk. As it turned out at the time, investing in a standing desk can get pricy and I didn’t want to spend too much money on the experiment.

Fortunately, companies nowadays and people behind them are very innovative and I was able to find relatively inexpensive but functional, cardboard-based products, like Oristand ($25) and Australian Refold (~$150). I immediately fell in love with Refold’s product, as I wanted the extra mobility and the possibility of using it as a regular desk.

Refold's desk, Batman Edition

You might think the desk will fall apart fairly quickly, but that’s not the case. Refold’s solution can withstand up to 85 kg of weight and lasts for up to three years of folding, unfolding and everyday usage. Plus, you can customize the desk any way you want to, from stickers to full-blown painted ornaments. Mine has a cool, 3D-printed, jet-black Batarang on the front of it ;-).

How does it feel to stand the whole day? It’s surprisingly fun and keeps you active. In the beginning I had to switch leg positions quite often, but with time I got used to standing and either did that naturally or not at all. Ever since the switch, the desk became a hub for communication, since I didn’t have have to stand up just to talk with other people that came by. Conversations now simply feel natural.

One important piece of advice I have for people interested in standing desks is to start it slow and gradually make it to full standing cycle. It’s due to various reports of people getting injured when making the transition too radical. In my case I was able to switch without any issues.

The results of the experiment were positive enough to interest other Plooxies in standing desks, so we decided to spent some money on BEKANT, IKEA’s sit/stand desk priced at around $670. The product has electronically adjustable height, which made it perfect fit for our, not so now, silent room:

IKEA's BEKANT desk in normal and standing configurations

To be honest, though, I still prefer the Batman-themed Refold desk ;-)

Standing desks are affordable and can be even assembled using common materials, so you don’t have to spend tons of money to try this approach out. The standing routine itself is very easy to get used to, has many health benefits and is great for people being on the move. Overall, I can’t recommend standing desks enough. You should definitely add this item to your Bucket List!