Standing desks - are they worth it?
9th May 2018
From impromptu DJ sets to postural improvement, here's what happened when Charlie Bond started using a standing desk
I spend a lot of time hunched over my computer, or sitting in the car and as a result my back is in pretty bad shape. I see an osteopath every few months, do a bit of yoga and try to stretch where possible - but short of leaving my job for a desk-free life, what's a girl to do?
I briefly considered a career as a yoga teacher before remembering that I can't actually touch my toes - so then I did the next best thing - got a standing desk.
The Varidesk Pro Plus 36 just slots on to your current work space and then all you have to do to turn it from a seated desk to standing isstand up (and pull a couple of levers at the sides).
I tried it for a couple of months - here's what happened
My daily steps went up
Normally, I'm pretty far off the mark when it comes to hitting my Fitbit's daily step goal, but when standing I found it a lot easier to get some extra steps in - partly just from moving more while I was at my desk, but also because when I was already standing I was more motivated to walk about (even if half the time it was to the kettle)
Other people got used to the idea (eventually)
At first, my colleagues thought the idea was quite unusual and I got a lot of jokes about doing a DJ set. But, after a while of me standing and peering out over them at random intervals throughout the day, they got used to it - in fact, a couple of them even liked the idea so much they wanted to get them for themselves.
When considering one of these you do have to take into account the available workspace around you - our office is quite compact so sometimes I did feel like I was encroaching on co-workers' personal space when the desk was fully extended, so that's something to be mindful of - if you were getting one of these for home though then there'd be no problems (although I'm sure my cats would climb it!)
I had to (try and) learn to be tidier
The trouble with this desk is it mostly works if you're a tidy personwhich I am not. My workspace is littered with magazines, notebooks and beauty products - and obviously, each time you want to extend or retract the Varidesk, these things have to come too. Or, they fall off and get trapped beneath.
My workflow changed
Oddly, I found myself more motivated and having more creative ideas when standingbut I struggled to actually write anything of length. A lot of my job is sending emails, and standing at my desk and writing these was fine, but when it came to penning longer feature articles I still preferred to sit down - standing tended to make me more creative but also more easily distracted!
My back pain improved
Pretty quickly after starting to use the standing desk, my back pain lessened. Because the desk is fairly easy to manoeuvre up and down, when I started to feel a twinge in my back, I'd move to standing for a while and started to notice a real difference. I also experienced less headaches which I think all comes down to my change in posture. My osteopath noticed a difference too - last time I visited my alignment was much better than in previous appointments.