Two weeks ago I began my stand up desk experiment, and I’m happy to report that the experiment was successful! I’m now keeping a stand up desk at work and another at home. I highly encourage all desk jockies to give it a try and let us know what they think. It was incredibly cost effective to modify my desks at home and at work. At home, I use my kitchen counter with laptop on plastic bin drawer purchased at Home Depot (an added bonus is that I store my desk supplies inside the bin). At work, I used some boxes and printer paper to move my keyboard and monitor to an appropriate height . I’m hoping to have facilities properly adjust my desk soon, but it’s a completely workable solution for now.
As a result of standing up all day, I definitely feel more creative, don’t have that mental slump in the afternoon or walk out of my office building perplexed that my body feels tired and sluggish even though I haven’t moved for eight hours. I move much more fluidly throughout the day. I’m constantly swaying from foot to foot and doing standing back bend stretches a few times a day. When my feet start hurting and I want to sit, I do the cha cha and laugh at myself. The increased looseness in my hips and lower back is remarkable. Throughout the day I work on engaging my core (take that, pouchy desk job belly! Get outta here!). At home, I’m much more conscious of the time I spend on my computer. I’m much more productive as a result: I’m more focused on getting work and personal tasks done, and spend less time diddling around on the internet.
So far the only downside has been the adjustment period. The soles of my feet felt sore, I need to wear my running shoes while working from home and did so twice at work during the first adjustment week, too. I ordered a pair of flats with much more cushion –my ballet flats weren’t going to cut it–and that made a big difference for week two. I was also remarkably more hungry and tired in the later evening.
If you’re taking the challenge to stand up, I’d encourage you to pick a week that’s on the lighter side for work deadlines and home commitments. Also, allow yourself planned sitting breaks. I started this the second week and it really helped. I’d actually go to our conference room, which is configured as a living room, and spend 15-20 minutes in the morning and afternoon (cheers to a wifi-enabled building!) working on the couch. Of course, I’d also sit while eating my lunch.
I’ll keep you posted on the additional calories burned per hour. Frankly, I’m not sure yet but given how much hungrier I was the first week, the supposed 50 additional calories per hour just might be true. Of course, I’ll be writing a victory post when my hip flexors finally loosen and my pouchy, desk job belly is no more.
Have you tried a stand up desk? Do you want to give it a try?