Are you comfortable? Well, stop and get up. It will give you a better idea of the article in front of you.
Our editor Paul Hood recently decided to give up the sedentary lifestyle on the chair for one in which you are literally standing all the time. «I am aware that I can spend up to ten hours a day sitting down and clearly this is not healthy. I also recently received a fitness-tracking watch (Fitbit Blaze) and there is no way to reach the recommended 10,000 steps per day if I stay up all day. I wanted to see what it’s like to work standing up. «
A standing Varidesk office has been properly delivered and has been in use for six months. During this time, he never came back and overtook me in a 10K race, so it seemed like the time to try. At least he gave me an office for the first time in my life.
Apple CEO Tim Cook described the settlement as the «new cancer» and while it’s a bit hyperbolic, there’s no doubt that we should all try to be a little more active in our sedentary lifestyle. In turn, I spend most of my day at home, in bars and restaurants, on the subway or at my office. The wallpaper changes; position no.
The scientific literature on the benefits of standing desks, instead of sitting on a chair, is rarely frustrating. A article earlier this year analyzed 20 studies examining the benefits of standing offices and concluded that: “The quality of evidence was very low to low for most interventions, mainly because the studies were very poorly designed and had too few participants. We conclude that there is currently very low quality evidence that sitting and standing offices can reduce short-term workplace sitting. «
I think it’s up to me and Paul to think, so …
How is the construction?
Varidesk is basically a desk to sit on top of your existing desk, essentially increasing the height to make it natural for you to stand up and raise everything at eye level. It consists of two parts, one for keyboard and mouse and one for monitor. You can keep it on at any time so you can easily return to a sitting desk if your feet are protesting against overtime standing.
The construction is solid and comes fully assembled, ready to be placed directly on your existing desk. To fit most office furniture, it is made of a neutral black plastic, although a white version is available if you want something more attractive.
The top of the desk is quite spacious, but since it is an extension of an existing desk, you lose easy access to drawers and space under your existing desk.
Living with Varidesk
Whether or not using a standing desk is good for my health, what I found in the very short term was that it seemed beneficial to my productivity. There is something about the stay mentality that makes you feel analogous to relaxation, subconscious or not. The feeling is certainly not present with a desk standing and, at least for me, I felt I was doing a lot. In part, this may be because you feel that the sooner you finish your work, the sooner you can rest your legs and sit down. But I’m wondering here, obviously.
What is amazing is that the body can be taught to handle a remarkably fast standing desk. I woke up adjusting after just a few days and it was pretty easy for me to stand for hours on the weekends. This was also discovered by Paul after six months: “I am so happy that I moved to a standing office. It only took me a few days to get used to it and now I can’t imagine sitting in the back all the time. There are still many meetings I go to, where I take a break to sit. Psychologically, I think standing while working has become more focused while I’m at the office. I certainly feel less fun from the ever-present temptation to watch an interesting piece of news or a tweet in an involuntary 30-minute distraction.
Is it worth investing in a permanent office?
At present, it seems that a standing office can be beneficial to your health, but there is not enough literature to confirm its great benefit. In part, it’s probably because most of us, including myself now, when the experiment is over, stay in most of our work days. Most offices are not designed to be stand-up environments. In my turn, a permanent change would see me sitting in the middle of an office bench and, honestly, I don’t like to stand out so much.
The beauty of Varidesk is that it allows you to easily switch between sitting and standing, making the transition relatively smooth. However, it costs: depending on the size and number of surfaces you need, prices range from 150 GBP to 500 GBP.
Offices are one of those things that can be bought very cheaply or at a high cost, so I can’t really advise you on this front, but what I’m going to say is that Paul hasn’t shown any signs of coming back since he started, and I certainly felt more alert and functional when I used it. The real health benefits or not, are definitely something to say for the psychological benefits of getting out of the chair and sitting on your feet for a while.