Last week was part 1 of my talking about sitting vs. standing vs. movement. This week, we conclude with my journey to researching standing desks and implementing one(Varidesk), into my daily lifestyle.
Although I’ve been a desk-bound worker all my professional life, it seems that there used to be plenty of opportunities to get up and move about the office, making copies, picking up documents, faxing, going here and there, etc. This was all before computers! People actually got up and walked down the hall to talk and meet with each other! Now, it seems everyone has a personal printer by their desk, you can fax and chat from your computer and who needs snail mail anymore! There’s a lot less movement in the office.
With all the new tools, office workers can sit for hours at a time, not needing to get up to accomplish tasks that used to be completed by walking. I think all this constant immobilization has made standing desks and even treadmill desks so popular recently.
When I moved from a corporate office, (with many opportunities for getting up and going to another office, down the hall or out to lunch), to my home office, my movement really decreased. I did keep up my aerobics and walking my dog, so that helped. Then when I hung out my own shingle, I was really desk-bound. Being a Virtual Assistant meant most of my communication with clients or my work for clients was from my computer – not much away time from my desk.
That’s when I really started feeling that I was sitting waaay too much. I have a really nice Herman Miller Aeron chair and sitting in that for long periods of time was not comfortable anymore. I’d switch it with another office chair I have, I tried some seat cushions, but it wasn’t enough and I didn’t get much relief.
It was then I started thinking about standing desks and I knew a few people who had tried them or were using them and really liked them. To try it out, I did my own low-tech version. I took a Kleenex box and put it on my desk. Then I put my keyboard on that and my mouse next to it. I use a dual monitor setup and I did have to crane my neck down a bit to see the screen while typing. I did like standing and it wasn’t too bad. I did that for several months while I was doing some reading and research.
I did look into the Ikea $22 dollar solution, but I didn’t want to be locked into standing all day. I knew that wouldn’t be good for me and I wouldn’t like it either. There are a lot of chairs now for standing desks, but they don’t look very ergonomic to me. There were other solutions that were pretty expensive and I didn’t want to spend that much.
That’s when I found the VariDesk, via my friend Kristen, whom I mentioned last week. So I had the advantage of being able to see one before buying! I decided on the Varidesk Pro (the one with the keyboard tray). I instantly liked the fact that it was easily raised and lowered. I didn’t have to get a desk to fit it, it just fit on top of my desk. It was all one piece, so nothing to put together! I have a desktop computer that sits on the floor and it’s connected to the 2 monitors and my mouse. My cables were long enough even when the desk was raised, but that’s something to think about when you’re getting a Varidesk. You may need to purchase longer cables. The unit is extremely heavy – 75 lbs. I think.
I’ve had mine for nearly a year now and do still like it and use it. The standing doesn’t replace moving though. I still try to take some 5 minute movement breaks throughout my day because standing is still pretty motionless, although more than sitting.
Since I’ve purchased my Varidesk, they’ve come out with several more models, they have an App that reminds you how long you’ve been sitting or standing and they have a good blog. This article talks about some exercises you can do while standing at your desk.
Your health is your responsibility. Do your own research and choose something that’s good for your body.