My Week At A Standing Desk

Have you ever tried a standing desk? We keep hearing about the negatives of sitting so our Marketing Director, Suzanne Kerpel, decided to take on the challenge of using a standing desk for one week. Read all about her experience below!

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A couple years ago Nilofer Merchant wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review saying, “Sitting Is The Smoking of Our Generation”. Finding a way to combat sitting habits has developed into a movement to change the way we spend our days and take care of our bodies. I’ve always been a pretty active person – running half marathons, playing soccer, and being active overall. But even with all of this, I sit in front of my computer for many hours during the workweek so the article really stuck with me.

According to the HBR, “After 1 hour of sitting, the production of enzymes that burn fat declines by as much as 90%. Extended sitting slows the body’s metabolism affecting things like (good cholesterol) HDL levels in our bodies. Research shows that this lack of physical activity is directly tied to 6% of the impact for heart diseases, 7% for type 2 diabetes…”

Our bodies were not designed for sitting 8 hours at a desk, and that is why taking walking meetings and using standing desks can help.

Recently I decided to test a standing desk for 1 week. There are a ton of options on the market for standing desks but to keep things simple I used an extra high table we had at the office and put my desktop on there. I used some extra boxes and magazines to prop up my screen at a comfortable height.

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The challenge with this setup is that I had no versatility, so anything that needed to be done at my computer required me to be standing. I made sure to have the setup ready on Friday afternoon so that I would have no excuses on Monday morning.

On Monday I got a lot of looks from my co-workers but overall everyone was intrigued about the setup. Throughout that first day, I only sat down during a couple team meetings and my lunch. I definitely appreciated those moments to sit!

As the week went on, my body started adjusting to the feeling of standing all day, my legs less tired and my mind feeling energized. Eventually I didn’t even need the breaks to sit down. It was not an easy challenge, but definitely one I enjoyed.

Of course by the end of each day, I was definitely happy to sit in my car. But overall, I felt strong and more productive because I didn’t want to waste any energy while standing.

I loved the experience at my standing desk for a week and definitely encourage you to try it! If you are interested in trying here are a few suggestions:

  • Try to make your desk versatile so that that you can easily change from standing to sitting and give yourself breaks as your body adjusts
  • Before investing in a professional standing desk, test it out with a lower budget version like mine so you can see if it is something you will really use
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Drink lots of water, it helps keep you hydrated and energized!
  • Caution: listening to music will make it easier for you to dance at your desk 😉

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Oh, and don’t forget to use compression leg sleeves! I wear them when we attend tradeshows and expos and stand for 8-hour days. They make a huge difference for tired and achy legs adjusting to long hours of standing. As I continue using my standing desk I will incorporate the compression leg sleeves into my wardrobe as a helpful tool.

Have you tried a standing desk or alternative to sitting? What was your experience?