In January 2014 I will have been using a standing desk as my main desk for three years. Here are three tips I’ve learned along the way to make your endeavors with a standing desk a success.
I currently use a padded mat and have soft shoe inserts (cheap ones from Target). For my first 8 months at a standing desk I wore Converse on a concrete floor. My feet and knees hurt so bad by Thursday I often had to sit down. I have since moved to a carpeted office, bought a mat, and have softer shoe inserts. I no longer have that pain in my feet at the end of the week/day.
Some people think that because you have a standing desk you can’t sit down. You should make sure your desk has the ability to adjust for sitting or your chair can raise high enough to comfortably let you sit. I had back problems going into year three and had to sit for about a month to recover. Week to week I probably sit 10-20% of the time just to change my position. It’s OK to sit down if you want to. Making standing a requirement, for me, made my brain reluctant to do it. Having the option to sit made me want to stand all the more.
Finally, this is the most important piece of advice. Always start your day standing. If you start off sitting your day will be over before you remember to stand up. The best way I have found to start my day standing is to move my desk/chair into standing position before I leave work at the end of the day. That way, in the morning I don’t have to move anything out of the way to stand and it would take me extra effort if I wanted to sit. By simply starting your day standing you will easily go 1/2 the day without even realizing you wanted to sit down.
Good luck with those New Year’s resolutions and leave a comment if you have any other tips for being successful at a standing desk. If you don’t yet have a standing desk you should check out my old articles on how to buy or build a standing desk and how to modify your existing desk into a standing desk.