My Experience Switching to a Standing Desk

Sitting kills. You’ve probably heard this by now, but I don’t think I can stress it enough. In fact, it can increase your chance of an early death by up to 40%. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to die 15 years early. So I decided to make the switch to a standing desk, thanks to my friends at UpDesk. UpDesk graciously agreed to let me take a powered standing desk to take for a spin. That means that it can convert into a sitting desk anytime I need to, which I’ve found very useful for transitioning towards a standing lifestyle. There are a few things I noticed about using a standing desk versus a sitting desk:
  • Get an anti-fatigue mat. It’s absolutely essential if you want to stand for long periods of time.
  • I have more energy when I’m tackling work. I feel more focused and more alert. I’m less lethargic.
  • I get off track less. When I’m standing, I’m almost always working, and I’m distracted less.
  • You can’t simply switch from a sitting desk to a standing desk. You have to build up your standing endurance first. It took me a couple of weeks before I could stand at the desk for an extended period of time. I keep my chair next to the desk so that I can switch from standing to sitting whenever I’m tired.
  • I still sometimes prefer to sit for long, involved tasks that require heavy concentration (like writing feature posts). However, I’ve found that I’m getting better at taking on these types of tasks while standing. I’m still not quite there, though.
  • It’s easier to take small breaks with a standing desk, rather than big breaks. You can simply walk away when you’re frustrated or in need of a quick mental recharge. With a sitting desk, it’s a bigger ordeal, even more than I realized.
  • I much prefer standing barefoot or with socks than with shoes. I get more direct support from the anti-fatigue mat by standing directly on it.
  • My endurance is definitely up overall.
The bottom line is that I’m absolutely thrilled with my standing desk. There’s no way I’m switching back, and all of my future offices will be equipped with a standing desk. (At some point, I’m going to follow Jeff Clavier’s lead and attach a treadmill to my desk.) I definitely recommend the switch, for your health and your focus. ~ Ben
  • greenmediadesigners

    I would love a standing desk. I often find myself placing my laptop on the counter and working as I stand to finish projects late at night.

  • Jon Cassidy

    I think it is essential to do this when being on the radio for concentration, speed (if something goes wrong) and it helps with my voice.

  • Zakaria Desai

    Hmmm. I think it requires a balance. Standing too long can also have some adverse effects. But generally yes, we do sit too much as a modern society and our pot bellies are testament to that.

    • Kamron Kunce

      I completely agree with you, Zakaria! Ben is using an UpDesk, which is height-adjustable. Height-adjustable desks prevent extended sitting and standing.

  • Anil


  • Dan

    Question – what brand of table or table legs is pictured?

  • Asghar

    any knee problems ?

  • mrnuts777

    I second the treadmill desk idea. I tried a plain standing desk for a while and found that I get very antsy and distracted. As soon as I got a treadmill and started walking at my desk, it felt much more natural and I was able to use it for longer periods of time. I documented my transition here is anyone’s interested:

    • Kamron Kunce

      Were you using a static standing desk? If so, that might explain why you were antsy and easily distracted. Ben is using an UpDesk, which is height-adjustable.

      It allows him to be at customized heights throughout the day. Remember, anything in excess can be harmful to the body. Finding the perfect balance of sitting and standing is key.

      Director of Social Media at UpDesk