The Adventures Of a Standing Desk (a user story)

The Challenge Is On.

Recently I upgraded to a standing desk at my office. The switch was made easier by the fact that we now make our own line of standing desks at our business here in Oceanside California where we have a mill works facility.

While standing at my desk, a few other colleagues took interest in the experience. I have eagerly encouraged them to try a standing desk for a few days.

Here's the trick though - adjusting to a standing lifestyle at work does require an open mind and a commitment to success..

To help ease their transition, I have asked them to take the Standee Challenge.

The Challenge is to give Standee standing desk a 30 day test drive. They can love it or leave it at the end, but my guess is that they'll adapt nicely and appreciate increased energy and be happy to rid themselves of aches and pains associated with sitting in office chairs for prolonged periods of time.

Today,  I will deliver a new desk to my co-worker Kelly. We will get her set up, and I will update this blog regularly with progress reports.

While Kelly does make a trip to the gym daily, she also works for 8-12 hours a day and 95% of that is spent sitting at her desk. Kelly makes for an ideal Standee Challenge candidate because she is ready to take the leap and give it a try.

If the Standee Challenge goes well internally, we might consider opening the Standee Challenge to a limited number of people.

Would you be interested in the Standee Challenge program? I would love hear feedback.

Contact me here for more info.


Update 1: 04/12/13

It has been 24 hours since my co-worker Kelly started using her new Standee standing desk. I asked her to keep a brief record of changes, annoyances, and user recommendations as she entered the critical 72 hour period that often determines if a person will continue to use a standing desk at their place of business.

I helped her set the desk up and get situated.

One thing that I've noticed is that people with desktop computers that have the main CPU under their desk will usually need to move the CPU to provide enough cable length for their monitor(s) to be elevated up a foot or more.

Her report is as follows:

Standee Desk Test


Start Date: 4/11/2013 9:00 am


Set up:  Relatively easy.  Cleaning the existing desk took longer than set up.


Adjustments that worked for me – mentally and physically


1.     At first – Monitors were too low so I raised them up – much better - eye level seems to be ideal.


2.     Monitors are too close to me – so I need an extension for the keyboard or a deeper desk so I can push my monitors back.  I pushed them back as far as they could go but I have large dual monitors.


3.     I think this desk might be too short for me. 12” desk and I’m 5’8”.   Raising up the keyboard helped so my shoulders weren’t drooping. (we recommend a 14" if you are 5'8" and using a Standee Anti-fatigue mat which adds approx. 1" to your height.


4.     Slightly noticeable change when you take off your shoes. I wear sandals to work most of the time.  Ladies might need to watch their heel height with this desk or keep a pair of flats at the office.


5.     I’m starting a policy that whenever I’m on the phone I can sit on my old desk (2 hours into it I started this policy – might change but for a sales person – this is a great policy)


6.     Mentally the first few hours are trying.  You are out of your element. I’ve been at this sit down desk for 10 years and now it feels really different… Need to overcome the urge to go back to the old comfortable surroundings.


7.     You become pretty conscious of how you are standing. Am I slouching, are my shoulders back and square?  Tilting my pelvis helps relieve any pressure on my lower back and also improves my posture.  I also find myself balancing on one foot for fun.


8.     All of the jokes from my coworkers were fun today.  That would not have happened if I was sitting around all day.


9.     When I went to the gym at lunchtime I will admit – I chose to ride the Bike. I know cheater!


10.  It’s 5:00 and now I'm feeling really energized because it’s quittin time!


St        Standing Desk User Update: April, 16, 2013

       Kelly has made it past the vital 72 hour period that we recommend to adjust to the standing desk lifestyle. I must say that I have noticed that she does indeed have a bit more energy. I asked her to provide me with an update on her experience over the last week with her standing desk. She has done so in the paragraphs below.


       " So far I sort of like it but my inclination is that I would really like a cheat seat.  Standing all day is a bit of a stress on your lower back if you have any issues there.  One thing really good about standing is that it forces you to correct your posture.  It’s best to tighten your butt which tilts your pelvis forward which straightens you out pretty good.  There’s a plus for women because they are working their rear ends all day.  I actually feel it when I get up in the morning!  This also forces you to suck your stomach in – now that what I’m talking about!  What girl doesn’t want a tight butt and a flat stomach??
The Standee mat is so comfy that I don’t want my shoes getting in the way of a good feeling so I am barefoot most of the time.  I would not recommend a standing desk without this mat.  You won’t make it past day one!
I think that you have to make an effort to get through the first three days.  After that it’s pretty natural.  If you are lazy this will be a struggle but if you have any sort of energy and determination – you will be fine.  I keep reminding myself that I am burning calories all day long just by standing!  I also feel more active instead of passive – like I felt in a chair.  I also don’t have the lower back pain and shoulder pain that I experienced in the crappy office chairs we have here.  If you are near a window and appreciate your window (like I do) you get more of a view of the outside world – which to me is a real pick me up.
I think I’m a stander but I feel the cheat seat coming up.  The afternoons get a little rough especially since I go to the gym and work out for lunch.  That’s when you want to cheat the most! "

       Stay tuned for more updates from Kelly's adventure into the Standing Desk transition. I will report that she is standing today, so it must be going well. :)


Cliff C
Cliff C