The majority of the employees at Standee (myself included) are currently using the Standee Flex, our new electric height-adjustable standing desk that allows us to switch between standing and sitting throughout the day. However, there are some who use the Standee Classic XL with no stool for sitting. We call these few the “All-Day Standers.” Our accountant, Kyle, is one of the All-Day Standers. I sat down Kyle to learn about his journey switching to a standing desk and what led him to be an All-Day Stander.
When did you start standing? I have been standing for 2 years now.
What made you make the switch? The best answer is my overall health. I was trying to make a change because I had read a few articles about how sitting all day was the same as smoking 2 packs a day. I try to eat right and exercise, so the last thing I need is my desk job giving me heart problems. Turns out there were some other benefits that I was not expecting.
Previously, I was having problems with my lower back. I thought it was from surfing, yard work, or holding my kids, but it turned out to be from sitting in my chair all day. Shortly after the switch, my back pain went away and has not returned. Additionally, I used to “hit a wall” everyday around 2:30 pm when I was a sitter. I would feel exhausted. Then, by the time I got home, I needed to sit down to relax from my hard day of sitting. It seemed very normal to me at the time.
I don’t hit that wall any more. In fact, I feel pretty energized all day. When I get home, that last thing I want to do is sit down. Now, I roll in the door ready to play with kids. Lastly, I have read that standing all day all year is about the same a running 11 marathons a year. I’m not sure what that means, exactly, and I would not try to say I have lost weight from standing. However, I would argue that it seems much easier to maintain my weight with less fluctuation.
Did you hear about or consider a standing desk before Standee? Not really. The idea grew organically within our company. It may have been easier for me to switch, though, because I was able to recall what it was like before my corporate life started. Growing up, I had jobs were I would stand all day. Thinking back, it was never a problem before, so why not try it now?
Have you always stood all day since the switch to a standing desk? No. Initially, I tried using a yoga ball instead of a chair. This might be good exercise for some people, but sitting on a yoga ball is not much of a challenge for someone who sits and balances on a surfboard in the water. I tried this for about two weeks, but found that it was not a very good ergonomic set up and actually made my back problems worse.
Has standing had any effects (good or bad) on your work day? I am definitely more productive, specifically in the afternoons.
Any advice for those considering switching to a standing desk? Yes. Get a Standee Mat. You can do without it, but why? You can also run a marathon barefoot…
Do you have any pro tips for people who have recently made the switch? Sure. You might want to keep your chair or yoga ball handy for meetings with vendors. Standing is not yet the status quo in America and some people seem to be struggling with it. They are not sure if they should sit or stand in my office. I find it best to mirror their behavior. If they keep standing, so do I. If they pull out a chair, I sit on my yoga ball to make them more comfortable. Keep this in mind outside the office as well. I stand a lot now. In fact, the only time I sit is at meals and in front of the TV at the end of the night, which gets my body to get ready to go to sleep. It is a pretty fun social experiment. If you are going to a party for the big game this weekend, have some fun and try to stand and watch the whole game. Some people won’t even notice, but others will be very bothered by it.