I’m now (mostly) chairless. I’m standing as I write this gear review. I finished my Two Week Standing Challenge with the DeskStand, and I’m a fully-fledged believer. I’m such a fan that I bought the review unit – I couldn’t let them take it back. I’ve become fond of my work partner and the smell of the Baltic Birch plywood and the smart design. This proudly South African product is designed by Ryan Roberts and is endorsed by chiropractors – it was also a hit at a recent Design Indaba. I’d been looking for a decent standing desk for the last few months after creating the 30 Second Squat Challenge, and most were either too expensive or badly made. After doing research for that challenge, I found a substantial amount of research that’s shown you’re sitting on a comfortable time bomb. Your harmless-looking chair is slowing down your metabolism, wrecking your posture and reducing your flexibility (among other things). If you want to find out more, check out this story. And this one. While you’re at it – check this one too.
Let me get something straight. I’m not advocating that you should stand for the WHOLE day. This is meant to get you to move a little more, and spend less time stuck in the same position. The best part of a standing desk is that it gets you to move: I find that I don’t stand stock still, I move from side to side and constantly change position – which is better than sitting for hours on end. It’s better to start your standing career just like you should with the rest of your fitness goals: incrementally. By making it a lifestyle choice. Start with one hour standing, and increase it by 10 percent a day. I still do sitting breaks throughout the day, and I spend my lunch time (and most of my meetings) in my old chair. But follow this routine and soon you’ll be standing more than you’re sitting, your metabolism will be burning more, and your hamstrings and lower back will start working with you – not against you. It may be hard to adjust to in the beginning, and yes, you may experience a little stiffness – but ask yourself, when last do you achieve anything worthwhile that didn’t require commitment and some discomfort? If you disagree – I’ll argue that whatever you achieved wasn’t actually worthwhile.
If you’d like to invest in one of these smart standing desks, check out DeskStand. The unit I bought was the Jumbo which retails at R1699 – I like the fact that it offered a little more stacking space than the Original. Delivery is free in city centres. If you don’t have desk to place the unit on, you can buy a freestanding option called the A-Stand.
The PROS: You’ll burn more calories daily. Your posture will be better. Long-term, it can help with your flexibility. For those with back pain, this could help. And I can’t promise this for everyone – but I don’t hit afternoon slumps anymore. See the infographic below for other benefits.
The CONS: Stiffness in the beginning. Breaking the habit isn’t easy. You may argue that R1699 is expensive, but think of it this way – when it comes to investments, this is like a decent mattress, you spend most of your life with it. The price is still equivalent to a nice office chair – you decide which is better for you.