About a fortnight ago three articles about standing desks all hit my Twitter feed from different directions. Since the article a few months ago about how sitting for more than three hours a day shortens your lifespan the idea of a standing desk has been lurking at the back of my mind. The appearence of these articles was the final push to give it a try.
The next day I was working from home so I took the opportunity to try out a makeshift standing desk. Here’s the mark one desk:
OK, so it’s a bit hacky. I didn’t really have an idea of the optimum height of things so the keyboard and mouse started out on top of two boxfiles and I added hardbacks to the pile until the height felt comfortable. Another layer of books went on the pile after I took the picture above.
Standing to work was more comfortable on my legs than I would have expected. The only aggravation that I had was to my wrist. The initial setup had the mouse too low which put my wrist at an odd angle. The later setup was an improvement, but the damage had already been done and mid-afternoon I was sitting to work again.
That weekend I tried a new setup in the study. The mark two desk:
This one is better. I’ve been working at it for two weekends and I’m typing at it now. It’s pretty comfortable, but not perfect. When we move house I’m going to have handyman husband build me a bespoke one. What I’ve learned from this one is that the keyboard level needs to come up two inches and the screen level eight inches.
The standing desk makes me shift my position an awful lot. And I take more breaks. I feel like all of these things are better for my health and energy levels, but I haven’t been able to quantify the effect it has had on my productivity. I’ve definitely got a lot done over the past couple of weekends, but would I have done less sitting down – I don’t know. However I am going to carry on with the experiment, at leat until we move.