I’ve Had a Standing Desk for 4 Years and This Is How I Feel About It

I've Had a Standing Desk for 4 Years & This is What I Think About It

A little over four years ago when I opened my studio in Georgetown (which I recently closed, tear) I knew I wanted a standing desk.

My inspiration was my husband. He had switched to a standing desk at work and liked it and I had been sitting while working for 8 years and I just felt like my legs were like noooooooo. So I got standing desks for my new office.

I also got comfortable bar stools and we had two other regular tables and chairs for those that weren’t interested in standing, but surprisingly, a lot of the women who worked at my studio would stand.

I took to standing right away and loved it. I legs felt liberated! I hoped over the course of a year that standing would completely change my body and I’d have these amazingly toned legs just from standing, but I’ll tell you that that did not happen. Ha! Wishful thinking. Even four years into it, just standing alone probably isn’t going to massively change your body. But it might make you feel a lot better.

Now that I’ve had the option of standing, and usually stand for at least half of the day or longer, I tend to prefer it in a lot of non-work situations. I don’t sit as much anymore in general.

For me it has made my legs feel so much better. When I was sitting all day every day they just felt heavy and they would tingle and go numb and I would just feel blah. Now after standing for a few hours, I can sit without guilt, and it feels good versus making me feel gross.

I’ve also figured out that there are certain tasks I prefer to do sitting, and others that I prefer to do standing. I can write either way, but if it’s something long and involved I usually prefer to sit when writing. When I’m doing my bookkeeping or prepping for taxes or checking up on all of my invoices I prefer standing.

I actually think it’s good to go between the two depending on what I need to do and how my body is feeling about it.

After four years I can tell you that I always want the option to stand. When I moved into my new home last summer and I was working from home more often, I couldn’t stand all the sitting, so I ended up getting a standing desk for my home office.

There still isn’t much science behind standing desks. You only burn a little more calories per hour standing versus sitting, however, when you stand you tend to move around a lot more and those calories aren’t taken into consideration.

Before you fully switch you should know that it really all depends on your body and what feels good to you. You don’t want trade some problems for others, but for me it’s only been good.

I recommend getting an anti-fatigue mat to stand on. It makes SUCH a big difference versus standing on a hard floor. Also I stand in comfortable flats or very low chunky heels or boots. At home sometimes I’m barefoot on my mat or in my slippers. I think switching up your shoes is also good unless you wear tennis shoes every day.

If an anti-fatigue mat kills your aesthetic vibe, just put a cute rug on top of it and get even more cushion.

I also have a stool to sit on when I feel like sitting, or I’ll just move to a regular table and chairs. Don’t feel like you have to stand all day every day. You will probably want to start slow and work up to longer days standing. Just do what feels right for your body.

At home I have this standing desk. It’s affordable, but for my height it’s actually a little too short (it’s 36″ high, technically a tall counter table), so I have to put my big iMac on several books and my laptop on top of a box for it to be high enough for me. I’m 5’7 so if you are closer to 5’1 or so, it might be perfect for you. You don’t want to be straining your neck up or down, and you want your arms to feel comfortable on your keyboard. I also have separate keyboards if I need them at a different height.

When looking for a standing desks, honestly a lot of them are really ugly. There are also adjustable desks that you can move up and down when you want to go between standing and sitting. So depending on how tall you are, you will want to pay attention to the height of the desk.

Back when I was looking there weren’t many standing desk options at all, so I looked at bar tables. This is still something I do to this day when looking at standing desk options because I find them to be much more chic than the desk options. Not counter height tables, but bar or pub tables. If you are short a 36″ counter height table might work for you, but for most people you will want something taller.

Also, know that there is a difference in counter stools and bar stools — bar stools are taller. So you’ll want to get the right one for the size of table you get if you want a stool as an option. If you don’t have another desk or table to work from I recommend having the option to sit at your standing desk.

The standing desks at my office are these ones and they are the perfect height for me. I also love how simple and chic they are. Four years later, I still love them! Also, just FYI, they are so much cheaper than they used to be! When I got them they were around $1,000 each.

If you only have a small space and don’t want to fully replace your desk, or you work from your dining table, you can always just get a small pub table to tuck into a corner, or you can get an adjustable standing desk converter (not cute, but functional) that just houses your laptop. If you have a laptop and no extra keyboard this might not work as usually you will want your keyboard to be lower, but again, just test out what works for you, your body, your space, and your budget!

One thing to keep in mind though is the angle of your neck, you don’t want to strain your neck!

To prop up a monitor or laptop on a counter height table you can always use large coffee table books, boxes, or even an acrylic riser (another option here).

If you use or have used a standing desk, tell me your experience below so others can read as well!

STANDING DESKS & ACCESSORIES

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Photo by Emma Weiss