My experiences with a sit-stand workstation

Several months ago I read an article about sit-stand work stations on lifehacker. It has my interest because I spend a lot of time behind my desk and also tend to have rather unhealthy attitudes to lie in my office chair. I decided to take the plunge and get a standing desk myself. Initially, I have been researching the internet for sit-stand desks that you can put in different positions. Nice, but expensive as well. Definitely too expensive for a trial period, since I still had no idea if I would like it.

Experience with a sit-stand workstation

When I read the initial article a bit better, I realised that this was just an Ikea Jerker desk. These haven’t been sold by Ikea for a while now, but are still offered on eBay for much less money than a new one. (They have a replacement by the way, it is called Fredrik, but I find that personally somewhat less useful because that hasn’t got those nice liitle sliding tops) At the same time I habe been looking for a perch stool, because sttanding the the whole day seemed a bit too much. This one took a little more effort to find, but in I finally got one for a £100.

After a day of driving around in Scotland to collect my stool and my desk and a few hours of putting it all together, I had my sit stand workstation ready to be used. The first hours were fine, after which the pain in my feet started. Fortunately I was warned by the first article that this could happen, so I decided to hang in there. And indeed, after a week or two I got used to it. I have been working standing now for just over 6 Months and I still like it.

It gives me a number of advantages:

  • If I have been working behind my computer the whole day, then in the evening I am not only tired in my head but also in my body. As a result, I feel more in balance after a hard day’s work.
  • I have less pain in my back, although I still have some more adjustments to do, but more about that later.
  • I’m more mobile and therefore I take a short break more often which in turn increases the effectiveness. It is just very convenient that when you want something, you don’t have to get up all the time.
  • It feels healthier. I feel fitter when I stop working.

These are actually the most important benefits. There are a few things you should consider. First of all, the position of the keyboard and the monitor. I have had to adjust this a few times to get the ideal stand. For me it works best if the top of my monitor is slightly above eye level and my hands hanging freely (so without the support of the desk) above the keyboard.

When you are using a wobbly stool as I do, you should also make sure that you choose a good sitting position. Initially I sat down when I was tired and forgot to pay attention to my posture. Resulting in a soar back at the end of the first week. When I got my sitting position improved it disappeared quickly.

A good standing postture attitude is just as important, or preferably, standing postures, because obviously you can easily change your posture. For those who have done something with tai-chi, aikido or something like that  this is probably not a problem. Important is that you can stand firmly and at the same time relaxe. At McKellar Office Furniture Glasgow, I found some practical tips and advice and with a bit of practice I had a fine posture that I easily can hold for a longer period of time. Actually, the fact that you are also forced to watch your posture has its advantages. If you don’t pay atention to your posture, you simply won’t be able to stand behind your desk the whole day.