When I first talked about starting my own thing online to my friends in Valencia, I remember one teacher saying, “It sounds great, but I couldn’t teach while sitting down at a desk all day.”
For whatever reason, that has always stuck with me. And come to think of it, have you ever seen an engaging lesson within a classroom setting where the teacher is sitting down?
There is no doubt that we are much more animated and energetic when standing. And, and I’m pretty sure you’re aware of the health implications of sitting all day (how sitting is killing you). But when working/teaching online, the vast majority of people use/get a comfy chair and desk.
However, there is an alternative: the stand up desk. Over the last few years, there have been more people that I know and follow getting stand up desks, and a couple of weeks ago, after much research, I finally decided to get one too. Here is what I found.
My Experience With a Stand Up Desk
After a LOT of research (you know the type: hours spent reading reviews and looking at all the options), I went for Adjustable Height Stand Up Desk from The Stand Up Desk Store. This desk can be cranked up or down, meaning that you can adjust it to a standing or sitting position.
I went for this style of desk because I read that transitioning from sitting to standing all day can be difficult. And anyway, there are times when I know I’ll really want to sit down (mainly just after lunch!). It took a while to set up, mainly because of my lack of patience to fully read the instruction manual.
But, what do I make of it? Was it worth the investment?
In a nutshell: I couldn’t be happier. I was really pleased with the price and this thing is solid. It’s also on wheels meaning that you can move it around a little. I went for the one that is 48″ wide (there are bigger options available), and it has plenty of space for two large monitors.
The keyboard and mouse tier is lower than the monitor tier, which allows for correct ergonomics when standing. Here is a picture of what it looks like:
The handle on the right allows you to adjust it to the height you want it at. I’m 5ft 11″, and it’s highest setting is just right for me. So, if you’re taller than that, then this might not be for you.
On the whole, I have loved being able to stand up while teaching and working. At the moment, I’m spending around 75% of my working day standing. I feel more focused and energetic for sure, and doing presentations and teaching this way has really helped me become more dynamic; there is something about standing and presenting/teaching that just goes together.
I highly recommend the desk that I got, but here are a couple of alternatives that I found during my research that I want to introduce here. I also talk about what you should look for in a stand up desk.
Features of a Stand Up Desk and Two Alternatives
Here is a great visual of the how you want your desk to be set up:
As you can see, the table height should be the same as your elbow height, and the screen should be elevated. Try to avoid stand up desks that have the same height for the keyboard and monitor (in the picture, you can see the monitor on top of a box, which is a way to get around this).
The DIY Version ($22)
Here is a very popular way to convert your current desk into a stand-up desk for around $22:
This uses a side table and other pieces from IKEA, that when put together, sits on top of your existing desk. From what I’ve read, people love this set up, and it is quite easy to do. Here is a guide to this if you feel like building your own.
If you have a desktop, then it would be difficult to go from sitting to standing with this setup.
People also love this version too. It goes on your current desk, and you can go from sitting to standing and back very easily.
I was considering this for some time, but the current desks I had were too small to accommodate it. It comes in three different sizes, and make sure you do the calculations so that it’s the right height for you.
Over to You
Do you have a stand up desk or are you thinking about getting one?
If so, please leave your comments below.