By now the health benefits of using a standing desk are probably known to everyone. “Sitting is the new smoking” has become the catchphrase, and doctors cannot emphasize it more. There is even evidence that suggests that going to the gym will not make up for all those hours spent sitting down. Isn’t that scary?!
I used to be a gym rat, before we moved to Singapore. I enjoyed working out and tried my best to keep healthy (more or less). I’ve seen my health (and my weight gain) get horribly worse once I stopped working out. Add to that the fact that my work for the past few years involves me sitting in front of my computer for more than 12 hours a day, and you can pretty much imagine the sad state of affairs. My waist and thighs have never been this huge! I cry every time I look in the mirror! And not only that, my knees and legs have already started complaining. I get aches and pains every time I get up from my chair. The horror!
Not being one to just do nothing about an issue as serious as this, I went looking seriously for a standing desk in the hopes of reversing the effects of all those years of being glued to my chair. Unfortunately, the only standing desks I could find around here looked like this:
or this slightly nicer one from Ikea:
They’re actually OK, as desks go. They’re just not pretty. And pretty is very important to me. I will be looking at it every day after all! I don’t want just a functional piece of furniture. It has to bring me joy.
We finally found an alternative at Ikea, and it wasn’t in the office desks section, we found it among the bookshelves! The height is perfect, and I can use the shelves underneath to store my scanner, wacom tablet (when not in use), notebooks, and other office stuff. The boys’ room is already full, with 3 huge bookshelves, 2 toy cabinets, and 2 desks, so I had to place it in the hallway, right outside our bedroom. Being all-white, it matches the decor perfectly.
It’s really a short bookcase, not a desk. But the height is just right for me.
My iMac is so huge, it takes up almost the whole width of the surface. But at fits, so I’m ok with that.
My pens, planner, Wacom tablet, scanner, and boxes of papers and finished watercolors are inside.
I use the corded versions of the keyboard and mouse because I didn’t like having to check for batteries every month. There’s still enough space for a pretty scented candle and a tiny vase of flowers.
Why does a standing desk help? When you’re up, you move. That’s the bottomline. I’m even doing a little dance while I’m writing this. I find myself doing small steps constantly as well. Of course I can’t maintain it for 8 straight hours, let alone 4. But that’s the nice thing about working home. I don’t have to! I walk to the kitchen to cook or tidy up, I sit down and paint, or I read to my little boy for a few minutes. But I’m always moving, and that’s a whole lot better than just sitting down for hours at a time.
For more information about the health benefits of standing desks, you might want to read this. Oh, and Consumers Advocate recently did a review of Top 10 Standing Desks, that you might want to check out if you’re looking for one, including a helpful guide on how to use one. I’m still bummed that there are no pretty options though!
Are you using a standing desk too? How does it work for you?