All Rise For Standing Desk

27/05/2014, A couple of minutes read.

Back on the 23rd April I took the decision to stop sitting. Well, to stop sitting as much as I had been, anyway.

I work with computers, I run my own business, I enjoy cycling (although less so recently - different story) and I enjoy the pub too. That’s a whole lotta sittin’.

That said, I enjoy keeping fit and regularly gym and run. I’m not an unhealthy human being so I figured this should be a pretty easy change.

On this particular day, if by some magical coincidence, there were lots of empty boxes scattered around the office. I went full ‘toddler Pete’, snapped them up and started building. What seemed like an eternity to assemble my desk was probably closer to 20-30 seconds. The lack of Gantt charts and bug tracking systems was probably a mistake in the long run, but that’s the kind of renegade I am…

Anyway, I’m 5 weeks in so I thought it would be useful to someone if I reflected upon my experience:

Week 1

Awash with enthusiasm and energy, I forehand smashed questions as to why I was standing up, down the line with Federer style ferocity and felt confident in my decision to standup all day. This was a positive lifestyle change. My keyboard is quite wobbly.

My morning run seems like an imposibility. I wake up feeling like I’ve done a normal (normal means sitting) days work.

Week 2

Enthusiasm has waned but I’m still determind - I was getting used to the approach. Work was particularly busy so the days flew by. I did notice myself regualrly swapping my weight from one leg to another though - I imagined this is probably what Flamingo’s felt like. At those rare times I fancied a sit down I trained my mind to reflect and gently slip into the zen like mindset of the Flamingo.

Weekends were previously for at least one run of approximately 15km. I can’t even complete 10km without stopping at the moment - what’s happening? Why aren’t my legs getting stronger?

Week 3

I really need to invest in some comfier shoes. I’m starting to empathize with those suits who comfortbaly bounce around the underground in their Addidas Air’s and Nike Galaxy’s. And when will the muscles in my legs stop aching?

Morning runs have dropped from 8-10km to 5-8km runs. I’m regressing. Everything I read/heard about standing desk is a lie. I want my money back!

Week 4

Oh, so this is just what it’s like to be on your feet all day? Tiring!

I’ll be honest, the last week or so has been a struggle. I reach 4pm everyday and salivate Homer style, over the idea of sitting down. I’ve caught myself revisiting the same occassional daydream - sitting on the underground doing laps of the Circle line.

New trainers/sneaks/pumps/current-street-term-for-comfy-shoes purchased.

I managed my first 10km without stopping enroute, in 3 weeks. That was hard. Morning runs are regularly ~7km. And my pace is picking up.

Week 5

Comfy shoes help a lot when it comes to standing desk - highly recommended. Moving during the day, walking around, makes standing desk much easier too. Standing on the same square foot of floor for 10 hours is masochistic. I’ve been arranging a lot more meetings with people I’d simply love to meet: entrpreneurs, investors, developers and designers. Standing at my desk is now much less of a chore and I’ve met some amazing people too.

Running: comfortably back to 10km and my pace has picked up by 30-45s per km, huge! It took a little while for the benefits of standing desk to kick in, but they’re showing their value now. Finally. “I got new legs.”


Stick with it. Two or three weeks into standing all day and you’ll begin to remember why most people don’t do it. However, on a day to day basis I feel much more alert and much more physically tired at night too, which is a good thing right?! It means I’ve used my body to do the things it was designed to do!

Getting up early to run is a bit of a chore now but I suspect this will ease as my legs adapt and get stronger. Comfy shoes are a must and don’t forget to move too; get some water, talk to people or nip out for some air.

If you’ve made your own standing desk, I’d love to see a photo to see how it compares to my own. :-)