Self Care June 2, 2020

Standing or sitting all day?

Lukas Foisy @lukasf

I recently started working while standing (no standing desk yet, just stacking bins on my regular desk).

I'm curious to know what your setup is. Have you tried a standing desk? Are you sitting but taking precautionary steps? Or is this not even an issue for you?

Would love to know how you're handling this matter!

  1. 4

    One of the best purchases I've ever made was a treadmill desk for my workspace in the garage. I know those things get lampooned everywhere in pop culture, but it's done wonders for my health, energy, and my approach to problems. I did pair the purchase with a 2-piece split keyboard (the Kinesis 2) so that I could keep my shoulders open and not "T-Rex" when I walked.

    On an average day I'll do 3-4 miles just at work. Heavy days I'll go six or more!

    1. 2

      Now that's different! This is probably a bit overkill for me right now, but I'm glad it's working wonders for you. If it helps you solve problems better while enhancing your health, you got a winner!

      1. 1

        Another thing to consider: try getting a wobble balance cushion or board. Keeps your blood flowing, and you don't lock your knees like you would if you were just standing. Those extra synapse firings might come in handy, too ;)

        1. 1

          Funny you mention that as I was actually looking into those. When I've tried working while standing my knees did actually lock a few times so this could come handy.

  2. 3

    This is a great question @lukasf. I have set up a standing desk with a small coffee table on top of my normal desk. It works great. I would say to start of small and increase your amount of stand time each day until you get comfortable with it. I try to alternate between standing and sitting throughout the day.

    1. 3

      Same here. A coffee table from IKEA on top of my desk. 😁
      Alternating between sitting and standing.

      1. 2

        Same here Łukasz 👋

        Switching between sitting and standing mode with small Ikea Lack table on the top of my office desk.

        • From time to time I'm using some balancing board while standing.

        BTW Have you guys heard about those Ikea tables standing desk hacks? Check it out:

        1. 2

          What?! I thought it was my unique idea. Now I find out that it's widely popular, and even has a hashtag. 😆

          Balancing board sound interesting.

      2. 1

        Haha it is all you need. Works like a dream.

    2. 1

      Awesome, thanks!

  3. 2

    Little bit of both. I've found rotating between sitting and standing throughout the day keeps you flexible and not feeling stiff.

  4. 2

    I have a counter at home that's roughly the right height for me to work on (slightly too high for my arms, but not too bad), so I generally stand there. After years with a crappy couch (recently replaced) and bad office chairs, I stand almost exclusively, but I'm short, so there's less for me to worry about, balance-wise.

    Those anti-fatigue mats seem stupid, but they make a huge difference, so splurge the thirty bucks or whatever they cost. It's also a good idea (if possible) to have someplace you can lean, whether that's a wall or one of those weird seat-on-a-stick "standing chairs."

    The thing I've been working on recently is remembering to move around every hour or so. If I don't, I'm more likely to start locking my knees, which isn't good.

    1. 2

      Interesting, thanks!

  5. 2

    I am both. 50(standing):50(sitting) - 70(standing):30(sitting) by barefoot🦶
    I sometimes walk on the spot and stretch while standing. But I am tired of standing in the afternoon. I would need to work out more😅

    1. 1

      We all need to work out more haha!

  6. 2

    I see a physiotherapist, and he's told me that research on standing desks is still preliminary, but evidence suggests it's not actually much better than sitting; the human body isn't good at staying in the same position for long stretches.

    He recommends getting an electronically-adjustable desk, and to alternate every 30 minutes from sitting to standing.

    Ordered a desk, but it's on back-order, so I haven't been able to try it yet.

    1. 1

      Alternating seems to be a common theme... hope you get your desk soon!

  7. 2

    I made the jump to a standing desk last year.

    I'll admit that it was hard. If you're like me and you aren't used to standing all the time, it will take some time to adjust.

    At the beginning, I would just stand in 1-2 hour sessions. It took me about 2-3 months to be able to stand all day without as much discomfort.

    One big thing that made a difference was buying a good cushioned mat to stand on.

    Hope that helps!

    1. 2

      A cushioned mat is a recurring suggestion, I'm definitely looking into it :)

        1. 1

          Oh, I would need such a thing🧐

  8. 2

    Standing ond sitting. I put extra IKEA UTTER I bought on LINNMON :-)

  9. 2

    I sit on a piano bench but really anything that gets you to not lean on your back works. Do note that I've been training my back for sometime so I can sit all day without cramp. Sitting all day this way doesn't hinder my flexibility and I don't get office syndrome at all. Yes, my desk can stand too (it's a motorised one) but mostly I'm sitting.

    I find it's more important to have bi-weekly yoga practice for body awareness and stretch everything. Since I've practiced yoga I never get office syndrome.

    1. 1

      Yoga is interesting, never thought of taking that up :)

      1. 1

        The stretching helps. But more important I feel is the ability to find natural balance in any position. Can't harm your muscles/tendons if you don't get into terrible positions so to speak. You also train the ability breath well and have good blood flow. The body can sit for a long long time. We even have natural "sit bones": ischial tuberosity.

        1. 1

          That's super interesting, thanks!

  10. 2

    I'm considering buying a standing desk, but i will definitely not stand a lot behind it. I guess i would switch a lot from standing to sitting, therefore i need a motorized that can switch by pressing one button. Those monsters are so expensive though that i did not buy one yet.

    1. 3

      I knew a guy who was interested quite a bit in work ergonomics.

      He specifically recommended alternating between standing and sitting as often as possible.

      What puts strain on your muscles and joints is being in the same position for a long time, not necessarily one specific position.

      1. 1

        Ha, that's good to know!

    2. 1

      They are expensive! I know there are some "regular to standing converters" sold on Amazon that you put on top of your regular desk. Might be more affordable...

      1. 1

        I got my boss at work to get one of these and it really is useful. They are not exactly pretty, if you are worried about a home office aesthetics. But its simply a case of pulling the lever and raising it up or down.

        I tend to sit for an hour, stand for a few hours and repeat through the day. I like this method than just sitting all day, and I don't think standing all day would be too comfortable either.

        I've now been working from home for a few months during the lockdown so I'm currently slouched on the sofa :D

  11. 2

    I've been standing for about ~5 years now but not 100% of the time. I usually stand for about 75% of the day. It has really helped my back and I don't feel physically tired at the end of the day even though I'm technically using more energy.

    The only caveat is that you need to make sure you are standing balanced otherwise you'll create some bad habits that will be reflected in your body over time.

    Additionally, your feet will feel tired in the beginning, that's normal. You'll get through it

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing! Do you wear shoes or are you barefoot?

      1. 1

        Barefoot, padded slippers and an ergo mat. In the end, it's about changing frequently. Regardless of which seems better, if you spend the whole day in the same configuration, your body will be sore.

  12. 2

    Try alternating. I stacked my coffee table on top of my dining table and alternate between standing and sitting.

    1. 1

      That's nifty!

  13. 2

    You spoke my mind! I have been wondering about this too and also started with a temporary standing solution using my book shelf xD

    1. 2

      We're bootstrapping our desks like we're bootstrapping our companies haha

      1. 1

        haha yeah xD

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  15. 1

    Walking or cycling. Get a treadmill desk or a cycle desk!

  16. 1

    I switch between standing and sitting. Half-hour intervals.

  17. 1

    Not sure if you have seen or used a knee chair before. I used it for a while and it was an interesting experience. My previous manager sat on a yoga ball most of the time.

  18. 1

    I have a standing desk at home (Jarvis). One of my best purchase for sure!

    I didn't think I would like a standing desk but, fact is, I love it. It's so nice to stand up or sit down whenever you want.

    1. 1

      That's a dope desk!

  19. 1

    Regularly switching between standing and sitting works best for me!

    I find I have a hard time getting into my "deep coding" state while standing so I always try to do meetings standing up and switch to sitting when i'm coding.

    1. 1

      I'm having this issue as well, the focus isn't as good while standing. It'll probably improve as it gets more comfortable...