After 2+ Years of Sedentary Sitting, I Spent 2 Months Using A Standing Desk, My Experience & Results

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What Made Me Change Workstations?

From sitting to standing to sitting and back to standing at my desk.
Sedentary lifestyle took a toll after 2+ years of sitting every day for 4 - 8 hours at my workstation or behind the wheel. The changing point was recording how frequently dull numbing body aches impeded on my ability to focus during a workday.

A study from the IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors follow productivity levels of a call center that converted to sit-stand conversion desk for six months. 

Researchers found improvements in physical health among employees, which also positively affected their work productivity.

Using a traditional desk with an ergonomic office chair has always been my first choice because of PC Gaming. As I age with my PC, gaming has become less. This lusterless hobby and a bad amount of back-knots were the deciding factors in making the switch to a standing desk.

  • Body Pain From Sedentary Lifestyle

  • Less Time PC Gaming

  • Have A Spare Desk

Disclosure: I am not a doctor and these are my personal thoughts on the difference between workstations. If your in pain, contact your physician for professional advice.

Claude from Chair Pickr
Standing Desk Vs Sitting Desk Comparison
Philip William May 1898, CC0 Public Domain Designation

From sitting to a standing workstation

There are pros and cons using ether workstations.

Sitting desks are more preferable for creating art and PC Gaming. For everything else, I personally give standing desk the edge because they helped ease all of my sitting aches.

The transformation from sitting desk to standing workstation took all of about around an hour to complete. They make the legs of my desk is made up of plumping pipe.

Manufactures thread these pipes are threaded which makes the desk easy to adjustable. Two methods of turning my sitting desk into a standing one are the following.

  1. Add more length to the legs to match standing height.
  2. Plop something else on top to match standing height.

I used a bit of both options by removing 4-inch pipes on the legs of the desk and adding 16-inch by 16-inch wood crates on top of the desk.

Sitting Desk
Standing Desk

Week 1 | First Weeks The Worst Week

It took 3 or 4 days to adjust to typing while standing. I also had trouble maintaining a healthy posture and was caching myself slouching after 30 minutes of idle standing.

Instead of bringing my mouse and keyboard closer, I was leaning forward. This was not my only nasty habit, I also began putting more pressure on my dominant foot after long periods of standing.

These minor problems stated above were solved by folding up a yoga mat and using it as standing mat to ease pressure off my feet. I also organized my computer peripherals to more ergonomic positions.

Week 2 | Sedentary Standing & The Weight of Gravity Creates Chaffing Wrist

I should disclose that I ramped up my stretching regimen.

These exercises probably would have helped either sitting or standing. That being said, I felt more energy working at my desk.

This change has been mostly great, some minor issues were standers fatigue, which for me has been sore feet and muscle tightness of the lower body. (My Body Adjusting)

One other annoyance that is seemingly dorky, just might be me – chafing wrist. It is probably my posture, but the added weight on my wrist from using a standing desk irritated the skin. A computer wrist pad and frequent breaks stopped this from happening again.

Week 3 | Adapting To The Standing Desk

Upgrading from a folded up yoga pad to a standing mat really makes a difference. My body is adjusting with the new working conditions.
It should be disclosed that I stepped up my stretching regimen and because of that - there was a bit of my pep in my step visiting the workstation.

Overall, my experience is very open and mobile, I also dance more at my workstation. One thing to take note on is that your lower Glutenous muscles might feel tight from primarily standing/dancing all day.

Week 4 | Craving Some PC Gaming

Some may call it competitive edge, but who stands & plays Counter Strike?

I wanted to test it out on some games after upgrading from an old Dell keyboard to the Ann Pro II. However, I ended up typing this part of the self report instead.

Not only because I’m dedicated man of science, but also because changing back to a traditional workstation was too much of a hassle.

Week 5 & 6 | The office Chair Collects Dust, No Looking Back Now

The standing desk became my new normal
I now do me switch most of my creative art is now via a 2-1 tablet. Also realized how dated my PC has gotten, it's not the gaming rig of yesteryear.

Standing all the time has brought an array of different bodily pains.

Stretching more aside, the problems from standing a lot pales compared to sedentary sitting. Stretching and timely breaks are more effect with a standing workstation than a traditional one.

Week 7 & 8 | A Mostly Smooth Desk Transition

Back Pain From Sitting
English Dining Room, 1770 CC0 Public Domain Designation

Final Thoughts, Is it Worth Switching Workstations?

Standing Desk + Standing Mat < Sitting Desk + Office Chair

After sedentary sitting (daily) for over two years, I recognize standing desks to be more enjoyable to work behind because I am standing keeps me more alert and focused. I switch between standing and sitting workstations depending on the activity.

These past 8 weeks of self reporting reminded me of the importance of stretching and how much tightness builds up in various parts of my body.
  • While standing on my upper back, shoulders, and neck.
  • While sitting on my lower back, tailbone,
It’s not all roses, some issues I found while using standing desk as my primary workstation are the following.
  • Lower back and tailbone pain at my desk is more or less gone. Before switching to a standing desk, I used to sit on one of those tubes and still had to frequently break to avoid discomfort.
  • Compared to sitting,the bottom of my wrist got irritated from the added pressure of standing. This probably happens from constantly brushing up against the desk and or mouse pad.
  • The difference in using a standing mat or at the very least a pair of shoes for indoors is painfully obvious after a week of using a standing desk. Standing in the same place for too long will hurt your feet. 
Overall It took about a week to adjust from sitting to standing.

They are a great workstation alternative for people who have aches and pain from sedentary sitting. Yes, the switch was worth it!

Don’t just take my word, Research conducted by Mayo Clinic found that standing several hours a day could help you lose weight.

Tips On Switching Workstation

From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

To avoid achy feet

I recommend start using a standing mat or at the very least a pair of indoor shoes. If your soles still hurt from standing, visit Dr. Sholl’s Kiosk for them custom fit orthopedic footwear.

  • Distribute your weight evenly with both feet firmly to the floor.
  • Use protection while standing idle on a hard surface to avoid fatigue.

Take A Rest From Standing or Sitting

Don’t stand or sit in the same place for longer than 30 minutes. Walk about from your desk every 20 minutes if your body aches.

  • Watch the amount of time you spend standing.
  • Do NOT lock your knee or force yourself to stand for to long.

Keep your workspace organized (Into 3 Zones) and All Of Your essentials should be at an arms reach.

Ergonomic Reach Zone

If you’re feeling a bit -ancy, Dance 💃

It’s hard to focus when that dull pain creeps up as your trying to finish an email. Shifting a little in your seat or from side-to-side if your standing, even just a little throughout the day, will keep your body from getting stiff. When at your workstation, it’s important to remember:

  • Keep both feet flat on the floor.
  • Keep your head, neck, and torso aligned.
  • Use a rug/chair mat/standing mat if your feet get tired.

If you’re still interested in the differences between desk? Here is an in-depth comparison between sitting desk vs standing desk.

DIY Ergonomic Office Chair & Desk
“Oh! It is as if we were there: the tall one opens her corset and the little one is looking for a flea!” plate 27 Types Parisiens, CC0 Public Domain Designation

Any Standing Desk Alternatives?

I don’t want a new work station but would like to try out a standing desk.
  • Folding X-Axis Converter Desk: These types of converters are one of the most popular and sometimes come with even a laptop riser!

  • Folding Z-Axis Converter Desk: These types of converters are one most popular and budget friendly.
  • A Table On top of a Table: May not look the most elegant, but is easy to do and is the most DIY of the bunch.
  • Post With Keyboard Tray: This design is minimalist and is great for workstations in compact spaces.
  • Elbow Armed Add-on Stand/Desk: Similar to TV elbow arm wall mounts.
  • Height Adjustable Converter Desk: If you’re the type to switch between sitting and standing, an adjustable desk is ideal. An electric converter desk may be worth the investment if you plan on switching back and forth often.
  • Laptop Stand: This is not a desk alternative but great if you’re looking to downsize your workstation or to make a laptop an additional monitor.

DIY Rustic Steel Pipe Desk Walthrough

I made my pipe desk years ago and reconstructed it into a standing desk. The process was not much trouble considering all I had to do was unscrew and re-screw few pipes.

Now I am not saying that is a one, two types of a project, but it’s straightforward. Basically, it’s like 24 pipes, a butcher’s block, and some screws. I broke down what to do – step by step and curated some guides I found that helped me through the DIY process.

Related Questions

Helpful Info About Sedentary Sitting & Some F.A.Q. Answered

Remember to take breaks and frequently stretch to ease tension.

Whether it be standing or, sitting, there is no escaping sedentary aches; daily stretching at my desk is something I neglect. Here is before I started my daily stretching routine.

  • Standing workstations created more tension towards the lower half of my body, lower back, and leg muscles. Especially the glutes muscles under my butt.
  • Sitting at my workstation leads to tension on my upper back, shoulders, and neck.

To curve these sedentary stillness aches, remember to distribute your weight evenly while sitting or standing, both feet should be firmly planted on the ground. Be sure that the armrest are configured to your comfort.  

Adjusting the height is easy, but if you need to adjust your width. There is usually a cap or couple bolts underneath.

Short People! If the chair has your feet dangling, I recommend getting a footstool.

Tall People! If your unable to fit your legs under the desktop, then the desk is too small. You should enough space to comfortably cross your legs over your knees.

Invest in a desk that’s the proper height will increase productivity and improve posture. If your short on cash, putting bricks or hardcover books underneath each leg are two thrifty alternatives.

Need more information on your pursuit for perfect posture?  We wrote tips that promote a healthy posture at the workstation.

If you ever hurt your tailbone, you’d know the importance of sitting down slow and that the extra pillow is now a requirement. Is there a difference between these two?

  • Seat Cushions: Usually softer than firm a more universal in its usability.
  • Seat Donut: Primarily for tail-bone injuries and promotes proper posture.

The best workstation depends on the activities you're doing. Here is some info about workstations and their best use cases.

Type Sitting Desk Drafting Desk Standing Desk
Average Height 29" - 32" inches. 30" - 36" inches. 36" - 44" inches.
Recommended Break Every 30 Minutes Every 20 Minutes Every 20 Minutes
Recommended Chair Office Chair Drafting Chair Drafting Chair

Sitting Desk

Also known as the traditional desk and is by far the most popular among the office setting and gaming.

Standing Desk

Besides being the hottest trend in office furniture, this desk is classically found at even tables, wood shops, and

Drafting Desk

For artists and architects, these types of workstations have their table at an angle and are usually taller than traditional desks.

We extensively covered more about this topic if you’re interested in more information about what exactly are the qualities of a healthy workstation?

SOURCES

Chew, Jonathan. “Standing Desks May Not Be Healthier Than Sitting All Day.” Fortune, Fortune, 18 Mar. 2016, fortune.com/2016/03/18/standing-desks-study/.

Garrett, Gregory, et al. “Call Center Productivity Over 6 Months Following a Standing Desk Intervention.” IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, vol. 4, no. 2–3, 24 May 2016, pp. 188–195, 10.1080/21577323.2016.1183534.

Clinic, Mayo. “Mayo Clinic Minute: Tips for Transitioning to a Standing Desk.” YouTube, 24 Feb. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjyhmguQ1ak.

Hadi Daneshmandi, Alireza Choobineh, Haleh Ghaem, Najmeh Hejazi. (2019) Proper sit–stand work schedule to reduce the negative outcomes of sedentary behavior: a randomized clinical trial. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics 0:0, pages 1-17.

ChairPickr

Claude

ChairPickr | "Writer"

Hello, My name is Claude and I enjoy sitting comfortable. Research into what separates the good from the bad, in the matter of chairs started when I made a new years resolution to have better posture.

You clicked here to find that first-rate chair, why not stay and learn some self care?

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