The Pros and Cons of a Standing Desk

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Hello Lovelies and welcome back to the blog.

A while back, I got a standing desk. I made the decision to move from a giant metal teacher-style desk that looked like it was straight out of the 80’s to a desk that is sleek and more my style. 

I want to say upfront that this is not an ad of any kind. I am not getting any kind of kickback by telling you about my desk purchase. I did not get any part of the desk discounted or free, I paid for it completely out of pocket because, as you might come to understand, it was more than time for something new. 

I do, however, want you to consider carefully whether you want to purchase a standing desk of your own or not, as there were many things, both good and bad, that I’ve experienced with my purchase. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

I have never spent much thought or spent much money purchasing desks. The last desk I owned, I found with a free sign on it outside of an office supply store. My husband, upon seeing the photo I took, immediately left work with a truck-owning coworker. The two somehow brought this behemoth desk into my office without breaking chunks out of our walls to my surprise and delight. 

The desk before that was a standard might-as-well-be-cardboard variety that you find at the local department stores. I think it cost me $30.00. The desk before that was not a desk at all, but a plastic stool that was barely high enough to sit under if I sat directly on the floor with my legs straight out. The stool, as you can imagine, wasn’t sturdy enough for a plant, let alone my entire computer and monitor balancing precariously upon it.

For once in my life, and because I have been having back problems, I decided I would actually do some research and splurge for my birthday on a really nice standing desk. Thus, my decision was made to jump for the fancy standing desk of my dreams. 

The Cons

Muscle Fatigue

I usually like to start with the cons, and this time is no exception. One surprise I had with the standing desk I really should have seen coming. Muscle fatigue. When I’m working from home and standing at my desk all day, I have to wear a good pair of shoes, otherwise my feet, ankles, calves, knees, my back, it all hurts, and in less time than you’d think for someone who’s only 35 years old. In the past, at a sitting desk, it hasn’t mattered to be barefoot in my house all day, but when I’m standing, it does. 

Extra Careful Placement of Items on the Desk

I maybe shouldn’t have mounted my monitors to the wall, but I have spent so long with them taking up space on my desk that I was sick of it and wanted them off my desk. While this has mostly been a positive change, I hadn’t considered how having wall monitors would mean I would need to be extra careful of where I place things on my desk. If I’m lazy with my scissors and toss it into the cup the wrong way, and then go to move the desk up, it can, and has, crashed into the monitors. The desk has no care for additional resistance. It does what it is meant to do and pushes straight through, so I usually have to do a sweep of what’s on the desk before I tell it to move.

No Storage Space

Probably the worst thing has been going from a giant teacher desk with tons of drawers and storage space to a desk that has none whatsoever. I knew I was going to need some drawers, and have gotten some since the purchase of the desk, but I hadn’t considered how badly I would need the storage space. The desk itself needs to be as lightweight as possible, save for the things that are on the top of the desk, so of course there are no options for under desk storage. However, that this nearly crippled me and that I spent months trying to figure out a new storage system whole trying out different drawers and desk heights was actually really surprising because I didn’t know what a treasure I was giving up until it was gone.

The Pros

Time Spent Standing

While I can’t comment on whether or not there are scientifically proven health benefits, I can tell you for sure that I am standing more often than not while I am at my desk at home. This has also resulted in me standing sometimes at my desk at work, even though my work desk isn’t a standing desk. There are studies out there that pretty well prove that you shouldn’t be sitting for long periods of time, so standing up more has got to be an improvement in my life. 

Less Back Pain

The main reason I wanted to look into a standing desk was because I was having severe back pain. I am a side sleeper, I game, I sit at the computer for my job, I come home and sit at a computer and write. I play the flute and am trying to teach myself bass guitar. I spend a lot of time moving heavy objects around with one hand, and deadlift heavy objects with just my arms and shoulders. I have plenty of reasons to have back pain. Sitting at my computer for 10+ hours a day was getting to be too much, especially if most of that time I spent it slouched. So if you’re wondering, yes, I do have a lot less back pain.

It’s So Much Quieter than I Expected

Even months later, I can say that this desk is quiet. It has a small motor on it and I thought that maybe with time and usage it would start to wear out, grind, or fail on me in some way. It’s been almost 8 months since I’ve gotten the desk and I can say it is still extremely quiet. The desk moves easily and without any kind of resistance, and it doesn’t freak out my cats when it moves, or wake up the whole house if I decide to write late at night. 

Discussion Questions

  1. What kind of desk do you have for your writing setup?
  2. Do you think standing desks have any health benefits at all?
  3. Have you considered getting a standing desk, and if so, which one?
  4. If you have a standing desk, was there anything about the experience that surprised you?
  5. Did you purchase anything additional, such as a walking pad or extra storage after purchasing a standing desk?

Click this link to hear this blog post as a podcast with your favorite podcasting app!

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