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I tried using a standing desk at work and it instantly gave me more energy

INSIDER logoINSIDER 10/30/2018 Holly Smith
a man standing in front of a computer © Flickr/ramsey beyer

  • Standing desks are a trend sweeping many workspaces.
  • I tried using a standing desk at work for two weeks and found that I was much more mindful of my posture throughout the day, and was more productive overall.
  • I burned a few more calories than I would have while sitting and found that I seemed to be able to stand for longer with the right playlist.
  • Should you choose to try a standing desk, I recommend wearing comfortable shoes.

Whether you work in an office or not, you've probably heard of one trend sweeping many workspaces: standing desks. But they are more than trendy. Many people claim there are real benefits that come from using a standing desk, from newfound energy to less back pain. To see for myself, I tried using a standing desk at work for two weeks. Here's what happened:

I became much more mindful of my posture throughout the day

You're probably not aware of your posture when you're sitting at a desk. I typically lean over to one side and often alternate between resting both forearms on my desk or only resting one arm at a time.

a man sitting at a desk © Leah Rocketto/INSIDER

The moment I started using a standing desk, I realized just how off my posture was and began to be mindful of how I carried myself while working. I tried to set myself up for success by keeping both feet side by side, my shoulders pulled down, and my body weight equally distributed rather than leaning toward or favoring one side.

As the days passed, I noticed less discomfort and tension overall in comparison to how I used to feel when I was working seated at a desk all day. My back bothered me less, and my neck felt less strained since my computer was more at eye level.

I recommend wearing comfortable shoes

© Shutterstock

I typically wear sneakers to work on a daily basis as my career is that of a fitness professional, but on days in which I opted for loafers or flatter shoes, I could certainly feel it by that evening. Standing for multiple hours a day takes its toll on you in ways you may not feel right away.

Standing all day or too many hours throughout the day actually poses more risk factors than sitting all day does.

A study in the Journal of American Epidemiology found that a combination of standing and sitting actually produces the most benefits. Following a 20:8:2 regimen - sitting for 20 minutes, standing for eight minutes, moving for two minutes, and then repeating throughout the workday is recommended.

a woman sitting at a table using a laptop © S_L/Shutterstock

I apparently burned a few more calories

A study performed by the American Heart Association determined that, on average, standing burns an extra 0.15 calories per minute compared to sitting. While this doesn't seem significant, the calories burned certainly add up - about 54 calories per day for the average 150-pound person.

I felt a bit more productive

a group of people sitting at a table © Pixabay

One unexpected benefit of having a standing desk was that I actually became more productive. I felt more "free" overall, as it was easier for me to move from task to task. I could head over to a whiteboard and take a few notes manually, or run over to chat with a co-worker, and then go back to my desk with ease. I felt more like a collaborator in my workspace and was able to check off a few more things than usual on my daily to-do lists.

Music seemed to allow me to stand longer

Music really did seem to trick me into standing for longer periods of time. Whether it was because I could respond to emails while sidestepping and singing, or that it simply took my mind off things, it worked. The right playlist can certainly increase productivity, and in this case increase endurance, too (and there's research to back it up).

According to Inc., Dr. Teresa Lesiuk, assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami,  performed research with findings that "those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and had better ideas overall than those who didn't."

Based on my positive experiences using a standing desk at work, I plan to continue to do so more often than not moving forward. The pros outweigh the cons, and as a fitness professional, it seems like a necessity more than an option.

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