I’ve been at this standing desk thing for a few years now, (Since summer 2013, actually.) I thought I’d offer my standing desk advice. I’ve got two main pieces of wisdom to share.
At home I’ve got a homemade one that’s a fixed height. It’s basically an Ikea bookcase with a door for the table top. I fixed the monitor height by attaching it to the wall. Because it’s fixed height I only ever use it in bare feet.
Shoes have different height heels, mine do anyway, and going bare foot eliminates that variable. It also feels good. But maybe that’s just me.
Which comes to my first recommendation. Get a good floor mat. They make them for people in jobs that require a lot of standing. Mine is a chef’s mat and I bought it in a fancy kitchen supplies store.
My other standing desk is actually a variable height addition to my work desk. It’s fancy but I didn’t pay for it. Work did and they stopped paying for various chairs and physio to eliminate back and hip pain which has pretty much completely disappeared now I sit less.
The upside of the variable height desk? I can work in shoes. It doesn’t matter what height the heels are. Of course there problem with the variable height desk is that I can use it for too long in the sitting position. Early on though I discovered a fix.
That’s my second piece of advice. Always leave the desk in the standing position so when you come back to it, it’s up and you just start work. I arrive at work and work standing until mid morning. Often I change into work clothes from cycling clothes, get coffee, and sit for a bit. But before I go to lunch I put the desk back up to standing.
After lunch, it’s standing so I stand. Mid-afternoon, I swap again. But I when leave my office for the day it’s part of my routine to return the standing desk to the standing position.
There’s been a lot of research about standing desks and about standing versus sitting. Part of the problem is that the ‘always standing’ workers have issues too. But note they’re always standing. I’m not.
What’s best, surprise, surprise, is movement and variability. Sit, stand, walk. Don’t do any one thing for too long.
And to that list, I’d add, when I’m working at home, be sure to walk the dog (great for thinking) and flop on the bed (great for reading and napping.)