It isn’t enough to have a standing desk. You need the option to sit and stand throughout your day.
A few days ago I read a post on Hacker News from Mikael Cho the founder of ooomf declaring why he killed his standing desk
From his post I gleaned these reasons Mikael killed his standing desk:
- Standing for long periods caused him pain
- This pain distracted him from his work
- His standing desk forced his body to take breaks when his brain wanted to work
- He couldn’t stay ‘wired in’ and focused while standing
Mikael also mentioned the following items related to standing, productivity, exercise, health, and lifestyle:
- His standing desk helped him stay focused during certain tasks like answering email
- Sitting isn’t bad. It’s sitting for long periods of time without movement that’s the killer
- When we don’t move, our risk of cardiovascular disease increases and our blood circulation drops
- A standing desk may be one way to solve the sitting problem but it doesn’t solve the inactivity problem
- In the book Blue Zones, longevity was linked to regular, low intensity physical activity
- One community in Okinawa, Japan has one fifth the risk of colon and breast cancer and lives seven years longer than the average American. In their culture, people sit on the floor, causing them to get up and down thirty to forty times per day
Our mission at Ergotron is to offer high quality sit-stand workstations at an affordable price so that you have the option to sit or stand while you work.
The problem with Mikael’s desk is that it was a $22 standing only Ikea hack that didn’t offer the option to sit without re-configuring your technology. In this limited configuration, transition between standing/sitting is a productivity obstacle.
Having the option to easily sit or stand is critical to a great user experience.
Over the years since I first started using a sit-stand workstation I encountered many of the same issues Mikael faced. My legs got tired. I needed to sit to focus or get into flow mode. I found myself more productive standing going through email but needed to sit to get ‘into’ writing. Some days are different than other days. Some days I stand most of the day, other days I sit most of the day. Most days I am up and down, transitioning more than 10 times.
When at a desk for 6-8 hours a day, simply taking a break and standing for an hour to go through some emails relieves my muscle and joint stiffness.
With my WorkFit-D, using a single hand I can transition from sitting/standing while maintaining creative flow without re-configuring my screens, keyboard, or mouse.
But don’t kill your hack yet!
Are you like Mikael Cho, ready to kill your hacked standing desk? I say wait. Consider what a WorkFit configuration experience might do for you. Maybe a WorkFit D with the Dual Side-by-Side LX Arm configuration. What, you’re a Macbook user? Think about the WorkFit-P for Apple. Whatever your scenario, we’ve got a sit-stand configuration to suit your style.
And if Mikael is reading this, I have an offer for you. You can find me at @solson.
Steve Olson- Director of Technology – Ergotron a Nortek Company