My primary hangup in switching to a standing desk was the difficulty of standing all day. Several of my friends who tried it ended up abandoning it for the same reason. But here's the thing — standing all day is as bad for your health as sitting all day, so you shouldn't be trying to do that in the first place. What you need instead is a desk that allows you to easily alternate between standing and sitting.
The two main solutions I've seen are adjustable desks and high chairs. Both of these have problems. Adjusting a hand-cranked desk is frustrating and time-consuming, whereas electric ones are bloody expensive. High chairs are awkward and uncomfortable; you lose the other ergonomic benefits of good office chairs.
The most effective sit-stand solution I've found is also the simplest and possibly the cheapest: put a coffee table on top of your regular desk. Use two monitors (or a laptop and an external monitor), one underneath and one atop the coffee table. When you need to switch between sitting and standing, simply switch monitors.
Other points of possible interest:
- I spend about two-thirds of my time in front of the computer standing and one-third sitting.
- When sitting I simply use the laptop keyboard instead of having to move things up and down.
- Unexpected side benefits: I burn more calories, and I'm much more likely to write down whiteboard-worthy thoughts. (As a researcher, whiteboards are important to my productivity.)
- The incredibly thin keyboard in the picture is the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard. I recommend it!
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