I did it. I finally caved in and bought a standing desk. Well, not exactly a standing desk, but an adjustable desk that can be used while either sitting or standing. Amazon was running a sale and I was able to pick up the Halter ED-600 for around $150.00. I’ve only been using the desk for week, but I’m very happy with it so far.

I’m no doctor, but I’ve heard it be said more than a few times that sitting is not very good for us. There are a ton of scare articles out there, like this one entitled “Sitting Will Kill You, Even if You Exercise”, yet many software developers sit for the majority of their waking hours. Now, I don’t think sitting is going to kill me any time soon, at least I hope not, but it’s definitely something that will impact my life at some point down the road. I hope to dodge the adverse effects of sitting through utilizing the standup feature of the desk as much as possible.

My target schedule for my first week as been been to stand at least double time as much as I sit. My target sit/stand ratio has been as follows:

  • 8:30 - 9:30 Stand
  • 9:30 - 10:00 Sit
  • 10:00 - 11:00 Stand
  • 11:00 - 11:30 Sit
  • 11:30 - 12:00 Stand
  • 12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
  • 13:00 - 13:30 Stand
  • 13:30 - 14:00 Sit
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Stand
  • 15:00 - 15:30 Sit
  • 15:30 - 16:30 Stand
  • 16:30 - 17:00 Sit

This schedule is a little ambitious but has been doable. It’s been a little bit of a challenge to stand up this much. The body definitely requires an adjustment to standing when you’ve spent so much time sitting. I wouldn’t say I’m hurting but I can feel some tiredness in not only my leg muscles but also in neck and back. It’s important to stay loose and stretched when standing. I find that I’m often swaying side to side or walking in place to keep my muscles from tightening up.

With all the standing I’ve been doing, it’s been a bit hard to get myself to run this week. I usually run 4 or so miles every other day after work. This week I only ran 1 time. Standing 5+ hours throughout the day makes it a lot more difficult to get back out on your feet. I think that this is something my body will get used to and I’ll be running as normal again in a couple of weeks.

All in all, I recommend all developers pick up a convertable desk or do something to cut down on the amount of time spent sitting. It’s not a revolutionary change, but it’s certainly a healthy one. Less sitting and more activity is always a welcome change in my book. I will test out the desk for a few more weeks and produce an update then. It should be interesting to see how my usage changes over time and to see how the body adjusts.

Update: Reviews.com has a great overview of current stand up desks. Check it out here if you’re in the market for a new standup desk.