I always thought the idea of standing desks was pretty silly. It struck me as the sort of thing that people who have always worked in a chair and never worked on their feet would think as a good idea. I’ve had a number of jobs that required I stand for 8+ hours at a time and standing isn’t actually that easy to do for a long time. Or, to put it differently, it’s physical exertion, not a natural thing (hence why Donald Rumsfeld was wrong in equating his work at a standing desk to prisoners being forced to stand for extended periods of time).
When I started work as a hotel doorman, despite being in great physical shape, I didn’t have the leg strength to comfortably make it through a shift. Some old timers taught me to stand directly in front of the stone benches outside the hotel if I needed to get support. Staff wasn’t allowed to sit down, but even leaning against something below the knees helped make standing in the heat easier.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen a lot of political types like myself switch to standing desks. In most cases, it’s as part of an effort to lose weight. Recently there have been studies which show sitting all day, even if you’re regularly exercising, can still “slowly kill you.” Despite this, I didn’t embrace the standing desk concept until recently.
As I’ve started to work out regularly, I find myself in the delightful position of constantly being sore (in a good way). I tend to go to the gym over lunch (and eat lunch at my desk), so this means I would be sore, in my office chair. My office has a vacant standing desk, so I started to spend time using it when I’m sore. Over the course of the last 6-8 weeks, that’s shifted from spending an hour or so standing while I work, to about 6-7 hours a day.
I have no clue how much of a physical benefit it is providing me, but I know it’s more comfortable after a work out and keeps my body loose. If you haven’t tried it, I say give it a shot and slowly work up your ability to stand and work. If nothing else, you could be cool like me and use a standing desk.