Pain is a part of life. I get grumpy when pain is interfering with my ability to work. I avoid medication for pain because I need my head clear to focus on all that is competing for my attention. So chin up and bare it is my way to go.
For the past few years there’s been a lot written about the benefits of standing during the work day, instead of long hours squished into a desk chair. The research is out there, take from it what you will. I personally agree that standing more will have more positive benefits to my long term health. I can’t stand being compressed in a chair for hours at a time; and attempting to balance sitting on a ball just felt ridiculous.
After some weird dabbling with elevating my computer/monitors/keyboard/mouse on boxes (not my brightest idea), I fully converted to a standing desk to help reduce my back pain. I realize everyone’s issues are difference, but maybe this could be helpful info for you as you investigate a solution appropriate for you.
Plenty of options. But which is right for you?
As I dove deep into learning about fixed desks and adjustable desks, I discovered the options were very diverse and can get quite expensive. I originally started drooling over a motorized desk that raises/lowers, but that’s $700+. I thought seriously about a pretty cool DIY kit I found via Pinterest. Then I was strongly considering a Varidesk, which you place on top of your existing desk. It enables you to raise your computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse to stand for a few hours, then easily lower it to sit. I wanted the widest one ($500-ish) and would also need to configure it with an arm to hold a spare monitor. I had the Varidesk in my Amazon cart for a couple of days, then I decided to cobble together my own fixed standing desk solution as a proof of concept. I wanted to make sure that I’d really commit to standing all day before investing significantly in a solution.
Try a proof of concept before investing your money.
It’s not quite simple. You need to spend time researching options and it makes sense to try some sort of prototype for yourself to make sure it will be realistic for your daily workflow.
Your total investment will be based on your decisions for the following:
- Pre-packaged solution or Do-It-Yourself.
- Desk type. Fixed, adjustable, motorized. ($300-1,500)
Some systems you buy the countertop separate from the stand.
- Will you also need a stand or arm to raise your computer/monitor? ($35+)
- If you have a second monitor, how will you raise/mount it? ($35+)
- Soft/gel floor mat to stand on. ($35+)
I switched to my fixed standing desk in January 2016 and it’s been working great. The first 3 weeks were the hardest as my thighs got used to standing so long. It really hurt compounded on top of normal discomfort. Now 6+ months later it feels normal to stand for long stretches again. Psychologically I think it helps too.
Listen to your body.
That’s the hardest lesson I’ve learned to embrace as I grow older.
Last week I saw a new study that says standing desks aren’t making any significant improvement on health. LOL. You can’t win! One week chicken/milk/wine/pomegranate/etc. is the healthiest thing for you, the next week some clown claims it will cause cancer. Do your own research, follow your gut instinct and do what you think will work for you. Listen to your body.
Anyway, I hope you find this experience helpful. Please share what works for you in the comments below.
I’ve upgraded since I posted this article. Read about my new adjustable work table solution here.