8.42am: Sit at desk. 9.05am: Stand up. 9.20am: Walk to Pilates. 12pm: Back at desk, stand. 1pm: Sit down. Get caught up in work and forget to stand up. Remind myself to download StandApp, in which you can set an alarm at intervals as a reminder to get up throughout the day. 2.30pm: Stand up. My lower back feels a bit sore. 3.30pm: Sit down. 4.55pm: Stand up. 5.30pm: Sit down. I feel good, and less fuzzy than usual, plus the usual trigger spots – my back, shoulders, neck and head – aren’t as tight or sore. After a few days of experiencing the sit-stand desk, I decide to conduct some anecdotal research and arrange to visit my friend, Lucy, who works as a lawyer at a new media company.
Along with the requisite bar, ping pong table, and fully stocked fridge, the employees are equipped with an electronic sit-stand desk, and when I visit mid-morning, about 15 per cent of people are standing. Lucy is almost a year into using her “nifty” desk and says the benefits include feeling more alert in the afternoons (standing is an excellent cure for 3.30-itis) and a reduction in shoulder tension.
“When I feel my shoulders making their way up to my ears, standing up is so much better as I can’t really tense up,” she says.
Like me, she hasn’t really settled into a routine with the desk yet, but usually starts the day sitting, then stands for a few hours in the morning and again in the afternoon.
Glancing around her office, I can’t help but hope that I’m looking at the ubiquitous office of the future, where a chair is just a chair and none of them are literally trying to kill you.