Standing Desks: Manpacks Labs edition
How are you reading this right now?
Sitting in front of the computer? Sitting at a desk, at work or at home? How do you feel? Sitting there. Sedentary. In case you were wondering, it’s the sitting part we’re getting at. Because sitting isn’t all that good for you.
It’s no secret that if you sit all day (at work and at home) you’re more likely to be overweight, out of shape, and have poor posture. But did you know that men who spend six hours or more a day sitting are 18% more likely to die prematurely than those who sit for less than three hours a day? In fact, there’s a whole host of detrimental health effects tied to spending most of your time in a chair, including a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
So what should you be doing instead of sitting at your computer? Well, you could get up, stand up (yeah, get ready for a whole bunch of references like that) with a standing desk.
Yep, that’s right a standing desk. It’s the latest craze that’s sweeping the offices of Google and Facebook. So what is it? It’s basically just a desk that’s been adjusted to standing height (we, know crazy, right?). People who use standing desks attribute a long list of benefits to getting out of their chair and on their feet, including more energy, increased focus, weight loss, and better posture. Oh, and it won’t kill you like sitting will.
But even though standing desks are popping up in the press now, they’ve been popular throughout history. Some famous standing desk fans in history include Thomas Jefferson, Otto von Bismark, Winston Churchhill, Ernest Hemingway, Donald Rumsfeld.
Now you can add Manpacks co-founder Andrew Draper to the list. Andrew recently made the switch from sitting to standing at his desk. “It’s been getting a lot of press lately and I’ve been thinking about it for a while,” says Andrew. But it wasn’t until a recent business trip to California, where Andrew spent some time working out of another company’s office, that he got to actually try working on his feet. “They had these high cocktail tables that acted like desks,” he explains. “And I just liked it.”
So as soon as he got back, Andrew converted his traditional desk to a standing one. “I find I concentrate more,” he says. “I’m not sure if it’s the increase in blood flow or the not sitting. And I don’t feel like I’m chained to my desk.”
But don’t let the benefits give you the impression that there are no drawbacks to working at a standing desk. Many standing converts complain of leg and foot pain (Surprising, we know) especially in the first few weeks of working on their feet. His big piece of advice to anyone interested in giving standing desks a try: “Wear socks.” Spoken like a true underwear tycoon.
Price is another common complaint among standing desk fans, which is why many end up building their own or converting their traditional sitting desk. Conversion was the route Andrew took – first thinking of switching out the leg with taller replacements then settling on building a raised platform out of IKEA shelving brackets and an old portable dishwasher top. Total cost: $40.
So far, it’s only been a few weeks but Andrew swears by his standing desk and recommends anyone interested to give it a try. Though he does have one piece of advice that he makes a point to stress.
“Really, just remember the sock thing,” he says. “Wearing socks definitely helps.” Ok Andrew, we get it.
Thinking about making the switch? Already built one yourself? Post pics & leave comments below, and we’ll update this post as we hear from you.