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Two Conversations About Standing Desks: Benefits, Evolution, and Pinball

Standing desks are no longer just trendy, conversational pieces of avant garde furniture. In fact, the health benefits of introducing a standing desk to your workspace outweigh the potential long term ailments associated with sitting. Desk work can lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease, back pain and an increased diabetes risk. By standing and working, the body burns more calories and tends to function the way it was designed to function—our distant ancestors didn’t do all that hunting and gathering for nothing. We weren’t meant to sit around all day.

Here at DietsInReview HQ in Wichita, we have the privilege of officing at a modern and creative work place called The Labor Party, and we didn’t have to go very far to find champions of the standing desk. I recently spoke with Kenton Hansen, landlord of The Labor Party, and Barrett Morgan, a web developer and fellow Labor Partier about how “standers” have changed their lives.

Kenton

KH

What inspired you to implement a standing desk to your office space?

I wanted more physical exertion in my life that wouldn’t effect the efficiency of my day. I felt tired at first, but enjoyed staying more mobile throughout the day. I started getting more work done but the day didn’t seem to drag on like usual. I bike to work, stand at work, and use a standing desk at home. I still lay down to sleep from time to time.

Your standing desk is a pinball machine. Explain.

I had video game art in my office already. A pinball machine is essentially the same shape as a standing desk. I found an irreparable machine on craigslist and built a base for it to make it level. Where you open it up to access the guts of the machine, it’s a huge expanse, the perfect space to run cables and chargers through.

What advice would you give someone who’s thinking about adopting the standing desk lifestyle?

It can be expensive, so test out standing and working with a cardboard box or at the kitchen counter. Don’t worry about finding the perfect solution. It’s all about ergonomics in the end—it can never be exactly perfect.

Barrett

BM

After visiting with Kenton, I tracked down Barrett, who not only uses a standing desk, but builds them with his bare hands. Here’s what he had to say.

What inspired you to implement a standing desk to your office space?

You can’t take over the world sitting down. And working on a computer all day, I didn’t want to turn into the overweight computer guy. Standers are expensive, so I bought $100 worth of lumber, some deck screws, and gave it a shot.

What benefits have you seen since implementing a standing desk?

Other than losing 10 pounds over the course of a year, it helped me think better. In web development, you’re often solving problems, and when you’re actively trying to solve a problem, standing just feels more natural.It adds a social element too. People like to come up and lean on it like a bar top.

What advice would you give someone thinking about adopting the standing desk lifestyle?

I would recommend a fatigue mat to add a little cushion to the floor. Start out having both standing and sitting options available. Try to pull half days at it and slowly work your way into it.

Also Read:

Easy Ways to Reduce Sitting Time and Improve Your Health 

10 Ways to Stay Fit While at Work 

Turn Your Office into a Healthy Hideaway

Images courtesy of Kenton Hansen and Barrett Morgan

October 7th, 2013

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