The trend for standing desks certainly increased a lot over the last years. People are getting more health conscious than ever, and it’s a good thing.
These days, it’s a known fact that sitting for a prolonged time is a bad thing for your health. Of course, the trend has rose with the last decade because more and more of us have their job consisting in sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours or more per day.
So, if you’re like me, you probably heard the case for standing desks that allow you to stand up while working, thus improving your posture, which is beneficial for your health in the long term. The only problem is that those desks, unless DIY, are not really cheap. So it’s legitimate to be wondering: is this really worth it? Isn’t it just a trend that desk manufacturers use to sell us more expensive desks and make more money on us? In this article, I’m going to give you a definite answer to that.
Just a little background
I’m not very old (31 at the time of writing this), but as soon as I left college, I’ve been working in front of a computer almost every day. This makes a little bit more than 10 years. Probably just like you, I started to hear about standing desks in the last couple of years, as the trend rose along with the digital world becoming more and more present in our lives and work.
While working 8 hours a day or more every day, I’ve never really had any big health problem like a severe back condition, chronic pain or anything, but from time to time I’d experience some minor back pains. Other times it would be just overall fatigue and sometimes a sporadic sensation of numbness during the day. After hearing again and again about the promised benefits of a standing desk from many people in the last years, I finally decided to give it a try.
The results of my experiment
I decided to buy a motorized standing desk, because obviously, while it is bad to be sitting for hours, you don’t want to be standing for 8 hours neither. Thus I needed something that would let me switch positions whenever I felt like, without too much hassle.
For the desk, I picked the Ikea Bekant Motorized Standing Desk.
There are many standing desks on the market, ranging from $700 to more than $3000, but the Ikea is one of (if not the) the cheapest motorized standing desk on the market. And I’ve read enough feedback on it to trust it to be a good desk.
Today, it’s been roughly 3 month that I’ve been using this standing desk every day. And I can tell you one thing: there’s no going back. The only regret I have is to have waited so long to make the switch. I love it, it’s as simple as that.
The desk in itself is not the greatest desk of course, but it’s build quality is more than fine. It’s sturdy, has a great surface area, is nice to look at and surprisingly very easy to mount (at least way easier than I expected). The stability of the desk is good; it can be a little wobbly when it’s in standing position, but really it’s only if you hammer on your keyboard like a mad monkey or have a severe parkinson condition. Other than that, it’s perfectly fine.
With the push of a button, in 15 seconds you switch from one position to another. There’s also a cheaper model with a manual lever to change positions, but I tried and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it. It just takes too long and too much effort to go all the way up or down manually, especially since I switch positions at least every two hours.
The height range is also great. It goes from ridiculously low (I’m not sure how one would or even could use the desk at its lowest position) to very high. I’m 6’2, and when standing it’s at the perfect position, and can even go a bit higher. So unless you’re 7’ or taller, you should be fine.
As for health, as I stated above, it’s simply fantastic. Being able to alternate between sitting and standing DOES make a difference. After sitting for more than an hour, I would always feel a bit tired, nothing terrible but just at low levels of energy. Standing does wake me up, and gets me more energized. Not only this change in position helps physically, but also mentally. When I work while standing, I’m not sure how to explain it, but it gives me more enthusiasm, more dynamism. It’s like I’m gaining a form of momentum. I just feel better.
What I do really appreciate is alternating between position. As I said, you don’t want to stand for hours any more than sitting for long periods of time. I think it’s precisely this ability to switch positions that make you feel energized. This really makes me more productive. I do my tasks faster and can focus for longer periods.
And I can truly feel the difference throughout the day, as I can now work for long hours without feeling too tired. On average, I work one or two hours more than before, while feeling less tired at the end of the day. I don’t know if this is related, but lately I also fall asleep faster and sleep better overall.
Is it worth it after all?
So, to the question “Is it really worth buying a standing desk?”, the answer is “Yes!”. If you’re really hesitant about getting one, as long as you have the budget, stop hesitating. Go buy it, you’ll thank me later. If you don’t really have the budget, there are many DIY solutions out there.
In the end, it’s all about the importance of being comfortable in your workspace. After all, you spend most of your time here, so it makes sense to invest it practical, comfortable and durable stuff. It’s an investment, not an expense. Not only it’ll be beneficial for your health and well-being, it will very likely also enhance your productivity.
The same reasoning goes for everything that you use daily for your work: your chair, your computer, your monitor(s), your mouse, keyboard, headphones, etc. Wanting to save money on all of these items is fine just as with everything else, but trying too hard so that you compromise on quality is a mistake. Without going the luxury route, you want to be sure you get props of quality for those you will be using all day long, every day.