Two years ago, I bought an ergonomic desk chair that made a big difference in how I felt at the end of the day. Until then, I had sat on a folding chair and I had constant pain under my shoulder blades. The new chair forced me to sit up straight, and my back pain disappeared.

Recently, I noticed that my back was hurting again. I had gotten into the habit of crossing one leg over the other and leaning forward while I worked. Even a good ergonomic chair isn’t effective when you don’t sit correctly in it.

A little over a week ago, I decided I needed to stand to work that day because my back and hips were aching. I looked around the house for something to elevate my laptop. As you can see in the picture above, I settled on an upside-down laundry basket to create my standing desk. It puts my laptop at the perfect height. I had a very productive day and didn’t mind standing at all.

The next day I tried it again. My back was feeling better, but I realized that standing on the hardwood floor all day could cause other problems. If I wanted to continue standing at my desk, I needed to make a small investment. I ordered an anti-fatigue mat and with that I made the commitment to working at a standing desk. Here’s why I love it.

  • My back and hips feel so much better.
  • I find I’m able to focus for longer periods of time. I’m not as uncomfortable so shifting around in my chair or thinking about my back and hips doesn’t distract me. I used to get up and walk around the house several times a day when I was sitting (and often found myself in the kitchen). Now that I’m standing, I don’t feel the need to do that.
  • I feel like I’m burning more calories while standing. I probably am, but not as many as I think I am. Still, it’s motivating.
  • Sitting all day can increase the possibility of developing heart issues, obesity and type 2 diabetes. I have been actively taking measures to improve my health lately, and the standing desk is one more measure I’m taking.
The first two days I stood all day, but over this week, I’ve developed a pattern. When my high school son gets home from school and flops in the big, comfy reading chair on the other side of my desk to chat for a few minutes, I put my laptop back on the desk, pull up my chair and sit. I usually spend the rest of the afternoon working from a sitting position.

I’m not the only one at MNN who uses a standing desk. I work remotely from my home in New Jersey, but at the home offices in Atlanta, standing desks have caused a mini-revolution.

Eventually, I would like to create a DIY treadmill desk, but for now, I’m happy because my back and hips are happy.

Do you have a standing desk? What do you like about it?

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.