5

votes

Alternatives to a standing desk?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 21, 2011 at 1:40 PM

I sit all day in an office of low walled cubicles. Since this is associated with obesity, low HDL, etc., I would love to try a standing desk. Problem is, a standing desk would really annoy my coworkers as the low walls barely provide any privacy. My boss wouldn't go for it anyways - she recently told me that I cannot walk around without my shoes...

Any sort of chair or other advice that you know of that would approximate the benefits of standing? I tried kneeling, but I'm about 6 inches too low for my work area. (Maybe pillows for my knees...)

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on April 21, 2011
at 09:21 PM

that had me really laughing. Never thought of dragging all that electronic garbage around on my shoulders. Although, just today I bought a wireless keyboard and mouse for my little lap top so I can move my office outside. I have ah heavy duty office and another computer in the kitchen. Luckily I work at home so I do movw around and it helps.

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on April 21, 2011
at 07:27 PM

among other things, i'll do spider mans and dips in the bathroom stalls a couple of times a day. i hate getting that numb butt feeling

E5a41bcb2819c818cc0d92489e7c35f2

(300)

on April 21, 2011
at 06:12 PM

I often opt for this, too — if you're flexible and know what you're doing, you can also alternate between crossed legs, half lotus on each side, and full lotus. My coworkers think I'm a crazy hippie for it — but then again, they already think I'm a crazy hippie for my fruit-vegetable-meat lunches.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on April 21, 2011
at 06:11 PM

If your boss still doesn't seem into it, mention the back pain that work is causing you. HUGE liability there. Worker's comp threats make things happen.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 21, 2011
at 06:01 PM

then meditate: "there is no chair...." :)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 21, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Thanks! That was a good article - as well as the one it linked to.

87a0de844fdd76e9ca42a01f128e61a7

(93)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:47 PM

Don't have enough personal experience with working standing yet, but you may want to check out Esther Gokhale's book "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back". In this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYudE she is asked about standing desks and her answer is that sitting on a chair might be good enough, if the posture is right. Might be worth to give it a try, as you will probably be sitting on a chair at least some of the time anyway.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:01 PM

I had one of these as a chair when I was a kid. I liked it. It got really tiring after a while but thats because I had horrendous posture.

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12 Answers

3
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:12 PM

Here's a good article on the dangers of prolonged sitting and some ways to combat them. There's probably no one position -- sitting or standing -- that's good for the body to stay stationary in for hours at a time. When I researched kneeling desks and other unusual configurations, people generally reported that they felt great at first, but after a while they just developed pain in new places. So the key seems to be to change positions and move your muscles around as much as possible. There are "destabilizing cushions" (mentioned at that article) that you can put on your chair to keep your muscles somewhat awake and involved. But the most important (and cheapest) thing appears to be making sure you get up and move around and work your muscles and joints as often as possible.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 21, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Thanks! That was a good article - as well as the one it linked to.

A2fe5bbd09c7804fd321e9e9a9f9d199

(1614)

on April 21, 2011
at 07:27 PM

among other things, i'll do spider mans and dips in the bathroom stalls a couple of times a day. i hate getting that numb butt feeling

3
C0682620728416c9bdf5d3e7d8386a65

on April 21, 2011
at 01:51 PM

sitting on a one of those work out balls? Atleast that would engage your core muscles?

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on April 21, 2011
at 03:24 PM

Take your office outside?
alternatives-to-a-standing-desk?

Barring that, I highly recommend an Ergonomic Kneeling chair.
alternatives-to-a-standing-desk?


Barring any change in seating, getting up and opening up your hip flexors with a few stretches every hour or so does wonders.

2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on April 21, 2011
at 09:21 PM

that had me really laughing. Never thought of dragging all that electronic garbage around on my shoulders. Although, just today I bought a wireless keyboard and mouse for my little lap top so I can move my office outside. I have ah heavy duty office and another computer in the kitchen. Luckily I work at home so I do movw around and it helps.

1
669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on April 21, 2011
at 07:15 PM

I've worked in a store for a couple of years,which is all about standing. Reading all stuff about standing desks,I find it odd that nobody's mentioning varicose veins in the leg. 'cause that's definitely a downside of standing.

1
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 21, 2011
at 05:57 PM

in the meantime, while you look for alternatives, you could try to sit cross legged in your existing chair, yogi style. for some reason, this tends to straighten my posture right out and makes chair sitting seem tolerable for longer periods. I learned this one on Amtrak.

E5a41bcb2819c818cc0d92489e7c35f2

(300)

on April 21, 2011
at 06:12 PM

I often opt for this, too — if you're flexible and know what you're doing, you can also alternate between crossed legs, half lotus on each side, and full lotus. My coworkers think I'm a crazy hippie for it — but then again, they already think I'm a crazy hippie for my fruit-vegetable-meat lunches.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 21, 2011
at 06:01 PM

then meditate: "there is no chair...." :)

1
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on April 21, 2011
at 05:47 PM

Don't hate your boss too much, not wearing shoes is a major workplace liability. Mention that you're considering it and ask if it's allowed. Saying no is something that makes them look bad nowadays, since this is a health issue.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on April 21, 2011
at 06:11 PM

If your boss still doesn't seem into it, mention the back pain that work is causing you. HUGE liability there. Worker's comp threats make things happen.

1
3ccab807e2b8bb1d050c3584d9c1dd12

(487)

on April 21, 2011
at 05:09 PM

I work at a place that has standing desks!!! Freaking Rocks!!!

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2011
at 05:05 PM

try the Squat position interspersed with kneeling and seated positions. The advice is to move as much as possible and to remain inert as little as possible. Standing will elevate metabolic rate n-tuple times above seated/kneeling posture...

1
535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:36 PM

I sit on a tall wooden stool at work, so I at least have to keep my back straight.

1
Cd2ff8c68dd1f1d539ad7f0ee94b0421

on April 21, 2011
at 02:21 PM

If there is a way to raise the cubicle walls just around your area, maybe your co-workers wouldn't feel their privacy was being invaded. Or find a job where a) the employer isn't too cheap to buy full-height cubicles and b) the boss isn't a tyrant.

1
D99b46b810388ee901bc1da4fc662968

(20)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:02 PM

I started to work at a standing desk in February. I was experiencing very mild lower back issues and I'm quite young so I wanted to be pro-active about it. Before standing up, I gave the exercise ball a try but it was not natural enough for me. I would only be able to sit on the exercise ball for around 30 minutes to an hour at first while I was able to stand up for a ratio of about 3 hours of standing and 1 hour of sitting twice a day since the beginning.

If standing up is not an option, I would definitely try a kneeling chair, it seems more natural than the exercise ball to me. It would also fix your problem and prop you up the missing 6 inches.

0
7f4c64d6caca80c74a6c2d91efa3259b

(831)

on April 21, 2011
at 01:50 PM

There are such things as kneeling chairs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kneeling_chair). They are mainly used to improve posture and alleviate back pain associated with long periods of sitting but it may be worth considering. Loads of sources - Google is your friend (for a change!)

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:01 PM

I had one of these as a chair when I was a kid. I liked it. It got really tiring after a while but thats because I had horrendous posture.

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