Like many twenty-somethings, the technology era has given me back problems. Pains, shoulder aches and carpal tunnel have become pretty common symptoms for millennials, and it’s all thanks to the hours we spend at computers.
There is increasing evidence that sitting around all the time is really bad for you, and its quite worrying for someone who has chosen a career that involves a lot of sitting at a computer to write or produce videos. And I don’t have as much time as I would like to go to the gym or do some yoga.
The problems associated with sitting all the time include increased risk of cancer and diabetes. So those are some pretty convincing reasons to stand more often. Plus, a recent study suggests standing keeps you looking younger.
I’ve been considering standing desks for a while now, with the hopes that I could lessen some of the pains I’ve been getting. The problem is, I work all over the place. Sometimes I’m home, sometimes I’m in a café, sometimes I’m in an office. I’m also a bit of a traveller – lately I’ve been moving every 3-4 months, and before that I was moving every year, so investing in or setting up a standing desk is often not feasible, especially when I sublet.
When I got asked to review a portable standing desk, I got excited – this was my chance to hop on the standing desk bandwagon! And the StandStand desk is a great place to start. It fits easily into my backpack, so it’s easy to carry around and according to the manufacturers, it’s made sustainably. The desks are made in the US from either birch or bamboo (this product qualifies for LEED credits). The only thing is they get their birch from Europe, but they try to minimize their footprint in other ways.
Price-wise, the StandStand desks aren’t the cheapest. There are some cheaper options out there – and there are also really expensive ones!
It’s great to be able to bring my desk with me wherever I go, but the problem is, the portable standing desk does not have an adjustable height, so I can’t stand all day – my neck gets tired looking down. If all the desks I stood it on were the same height, this wouldn’t be a problem, but that’s not the case. It’s still good to be able to switch positions intermittently throughout the day, though.
The StandStand is pretty easy to build - once you've got the trick of it. The wooden slats slide into each other and it can be a little tricky to figure out at first, but it makes sense once everything comes together.
I’ve only been using the desk for two weeks, so it’s still too early to tell if I’ve received the health benefits like TreeHugger editor Mike did, but I can tell you, getting on my feet is a nice feeling after I’ve been sitting for a while!
That said, I have trouble concentrating for long periods of time when I’m standing. I find myself shifting my weight a lot, but I think that’s just my muscles learning to adjust to the new position. From what I hear from others who have used standing desks for a long time, the body and mind eventually adjust.