Wherever we see an innovation that’s going to help us feel better/work better, we like to give it a go here at the Yellow Shed of Wonderment. One of these innovations is also one of the things most people remark on the most when they come to visit us – the fact that we have ‘uppy/downy’ desks, i.e. desks that rise up to a standing height at the press of a button so you can stand up and work, rather than sit down.
It always surprises me when people haven’t seen them before because the fact is that, psychologically, you feel very different when you’re stood up or sat down, so they make absolute, pragmatic sense. Depending on your role, they can therefore have a pretty profound impact on your persona; including the way you project yourself to clients or colleagues for example. It also makes sense to me that it’s going to have an effect on your health. Mankind wasn’t designed to sit on its arse all day, so maybe standing a little throughout the day is, logic implies, probably going to be a good thing. Maybe not as good as an hour’s walk in the park perhaps, but still better than slumped at your desk?
And since it had that effect on visitors, I decided to have a look into it to see how unusual we are.
I quickly found out that it’s neither a new nor particularly unique innovation – and there’s a growing body of evidence that standing up to work is getting more popular. Of the notable people who have been regular standy-workers were Leonardo D-V (though didn’t he also work lying down (?) so I’m not sure he counts) but also Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway and even Winston Churchill liked working standing up (when he wasn’t smoking in the bath!). And if it’s good enough for Winnie, it’s good enough for us.
There also seems to be an increasing number of known benefits from standing at your desk. A quick Google on something like ‘benefits of standing desks’ reveals about 12 zillion pages of assorted nuts, early-adopters, spuriously-titled professors of the Massacheussetts College for Life Improvement Scientific Research Processes (I’ve just made that up but you get the idea) but the overall impression is that more and more people are feeling a benefit and the impact seems to be broadly positive.
So, if anybody is interested, above is a little video clip of our desks going up and down (wooo!), and I’ll happily send you a link so you can buy one of your own – for interest I think they cost about £750 each!