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What happens when you stand for 5 years (youtube.com)
39 points by arshadgc on Jan 8, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 35 comments

Standing desk user here, since 2009. I'm in general agreement with the OP.


o Standing eliminates post-lunch lethargy, for me

o I perceive an increased focus while standing

o I still feel a bit of back soreness while standing, from time to time—standing helps but is not a miracle solution

o Some argue standing is good for dieting as it burns more calories than sitting: http://lifehacker.com/5798791/calculate-how-many-calories-yo...


o Standing all day, like sitting all day, is hard on the body, but in different ways (for example, it increases the risk of varicose veins)--to compensate, alternate between standing or sitting, and take breaks, walk around, and so forth, as OP does

o I lost two overhead storage cubbies, in transitioning my desk, to a standing desk--something to consider if you need to consolidate materials

o I'm 6'1" tall and find colleagues shorter than ~5'5" find my high work-surface challenging, during desk-side meetings (a good reason to keep at least one lower work-surface)

Some random other tips:

o Face monitors toward a low-traffic area, to minimize passer-by distractions/eye-contact

o The OP stands on wood floors, but I think that's nuts; get a highly-rated anti-fatigue mat (I got one via ULINE)

o A chair with an adjustable seat height represents a really nice-to-have; the Herman Miller Aeron Stool’s high variant represents the nicest one (again, personal preference, here), with a seat height up to 34"

>> Standing eliminates post-lunch lethargy, for me

I quit drinking sugary drinks for that.

Congratulations on choosing a healthier diet; controlling sugars definitely helps, as well.

Some anecdata: I spent the holidays with my family. I had never noticed they always have dessert. The amount of sugar I ate during the week was enough for me to feel cravings almost a week after. It's my gf who noticed that I was looking for cookies/candy when I usually don't eat any dessert.

I'm coming up on my 5-year standing anniversary.

One thing I've noticed that the video doesn't mention is what it's like to work at a sitting desk after having exclusively stood so long.

It sucks.

My hip flexors aren't used to sitting for more than short intervals, which means I can't work at a sitting desk for a whole day without having hip pain.

This was an issue last year when I did some consulting at a company where they didn't have any standing desks available. (At some companies I've actually started the standing desk trend, but this Major US Cable Company was having none of it).

Do you work out regularly?

I'd imagine if you exercised/stretched your lower back and hip flexors regularly (deadlifts and squats) that you would be OK to sit for long periods of time.

I started basic barbell training 3 times per week, including squats and deadlifts, about 3 months ago.

I guess I didn't notice any problems with hip flexors when sitting on a few very long flights recently, so maybe you're right.

TL;DR doing too much of anything is not good?

Good point. Yeah, it's true... sitting for long periods is actually uncomfortable for me. Not just at work, but also on planes and in cars.

Cashiers, doormen, and croupiers do it.

I stood all day assembling automobiles years ago. Took a couple weeks to get used to it.

Been standing for three years. I was having pretty frequent lower back pain, which made sitting very uncomfortable. It took a while to get used to standing (leg fatigue).

Back pain is basically gone. Legs still get tired sometimes and it is nice to take a break and sit occasionally throughout the day. I would not go back to sitting but would like a more interchangeable standing/sitting setup.

I'm reasonably fit, but I'd never stood for the whole day, until two weeks ago. Then I started running the family business while the parents went away for vacation. I decided to stand / walk instead of grabbing a stool because I thought it would compensate for the lack of other exercise I'd be getting - business hours are fairly long, and I really don't feel like workout out after.

Take-aways so far:

- When standing, I automatically change it up - sometimes I stand up-right, sometimes I stand with my legs split a bit.

- After a couple of days of discomfort, I can basically stand all day, no issues.

- I come home, and sit. And if I'm watching TV, I pass out for a good 20 minutes. Automatic nap.

- I don't feel sleepy at work at all. Zero lethargy. I don't feel sleepy after lunch.

Some advice:

- Try to engage your core, your glutes, legs.. different muscles to keep you upright.

- Change things up. I try not to lurch. To lower myself, I split my legs a bit. Sometimes for fun (while reading email, random junk online..) I do a half-squat.

For all you guys who have standing desks and have been using them for years, have you noticed any type of leg vein issues (vericose veins)?

Years ago when I looked into making a standing desk I vaguely remember a couple studies hinting that prolonged standing drastically increases the chances of getting them.

Nope, but then I've always used compression socks (for long before I started standing due to having it drilled in to my head by a soccer coach I had back in the day) which I think helps prevent such problems, I also have a standing mat.

Anyway, I've been standing for three years now and apart from about a month of adjusting myself to the idea, it's been great, primarily my lower back which used to hurt somewhat and stiffen after a work day, other benefits although not dramatic is some weight loss (atleast initially) and better posture.

Interesting, I haven't heard of those.

That was my only concern for a standing desk really. I already walk a few miles a day, but I wanted to add more standing into my daily routine.

It's funny, after you do it long enough your body craves it.

>Interesting, I haven't heard of those.

Basically they improve blood circulation and prevent varicose vein problems.

My old coach was convinced it improved recovery time for lower-leg muscles after hard training and more or less made us swear to use them as much as possible :)

>It's funny, after you do it long enough your body craves it.

I'm doing daily (well at least 5-6 days a week) walks myself as well, I do between 50-70 minutes depending on how I feel, and yes it does become something of a craving, I typically feel uneasy if I don't get out and walk.

The reason I started was as part of rehabilitation after a knee injury I sustained during sports, and it became a great habit (something good came out of that injury).

This might also play in to avoiding vein issues when standing since you get the leg circulation up and running during high pace walks.

Do you have any recommended compression sock brands?

Nope - no issues with varicose veins yet. I've also heard that varicose veins can be caused by pushing hard on the toilet!


Conclusions: Sitting time was not associated with all-cause mortality risk. The results of this study suggest that policy makers and clinicians should be cautious about placing emphasis on sitting behaviour as a risk factor for mortality that is distinct from the effect of physical activity.

My father-in-law was using standing desk for past 40 years (works at street market). He is pretty healthy.

I use the same little laptop stand thing, can recommend it as a cheap way into standing desks.

Yes! Also cool to note that a post a while back on here showed leg strength correlating to increased intelligence.

Then you should do squats because standing all day doesn't give you big strong legs.

Note, I'm not claiming that squats will make you smarter. For some reason we get a lot of "correlation science" on HN.

No no no. You should read more. That will increase your intelligence which makes your legs stronger.

I just rip off pages from textbooks and eat them. Much, much less time consuming and the calories aren't that bad. Great source of fiber.

That study was looking at an elderly female population, and essentially using leg strength as a proxy for overall fitness level. The authors never used that data to argue that there was something particular about leg strength that correlated with intelligence. Rather, they were making the point that overall fitness and activity levels correlate with healthy aging.

This was a classic misrepresentation in science media.

Thanks for clearing that up!

Can someone summarize the video? Can't watch video right now.

The person in the video has been using a standing approach to work for five years. He likes to use a furinno laptop stand, instead of a standing desk (he likes that it's easier to move and take with him, can be positioned on most any desk, and it costs $50).

He hasn't found that he experienced leg pain or much fatigue. He takes routine breaks, preferring to jog in place to refresh his legs, rather than sitting down so much (he noted he takes breaks for eg lunch, I assume he sits down for that). He said he basically hasn't experienced any significant negatives.

On the positive, he said his legs and back feel much stronger. He had back pain for years that is now gone. Early on he wore specific sneakers and was very careful about doing things a certain way; now he has relaxed that a lot, and will wear any type of shoes he wants to, and doesn't worry about having a padded mat under him. He didn't indicate a vast uptick in productivity, but that he may have experienced a bit of improvement there. He said his posture improved dramatically, having removed the hunching-over you often get at a desk.

whoa - perfect

Guy stood for upto 10 hours a day for 5 years at his workstation.

His posture has improved and doesn't fatigue as easily when standing but don't expect it to drastically improve your life, because overall healthiness is an accumulation of many things.

It's an ad for an app.

Not denying it


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