Making the Move to a Standing Desk

By Brenda Bethman

As I discussed in a recent SAWTT post, I recently embarked on a quest to get more fit. As part of that quest, I’ve been using my FitBit more regularly — and noticed that the daily “Time Active” pie charts often show the percentage of time spent as “sedentary” (vs. active) as 60% or more. In other words, I spend about 60% of my non-sleeping time sitting on my rear (whether at the office, in meetings, or on the sofa at home) — and this is despite my new regimen of going to the gym or walking outside 7-8 times per week. Given all the studies demonstrating that that much sitting is unhealthy, I decided that it was finally time to set up that standing desk I’d been considering for a while.

So, I ordered a pop-up standing desk from Amazon, dusted off the office laptop that wasn’t being used very often, and set up one part of my L-shaped desk as a standing desk:

My new standing desk setup
My new standing desk setup

On the other part of the “L,” I have my old sitting set up with desktop:

The sitting part of my desk
The sitting part of my desk

It’s only been a few days so far, but I’ve learned the following:

  • A laptop will only work with a stand (for now, it’s on a cardboard box, but I plan on upgrading)
  • If you use a laptop, you definitely need a second keyboard — getting the laptop high enough to see the screen without back pain makes reaching the keyboard unpleasant
  • Start slow — right now, I’m standing for 1-2 hours per day and hope to slowly increase it
  • Comfortable shoes are a must (some folks I know who use standing desks prefer to stand without shoes. I haven’t tried that yet).
  • Music is essential when standing as otherwise the new position feels tedious
  • Don’t forget to take breaks — standing in one position can also be bad for posture, back, etc. I made sure to install BreakTime on both computers and use the app to remind myself to move around periodically.

So far, I am happy with the setup and liking the experiment — and will report back again after I’ve had more time to try it out. What about you? Do you use a standing desk? If yes, what has your experience been like?


Making the Move to a Standing Desk

2 thoughts on “Making the Move to a Standing Desk

  1. Dayna Sherman Martin says:

    You’ve got a great set up and thank you for mentioning the shoes!!! I’ve been using the Stand Steady from Amazon ( and love it. It does take a little bit of time to adjust to standing, but now I stand almost the whole day.


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