The author’s impromptu corner office for the week.

By now, it’s tough to argue that sitting for the vast majority of the day, five days a week, is not at all good for us. I stop short of fearing it’s actually killing me, but I end lots of days with a fatigued back and legs that feel like cinder blocks, so I’ve been thinking something needs to change before my ass becomes permanently affixed to my chair.

Luckily, I was approached by Lindsay Noll, who along with husband Luke Leafgren (who’s also a Harvard dean) and friend Paul Peterson has created the StandStand, a portable standing desk that’s currently enjoying notable success on Kickstarter. (It’s well surpassed it’s $15,000 goal with more than three weeks to go.)

Chatting with Noll via email, seated among a sea of colleagues as always, I decided to take her up on the offer. She actually hand-delivered a StandStand in early September, and as she walked into our office, the first three words to escape her lips, exhaled in a gasp, were, I kid you not: Oh my god.

Her message was pretty clear: You need this.

To put it to the test, I decided to use the StandStand for a week straight. Here’s how it went …

Day 1 – Monday, 9/22 

It’s a sunny and cool Monday morning. Trucks are loading and unloading their wares outside our Faneuil Hall office, as is their custom, and I’m settling in for what I plan to be a week-long trial of my new StandStand. It’s refreshing standing up like this, though I can tell this thing is going to take some getting used to. It moves around a lot, the product, probably, of this whole setup feeling very foreign and me typing with far more force than is needed. But if I’m being honest with myself, and with you, I sit (read: slouch) at work far more than I should. (Rat race, man.) This whole standing thing should be good for me.

Noon check-in: Standing all day is hard. I’m tired. I want to sit down. So I do, but just for lunch. Also, I didn’t expect my feet to get so weary. Is this what 30 feels like?

End of day check-in: Battle tested, road weary. This is more work than I’d expected.

Day 2 – Tuesday, 9/23

Someone should have told me standing desks require so many accessories.

Anti-fatigue mat? Should I have picked up a pair of moon shoes as well? What’s next, a travel pillow and a standing arm rest? Maybe our reliance on the office chair is because standing and typing all day takes so much extra, well … work.

End of the day check-in: Knowing I was leaving in the late afternoon for a Sox game, I stand all day. Honestly, it made me appreciate sidling up to a bar in Fenway more than usual. Maybe I can get used to this.

Day 3 – Wednesday, 9/24

Google image “standing desk” and you get an awful lot of happy-looking office rats in running shoes and flip-flops. This, I’ve learned, is no mere coincidence; it’s marketing. Wear heels all day, do you? Have fun with that. Same goes for those wingtips. I came into this thing thinking I could stand from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and go home refreshed and alert. Boy, was I wrong.

Noon check-in: I’m sitting again. But I find myself eyeing the corner with anticipation. I want to stand up more. I take this as a positive sign.

Day 4 – Thursday, 9/25

I have a system now: use the StandStand until lunch, go back to my desk and sit for a couple hours, then finish the day out standing. My pride wouldn’t allow this the first couple days; I’m 30 years old, I thought, I even work out on a pretty regular basis. Standing on my own two feet shouldn’t be a chore.

Well, it is.

End of day check-in: It’s still not easy, I wouldn’t say, but I’m getting used to this.

Like lots of offices, there’s a lot of sitting here at BostInno.

Day 5 – Friday, 9/26

Friday at last, the final day of my week-long standing desk trial period. I’ve learned a few things:

  1. I work 10-hour days, at least. Standing for every one of them is not realistic.
  2. Standing in the morning increased my productivity. Seriously, my inbox has never looked better.
  3. Being the one person standing in the far corner of your office is a little awkward. We all must suffer for our art, I suppose.
  4. This trial week was harder than I had expected. Which makes me think what I was doing before was really bad for me. I’m going to start standing at work more.
  5. The Kickstarter campaign claims StandStand can support 900 pounds of weight (that’s two Vince Wilforks and a linebacker), an impressive figure seeing how it only weighs about five pounds itself. Not having a baby elephant on hand, or two Vince Wilforks and a linebacker, I decided to see if it can support me.
  6. It can support me.
The author, standing on his StandStand.

In the end, adjusting to standing far more than usual at work was more difficult than I’d expected, but all the benefits you read about were realized. I am more alert and productive, especially in the mornings; I do feel less overall fatigue at the end of the day; I do feel better about myself in general, knowing I’m making the best of an office situation that’s otherwise plotting to kill me.

If you’ve been considering trying a standing desk, I’d encourage you to take the plunge.

Just remember to come armed with comfortable shoes. Or an anti-fatigue mat.