It’s been a month since I drastically changed the way I’m working at my desk. I already wrote about it in this article. I explained why sitting for a long period of time is unhealthy and what the solutions could be.
According to many authors and experts, a standing desk is the solution for a better and more active way of working.
My standing desk the Upstaa
Upstaa is a young Dutch company that produces, packs and ships the Upstaa products themselves. Upstaa is a product that allows everyone to create a standing desk without having to adjust your environment or purchase a completely new adjustable desk. When the Upstaa arrived, my first thought was: beautiful, practical and decent! Upstaa was shipped in a flat package and even a four-year-old can set up the Upstaa desk. And yes, 2 minutes later I had my own stand up desk. The product is very similar to this one here.
Upstaa’s production processes respects the environment. Upstaa only uses approved wood from sustainably managed and monitored forests. Upstaa also uses efficient flat packs for shipping and their packing materials contain no plastic or PVC.
You can set up the Upstaa in less than 2 minutes. On the top shelf, you place your laptop and your keyboard and mouse can be placed underneath on the lower shelves. There are different sizes and colors available for laptop and/or computer.
The first week
The first day was a little bit of a disappointment. I was excited to stand behind my Upstaa desk. I had my desk completely set up with my mouse, water bottle, notebooks and keyboard. But my brain didn’t cooperate. It seemed like I had a blackout. It was as if my brain assumed I was standing (waiting for someone) and just refused to work efficiently. Even ”simple” tasks like editing pictures didn’t go that well. Then my body started to complain. My back, my feet … everything wanted to sit down! My mind was also very busy by now with standing/not sitting and I wasn’t able to focus on work. I decided to sit down and try again the next day. Great, but this is not going to work for me I thought. But why not? What is wrong with me?
The weeks after
I didn’t give up and came to the conclusion that a) the aim is not be able to stand all day at your desk and b) that you have to build up the time standing.
I emailed Pepijn from Upstaa and he gave me the same advise: build it up and aim to work a few hours per day standing. I alternated between sitting and standing, which is really easy with the Upstaa by simply moving the boards up or down. Within a week I could work and focus while standing for quite a while without any effort. My focus might have even gotten better….
After a month, I can say that I’m totally used to standing and that the Upstaa is really a great product! The Upstaa is easy to put away, but often I’ll just leave it out because it’s so beautifully designed. I picked the white one that fits perfectly with my table.
I don’t feel so tired any more after working for hours (alternating sitting and standing). The logic behind it is pretty simple. The more you stand, the more you actively use your body. Your muscles will need to work to keep you standing and this promotes a better posture compared to sitting and being inactive behind your desk. Your bloodstream will also keep going and this made me more alert, focused and more creative.
A very nice additional benefit from Upstaa is the sitting working experience. Yes, I hear you think …. I’ve always had a bad posture and when I sit for about 20 minutes my posture becomes very poor. For me it’s therefore very practical if I can move my screen up. As such I have to sit up straight. The Upstaa is flexible when it come to the levels/ height. I have moved the boards to train myself to sit up straight. If I do sit down I think a good posture is very important.
What I also like about the Upstaa is the convenience with which I can store the Upstaa away. In no time the Upstaa is stored flat behind my chair and I have a completely empty desk. Perfect!
I’m now aiming at standing while working for 3 hours per day, and I’m doing quite well with that. I noticed that I feel more active and more often I feel the need to take a break and stretch my legs or I’ll jump on my bellicon for 5 minutes.
Although the beginning of this experience was not how I anticipated, I honestly have to admit that the Upstaa is really worth it. Don’t strive for perfection, but for ”as good as you can”. Aim for 1 to 3 hours of standing per day. On a weekly/monthly/yearly base those hours will accumulate and that will result in a whole lot less sitting. Our bodies can really benefit from that. All small bits help.
Dutch people sit on average 8.7 hours a day. Young people (12 to 20 years old) sit even more. They sit on average 10.4 hours a day. (source)
Standing desk benefits in a nutshell
- The Upstaa is beautiful and easy to put together
- De Upstaa is sustainable
- De Upstaa is easy to put away if needed
- De Upstaa fits any desk (also smaller ones)
- De Upstaa is great if you want to develop a better sitting posture
- De Upstaa fits every length as you can easily adjust the height