Two months ago, I watched this TED Talk that inspired me to make a change in the way I work. I was fed up with sitting eight hours a day.
Constantly feeling “out of it” after lunch each day, I was drinking way too much coffee to compensate. I figured, there has to be a better way. I took to Googling the problem as one does, and arrived at the idea of a standing workstation.
After browsing around, I decided to go with a VariDesk Pro Plus, and invested $350 into changing the way I worked. In buying this, I realized that many of our readers (hey, that’s you!) might be interested in getting one for themselves.
So, I decided to write a quick paragraph each week summing up my impression of my VariDesk and its effects on the way I work. Here they are, from week 1 to week 8, written on Fridays.
Week 1: Arrived and unpacked.
With an excitement level reminiscent to opening my first video game at 10 years old, I opened the box containing my VariDesk workstation, practically shaking with anticipation. Unpacking and set-up was effortless, as everything came pre-assembled. Here’s a straight-on shot of it:
It seems incredibly sturdy, definitely made to last a long time (hey, for $350, it should!), and the design couldn’t be simpler. Two flexing pieces resembling the shape of car door handles are located on each side of the platform. These flex pieces are where the magic happens. All you do is lift the levers, lift up (aided by some kind of hydraulics) – and viola: your standing workstation awaits your every command.
Effortlessly, it rises, with the ability to stop at multiple heights. I’m 6’2″ and found the tallest setting to be just right. I can’t tell much of a difference in my daily work routine yet, but I will say this: I’m pumped about this thing and I can’t wait to see how the next 10 weeks go.
Week 2: I think I like it, but…
Using it daily. Not always after lunch. Sometimes, I feel like standing and working all morning long. My legs get a little tired every now and then, and so I have to adjust back to the seated position.
Right now it kind of feels like all that this thing does is satisfy my inner-desire to stand. No noticeable changes in how I feel after lunch or when I get off, in terms of how energized I feel. Probably takes more time to kick in.
Week 3: Using it daily, but feeling some adjustment pains.
I’m really feeling the extra standing each day in my legs. It’s an added mini-workout to everyday, at least that’s how it feels. I find myself gravitating to a standing position when I have a clear project in front of me that I just need to hone in on and ignore everything else. I have my cup of iced afternoon coffee, put on headphones, lift my desk up, and just GO hard for 30 minute intervals.
Loving it for focused work like that.
Week 4: Not much use this week, but a little “aha” moment for using it.
I didn’t use my VariDesk much this week – a lot of stuff took me away from the office and into the field. When I did, it was briefly, and what’s noteworthy is that it felt just like a workout. I felt more refreshed after I used it than I did before – it actually gave me energy!
Week 5: Using it twice daily.
Ok, so I’ve used it every day this week, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I use it when I come in to keep up the energy I get from a fresh night’s sleep and of course, a morning cup of joe.
I’ve learned that I have to be careful not to work standing up just before lunch, because I inevitably sit down, eat, and am tired almost immediately. As long as I have 30 minutes of sitting before lunch, this effect is minimized.
In the afternoon, I’m using it right after lunch as I had planned, only now I only like using it for about 15 minutes at a time before my legs start to get tired from standing. I’m such a baby, I think to myself.
Week 6: Bringing walking into the picture.
My boss invited me to go on a quick, refreshing walk after lunch earlier this week. After a brisk 10 minute stroll, I came back to my desk, pulled the VariDesk levers, and started work on creating some sales materials for some of our home health therapy clients (a free service we offer for clients).
I worked for 90 minutes straight standing up, without so much as noticing any kind of soreness in my legs. I’ve repeated the walk twice since that day, and can honestly say that walking has made a huge difference.
Lesson learned: walk before you stand in the afternoons!
Week 7: Turning the corner.
In the last week, the adjustment pains in my legs have pretty much gone away entirely. I’m standing to work when I feel like it, and sitting back down when I start to feel some fatigue. But the soreness is going away faster (especially after short walks) and I’m feeling more energized as I return to a seated position.
Week 8: I’m a full-blown VariDesk fanatic!
OK, it’s over, and this is ending predictably well. I am proud to recommend to ALL of you, home health and early intervention therapists, office workers, and management: you MUST purchase a VariDesk. In 60 days, it’s completely transformed the way I feel when I’m working, and after each day.
The ability to choose between standing and sitting at my desk is an option I would never surrender. When my VariDesk finally breaks in 6-10 years, I’ll be more than willing to buy another. Even if it lasted only one year, it’s essentially $1 per day to work standing or sitting down.
End verdict: Predictably, I say, GO buy one today if you can! You really don’t know what you’re missing.