Day One of a Standing Desk
A standing desk lets you change your work environment to use your desk while standing as much as you want. Standing at a standing desk has a number of immediate and long-term health benefits that you can begin to experience immediately, with certain benefits being strong enough that you’ll actually feel better within the first week. However, that first day or two can be a different experience that you need to account for and expect.
Standing on your feet for even half your day feels very different. If that means spending three hours standing at your desk and three or four sitting, it will take a minor toll on you for that first day or two, so you have to be prepared for that, expect it, and know that it goes away and gives way to feeling better and living longer.
People who have gone through this period and are on the other side tend to have only good things to say about the way standing at a standing adjustable height desk makes them feel. And they will sing praises like improved focus and mental clarity, fewer aches and pains especially in the back and shoulders, and sleeping better.
But your body has to adjust first. Just like when you start a diet, a new exercise program, or even get a firmer or softer mattress, standing on your feet for hours more than your body has done is a big change. You will have to acclimate. That first day when you get home, you will probably feel more tired, and perhaps feel muscle fatigue in your legs as well. Some people also experience some tiredness in their lower back. Also sore feet, in both the heels and the arches, are not uncommon, especially for people who don’t wear shoes with proper support.
But if you make it through the first day and have that experience at night, that is a significant accomplishment. By the next morning, all those aches should recede except for perhaps a bit of muscles soreness in the legs. You will probably have the same experience on the second day, and it might even get a mildly more severe. If you continue to have this problem through the entire first week, you should check the ergonomics of your workstation and then your own posture. Often, lower back pain and foot pain come from poor posture, while your shoulders and neck may get sore from having your monitor or keyboard at the wrong height.
By the end of the first week, your fatigue will start to reside, and you should begin to feel more focused and perhaps even have more energy at work. However, if you were having aches in your feet, ankles, and leg joints, you might also have to make other changes to help alleviate that discomfort. Better shoes, better posture, and a soft standing pad can help. You might even consider exercising and stretching.
The end of this adjustment period will come slowly and you might not even realize it until one day you go home from work after standing at your standing desk all day and realize you feel better than you have before. Then, you’re on the other side with all the fans of standing desks.