Who’s Afraid of a Standing Desk? Not These Ladies.
by Kenny Rhoads
Woolf reportedly did the majority of her writing as a young woman living in her parents’ house at a stand-up desk and carried on the practice well into her later years. She graced the world with many masterpieces including A Room of One’s Own, and potentially penned them all from her self-designed standing desk.
The standing desk is obviously not a new invention, as it has firm historical roots. For centuries, users have praised the positive effects of standing desks, although only in the past several years has this practice significantly resurfaced.
There are many personalities and authors who have used standing desks but none has been more instrumental in spreading the gospel than author and The New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean, who says that she’s much more energetic using a standing desk and no longer desires to sit. Even fashion icon Victoria Beckham has been pictured standing up while working (in stilettos nonetheless), and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg has been known to stand up as well.
Former Poet Laureate Rita Dove pens beautiful poetry at her standing desk in a cabin built in the backyard of her home – standing up at a long-legged oak desk made by her father. For years Dove struggled with back problems and says sitting, “…is an occupational hazard for writers, who are always crunched over their desks.”
For thousands of years, our bodies have been strengthened and sustained by movement, until technological advances and the digital revolution abruptly chained us to our desks and chairs. It is now known that those who sit more live less.
According to studies from the American Cancer Society, women who spend 6 hours or more of free time sitting per day have a 10% greater risk of getting cancer than women who spend less than 3 hours of free time sitting per day. After years of inactivity and sedentary living, it’s time for women to shake the status quo, spark the evolution of the workplace, and take their health into greater consideration.
Whether we are using a standing desk for more energy, better focus on tasks, or as a health measure, we can take a cue from some of these standing desk users.