by Santiago Baraya ( @_idigital ) :
Since early September, 2013, Pixel Dreams started giving standing or stand up desks option to PDT and the PD co-working space clients!
Besides the hip side of the initiative, because let’s admit it, it is very cool when your company offers you such a healthy and fashionable alternative without you even asking, there is a lot of research that proves that standing desks improve your health, increase your energy levels and last, but not least importantly, increase your productivity.
According to the Wall Street Journal (1), a growing number of workers at Google and Facebook are taking advantage of the programs their companies gives them, and trading their sit-down desks for standing ones, saying they feel more comfortable and energized. Pixel Dreams is living the same process now.
As mentioned before, Google, Facebook and now Pixel Dreams offer standing desks as part of its employee-wellness program. For Pixel Dreams’ case, this means is that any Pixel Dreams employee or PD coworking space client, can choose, and is encouraged to work at a standing desk. Other companies are not as flexible, and will only offer them if a doctor writes a note saying it’s medically necessary for a specific medical condition.
But what is the real advantage of having standing desks in your workplace?
According to readwrite.com and PDT members that have made already the switch, the real impact of trading your traditional desks to standing ones is:
- Standing desks boost productivity – readwrite.com found that compared to a period of time when a person is not using the standing desk, the standing one led to up to 10% more productivity.
- Focus – The feeling of urgency while standing enforces your completion of tasks. Readwrite recommends trying this especially when working in tasks that you know what the outcome should be and its just a matter of getting to your objective. PDT members comment on this matter that they can do more in the same period of time.
- High Energy Levels – There is no need to hide it, the adaptation period is hard, you are going to be moderately hurt while the muscles in your body understand that you are getting a better working posture. Once you overcome the adaptation period, you will realize that your energy levels are constant. “You’re not getting the 3 o’clock slump, and you avoid the dreaded food coma. As a result, your mind doesn’t drift, your eyes don’t droop, and you can get through your day without experiencing an energy roller coaster.” (2)
- Higher concentration on tasks – Just like with the focus, you will realize that you will have a higher attention span and get on other things just when you finish the ones you are already doing. In the readwrite.com case, they discovered that their employees only had the urge to sit after completing their tasks and then realizing that they were tired.
- Increasing your lifespan – “People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs” (3)
How sitting wrecks your body (3) :
As soon as you sit:
- Electrical activity shuts off
- Calorie burning drops to 1 per minute
- Enzymes that help break down fat drop 90%
After 2 hours sitting:
- Good cholesterol drops 20%
After 24 hours:
- Insulin effectiveness drops 24% and risk of diabetes rises.
Build your own standing desks: An affordable and easy to build PD do-it-yourself project for less than $60:
Tip before you begin: For them to work in all the good ways we have presented to you today, you have to make sure the standing desk has the correct height for you. Measure the foundations (See Below), so your arms are bent on a 90-degree angle while standing. Other sources will recommend that the height of your desk should still be comfy while seating; as you will see, you will not have this problem because you will use your own sit-down desk as part of your standing desk.
First gather all the elements from the partlist to make your own standing desk:
- Your own traditional sit-down desk
- One IKEA Stolmen shelf ($35 on IKEA), on a size that fits nicely compared to your actual desk. This will be the top of your standing desk.
- Two IKEA Lack wall shelves ($9.99 each on IKEA). This two will be the foundations of your standing desk. You can replace this two pieces with custom wood pieces if the height of your standing desk is not the appropriate as explained in the tip.
- Two corner braces ($2.38 each on Lowe’s), on the previous link you will find a 3” x ¾” zinc corner brace, but it was used just for illustration purposes.
- As many wood screws as your selected braces require (most of the time they are included with the braces).
- Each one of the braces shown in the link requires four wood screws. Since we are going to use two braces, we require eight wood screws in total.
Install the two braces on the Stolmen Shelf.
- Turn Around the Stolmen shelf.
- Measure where you are going to locate both of the foundations. They should be equidistant to each side of your Stolmen shelf (Length X) and they should also be placed so they are equidistant (Length Y) and centered (Length Z) compared to the ends of your traditional sit-down desk. See diagram below.
- Mark the two positions of the foundations.
- Screw the corner braces to the Stolmen shelf on the positions on the two foundations (Lack shelves).
Screw each of foundation to a corner brace as the diagram shows.
Center the standing desk on top of the traditional sit-down desk.
- If you feel is not solid enough, you can use two additional corner braces to join the standing desk to the sit-up desk in a more definitive way.
Now that you have seen the good of standing desks, the bad of sitting down all day and Pixel Dreams’ standing desks DIY version, we would love to hear back from you. Let us know know how your Do-it-yourself standing desks project went and how your company’s productivity boost after changing.
Sources:(1) Wall Street Journal,(2) Readwrite.com,(3) Mashable.com