We’ve all seen those infographics that break down just how horrible sitting is for your health and how all of us that spend our lives doing computer work at a sit station are doomed to die early. As a professional copywriter, who sits most of my day typing away, I’m obviously concerned. Especially in light of the fact that I have a young child and would like to live a good long life for him.
And let’s face it, owning my own copywriting business has not been good for my health. I’ve seen a definite increase in my butt size (and that double chin!) as well as some extra aches and creaks since hanging the open for business shingle some 10 years ago.
The super sedentary life of a writer for hire
I’ve tried loads of things from trying to set-up specific break times to get me up from the desk and at least on walk about around the apartment (I always find excuses to stay put and working), to after school walks with the fam (40 minutes to an hour walking is good but is just NOT enough movement in your day), and even a DIY treadmill desk (it worked but my productivity was markedly affected).
DIY standing desk– Epic FAIL
After trying to adapt some things around the apartment to make my own inexpensive standing desk (a kitchen cart, a plastic bin, a stack of books, and even filled cardboard boxes) and failing epically. I had begun my search for inexpensive, DIY tutorials for a standing desk and just when I was on the verge of heading to IKEA for materials that would have surely cost the same or more and required my elbow grease as well, I was contacted by Connie at StandStand.
Connie emailed me a press release to tell me about StandStand’s latest standing desk, the largest one yet — The StandStand Grand. I immediately wrote her back and told her I was in the market for one and could she send me one to review and to my delight, she agreed! What follows is my experience with The StandStand Grand and though the product was sent gratis for review, the opinions are all honest and my own. StandStand required nothing of me in return but an honest review.
An affordable standing desk
The first thing I did after Connie contacted me was to check out StandStand’s website, which is user-friendly, informative, and easy to navigate. You’ll find everything you need to know about the variety of styles and sizes of StandStand standing desk products and even video demonstrations that make it super easy to see exactly what you’ll be getting, how pick a size, and how to assemble it.
StandStand created by the alliteratively named duo — idea man, Luke Leafgren (a dean and professor at Harvard) and his pal, Paul Peterson (who just so happens to run a cabinetry company back in his hometown in Wisconsin). The desks are conceived and manufactured in the USA, made of sustainable birch and bamboo, and StandStand supports growing their local economy. All of which is a great bonus when what you’re looking to do is decrease your health risk affordably with a standing desk you can use anywhere from your home, to your office, a coffee shop, or wherever.
I was immediately taken with the fact that this was not a cardboard, particle board, or plastic desk (especially considering its affordability — $75 to 100 for the original sizes) but beyond that, StandStand’s are actually really beautiful, simple, and modern looking, as well as kindly priced. Even the soon-to-be-launched StandStand Grand (the admittedly Big Poppa of the bunch) runs only $160-$200 and is available for pre-order through their Kickstarter page right now. This is the desk I ordered, as I have a big monitor and needed the space for that monitor, my keyboard, and mouse.
StandStand Grand: Flexibility, beauty, and affordability
My StandStand Grand arrived about a week after I told Connie the size I wanted (StandStand Grand comes in a variety of heights to fit your body and preferred working height to ensure your comfort). I got the 12 inch height model in the lovely light-colored, Birch, which matches my desk. (They also have an excellent blog to help you to find the right fit for your StandStand.) I opened the box and found the stunning natural looking pieces stacked together flatly and waiting to be assembled with the cute StandStand face logo cut into the top piece but what I didn’t find was instructions for putting it together! Know why? Because this desk is so simple in design that even without the handy online video, which shows them putting StandStands together in real-time (less than a minute!), you can put this desk together yourself in seconds. This is because it is a fitted slot design that is essentially made to go together just one way — no screws, no nails, no glue, just you and the interlocking slots.
StandStand touts its strength, saying it’s “even strong enough to hold a small elephant,” and showing a stack of weights along with its creator Luke, sitting atop the bottom half of the two tiered desk and though they offer that the top-tier of the stand holds most size monitors, the bottom platform of mine was just too big for the width of their top platform. But no matter, because I just removed the top-tier and put my monitor on the bottom tier where it still has plenty of room for my keyboard and mouse and works beautifully whether I’m sitting or standing (it also helps that I have an adjustable monitor that I can raise up when I stand and lower when I sit. Best of all it looks beautiful and blends in perfectly with my existing desk.
I’ve used the StandStand for a few weeks now and I have to say that I LOVE it. I started exactly as they recommend, by standing for 15 minutes every hour and then building up standing time. From all the studies I’ve read it’s this combination of sitting and standing that is exactly what you should be looking for with a standing desk for optimum health. The increased movement is key, as standing alone comes with its own hazards. Since I began using the StandStand Grand, I’ve been moving more, not only standing while I work but I also find myself dancing while I work (I often have music playing) and with no marked decrease in productivity. My neck and shoulders hurt way less by the end of a work day, I find I’m taking more breaks (much-needed) and I’m no longer getting that mid-day energy slump.
I absolutely LOVE my StandStand Grand and what a great solution it’s turning out to be for my sedentary work problem. I am so thankful to be able to review this product and that these guys decided to put something out in the world that not only does what it says and is well-made but is also affordable and committed to things like sustainability and supporting their local economy. Keep up the great work guys!!