By Rachel Folz, @friendorfolz

It started with Da Kois 2014 “New York Magazine” article, “Sitting Is Bad for You. So I Stopped. For a Whole Month.” The news had been circling for a few months by then that sitting was the new smoking. I had quit smoking a long time ago and as a digital marketing manager, most of my working day was spent in place at my desk. Most days, I even took lunch at my desk.

Then standing desks started to enter my media atmosphere. Sleek and modern, they seemed to be the go-to solution for sassy startups and health-minded employers. I mulled, I researched. The price was pretty high for my non-profit employer but once I saw low-priced stand-up desk extensions advertised, I was ready to jump in.

My desk arrived late in the week. I took care to also order a standing mat. Many people who tried standing failed because their workplace floors weren’t made to stand on. 

It took about an hour-and-a-half to get the whole thing set up. That’s from tearing down my computer, putting up the desk, finding the right elbow height, to getting my dual monitor angle just right.

The reaction of my coworkers was…odd. Many were curious about why I would choose to stand. But I ended the day with high energy.

The next day, my body was tired. I made it through but when I went to bed that night, I was out like a light.

By the next week, my standing status was becoming normal. As part of my research, I knew that I needed to plan in a few sitting breaks through the day. This was a big shift for me. Before I would have to get up and stretch to give my eyes and shoulders a break. Now, I was taking a physical and mental break. It helped me power up for mentally taxing jobs.

By the third week, I still finished the day more tired than before but it was good. I found myself accomplishing tasks that I had put off for months. And when I was having flow moments with my work, I didn’t even notice I was standing.

All in all, I love it. I feel more engaged and active at work and my shoulders don’t hurt from slouching anymore.

Thinking of standing up? Here are my tips:

  • Don’t blow the farm on the price of your desk. Get a cheap one to make sure it’s for you.
  • Get a gel standing mat. 
  • If you can, stand in bare or stocking feet. 
  • Get ready to answer questions
  • Keep your chair. You’ll still want it for phone calls and other desk work.