3 min read

how to never sit again... secrets to standing desks.

how to never sit again... secrets to standing desks.
Photo by TheStandingDesk / Unsplash

why sitting is the new smoking

Sitting for long periods of time:

  • Causes body pains and mobility issues
  • Slows your metabolism and contributes to extra body fat
  • Linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.
  • Contributes to a feeling of fatigue
  • Possibly hurts creativity and performance

The solution is to get a standing desk and stand. Yet...

no one actually stands at their standing desks

people get tired or feel pain.

how do we fix this?

5 steps to actually stand.

Step 3 is such a hack!!

step 1. wear flat shoes

step 2. use cushioning

if you have pain, consider:

  • anti fatigue mats and/or
  • shoes with more cushion

avoid too cushioned shoes though -

that's kind of confusing but:

step 3. cycle through these 3 poses

once you get the hang of these 3 positions, you'll be able to stand/lean indefinitely.

i. stable standing pose

stable standing position

ii. captain morgan pose

captain morgan pose

iii. upright lean pose

upright lean pose

materials needed:

  • bar stool
    • ideally square edge (so butt can catch on it, circle stools aren't good for this)
    • ideally wood or metal (this gives negative feedback as a cue to change positions)
  • foot stool, slant board, soccer ball, etc. for the captain morgan pose
    • many options work here
    • but make sure the item doesn't elevate your knee above your hip
    • slant board is great because you get a calf stretch.

once you're able to stand for most of the workday using these three foundational positions, definitely toss in more positions into the mix.

step 4. recognize the transition takes time

I realize the title of this article says never sit again

but if your body hurts and you need to sit, sit (on your stool)

just set a timer for 20 minutes first

stand again after the timer is up

still, the goal is to never use the sitting height again on your sit-stand desk

which is very doable IMO

step 5. internalize that you CAN do deep work while standing

some people think you can't

there's no evidence to support this

some studies suggest the contrary, that long periods of sittings are bad for performance / creativity

The same 2018 study that monitored people sitting for 2 hours suggests that prolonged sitting has a negative impact on perceived mental state and creative problem-solving abilities.

The 2017 article mentioned above also suggests that sitting for long periods can lead to feelings of exhaustion.

my personal experience

I was able to stand the bulk of the last 2 workdays using these techniques, especially the 3 different poses

leaning is the secret!!!

I already noticed some of my muscles are less tight and more mobile after work now


  • you never need to sit again!

All credits for the ideas and images in this article to the book Deskbound. The author of Deskbound, also wrote Ready to Run, a wonderful book which I summarized here and here.

Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and unhealthy cholesterol levels — that make up metabolic syndrome. Too much sitting overall and prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. MayoClinic.