Monday, May 11, 2015

To sit or not to?

With the launch of the ConnectTVT Open Devices Lab there's a new opportunity and new facility within GROW. During launch week several people have commented upon the height of the display stand's, and this got me thinking about a discussion that has been a work meme in recent years - standing desks.

What are the pros and cons now that people have had some experience of using them?

I found a number of interesting articles on the Web discussing blogger’s experiences of using both standing and standing/sitting desks.

If you want to build one for yourself, then just ask at your local MakerSpace (e.g., they will have the facilities to help you build one from existing materials such as those found at IKEA as shown in this guide (

But, what type of desk to build?

Constant standing seems to be as bigger a problem as constant sitting.

In his article ( Mikael Cho decides not to continue with his desk, but introduces new ideas about exercises that will tackle such things as “tight hip” which is often the underlying culprit leading to lower back problems, and then raises the issue of our mobility as we get older and what exercises can be useful to develop muscles in the body.Studies by Kelly Starrettt found a lot of people are uncomfortable with exercises such as squatting in a keep-fit gym. As linked in the article Kelly recommends three stretches to help.

Part of a series on Networked Fitness and the Quantified Self, The ReadWrite Web  post ( by Julia Gifford starts off saying there's lot’s of companies supporting Standing Desks, Google, FaceBook and others. She looks at the history with Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill noted users.

She notes positive and negative aspects that vary depending on the type of activity, standing added urgency that can destroy creativity, but it can help “get things done”, give relief from headaches and help quit smoking.

On Quartz ( Gywnn Guilford discovered a huge hidden downside to a standing desk but concludes that even when the crankles made it hard to put shoes on, she never considered going back. She lists 5 points that she learned from working with a standing desk.

  • Switching is more complicated that just standing
  • Choosing a standing or a more complicated stand/sit version
  • Differences for men and women
  • Understanding the research results
  • To sit or stand, changing your work protocol

So I am wondering about others experience and views on Standing vs Sit. Should the Lab offer a choice? And if so what tasks to be facilitated on which style?