I was fortunate enough to be involved in a study with Professor John Buckley and his team from Chester University. The study took place at estate agents on Lower Bridge Street in Chester in the North West of England, the aim of the study was to research the benefits of standing up to work all day as opposed to being seated. In summary, the study involved the staff spending the first of two days stood up to complete work activities, the regular staff desk were replaced with height adjustable sit-stand desk. The second day was spent mainly seated. 

On both days metrics were recorded including calorie expenditure using gas analysis, blood glucose level and heart rate to name a few. You can read more about the study here. At the time, I was involved with collecting heart rate data from participants of the study.

John Buckley

Inspired by the positive outcomes and benefits of standing desk, such as increased productivity and the ability to burn In a year more than 30,000 calories or eight pounds of human fat, it seemed worth trying out. I had also learned a lot more about too much time being seated working wasn’t ideal for health either. 

Our homemade variation

Shortly after the study, we decided to investigate further on how we may be able to integrate adjustable standing desks into our working day. After searching for the best-standing desk solution across the internet and even checking out the IKEA Fredrik standing desk which seemed like a good option at the time. We decided that the DIY adjustable standing desk was the best plan for us so as a result, we set about the design of our bespoke ergonomic standing desk solution for our office.

At the time we were space limited, and there wasn’t a huge variety of options on the market beyond what we had seen on our initial investigation. So I enlisted the assistance of my father in law, a design technology teacher from a local school here in Chester.

After our initial discussion and my explanation of the specification we wanted to achieve with our desks, we arrived at the designs pictured below. We created these standing desk frames from surplus cupboard material, but they are effective. What is great about the design is that beyond being extremely space saving by being wall mounted, they also folded to hide the laptop or monitor when not in use. 

Standing desk at Cartwright Fitness

We are pleased with these adjustable standing desk workstations, and results have been positive so far. There is most certainly an adaptive process, and it has taken some time to get to a whole day or 8 hours of standing, with a slight ache in the muscles in the lower back as they adapt to a standing position for extended periods. A transitional period is recommended, maybe alternating using a Pomodoro timer and limiting to just an hour a day or so initially. Then adding an extra half an hour a week until you are at your designed standing daily work time.

But as I write this blog post stood up at my standing desk, I might add things are looking good. After just a few weeks of using the adjustable stand-up desks, I felt more alert, productive and better all around with no other variable changed.

Whilst this was a subjective evaluation, if you feel better and get more done then that’s a positive for me, and it’s worth looking at if you have considered standing desks or the potential benefits that they can offer to you.

I would also mention that you do not need to invest in expensive standing desks either unless you want to; we created two desks for about £10 each. There is the time investment of building them but the material cost is inexpensive.

If you are interested getting standing desks in your workplace or proposing the idea to your employees the best route may be to go down the stand and sit desks that can adjust between regular desks and standing in just a few moments. While from the outset, these desks may seem expensive to an employer with increased staff wellness and productivity, there is certainly a strong case for standing desks these days.

Professor John Buckley uses an old lectern that he uses daily in his office and be all accounts is happy with it.

We don’t sell the standing desks that we created but highly recommend making a standing desk, if you want the specifications on how we made these, drop me an email, and I will send you the detail to make your standing desk. 

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