The Standing Desk: Pros, Cons and Weight-Loss

The interest in standing desks is growing.  Several months ago I posted an article about standing desks.    Apartment Therapy Tech had an article describing one woman’s experience with an inherited standing desk and her personal list of pros and cons.

photo of ernest hemingway on a Cuban veranda, standing next to his standing desk

“Papa” Hemingway at his standing desk.


Pro #1 was reported weight-loss. This got my attention. One of the reasons behind the new interest in standing desks is a recent study demonstrating that sitting all day slows your metabolism so significantly that it negatively impacts your health – even if you regularly run or work-out. Anecdotal evidence suggests that standing for long periods increases your metabolism, which leads to weight loss.

While the author listed her pros and cons of standing desks.  I have a few comments and helpful suggestions:


               “No back pain.” This is an example of “different strokes for different folks.” For some people too much sitting causes back pain, for others too much standing leads to back pain. I am in the latter group and would do better with a treadmill desk.  Before you spring for a standing desk, find out if it is the solution for you.


               “Tender Feet” – The author complains of how much her feet hurt. A cushioned floor mat would have eased her foot fatigue significantly.

              “Not Great with Laptops” – Yes, there is a greater difference between the comfortable height of a computer screen and keyboard than laptops allow. That is why I recommend a separate plug-in keyboard for laptops.  Elevate your laptop so the screen is at a comfortable viewing height, and/or add a keyboard tray for the separate keyboard. This supports good ergonomics and relaxed shoulders (the source of much of your back pain).

Have you tried a standing desk? How has it worked for you?  Please share your comments below.

Learn more about standing desks, sitting desks, and good ergonomics in the home or corporate office in The Smarter Home Office: 8 Simple Steps to Increasing Your Income, Inspiration and Income.


  1. Last week I decided for the third time in the past seven years to stand while I work. The first two attempts only lasted a few days each before I succumbed to pain and fatigue. This time has been more successful. I am a bit stronger, for one thing, and I give myself more rest periods. It might also have something to do with the fact that I found decent-looking boxes to stack the monitor and keyboard on, which do not offend my decor sensibilities quite so much as the cardboard file boxes I used before.