The popularity of standing desks in the workplace has been rising quickly since about 2015. While standing desks have only entered mainstream use in the last few years, they aren’t a recent invention by any means. Many intellectuals, politicians and writers throughout history have used them, including Charles Darwin, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Jefferson.
Many workers have become staunch advocates of this new form of office equipment, which is also becoming more common in homes. Figuring out whether this hype is justified isn’t easy, as there are a number of trade-offs to consider. Orthopedic health and obesity are two key factors that can help you determine if a standing desk is a good idea for you.
The scientific evidence comparing standing desks to sitting desks provides few conclusive answers. In the first place, standing desks haven’t been around long enough for scientists to conduct many studies. Furthermore, the few studies that are available don’t make a particularly strong case in favor of standing desks.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study in 2011 showing that standing desks reduced pain in the neck and upper back, and also improved the user’s mood compared to sitting desks. However, this study didn’t consider possible drawbacks of using a standing desk. In addition, mood is a subjective factor that’s highly prone to a placebo effect.
Research on standing desks suggests that they don’t offer any overall orthopedic benefits compared to sitting desks. Standing is definitely better for your back and neck than sitting. However, standing for prolonged periods has its own orthopedic problems, primarily stress on the knees.
It may be possible to counteract these effects by combining standing desks with other equipment. For example, some studies show that fatigue mats can reduce knee strain from standing by up to 60 percent. These results could give standing desks the edge over sitting desks with respect to orthopedic health if you also use a fatigue mat.
Standing desks are often touted as a cure for obesity, but there is a strong scientific consensus that standing doesn’t burn significantly more calories than sitting down. It’s much more important to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule, whether you sit or stand at work. In particular, you need to engage in 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity at least three times per week.
Current research isn’t sufficient to draw any conclusions about the health benefits of standing desks. The limited research that is available suggests that it isn’t all that helpful as an alternative to sitting desks by itself. A better solution might be to alternate between the two positions while working. Furthermore, standing desks don’t eliminate the need for daily exercise.
According to a 2021 Gallup poll, 45% of full-time workers in the United States are working from home either all or part of the time. If you fall into this category, you’ve probably realized just how challenging it can be to stay motivated and focused while working from home. Fortunately, there are some simple upgrades you can make to your home office to boost your focus and productivity.
A Supportive Office Chair
It’s hard to focus on your work when you’re uncomfortable. Old or poorly designed office chairs can contribute to distracting neck and back pain. Upgrading to a supportive, comfortable office chair with an ergonomic design can make all the difference. Specifically, look for one with plenty of adjustable settings that will allow you to achieve customized comfort. Or, ditch the office chair altogether and invest in a standing desk!
An Ergonomic Keyboard
People often overlook the importance of economics on a computer keyboard. If you spend a lot of time typing, the wrong keyboard and improper form can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome and other issues. And of course, this can affect your work performance.
Ready to upgrade your keyboard? Look for one with an ergonomic design that will support your wrists and encourage correct form as you type. Meanwhile, it’s important to take regular breaks from typing, so schedule some into your day.
White Noise or Noise-Canceling Headphones
Noisy pets, rambunctious kids, and other everyday sounds can quickly become distracting when you’re trying to work from home. One simple way to drown out distractions and improve your focus is to invest in a great white noise machine or a pair of noise-canceling headphones.
Not only can white noise improve focus, but its use has also been found to boost creativity and reduce stress. Even better? You don’t necessarily have to spend money on a white noise machine to capitalize on its benefits. There are plenty of free white noise apps and even white noise recordings on YouTube that you can access for free.
The Right Lighting
Proper lighting can make all the difference in your productivity from a home office. Natural light, for example, can give you a much-needed energy boost. If you have a window in your home office, invest in a great set of blinds or shades so that you can adjust the amount of light coming into your workspace with ease.
Meanwhile, task lighting in the form of a desk lamp can support such tasks as reading, viewing photos, and the like. Just be careful to set up your task lighting in a way that prevents shadows, as these can become distracting—especially when you’re trying to write.
Boost Your Productivity Today
Working from a home office can be a blessing in many ways, but the work-from-home life does require a little extra focus to stay productive. With these tips and home office upgrades, you’ll be on your way to maximizing productivity and staying motivated all day long.
If you’re working from a home office, staying mentally and physically healthy is important.
It’s important for your overall sanity, but it’s also important for your work engagement and level of productivity.
To help set you up for success, we want to highlight five amazing items that will make a huge difference health-wise and work-wise for your home office:
Our first item is a Wall Mounted Folding Laptop Desk Hideaway Storage with Drawer – phew! While it’s a mouthful, this compact little piece of furniture is from Wayfair, and we are obsessed. The days of a traditional desk are over, and this wall-mounted desk allows you to open everything up when you’re working and then fold everything up and away when you’re not. Plus, it looks really cute on your wall, it does not take up a lot of space, it’s sturdy, and you can decorate it with all your fun office trinkets. You can install it at any height you want, so it’s perfect for sitting or standing. It’s currently on sale for $123.99, and the biggest thing to note is that it needs to be installed on a wall correctly so it can handle some weight.
Our second item is an Adjustable Laptop Computer Stand from OMOTON on Amazon. There are a ton of health benefits to using a standing desk, and this adjustable stand can make any surface a standing desk. Standing desks are better for your back, improve blood circulation, and studies have shown that people who use standing desks are actually more focused. This laptop stand is only $39.99 and is compatible with laptops up to 17” wide.
Our third item is a compliment to items one and two. If you are interested in adding a standing desk to your home office, investing in a high-quality anti-fatigue mat is critical. The Topo Anti-Fatigue mat by Fully is only $99 and will be a game changer for your home office experience. It will keep your body aligned and comfortable while standing all day and is even designed with a little massaging foot ball in the center of the mat.
Our fourth item is from Bose, and we honestly suggest this item for a home- or office-based work environment, it is so amazing. Bose’s QuietComfort Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are fantastic for allowing you to get in the zone and cancel out all the distractions. At $299.99 they are stylish, come with a nice traveling case, are wireless, and connect via Bluetooth to a variety of devices.
Our fifth item is the Ember Mug2 and it’s going to make you rethink your entire hot beverage experience. This is a smart mug. Yes, you heard that correctly. The Ember Mug2 maintains the temperature of your coffee or tea throughout the day, so you can say goodbye to cold coffee that’s been sitting at your desk for hours. It’s sleek, comes in a variety of colors, and you just need to hand wash it. The Ember Mug2 is $129.95 and is worth every penny.
According to science, writing pen to paper stimulates your brain. It unleashes your inner power to create. Interestingly, fumbling over your laptop keys at 2AM doesn’t do that. A beautiful notebook can make you feel something and get onto paper all those ideas you know you have inside.
With that in mind, we’ve discovered 5 notebooks that serve that purpose for under $100. Which one speaks to you?
This notebook contains a bold brass C-clasp. Because why not?
This personalized notebook comes with a front center stone like amethyst or lapis lazuli. 240 pages of lined, plain, or vintage paper go into your leather-bound embossed dragon book.
Claim it with your initials, name, or an inscription for a little extra.
Still less than $100, by the way.
In contrast to the less vegan-friendly choice above, you could get a notebook handwoven in Scotland.
Choose from a variety of pastel and true plaids, hound teeth, and herringbone.
It has 46 pages. But when you run out of paper, no worries. It’s refillable with cheap, standard notebook paper.
So wherever your heart takes you, write it down.
When you want to keep it classy, go for the crocodile print.
These sophisticated notebooks are made from real Italian leather with a protective finish to help your creativity-boosting notebook last longer.
But, hey, all notebooks you actually use will show some wear after a while. Own those scratches and scuffs.
They may even give you your superpowers.
When you’re looking for true inspiration, channel the spirit of spring.
Renew your passion for what it is you do through the energy that brings new growth and flowers everywhere each year.
These are made of supple Italian leather and are made to order.
The floral prints came from an old print shop in Florence, Italy. A local artist there hand-paints those designs on each notebook just for you.
Sometimes you just need to go big or go home. This notebook would work best if you do work from home because it will take up a whole side table.
It’s the perfect size for open display in the home or office. You can get it even bigger if you want to spend a little over $100.
Luxurious Notebooks Under $100
To spend or not to spend upwards of $100 on a notebook — that is the question.
You know what. Whether your new luxury notebook demonstrates you value yourself or it helps you create more value at work, you’re worth it.
Don’t be afraid to spend a little more, so you can work in a notebook that brings you joy.