I have suffered from a bad back for as long as I can remember. Flying regularly in long haul, often in Premium Economy and to Asia, does not help.
During a recent flare-up when I was unable to sit down, I created my own version of a standing desk, by propping an empty wine box on top of my desk; standing seems to help. A colleague suggested an upgrade: a sit-stand desk that allows both. The idea is that I can stand when I need to, and sit at other times.
Three days later my Varidesk Pro Plus 36 (pictured) arrived. It is very well built, and as a result is pretty heavy; so if you have a bad back, it’s a good idea to get help taking it out of the box and placing it on your desk.
Once lifted into place, the desk took no extra effort as it works straight out of the box. Varidesk even supply Velcro cable ties to keep things looking tidy. It is effortless to adjust to any position. All you do is squeeze the two handles under the top shelf, and the desk is almost weightless to adjust up or down.
I was surprised as to how much space the two tiers created. On the top shelf, there was space for my laptop, plus a second screen. There was also enough space for paperwork, a calculator, and my cup of coffee (Varidesk supply a non-slip coaster). The lower shelf had enough room for my keyboard, mouse and notepad.
Varidesk claim that using a standing desk can help decrease neck and lower back pain, lower blood pressure and help prevent heart disease, and it has the research to back it up. My own experience is that initially I found it tough to stand all day on my feet, as these started to ache halfway through the day. There turned out to be a simple solution to this – wear good cushioned shoes.
As my back improved, I started sitting down a bit – but also found that standing during the day for longer became easier. One month in, I can now stand or sit as I want to – and people are asking me if I have lost weight. I’m not sure if this is anything to do with the new desk arrangement, but I know my back is already so much better.
Standing desks come in different prices, sizes and shapes. The Varidesk Pro Plus 36 is at the top of the range, but Varidesk does have simpler, less expensive ones. From my experience, and the improvement in my back, I would consider the standing desk a wise investment.
Price: £365 (inc. VAT)