If I had to say one thing about the first few days of working while standing it’d be, “it takes some getting used to”. It’s hard to train one’s body after sitting in front of a computer for years on end, 12 hours or more a day sometimes. I am happy to say though that it all pays off in the end though, so stick with it!
The first thing you’ll notice is that your feet will hurt. You can alleviate this to a point by buying a gel standing mat or a less expensive foam mat of some kind (which I will cover in detail in a later post). You will also notice that your back will get sore. If you’re tall–like I am–it might add to the initial ‘shock’.
You’re getting sore because your body isn’t used to standing for long periods of time. After a few days (or weeks depending on how much time everyday is spent standing) you’ll notice your back getting stronger and your feet hurting less as your body adapts to the new position. You’ll also start noticing other benefits of the new setup, most noticeably increased productivity. I saw that when I was sitting I tend to slouch a lot, and I also feel drowsy a lot of times, such as right after meals. Just the action of standing in front of the computer seemed to allow me to focus and concentrate more than I would be able to do if I was sitting.
Whether you tough out the initial few days or revert back to your sitting habit depends a lot of your work setup I found out. I placed my laptop stand next to my normal working area and chair I tended to ‘wimp out’ a lot and spend much of the day sitting–it was just a lot more comfortable than standing all the time. I gradually weaned myself off of the chair though until I was spending upwards of 4-6 hours every day standing in front of my laptop. Once I reached that point (after a few weeks) I was comfortable with only sitting when it would be more productive to do so (mostly doing non-work activity such as reading long articles, surfing the web, etc.).
Moral of the story is, it’s OK to have a chair nearby, but try and stick it out as much as possible during the first few weeks to lessen the adaptation time your body requires.