The concept of standing to work isn’t a modern idea at all. In fact, people have been using standing desks in workspaces for over 150 years.
8 Famous People Who Used Standing Desks
From authors and artists to world-changing politicians, standing desks have featured in the offices and homes of many famous people, including:
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Ernest Hemingway
- Lewis Carroll
- Winston Churchill
- Spike Lee
- Virginia Woolf
- Benjamin Franklin
- Charles Dickens
Why did these notable figures choose to stand rather than sit?
The health benefits of standing to work have been touted for many years. In the Popular Science Journal, July 1883, the article reads, “At the first symptoms of indigestion, book-keepers, entry clerks, authors and editors should at once get a telescope desk. Literary occupations need not necessarily involve sedentary habits, though, as the alternative of a standing desk.”
When I think back on my own work history, I realise just how much I stood for my job when I was younger. While I was at college I had a variety of part-time retail jobs, from video stores to petrol stations, and they all had one thing in common – I worked standing up, behind a counter. These dirty, chipped and battered formica units were my work platforms for years. Oh, those were the days!
There was a reason we, and countless other retail staff, were made to stand in our jobs – it made us more alert (most of the time), more engaged with our customers and more mobile should we need to attend to anything else. And it worked.
Fast forward 20 years to the coworking space I now work in. My colleagues and I were discussing a headline we’d seen which claimed, “Sitting is the New Smoking”. A fair few of us recounted details of our student jobs in shops and bars and how standing to work wasn’t actually that bad. Most of us had even forgotten that we could stand for 6 hours without even thinking about it. Unsurprisingly, off the back of that conversation, we were all eager to see if we could stand to work again. You can read one colleague’s experience here.
Businesses and Professionals that Use Standing Desks
These days, standing desks are growing in popularity amongst many professionals, including:
- Writers, Editors, Authors and Copywriters
- Designers, Illustrators and Artists
- Marketers, Account Managers, PR & Sales People
- Business Coaches and Consultants
- Recruitment Consultants
- Accountants, Book-keepers & Clerical Staff
- Retail staff
- Receptionists, Telemarketers and Call Centre Staff
- Office Managers, Admin Staff and Directors
- Model Makers & Jewellery Designers
Anyone that works at a desk and does a job that can be done standing up should consider standing for part of their working day to reap the many health benefits of standing desks.