Stand Up and Work Challenge: Day 1

This is it: Day 1 of your 28-day transition to a standing desk.

Here’s your assignment. Ready?

Stand for 12 minutes.

No more, no less.

Seems easy, right? What about the grueling, soul-crushing, arch-flattening first days you’ve heard about?

One oft-repeated piece of advice that many standing desk vets share is this: Don’t do the switch cold turkey. Ease into it gradually, building up strength and endurance in your feet and legs.

If you try to plunge right in and stand for hours at a time, before long you’ll view your standing desk as an instrument of torture.

We’re trying to build a new habit here, and the best way to do that is with small steps, taken daily.

How’d it go?

Leave a comment below when you finish your allotted standing time for the day.

Anything goes here. (Well, within reason.) Was it easier than you thought? Harder? Did you feel silly, or get mocked by your coworkers?

Not signed up for the challenge yet?

This challenge will help you make the transition to a standing desk, but only if you participate every day. If you’re ready to make the switch, drop your email address in the box below.

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  • It wasn’t too hard, although I did walk around a bit…

  • I’m working at a summer high school boarding program and this is a makeshift scenario I created with a set of bed risers and wooden crate. Yoga mat for cushion.

  • Michael Smith

    Hacked together a standup desk out of some stuff I had in my storeroom. We’ll see how it goes.

  • done. just put an old shipping box under the keyboard.

  • I’ve been toying around with this portable table I got on Amazon.

  • Goran Blažič

    well, I’m still standing… it’s actually a bit harder than I imagined (ok, I have been playing tennis for 2 hours just a few hours ago, it might have something to do with that :D), but it actually feels quite nice 🙂

  • The 12 minutes went by fast. The odd part is, when I teach martial arts, I am on my feet for hours at a time but standing in one place for 12 minutes was harder than I thought it would be.

  • It’s a fun 12 minutes, but I am keenly aware of the lack of spring in the flooring, and the lack of support in my shoes. I find myself leaning on my desk a bit as well.

    • I strongly suggest an anti-fatigue mat. They are super comfy and springy.

      • I have a new sand/sit workstation with the anti-fatigue mat and I was able to do four hours the first day makes a huge difference in my day more energized! We’ve been we’ve been asking for these workstations for our tech-support station for the last eight years finally got them !!

  • I forgot to press start on the timer so I think I did about 25mins rather than the 12 oops. I really liked the better posture for my shoulders and back. By the end of the (longer) time I was ready to sit down. Interestingly I feel like I’m sitting straiter in my chair as well. Wonder how long that will last.

  • I have a stand up that I custom built at home but hacked together one with shelving and cardboard at work when I heard about this challenge, so the 12 minutes weren’t bad, and I did it at the end of the work day.

  • This is my second go-around trying to switch to a standing desk, so 12 minutes isn’t much. I finished a task I’ve been postponing with 3 minutes to go, which wasn’t enough to start something else, so that was kinda awkward.

    Even for 12 minutes, though, I found myself needing to shift position a few times.

    If I can make this habit stick, it’ll also make it easy for me to walk around a bit. I work remotely, and I’m on Skype all day for pair programming. I already get up and pace around a bit when I’m on a long call, but if I’m standing I can step away when I’m thinking without a big ceremony.

    Bring on Day 2!

  • Joshua Yeidel

    I did 12 minutes, mostly trying to find and use a little timer application that would tell me when twelve minutes was up. Also, my temporary stand-up desk (a video cart) is not big enough to hold both my laptop and my second screen, and my backup hard-drive cable won’t stretch from my sit-desk to my standup-desk, and yadda yadda yadda.

    Hey, it’s Day One — whadya expect?

  • I finally set up and started using a standing desk yesterday, and stood for probably 1.5 hours (this was before I saw the link about this challenge). I did start to shift my weight side to side and took some breaks for some stretching but overall it felt good. Really looking forward to making this stick, I’m committed to it fully as I could work from my laptop but prefer the dual monitor set up I have on the standing desk. I’ll post a pic later.
    Let’s do this! 😛

  • I have a beautiful desk at work that can switch from sitting height to standing electronically. As beautiful as it is, I found myself standing less when the novelty wore off. Hopefully this challenge will help me make it a lasting habit 🙂 Day 1 done after lunch and looking forward to tomorrow already.

  • 12 minutes wasn’t too hard, even with the shaky setup I improvised…

  • I finally got my ergo desk at work, so here I go! 12 minutes wasn’t bad, even with a lot of walking on concrete yesterday and not the best shoes for standing (no arch support!) today. Onward and upward…

  • Is this challenge still on? Hope so as I’ve just got my new Standing Desk.

  • I did my standing for 12 minutes the first day. I could easily have done more, but I am *trying* to follow the program!

    Do need to get myself some “standing shoes”, though, because I can foresee that standing for hours in heels is not going to be a great thing.

  • I tried to start the challenge a few months ago and stopped due to feeling self conscious. This time I am going to complete the challenge.

  • I’m lucky that my work has standing desks, but they’re a little too short for me so I popped my keyboard onto an upside down in-tray and tilted the screens upwards a bit. The mouse was still a bit awkward. 12 minutes was no problems although I have already realised my posture isn’t great and may cause me back ache until I build the right muscles up.

  • It went well, but I got absorbed in what I was doing and I didn’t move at all for quite a while and my feet fell asleep. I’ll try to remember to move around more.

  • I’m an administrative type that is personally working on my 5th iteration of a standing desk (from cardboard boxes to an adjustable hospital tray and finally to a really nice Ergotron desk-top model). The 12 minutes went by quickly, but I’m mainly doing the challenge to test it for our employees who want to transition to a standing desk. I’m working on a pilot program for a hospital, so this challenge is just what I needed to help folks get established. The articles have been very helpful as well. Thanks for the help!

  • 12 minute challenge was easy. I had been doing more than that before, but going to try to follow the 28 day challenge.

  • WHy not stand longer if we can? 12 min is too easy for me.

  • Those 12 minutes flew by! Ready for day two!

  • Bah 12 minutes? Not a problem. Considering I had no idea what I was doing on Friday and tried to go cold turkey right off the bat. Bad idea.

  • first day of the 28 day challenge… so far so good. The 12 minutes actually went by pretty quickly!

  • 12 minutes, no big deal. Going forward though, I feel like I will seriously benefit from an investment in a balance mat.

  • 12 minutes was a piece of cake . . . I have to admit, last week I made a huge mistake and went all in for practically the whole day and ended up with an achy back over the weekend. Fortunately, I came across this challenge so now I’ll be transitioning slowly in order to build up my momentum. Quick question though – if you’re only using the standing desk at work during the week, do you still continue on with the challenge after the weekend?

  • Easy peasy. I have been kind of doing that on my own anyway once I set up my Varidesk. 10 minutes or so every now and then. I will need to figure out shoes… but 1 step at a time!

  • Day 1 was good. It was no trouble to stand for 12 minutes – hardly enough time to get anything done though. I have a Varidesk Cube Corner 48 – so I have plenty of room. I have a pair of crocs to use during my standing times (if I leave my desk area I have to put my dress shoes back on so I need something easy) and I brought an anti-fatigue mat today. I am fully committed!

  • The 12 minutes were great, much better than the several hours a day for 3 days last week that killed my back! I’ve got a yoga mat down for a floor pad, and a yoga block for a footrest, working well.

  • Was not hard at all. 12 minutes flies by especially with an Ergotron standing desk my company just installed.. I understand the importance of building up so I will see how my expectations and reactions change as time increases.

  • I actually started last week before I knew what yesterday’s challenge would be. I actually stood for a couple of hours and loved it. I did order an anti-fatigue mat, though. My feet started to hurt. I do shift a lot but am ok with it. Being up already makes it much easier to walk around when my Fitbit tells me to. I am enjoying it!

  • I just bought an electronic stand-up desk to help with lower back pain. Twelve minutes is cake at this point, because it provides instant back relief, after 30 minutes sitting or so, I feel I must stand. The lady at the store told me no more than 15 minutes standing every hour, to begin with. My goal is to work up to 50/50 alternating sitting and standing, throughout the day. I’ve got an anti-fatigue mat and even a mini-elliptical which I pedaled today, standing up, while I watched a work webinar at home.

  • Done. What a fidget I was! I admit I have a sore back and though sitting is my worse position at the moment, I was getting sore at the 10 minute mark. Found a stool good to lean on one foot and give the other a rest. Anti-fatigue mat is a godsend.

  • Did it! Felt pretty good for day 1!

  • Not too bad for first day, I recently began working from home so my “desk” is actually an old drafting table so when I stand up, the desk is at navel level. Works out super well for this challenge

  • I missed day one due to my back being out! I was stuck in bed yesterday. Back and neck pain is what drew me to your site. I got my very cool electronic adjustable desk about a week ago so I’ve been doing about5 15 minutes here or there trying to work my back into it. (3 problem discs). It helps to stand. i think I can jump right in to the 24 minute challenge today. Here goes!

  • First day done! Just moved into a new building with desks that adjust electronically. I’m excited.

  • First day complete. I definitely need better shoes, but other than that it went well. 🙂

  • 12 min no prob! hopefullythis is doing some good!

  • I have a Varidesk and it’s hard to get it adjusted to the correct height, because there’s no way (that I know of) to set it to the same height every time. I’ve stood longer before I discovered this challenge but I would like to ease into it, so I’m starting again. My neck got a bit sore.

  • Gillian Stapleton

    Pretty easy shot through it and stayed standing

  • Well I had been standing for 15 minute periods for a couple of days before hand so it was a similar time to stand for. I’m not feeling great today anyway, and lots of things ache, so I’m glad that I only have to do one session today! I have a Posturite deskmate that work have supplied so it’s nice and easy to get the desk raised at least! Waiting for an anit-fatigue mat to arrive too.

  • Day 1 of standing for me went smoothly! I’ve been standing off and on for the past month or so. I finally decided to do it properly and not beat up my body and forcing it to stand for more than it was use to. Thanks for creating this challenge 🙂

  • It was Great! Sat for awhile and stood. Coworkers were super supportive.

  • It was not terrible. 12 minutes felt a bit longer then I thought it would. Makes me think, how long did I really use my stand up desk before?!

  • Standing is okay. Having to get use to my progressive lenses glasses and adjusting between standing and sitting. Neck gets sore

  • Joseph Garrett

    Did my 12, plus up and down all day. I have a nice pad to stand on, so it makes it easier.

  • Melvin Chellaram

    12 minutes was not a major issue although it was a challenge to subconsciously get into the habit of correct posture as advised on your website. i.e. Squeezing buttocks and tightening stomach muscles / core. Had to mentally keep reminding myself and not too sure how long I stood up with the correct posture for. Slowly but surely I guess

  • First day done! Also recruited a colleague to join me in the challenge!

  • Day 1 done! It was not hard at all – I have always tried to stand off and on during the day. Made a make-shift riser with cardboard boxes, desk trays and books.

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