Sit Down or Stand Up?

edited January 2013 in The Toolbox
Seeing pix of Jimmie's newly renovated lair has got me thinking about trying to improve my own work setup (with its infamous adorable "child's desk set").  One question that I'm having trouble making my mind up about is whether to go with a sit-down or stand-up arrangement.  I sit most of the day for my day-job, and I've been hearing that standing while working is better for posture and general health.  On the other hand, a taller work table is more prone to being wobbly (I'm talking about putting a computer on it, maybe even one of those Yiynova displays), and I'm also concerned that standing up might make me more prone to wander off rather than staying put and focusing.  What experience do you have, either way?


  • I would love to have a treadmill desk. I'd even be down for a tall desk, as I am a big pacer, and having a podium type thing would enable that.

    Unfortunately, I don't actually have space for any of that.

    When I get around to moving.
  • I've rarely heard /read about standing while working on illustration.
    Yes, painters do it a lot.

    I have to admit... I'm not sure where I *stand* (sorry about that pun) on the issue.
    But if I had to vote it would be for sitting.  I'm sure standing works, as well... I'm just not sure I could (at this time in my sloth-esque life) endure standing for hundreds... thousands... of hours in sickness and in health.

    But I also admit... it would make a difference in how I address the computer.  At this point, how I interact with the art table is not much different than how I interact on the computer, which means they are easily interchangeable.  That can be dangerous when I'm slacking.  In fact, if I had all the space I needed and I had a choice... I'd make it so I stood at the computer desk and sat at the art table.

    Reduce my surfing by at least 50%, hahah!

    Nonetheless, interesting question.

  • edited January 2013
    Before I got kicked out of art school, there was a lot of work standing up and on high stools, and I'm worried that sitting at a low desk is bad for my already-defective-enough spine.  The more "energetic" artists were all about the standing-up business, and I could certainly stand to have more energy in my work.

    Unfortunately, as an all-digital creator, there's no getting away from the computer for me.  Avoiding the time sink of the internet while trying to work on one is a whole separate topic, though.
  • edited January 2013
    It's nice to have the option, you can have both with a high stool? I'd like to raise my drafting table so i can do that i think, but need to brace it to keep it stable.

    I made a small one a while back but right now it's full of crap - my to do pile.
  • For the record, I am trying to raise the level of my art table.
    My chair is high.  It's designed for a high drafting table.  I have to put it on the lowest setting just to get under the art table.  I'm working on bringing my art table up another 4 inches.
  • I can't stand for long periods, but a standing height chair is a nice option for going back and forth.
  • I never really thought about it. I have an easel for when I'm painting, but, even so, I like to paint sitting down. Does that make me lazy? I've been thinking about using a yoga ball while I'm at my desk, so far it's made it as far as my studio and is still sitting deflated in the corner.

  • Standing at an easel tends to get you using your arm more. Art schools like to use that to break students out of tiny little hunched over drawings and get them looking at the big picture (double meaning intended). It doesn't mean you can't work small, but it means that's not the only way you have to work.
  • I'm seriously considering that Yiynova screen for that reason: too much hunching over a 12" tablet.
  • I've been eyeballing standing and adjustable-height desks for a while now. What I've found is, in my own battle between comfort and health, having the option to go either way is best -- a standing-level surface for traditional keyboard-based work (writing, emails, general internet, etc.), and a mid-height (tall stool) height surface for drawing/assembly/etc.

    I find when I go to coffee shops to work now, I choose to nest at one of their standing-height tables and alternate between the stool and standing throughout. I like that. Best of both worlds.
  • My drafting table is pretty high. While it's not high enough to stand at for extended periods of time, I do like to pick away at whatever I'm working on as I walk past it without having to sit. 

    I want to be able to sit while I am ruling up pages or perspective grids but otherwise I think I'd prefer to stand. 

    As a recent Cintiq convert the only thing I dislike about the device is having to hunch over it.

  • My only issue with being up so high is when I drop something.
    God it just annoys me to no end.  Because I can't simply reach down and pick it up.
    My chair and table are so high that picking up an eraser becomes an acrobatic act.

    Standing wouldn't be so bad.  No chair in the way of getting down to the floor.

  • If you have a bad back a standing desk is a good option. I worked with a programmer who did. 

    When I hurt my back a few years ago I discovered that I could quite comfortably do stuff like playing XBOX standing up.
  • My former studiomate Ibrahim Moustafa uses a standing desk. It's worked out great for him. He's got a tall stool for it — but I don't know that I ever saw him actually use the option of the stool when he was drawing in the studio.

    I'm seriously considering a standing desk of some sort — ideally a treadmill work station. Sitting all the time is horrible for my back and posture, and makes it hard not to gain weight.
  • I am idly considering getting an office so I have someplace to go (and crucially, some place more isolated) and if I do, treadmill desk is the way to go.
  • edited March 2013
    My housemate Tyler settled the question of whether to replace my work desk with something new ... by damaging the "adorable child's desk" in the middle of an especially exuberant session of one o' them interweb televideo games that the young'uns play these days.  The computer was undamaged. 

    We found a decent replacement at Michaels, which was on sale for $80 off, with an end price of $100.  I'm keeping my chair on wheels instead of using the little stool here.  This gives me a little more desk space than I had, plus the drawers being off to the side (instead of underneath) gives me more usable leg room.  A little higher, too (go figure).  The assembly instructions say that two people are needed, and they're right: so that one of you can keep the other one calm when the parts don't quite line up and need to be forced a bit.  But once put together, it's pretty sturdy, probably from all that structural tension.
  • Looks great! The side drawers will be useful.
  • edited March 2013
    I just wish the drawers were more sturdy.  The shelf on top is laminated somethingorother, and they're in a metal frame, but the drawers are each made of fabric-covered cardboard and sit on little rails on either side, so they won't hold anything heavy.
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