A standing desk is a desk conceived for writing, reading, or working, while standing up or while sitting on a high stool. The term stand-up or stand up desk is also used. During the 18th and 19th centuries, standing desks were popular in the homes and offices of the rich.
While most seated desks are a standard height, there is no set height for standing desks. Users of a seated desk are fairly immobile as such it is relatively easy to adjust the height of a seat to compensate for variations in the individual height of the users. Users of a standing desk move around a bit more, so it is not practical to have them stand on a small pedestal or some other object. Thus, standing desks tend to vary greatly in height.
It was common in the past to have a standing desk made to measure to the height of the user, since only the rich could afford desks. A more versatile option is to give an angle or slant to the writing surface, as with a typical drawing table. It is also an option to produce a desk with adjustable legs which has made way for a precise desk form, the "table à tronchin" or "table à la tronchin".
A common solution today is the ergonomic standing desk, which enables height adjustments as well as other adjustments to further suit the individual.
Manufacturers of standing desks point to several studies showing reduced back injuries or less back pain for the users of standing desks. In February 2010, Olivia Judson wrote a post in the Opinionator (an online commentary section of the New York Times) about the benefits of using a standing desk. A study published in Diabetes Care established a relationship between ill health and a sedentary lifestyle and a study by the American Cancer Society published on July 22, 2010 found that time spent sitting was independently associated with total mortality, regardless of physical activity level.
On the other hand, "scientists in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examined 17 studies on occupational sitting and cancer, and found little to no connection and some experts in occupational health worry that hours of uninterrupted standing could be bad for your body". In fact, standing up for long periods can also be a problem, and the health improvements of standup desks haven't been clearly established. 
Most antique standing desks have an open frame with few or little drawers, and a footrail (similar to those seen at a bar) to reduce back pain. It is more practical to make a hinged desktop which can be lifted to give access to a small cabinet placed underneath it, despite the problems this layout can cause to objects left on it. This way the user can store or retrieve papers and writing implements without bending or standing back from the desk.
There are many specialized standing desks such as certain variations of the telephone desk and certain types of wall mounted desks. Some drafting desks and architectural drafting tables are also made for standing. One U.S. manufacturer of solid wood standing desks offers over 22 different styles with hundreds of variations for both stand-up desks and drafting tables. Most stand up desks are fixed height and can only be used while standing up. Some of the more interesting (and expensive) standing desks are adjustable-height, allowing the user to sit or stand by controlling an electric motor that raises or lowers the desk height on demand. Other variations include platforms that sit on top of your current "sit-down" desk.
See also 
- Judson, Olivia. Stand up while you read this, "The New York Times", February 23, 2010, accessed December 21, 2010.
- Healy, G. N. et al. 2008. “Breaks in sedentary time: beneficial associations with metabolic risk.” Diabetes Care 31: 661-666.
- "Study Links More Time Spent Sitting to Higher Risk of Death", Cancer.org 2010-07-22. Retrieved on 2010-07-25.
- Sitting at Work Not Hazardous to Your Health
- van Uffelen JG, Wong J, Chau JY, van der Ploeg HP, Riphagen I, Gilson ND, Burton NW, Healy GN, Thorp AA, Clark BK, Gardiner PA, Dunstan DW, Bauman A, Owen N, Brown WJ (2010). "Occupational sitting and health risks: a systematic review". American Journal of Preventive Medicine 39 (4): 379–388. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2010.05.024. PMID 20837291.
- Judson, Olivia (2010-02-23). "Stand Up While You Read This". Opinionator. New York Times.
- Manjoo, Farhad (2010-04-21). "Can’t Stand to Sit Too Long? There’s a Desk for That". New York Times.
- Gardner, Amanda (2010-07-27). "Study: The longer you sit, the shorter your life". Health Interactives. USA Today.
- Vlahos, James (2011-04-14). "Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?". Magazine. New York Times.
- Carlton, Jim (2011-09-01). "Standing Desks Are on the Rise". Wall Street Journal.
- La Grou, John (2011-07-21). "Add a Treadmill to Your Standing Desk". Microclesia.
- Donaldson, Phillip (2010-09-15). "The Benefits Of Using A Standing Desk". Benefits. Beyond The Office Door.
- Trapani, Gina (2011-01-16). "Why and How I Switched to a Standing Desk". Smarterware. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- Denyer, Tristan (2011-10-27). "Benefits and drawbacks of a standing desk". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
Further reading 
- Charron, Andy (2000). Desks: Outstanding Projects from America's Best Craftsmen. Taunton Press. pp. 108–123. ISBN 1-56158-348-0.
- Healy, G. N. et al (2008). "Breaks in sedentary time: beneficial associations with metabolic risk". Diabetes Care 31 (4): 661–666. doi:10.2337/dc07-2046. PMID 18252901.
- Moser, Thomas (1985). Measured Shop Drawings for American Furniture. New York: Sterling Publlishing Inc. ISBN 0-8069-5712-3.