A stand-up desk is a desk or work surface designed to be usable from a standing position. Some stand-up desks are adjustable workstations that can be used at both sitting and standing heights. The desks may simply be a taller version of more typical desks, may have a section that tips-ups like an easel, or they may resemble a podium or lectern. Some products that are marketed are simply boxes placed on an existing desk to allow work to be done from a standing position. In some cases, the stand-up desk may be paired with a high stool or chair to allow the user to alternate between sitting and standing without moving to another work area or adjusting the desk.
The reasons for using a stand-up desk vary from health concerns and ways of dealing with restlessness to requirements of specific tasks. Stand-up desks may be marketed as ergonomic because they are claimed to place less stress on the back of the user by making improper posture more difficult. In addition, some studies have shown positive correlations between the use of stand-up desks and increased productivity. This may be related to any number of effects of standing as opposed to sitting, especially increased circulation.
Many individuals may opt for stand-up desks due to personal preference for standing or pacing when working or performing some problem-solving tasks. Certain large-scale tasks, such as drafting building plans, may be difficult to accomplish from a sitting position simply due to size. Drafting tables or drafting desks, such as may traditionally be used by architects and engineers to create large-scale plans and drawings, are usually a type of stand-up desk.
One experimental use of stand-up desks conducted with middle school students at Marine Elementary, outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, has made use of desks at a standing height paired with high, backless stools and a bar running under the desk to be used as a foot rest. Students use the desks according to personal preference, with some children standing with a foot on the rest, others sitting with both feet on the rest or dangling free and all of them allowed to change the arrangement in whatever manner suits their most productive habits. Though not the result of an official, scientific study, the principal of the school has reported that teachers claimed noticeable improvements after the stand-up desk became the standard in the classrooms.