While the Standing Desk is now a staple in ergonomics and will be in the foreseeable future, it had already been created centuries ago.
The first model came from an exceptional German cabinetmaker named David Roentgen. You can argue that Leonardo da Vinci should take the credit, but his standing desks are not adjustable, unlike Roentgen’s.
Known more for his cabinet decorations, secret compartments or drawers, and artistic, mechanical fittings in the eighteenth century, Roentgen was not supposed to be meddling with a modern concept such as the ergonomics of a Standing Desk.
He was fond of gimmicky features.
One of his desks had a feature where a single pull released several springs, secret compartments, hidden drawers, latches, and mechanical devices. This work was so remarkable that King Louis XVI purchased one of his desks for 80,000 livres after the French Revolution.
That would be equivalent to about 9 million Australian dollars today!
The Adjustable Standing Desk
Now, Roentgen’s weird engineering has little value, but the first-ever height adjustable desk he invented is the first of its kind and the father of the Standing Desk we know today.
His desk, the Architect’s Table, uses dowels, hinges, and springs to adjust the height, and the user can easily transition from sitting to standing.
Roentgen was ahead of his time when he thought standing while working was a great idea. It may be that, or he was only having fun. No one will ever know.
His beautiful, transcendent desk is currently displayed in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Science behind the Standing Desk
Today’s generation has the luxury of scientific studies, which gave birth to ergonomics or the study of people’s efficiency in a working environment.
Ergonomics suggests that prolonged sitting can lead to many health complications like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.
Studies have also shown that sitting for more than 6 hours a day gives you a 40% more chance to die sooner than someone who only sits less than 3 hours a day.
Standing while working has proven to help reduce back pain, burn more calories, and even allow you to focus and memorise more effectively.
History of the Standing Desk
Roentgen may not have any scientific study to base his invention on, but historically, it has been used by very prominent figures.
Da Vinci may be the most famous one. Why? Because he was using a standing desk while he painted the Mona Lisa, the most famous work of art in the world.
The Standing Desk has also been used by Napoleon Bonaparte while strategizing battle plans, Thomas Jefferson while drafting documents like the Declaration of Independence, Charles Dickens while creating classic literature, and even Winston Churchill while he prepares his speeches.
The Future of the Standing Desk
Today’s generation isn’t the first to understand the joy and efficiency of standing while working at a desk. Thomas Jefferson, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Winston Churchill have all worked on occasion at a Standing Desk and produced results that resonate to this day. That’s not bad company to keep!
There is no doubt that ergonomics will continue to evolve, and improvement will come for desks, chairs, and tables. But for now, everything about a Standing Desk looks perfect for ensuring that you produce the best results in your office.