In 2016, people are looking for new ways to get exercise and live healthier lifestyles. Whether it’s diving into the Whole30 Diet or Barre workouts, trends for healthy living are all around us. Some might add standing desks to that list. But the truth is, stand up desks have been around for ages. One of the earliest known users of a standing workstation was Leonardo Da Vinci. I think we can safely say that something that has been in use since the 1400’s is not a new trend.
Many say that Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa while standing at his easel. While artists often paint while standing up, Da Vinci also found inspiration for many inventions while working at a standing desk. He designed the parachute as well as an armored car, all while standing. If that doesn’t get your creative juices flowing, let’s talk about some other famous men who have worked in the same manner.
Thomas Jefferson preferred the option of an adjustable height desk of his own design. As a founding father of America and our 3rd President, he must have understood the numerous benefits of standing while working. It is said that he not only wrote at his desk, but used it when designing a number of architectural blueprints.
From artists and inventors to our nation’s leaders, we move onto authors. Charles Dickens created some of the world’s best known characters and most widely read novels. His works continue to be studied in schools to this day. It would be hard to argue that his working at a standing desk did not contribute to his greatness. Dickens must have known that slumping over a desk was not the way to write literature that would be read beyond his lifetime.
Ernest Hemingway is another famous writer who used a standing desk at his home in Havana. An interview from the Paris Review in 1954 notes that Hemingway had the habit of standing while writing from the very beginning of his career. The Nobel Prize winning novelist knew a good thing when he saw it.
Like many things from history, standing desks are making a comeback. People are beginning to realize, again, the many benefits of standing while working. Google offers standing desks as part of its wellness program. Facebook has also gotten on board with allowing standing desks for its employees.