Blog series: Combat sitting with a standing desk! | Part One: the history


Blog series: Combat sitting with a standing desk! | Part One: the history

Over the next three months, we invite you to join us for our standing desk blog series. This three-part series will investigate the rise in popularity of the standing desk, the different types of standing desks that are available, and the health benefits associated with minimal sitting time and the risks of prolonged sitting!

Part one begins with the history of the standing desk, and how they’ve quickly grown in popularity in offices all over the world!

UPDATE: Find part two of standing desk blog series here!

UPDATE #2: Find part three – the final part – here!

The history of standing desksstanding desks development of humans

Let’s begin with this statement: our bodies were not designed to sit. To explain we must go back … way back!

As bipedalism evolved, an upright gait was always maintained and we were fitter than ever, freeing up our hands for other uses.

Think back to the dawn of mankind, where we were walking, running, hunting, crawling, swimming, throwing, and carrying every single day to survive.

We weren’t relying on machinery, computers, and electronics to do things for us – we did it all ourselves.

Fast forward many years to 1797, when Presbyterian minister Job Orton uttered the following words:

“A sedentary life may be injurious. It must therefore be your resolute care to keep your body as upright as possible when you read and write; never stoop your head nor bend your breast. To prevent this, you should get a standing desk.”

Leonardo Da Vinci

During the 18th and 19th centuries, more people started to see how standing while working and writing could help increase productivity, enhance concentration, and promote creativity.

Standing desks was even seen as a sign of prestige: many notable leaders, artists and writers used standing desks, including Leonardo Da Vinci, Ernest Hemingway, Napoleon, and Winston Churchill.

As machines have taken over the bulk of work in various industries like mining, construction, and farming, we’re taking a seat (literally) – there’s been a steady increase in sedentary jobs since the 1950s: according to the American Heart Association, sedentary jobs have increased 83 per cent since the middle of last century; now, 75 per cent of our jobs are sedentary, compared to the 25 per cent that are physically active.

Poor posture is the result of our sedentary lifestyle

How many times have you complained about a sore back, shooting neck pains, and stiff shoulders? Has it become something you just “deal with”? Poor posture has probably become second nature to us. Amongst sitting at our desks all day, driving, slinging a bag over the same shoulder, and bad sleeping positions, we’re settling for bad posture and finding it harder and harder to correct.

Additionally, seemingly simple tasks – like lifting or carrying – can produce significant damage to a back that has been weakened by years of prolonged sitting.

We’ve evolved from hunter-gatherers who simply kept an upright, moving posture all day, and changing that to a sedentary, weak lifestyle!

As Job Orton outlined, ditching your chair and regular office desk for a stand up desk (at its correct height) means you’ll have no choice but to stand up straight, strengthening your back muscles that have previously been static.

Sitting all day in an office chair presents the not-so-perfect opportunity for us to twist and hunch our bodies into awkward positions, often to relieve back or lower leg pain. This relief is only temporary, though, and it’s causing more havoc on our bodies than we may even realise.

Adjustable standing desks can change the way you work!height adjustable sit stand desk

An adjustable standing desk gives us the freedom to alternate between sitting and standing throughout our days, and that’s the clincher here: you should never force yourself to stand all day; instead, at the push of the button, switch it up as many times as you need to during the day.

Keep up with the series and join us for part two in a fortnight: standing, sit stand, and height adjustable: what’s the difference?

(PS: There are many other health risks associated with sedentary sitting, and we’ll address them in greater detail in part three – stay tuned!)

If you would like anymore information on Ergomotion’s range of adjustable standing desks, contact us today – fill out our form or give us a call!


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Guy Director
Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ergomotion Director since 2005.

Google Reviews


Google Reviews

Andrew Pieterse 14/06/24

Great service and really quick shipping. It is great to know that you are getting quality parts from a Scandinavian manufacturer with your standing desk purchase rather than the cheap knock off stuff you get from other major brands. Reasonably priced for the quality too!

Janette Clarke 20/05/24

Guy was very accommodating with meeting him at a time that suited me. He assembled the desk prior to me collecting so I only had to carry it inside with help (it's pretty heavy). The desk is great, the storage racks underneath with the 6 x built in powerpoints was worth the extra money. I have a functioning & tidy workplace.
Guy was brilliant, I highly recommend.

Nickel 10/05/24

Have now purchased 2 stand up office desks off Guy, benchmark sales service from him, all via email, so easy; from quote to plug in, only matched by the strong quality of these machines, solid and stable. If only everything in life was this easy and reliable.

Jennifer Fadriquela 23/03/24

I purchased an EDesk this month from Ergomotion, and it was a remarkably smooth transaction. Guy was eager to answer all my questions before my purchase. As a first-time buyer of a standing desk, I truly appreciated how he addressed my queries with thorough details and provided options within my budget.

The delivery process was also smooth, despite a slight delay in the ETA. Guy ensured I received all necessary updates from the courier/removalist.

I've been using the desk for a couple of weeks now and I'm satisfied with it. It's sturdy on all height adjustments and the motor works as expected. I also like oak finish because it's clean-looking and suits my room setup.

Overall, I'm happy with my purchase and I'll definitely recommend Ergomotion to someone looking for their desk needs.

Josh Oliver 04/02/24

I've had an ergomotion desk for 10 years. It's still as good today as it was brand new. Over the years Guy has always responded promptly to any guidance I've needed (mostly help putting the desk back together after removalists take it apart).

Michael Cheung 18/01/24

Great service from Guy and the team at Ergomotion! Helped with all my queries and was able to source a standing desk part for me when many others weren't able! Highly recommend!

Shao Lei 30/11/23

Decent desk and awesome service. Highly recommend

Rod Hathway 10/11/23

Awesome experience. Great value, super customer experience, ordered, assembled and picked up in 24 hours!

Dom K 06/11/23

Skip the big name brands and buy from Guy instead, 10/10 linak parts with a very well built tabletop.

Chris Wu 06/11/23

I purchased the edesk from Guy at Ergomotion. Guy was a pleasure to deal with and the desk arrived the next day. Guy was highly knowledgeable on the desk and provided very prompt support on the installation. I can highly recommend Ergomotion.