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

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.”

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 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!


If you liked this post, why not share it? Use the links below!

Google Reviews


Google Reviews

Nancy Tseng 22/04/22

I would highly recommend this electric desk to all ages, the the best decision I’ve made for my sons study table. The service was excellent, prompt in responses and on time schedule with the delivery time. The removalists were very careful bringing into our study room on the second level.
Very happy with the purchase!!

Farhin C 12/04/22

Amazing e-desk - sturdy, spacious and great quality wood. It fits well into the home office. Assembling it was mostly straightforward with the video! Thanks Guy

Nick G 11/04/22

I'm only just reading all the Google Reviews now, just before writing this, after having purchased and built a desk; and this is basically going to be saying the same thing as all the others, the owner, Guy, is absolutely great and so are the desks. There's a reason why all the reviews are genuine 5 stars. I had been doing research on numerous sit/stand desks and the manufactures of the frames/motors that go into them. I wanted a good quality and reliable setup so I decided to something that utilised Linak (manufacturer) hardware and so I set out trying to find a sit/stand desk that used them. As I was after something specific, I contacted a number businesses before placing an order so that I understood exactly what it was I was purchasing. Unfortunately most of those other businesses seemed more interested in B2B, and a couple didn't even bother responding. I had even gone so far as to contact a business in Canada, who eagerly could supply everything, but unfortunately not for running on 240v. I almost gave up and was just about to head to Ikea. Then I came across Ergomotion. I shot through an email with some questions about their Edesk, and I got a clear informative response within hours. The owner, Guy, kindly followed up, answered further questions, and was also able to order extra parts from Linak on request. To ensure I had all the information I needed before placing an order, he even went so far as to warn me of a slight upcoming price increase. Guy knows his products, knows it in great detail and has a wealth of helpful knowledge.

Ronnie Bernhart 04/04/22


Alice Burgess 19/03/22

Great customer service and desk is exactly as described. Setting it all up was straight forward too. The electric movement up and down is really smooth and quiet - couldn't be happier!

Kevin Ha 17/03/22

After a very unpleasant and disappointing customer service experience with another desk from one of the more "well-known" commercial standing desk companies, I came across Ergomotion and Guy after extensive research to find a replacement and I am glad turned out this way. Dealing with Guy was an absolute pleasure, he was able to answer all my questions and provide me with a range of customisation options including a solid rubberwood desk top which I decided on after seeing the desk in person. In the end, I ended up with a higher quality desk and look forward to continue using it for years to come. Thanks Guy!

Anthony Lunken 17/03/22

We’ve had an Ergomotion High /Low Desk since 2015, well before standing at a work station was a “Thing” in Australia. It’s been fabulous! It’s reliable, speedy and quiet in its height adjustments. Guy, the business owner, is approachable for after sales service queries. To achieve more posture positions & comfort, we use a 10cm foot stool while standing! Many thanks Guy for the great service… Cheers Avril & Tony (Heidelberg West, formerly Moorabbin)

Andre Fernandez 15/03/22

Before purchasing from Ergomotion, I wondered how a business can actually have a 5.0 star perfect rating on Google. After purchasing an electric standing desk and dealing with Guy, I know how. 1) HIGH QUALITY: The desks from here all use high quality LINAK motors and frames. The desk top that I received was commercial grade laminate from Laminex. 2) GENUINE SERVICE: When I initially wanted a more expensive variant, Guy explained to me the differences and suggested the more affordable variant. 3) CUSTOMISATION: Guy helped me customise the size of the size of my desktop - something no other business offered. 4) CONVENIENCE: For a nominal fee, Guy delivered the desk, FULLY ASSEMBLED. All I did was plug it in. Can't get this level of convenience with any other of the many businesses that offer standing desks. If I buy another standing desk, it will be from Ergomotion.

Tas Maniatis 15/03/22

Amazing customer service and quality product and exceeded expectations. I would definitely recommend Ergomotion for their exception product offering and service.

Jake Port 12/03/22

Quality at a reasonable price which is made even better by Guy. You’re made to feel special and nothing is too hard which in this day and age, is honestly hard to come by. Do yourself a favour and support a local family business.