Since portable standing desks have not become a regular thing in the classroom yet, I wanted to share some best practices for those students looking to alleviate back and neck pain and improve their health in 2018.
Standly was born in a Rocket Pitch I made in a class called Entrepreneurship and Opportunity taught by Professor Heidi Neck at the Olin School of Business at Babson College. Although I actually sent Professor Neck an email for permission to use my standing desk before class (a question which she enthusiastically supported), I must admit that I was quite nervous using my standing desk in class for the first time. In the Babson MBA program, students sit in a theater-like semi-circle where everyone can see one another to facilitate class discussion.
In fact, class participation can account for as much as 50% of your grade in certain case method style classes. I share this information only to highlight that everyone can see exactly what you are doing class. So when I pulled out my Standly prototype, placed my Surface Pro on top, and proceeded to stand as Professor Neck began the class, I got the kitchen sink full of looks from my classmates.
Some were confused – I’ve never seen a standing desk before.
Others were intrigued – That is awesome, can you make one for me?
A few did not see the value – Why would you stand for the whole class when you have a nice comfortable chair here?
But on the whole, my classmates were incredibly supportive and have provided invaluable feedback for me in planning out more elaborate designs for the more advanced versions of Standly that we'll be releasing later on in 2018.
Three of the key features that my suggested for using a portable standing desk in class included:
- Raising up the lap top even higher above the table. One of my classmates was using a Roost Stand which sits on top of a desk or table and holds ones lap top in an elevated position. I actually borrowed my classmates device and put it on top of Standly which allowed me to see my computer at shoulder-level-height. The ability to elevate one's lap top is a key feature to avoid neck pain. Other standing desks that do not adjust in height can be problematic for neck pain as one will be looking straight down for extended periods of time.
- Accommodating the usage of a bluetooth keyboard. One of my classmates who regularly uses a bluetooth keyboard asked if it would be possible to create a holder for a bluetooth keyboard on Standly. Products such as the TinyTower (not a standing desk) have been developed to solve the issues of neck pain from looking down at a lap top. The first version of Standly does not have a bluetooth keyboard holder, however later on in 2018 we will be releasing add on solutions to facilitate the usage of a bluetooth keyboard with our portable standing desks.
- Having a standing desk that a truly portable and convenient to transport. One of Standly's early prototypes was larger such that it was actually tall enough to stand by itself from the floor. While some of my classmates were impressed that they would not actually need to use Standly on top of a table and could theoretically use Standly in, say, a park for example, the fact that the device was not small enough to neatly fit in a small bag made it hard for them to see themselves using Standly on the go in many different places.
A final key pieces of advice I offer for those looking to use stand in the class:
Just because you use a portable standing desk in class does not mean that you have to stand for the entire time.
Some of the students who had never seen a standing desk before were seemingly shocked that I was going to stand throughout the entire duration of the 105 minute-long-class. However, my personal preference is to stand for approximately 30 minutes, sit for 5, and then stand back up again. It's ultimately up to you for how long you ultimately stand for, but the key is that Standly provides you the flexibility to stand when and where you want to with our standing desks that adjust in height and neatly fit in small bags.