Doubtless we have all seen the reports that say sitting all day makes us prone to all manner of physical and mental health risks. The solution, so say some people, is standing up at work.

For the most part, my days usually go like this: wake up, eat (sitting), drive to work (sitting), sit at the computer (sitting), drive home (sitting), eat (sitting), watch telly (sitting), go to bed.

As such, I spend most of my time on my backside – and I’m not that atypical.

So when the chaps at Varidesk offered us the chance to give it a go, I thought I’d throw myself a lifeline and went for it.

The hefty Varidesk Pro Plus 36 (£335) sits atop your existing desk and has little paddles on either side which activate a spring-loaded mechanism allowing you to switch between sitting and standing heights in seconds.

Provided your cables are long enough (and your monitor doesn’t catapult off the back), it works pretty seamlessly.

And now, having tried it, I can tell you that standing up at work may sound terrific but it is not such a cakewalk in reality.

For starters, do not underestimate just how much of a plum you will look and feel standing up in an office full of sitters.

Sure, you have the smug satisfaction of knowing it’s healthy, but looming over co-workers is fun for no longer than 30 seconds.

And poor Josie sat behind me got an unfortunate alternative to the back of my head every time she turned around.

Being a giant, it was also uncomfortable for me to stand for any length of time as I still had to stoop. There may be long-term pain involved in sitting all day but I can attest to back ache setting in after just a few minutes standing.

Admittedly, this shouldn’t put off anyone under about 6ft5.

According to the literature, we should be able to concentrate better standing but I found myself unable to focus on little other than sending basic e-mails.

I’m putting this down to a kind of pavlovian conditioning whereby every time I have been called upon to concentrate or write since the age of five - throughout school and my working life – I’ve been sat down.

No doubt, standing at other times of the day may be better – meetings, perhaps – but for me it just didn’t cut the mustard.

For now, I’ll have to focus on being active when I’m not at work – breakfast standing up, maybe? If you see me with milk dribbled down my shirt, rest assured that’s what I’ve been doing.

The Varidesk Pro Plus 36 costs £335 from

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