Interview with Marko Martinis on his standing desk experience

Marko Martinis – Head of Sales, Ematic Solutions

How long have you been standing at your desk?  

I have been standing for about 1.5 years now, since summer 2015.

What motivated you to start standing at work?

Firstly, when you sit you get tired pretty fast – especially with the low quality chair that they provide in most offices – you really don’t have the setup to keep a good posture. Even if you want to keep good posture – it’s hard, because the quality of the chair doesn’t allow you. If you have a good chair which is ergonomically designed, you can keep a good posture for a long time – but with a crappy chair, it’s not possible because you’re focussing your energy on keeping your posture – you feel more tired from sitting – so that’s why I started exploring standing desks.

What was the biggest benefit that you noticed for your health?

So, what I noticed is that – when you first stand, your legs kinda need to get used it to – you’ll feel a little bit of fatigue in your legs – but at the same time, when you sit for a long time in a bad position, you can feel the numbness in your legs – which means the blood flow is not really good. But when you’re standing, the blood flow is always perfect in your legs and you never feel any numbness in your legs anymore.

Sometimes when I was sitting in a bad posture, I’d have back pain and neck pain. But since I have started standing – it has been a lot better. Especially with a standing desk like Altizen, which is designed with ergonomics in mind – there is absolutely no pain in my body right now.

Do you think your productivity has improved?

Yeah – definitely. For example, when you sit – especially on the crappy chairs they have in most offices or co-working spaces – you get sleepy pretty fast, so you basically lose the pace at work – while when I’m standing, I can’t really sleep when I’m standing. I just feel that I’m more focussed and I’m more sharper and I’m more faster when I’m standing – so I’m just executing on everything faster. That’s my experience with standing vs sitting.

Were there any surprising benefits?

When I started, I didn’t have any expectation – I didn’t set any particular goals that I want to achieve X, Y and Z. From what I researched, I knew that sitting for long is not good for anyone – so I just wanted to try standing and see if it’ll work for me. While I expected some benefits for my body – I didn’t expect my focus and productivity to improve so much. I am crushing the tasks much faster than when I’m sitting – when I sit – my arms relaxed on the armrest of the chair, I type much slower – so sitting just slows me down. After standing, I felt like I was thrown into the sea,  because you don’t have anywhere you rest your arms – I don’t know if it’s a good comparison – but standing basically just makes you more alert – you don’t have anywhere to rest, so you’re more focussed on executing faster and you’re also forced to take more breaks to walk a bit, stretch yourself and rest your arms – so it definitely makes you productive. It also fits well into the Pomodoro method of focussing for 25 mins and then taking a break for 5 mins to move around – so my biggest surprising benefit was productivity.

What keeps you motivated to continue standing?

The reason I keep standing now is for improving my flexibility and performance in yoga. When you’re sitting, your muscles are more contracted, so you lose your range of motion and flexibility. It has also been great for my arms, shoulders and spine – they’re in the right posture, so my blood flow is a lot better and I feel my energy levels getting better. Especially after an intense yoga class, I feel that my legs recover faster with gentle movement like standing better than sitting. And staying consistent with standing also makes my legs and back feel more flexible and ready for stretching before I go to yoga. Sitting is basically not good for any kind of fitness goals, so you can put your body in recovery mode faster with standing.

In the end, the big picture goal in improving my physical wellbeing is that I can achieve my professional goals and get better performance as an executive / entrepreneur – that’s the end goal – so if I had to reverse engineer it, standing desk is one of the tools to help you get there.

Were there any challenges when you started standing?

Yeah – your legs hurt a bit and your arms feel a little more tired than usual, but you know – you’re more focussed on execution and crushing your tasks – so you just need to take a short walk or break every 30 minutes to feel better. Your body recovers fine and you can go back to work. You have to anyway take a break every 30 mins – so it fits in well with standing.

How much of your day do you stand right now?

I switch between sitting and standing throughout the day – because I’m often at sales meetings, so I sit then. Most of the time at my desk, I like to stand. Only when I am super tired, I sit at my desk – so I would say right now, I’m standing around 70% of the time. I definitely built it up over the last 1.5 years consistently – and Altizen really helps with the reminders when you’re just starting out – but this is what I find works for me really well right now.


Great insights, right? If this story speaks to you and you want similar results in your life – we recommend that you get an Altizen standing desk!

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