Stand and deliver: famous people who used standing desks

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We all think the standing desk is the ultimate in must-have modern office desk chic, but did you know it’s actually been around for hundreds of years? Leonardo da Vinci* was rumoured to use one, so it obviously boosts genius thought and creativity!

Here are four other famous people who preferred the standing desk:

1Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway wrote masterpieces like ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ at a standing desk, resting his feet on a mat made of antelope skin. Papa Hemingway probably shot the poor animal himself, but we’d recommend some of the modern standing mats that are widely available. Hemingway probably started using a standing desk after he injured his leg in the first world war. A standing desk works to strengthen your core muscles, instead of slumping in a chair, so it seems Hemingway was on to something.

2Stan Lee

The Marvel Comics’ genius always wrote at a standing desk, often outdoors at his studio in California. Stan the Man said the standing desk was great for the figure, and the sun was great for his tan. The man who created Spiderman was right – working at a standing desk burns 20 more calories an hour than working sat down.

3Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson is one of the most famous standing desk users, designing and commissioning a ‘tall desk’ in the 1700s. The third President of the United States used his standing desk to deal with affairs of state and to design architectural blueprints. There’s an argument that standing and moving while you work improves blood flow and focus – and this certainly seems to have worked in Jefferson’s case!

4Winston Churchill

Jefferson wasn’t the only statesman who saw the benefit of working standing up – Winston Churchill was another great advocate. The man who led Britain through the second world war wouldn’t work at any other desk and, despite a 10 cigars a day habit, lived to be 90. With modern research showing that men who sit for 23 hours or more a week have a 64% higher risk of dying of a heart attack, it appears Winston made a smart choice!

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