Foot Fidgeting: Taking Standing Desks To A Whole New Terrain

It’s really a pleasure to introduce this to you. Some of you may remember Kit Perkins from a few years back—arguably one of the most pronounced young man Paleo/Primal transformations ever.

He hasn’t been sitting around, literally or figuratively.

As I always stress, I only promote stuff I like and use myself. So let me introduce you to Topo, the standing desk anti-fatigue mat with calculated terrain features proven to drive natural, healthy movement. Check it out. It’s very cool.

Turns out Kit lives not far away so a week ago today, Beatrice and I stopped by his garage operation in Cupertino and picked up a couple of his prototypes to try out. I use a VARIDESK PRO for my standing desk because it’s built like a tank, comes fully assembled, and it’s easy to switch back and forth between sitting and standing (with a wide range of height adjustability). Since getting Kit’s mat, I have not lowered my desk a single time in a week. Moreover, I have no need of walking around fairly often, as I do when on the flat artificial floor. So, Topo = More Standing + More Productive Work. That’s a nice equation.

Here, let me show you why, and this is all real data from beta testers to see how they shifted about naturally, subconsciously.

I can personally attest to this. I’m doing exactly that right now and you know what? It kinda makes it fun. I’m spending far, far less time over in my comfy chair with my iPad to catch up on emails, comments and stuff. Instead, I just stand here and with the VARIDESK PRO’s large surface for my MacBookAir and Cinema Display, I get through a lot more stuff a lot faster. Again, the equation is clear.

So, you can pre-order yours here. Why pre-orders and not a Kickstarter? Well, you can geek out on all the nitty gritty details about that decision if you like, but in essence this isn’t a hoped-for product. It’s already a reality with over a year of R&D, innumerable prototypes (by all means, DO go geek out on the whole cool development process—that even includes windshield wiper motors), and production ready to start fulfilling orders. The other very big reason for them going this route is that for reasons unbeknownst to me (probably legal distinctions in terms of grants for gifts vs. product for order and payment), they could not offer a money-back guarantee under the Kickstarter model and that was a show stopper for them.

Two more things. First, there’s no wrong way to use it. I position it in different places: further forward, further back, sideways, oblique, reversed, etc. Second, I’m sure that many of you have tried standing desks in the past and became less than excited due to the fatigue from standing in one spot and shifting your feet a bit didn’t help much. Me too. When I did my first standing desk in 2008, after a while, I found myself sitting on the bar stool 90% of the time. Here I stand one solid week later, having stood 100% of the time. That equation adds up.

So go stand in line.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. cunty on January 7, 2015 at 09:11

    Wow! That 2011 comment thread from Kit’s transformation article sure brings back memories. You’ve got Sean, Tim, Primal Toad and Dana! Whatever happened to the “good old days”?

    • Richard Nikoley on January 7, 2015 at 09:37

      Well, Sean has kinda moved on from the whole Paleo scene. We still exchange email now and then and I got a welcome “happy NY you cunt” from Sean just a week or so ago (to which I replied: “same to you, buttmunch”).

      Not sure which Tim you’re referring to.

      Primal Toad aka Tod Dosenburry is doing Buck Books deals and reached out to me for the last one, which was included.

      Dana? Can’t remember when she last popped in, but usually it’ll be months in-between and then a barrage of comments.

      I’ve always understood that blogging is a revolving door kinda deal and I’m fine with that.

  2. Nick on January 7, 2015 at 12:36

    Ordered. I’m really not sure how this could significantly affect standing comfort over time, I’m willing to give it a shot since I have a Geekdesk I spent a bunch of money on a couple years ago and hardly stand at any more.

    I’ll try to remember to come back and update this comment when I receive mine in a couple months.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 7, 2015 at 12:54

      Yea Nick, just like in my past paragraph. I was all excited in 2008 when I set mine up, but grew weary of it very quickly. This has been way different for me. But by all means, let’s know what you think.

  3. Lea+Ann+Savage on January 8, 2015 at 05:56

    I use a treadmill set on the slowest speed to keep moving while I’m at my “Treadmill Desk”. I can amble along for hours at this snails-pace speed. It does not interfere at all with my ability to type. Found the treadmill desk for $200 on Craigslist!

  4. Lea Ann Savage on January 8, 2015 at 06:03

    Forgot to add… Before the treadmill desk, standing still on nothing was too hard. An anti-fatigue mat like this would be necessary IMO for anyone who wanted to stand at their desk for any length of time. I stand in a booth for 10 hour days for my job (but I get to step side to side, and front to back a bit). Standing in one place for any length of time (like at a standing desk) is HARD!

  5. JasonC on January 8, 2015 at 21:03

    I was just trying to decide which stand/sit desk gizmo to get, and this post convinced me! I got the Pro Plus (separate keyboard shelf)
    And I also got the Topo!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2015 at 07:40

      I think you’ll enjoy it, Jason. Yea, the straight pro was for me since I like my keyboard on the same level. I got it a few months ago but just as before, ended up being in the sitting position too much. But since Topo, it’s all standing 100% so far. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait a while for the latter.

  6. Cat on January 9, 2015 at 08:54

    Oh great. Just great, Richard – geez! I’m going to bankrupt myself playing with Resistant Starches, and now I must have one of these! *eyes standing desk from my sofa, where I sit with my laptop perched on one knee*

    This thing looks very well conceived and designed, I’m excited to try one!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2015 at 09:07

      Truth: over 9 days now, I’ve not put my VariDesk into sitting position once. Wednesday, I did about 15 hours standing up. In fact, I did not sit down once from the time I got up in the morning to when I sat in my comfy chair for TV about 9PM.

      Yesterday, I did nearly 12 hours without sitting once.

      Now, there are other reasons for this I’m drafting a post about now but the point is that Topo made this highly doable for me, and it needed to be done because it has given my greater insight into my chronic back pain.

  7. rob ollins on January 11, 2015 at 08:04

    Thanks for the info and the link – I use the vari-desk and this anti-fatigue mat looks excellent. Order done.

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