Why I Built a Standing Desk

Seems like everywhere you look, someone’s talking about why jobs that require sitting are dangerous to your health:

or my favorite of the bunch,

“Sitting is Killing You"

Now that’s blunt!  A couple of things if you take the time to read even one of the above articles:

  1. Sitting for most of your day is bad for you.
  2. There might be other ways to work besides sitting at a desk.

Ok, so sitting is bad.  I began to inventory my average workday and it looked like this:

Am commute = sitting

During the day = sitting except when I’m walking the building

Driving to appointments = sitting

Pm commute = sitting

Ok so things were not looking so good.  Did I mention that I’m a doctoral candidate working feverishly to finish his dissertation?  This, naturally, requires a lot of keyboard work (read: sitting). 

At about this same time, I realized that I was feeling tired, really tired, a lot of the time.  I wondered if all of the sitting I was doing was part of the problem.

I figured I would bypass this life-threatening situation once and for all.  

Enter the standing desk.

Sure, famous people use them.  Even this guy who built a darn ugly standing desk for himself.

Plan A included some research.  My reading online led me to realize one thing: standing desks are expensive! 

Plan B had to be conceived so I found two bookshelves in my garage.  I cleaned them of their spider webs (and eggs) and swore the kids to keep that between me and them.  Mom did not need to know how bad the shelves were.

Some primer and paint and the shelves were ready to go.  The shelves would serve as the “legs” of the desk.

I then removed an old desktop from my home office and attached it to the shelves.  Looking good.

Finally, I had to figure out how to raise the contraption so that I was not looking down at my work.  Just because your desk is tall doesn’t mean that it will help your health.  

A coworker suggested casters and another (like my 4th or something) trip to the Orange Holy Land known as Home Depot produced four locking wheels.  These casters raised the desk and also made it mobile.

Here’s the finished product:

What It's Been Like to use it

What I’ve found in the past month of using the desk is really surprising: I love it!  It’s great being able to move, stretch and fidget while I work.  It does take some getting used to but overall I’m really pleased.  

My next project will be to install one in my office at work.

Have you tried a standing desk?  How much of your day is spent sitting down?