11

votes

Tell me about your standing desk?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 22, 2010 at 6:14 PM

If you have one, where did you get it? Or did you make it? What materials did you use?

4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

(752)

on June 01, 2012
at 11:23 PM

Thanks for posting this site. I think $237 is cheap compared to the $1800 I was looking at.

Fee18b2bd419b1cb011f23d501368366

on October 13, 2011
at 12:19 PM

+1, though I don't have the Jerker, mine is a Fredrik which AFAIK is the newer version of the Jerker. I like it, been using it at work in conjunction with a high stool for over a year now. Wouldn't go back. I also use an memory foam anti-fatigue mat on the floor.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 04, 2011
at 02:41 PM

To be authentic you would have a squatting desk.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 03, 2011
at 09:35 PM

I keep fantasizing about doing something like that with our exercise bike.

7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on September 03, 2011
at 09:16 PM

Nobody believes me when I say sitting makes my back hurt. I try not to slouch when I sit but it's painful not to - chairs are simply unnatural!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:15 PM

I totally recommend the high stool option. It's what I do, and it gives me a chance to sit once in a while. Also, when people come by the office/cubicle, I can sit with them if they want to, which is more socially comfortable.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on September 08, 2010
at 12:59 PM

Hi, sorry about the thread derailing, but have you seen any differences in your narcolepsy after going paleo?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 01, 2010
at 03:53 AM

That's a terrible name for a desk...

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 25, 2010
at 04:47 AM

Looking forward to seeing those pictures, aris.

6f0efd477208f51d145bea6d7272256e

(627)

on July 22, 2010
at 11:52 PM

Can you name the model? Would love to check it out.

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 22, 2010
at 10:25 PM

I will post some pictures later tonight - my daughter has absconded with the family camera!

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 22, 2010
at 10:23 PM

There are numerous studies showing an excellent increase in energy expenditure when folks switch from sitting to either standing or sit standing. From what I recall the best combination of comfort and energy expenditure is a ratio of 2-1. So if you sit for 40 minutes make sure you stand for 20. Standing full time isn't perfect - can result in increased incidence of low back pain and blood pooling in the lower extremities. But mixing it up through the day is perfect.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on July 22, 2010
at 06:30 PM

My office stand-up desk was put together for me by the clever guys in building maintanence using adjustable, modular furniture. I'd be interested in hearing from people who did it themselves.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

37 Answers

6
35a9207254408c6907f7082640c7bfaa

(822)

on July 22, 2010
at 06:41 PM

I did a blog post about mine a year ago. It's just a bookcase, but it's the perfect height for computer use.

I don't stand for the whole day (or even most of the day when I'm relaxing) so I also have a 36" stool to sit on. I actually like it better than softer chairs, I think it encourages better posture. It's kinda hard to slump on a stool. I could be wrong on that though.

The monitors are ideally raised up a little bit when standing and pushed down when sitting so the top of the screens are at eye-height, which is ergonomically optimal or something.

The elevated shelf on the bottom is a foot rest and the books are to weight the thing (it's a cheap bookshelf).

tell-me-about-your-standing-desk?

4
48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 22, 2010
at 10:14 PM

I have several sit-stand workstations that I have built and performed ergonomic studies with (they are hydraulically actuated at a push of a button). But they were tough to build! Notet that there is a huge selection of marketed (read: very expensive) options that operate that way, but many "work from home" folks just take a normal lightweight desk and put it on wooden blocks. In cube-farms, most cubicles have a height variation in how high off the ground your desk can be installed in the cube, and the facilities folks can often just set you up - a good target height being just 3 inches or so less than your standing elbow height.

If you aren't looking for adjustability - just a permanent standing worksurface - a cheap method is this:

(1) Measure you standing elbow height (stand up and make a 90 degree bend at the elbow, and have a friend measure from the floor to just the bottom part of your elbow)

(2) Subtract a few inches from your standing elbow height (3 inches is good), and write that down.

(3) Buy four 4x4 posts (not pressure treated). Cut the 4x4's to the number you wrote down.

(4) Get a nice veneered piece of plywood with a furniture grade veneer, and cut it to 36" x 48" (3 feet deep by 4 feet wide). Round off the edges all around starting with coarse sand paper and continuing with progressively finer grades (e.g. start with 60 grit and end with 400 or even 600)

(5) This step is basically just screwing the top to the posts: with help, position the 4 posts vertically, and set the plywood on top, and one at a time screw them together from above. As you do each one, make sure the top stays level - you may need to sand down or cut a slight bit from one or more posts to get them perfect.

(6) Take a few 1x6 pieces of plank, and add a horizontal brace across the back and each side.

(7) Stain with a water based stain and finish off with polyurethane.

  • Of course - some basic wood working skills are a pre-req here

  • The end result is stable and ergonomically correct just for you!

  • The "attractiveness" though is subjective;) But if you pick a stain that matches your other furniture it can look pretty nice.

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 22, 2010
at 10:25 PM

I will post some pictures later tonight - my daughter has absconded with the family camera!

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on July 25, 2010
at 04:47 AM

Looking forward to seeing those pictures, aris.

3
F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on July 06, 2011
at 10:36 PM

I waited until my boss was out of town, wrapped up a big box in brown mailing paper and voila! (although the boost from the keyboard container helps) I keep a kneeling chair under the desk for non-computer big projects, etc. Hurt my leg bones like hell for a few weeks, now I am just fine. I fidget, dance, stretch, and move all day long! Heels are out though -Ouch! I get pity all day long, like I am mis-treated. I hope it results in a raise!tell-me-about-your-standing-desk?

3
3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 24, 2010
at 01:11 AM

Sitting is not necessarily bad--just sitting the way we do in our modern culture is particularly bad. I already recommended it somewhere here, but look up the [email protected] talk by Esther Gokhale. She looks at the posture of cultures around the world who experience almost zero back pain. She makes some good recommendations on how to sit.

I do have a standing desk though. I just put my computer monitor onto the top shelf of my desk, which is at my eye level. I placed the keyboard on a box on top of the desk surface. Generally I try to do a lot of my listening/learning while walking outside now, with my iPod Touch. There's a lot of evidence that some people, especially boys, learn better while moving. Many of the great minds in history would discuss their ideas while walking. It makes sense evolutionarily because much of our learning was about our environment.

2
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on September 03, 2011
at 09:29 PM

Are Gazelle's Paleo??

I have had one of those Tony Little contraptions for years and it never was any good for exercise. But I took the computer off the mount, got a bolt & nut from hardware store and a small bamboo cutting board. Mounted it up there. Perfect for my little HP mini. I'll try and post a pic if I can find my mini SD memory card. I rock with arms as I read, rock with legs when I type.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 03, 2011
at 09:35 PM

I keep fantasizing about doing something like that with our exercise bike.

2
A1e73b27bd7d1d6ce5db332b304c65ca

on July 06, 2011
at 09:32 PM

I had the worst back pain for 15 years (been programming since the late 80s, lots of desk jobs...) until I saw an article about standing desks. I looked a few up and ended up buying one called the Kangaroo (it's adjustable and just sits on top of your current desk) and I loved it! I ended up buying a better one for work, and a more portable one for my wife. It relieved my back pain so much I decided to make a site, www.beststandingdesks.com, about my experiences so other people could learn.

If you have any questions about my experiences with a standing desk, just email me.

7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on September 03, 2011
at 09:16 PM

Nobody believes me when I say sitting makes my back hurt. I try not to slouch when I sit but it's painful not to - chairs are simply unnatural!

2
7cf45aaa9478fcef7dd16914088ce480

on June 22, 2011
at 02:18 AM

Hi Melissa, I just got a post up about my standing desk. -->

http://notinmoderation.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/check-out-my-new-standing-desk/

It's not pretty, but it was free! I scrounged about the office to make it happen. I even put the neglected office library to good use.

-Ryan Wilder

2
8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

on June 19, 2011
at 12:28 PM

I currently have a huge Ikea desk that my husband raised with slabs of wood between the desktop and the leg supports - but before that, I bought a "bistro" height bar table from Ikea (here's the model I used: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S19834379) that was perfect. I'm 5'4" and my arm height is level; it's a little short for my 6'4" husband, though.

It was the cheapest ready-made option I could find, but you could get lucky and score on Craigslist.

1
22e9f1dabb279c620977403789aef7dd

(160)

on September 05, 2011
at 06:09 PM

My desk at home http://www.flickr.com/photos/77pat/6116565075/

tell-me-about-your-standing-desk?

I also have a chair for when I feel like sitting, but would never have paid retail price.

1
Medium avatar

on September 03, 2011
at 11:11 PM

I took 4 boxes (that were themselves filled with folded boxes) and put my desk on them. It raised it about a foot, but I may lower it a bit to get it perfect. I also use our kitchen island at home with a laptop on it. I don't think I'll ever go back.

1
03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

on July 07, 2011
at 06:37 PM

I needed something that sits on top of a regular desk. Started with cardboard boxes for testing, but then I got something from Ikea that is actually a large sturdy shoe rack (I wanted a mid-level shelf for a keyboard tray). Ikea's great for stuff like this -- it's like furniture Legos :) I looked at the office furniture, end tables, tv stands, etc. but the shoe rack was the best fit for dual monitors and height.

Also got a barstool for occasional breaks of sitting, like if I eat lunch at my desk.

Only on week 2 but loving it :)

1
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 22, 2011
at 02:29 PM

I experimented with file storage boxes on top of my work desk (which is affixed to the cubicle walls, so can't be raised on its own) before committing to a standing desk. It looked like hell, and I got some funny comments from people, but I got to try it out first, and I loved it. So I started looking for better materials to put on top of the desk, and ended up finding a coffee table at a thrift store that was the perfect height and length. Paid $8.00 for the thing, and I couldn't be happier.

Oh, and I did invest in an adjustable-height stool from Target, one of those hard plastic space-age looking things. That way I can sit for a while when I want to, but it's not so comfy that I melt into it.

I feel it's made a huge difference in the way I feel at the end of the day. I still don't like being a cubicle rat, but I'm not absolutely comatose anymore.

1
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on July 22, 2010
at 08:44 PM

My stand up desk is a 2nd desk top on top of two stacks of old computer cases (I manage an IT department), on top of a normal sitting desk. I explained it to my boss as a way for me to experiment with a standing desk without spending any money on it. I've been standing at work for about 3 months now, and I love it. Soon I'll be approaching my boss to requisition a "real" standing desk.

1
741862d51f4709ea726113db7926576f

(605)

on July 22, 2010
at 07:22 PM

All the more reason to get one of these as described above! "Sitting increases death risk: study." (WFS)

48f9bb680fbc1bc1bd0d9cb09ee10273

(230)

on July 22, 2010
at 10:23 PM

There are numerous studies showing an excellent increase in energy expenditure when folks switch from sitting to either standing or sit standing. From what I recall the best combination of comfort and energy expenditure is a ratio of 2-1. So if you sit for 40 minutes make sure you stand for 20. Standing full time isn't perfect - can result in increased incidence of low back pain and blood pooling in the lower extremities. But mixing it up through the day is perfect.

1
627cf3f5d1ddfb4c2f4c96169420f55f

on July 22, 2010
at 07:19 PM

I personally own this exact one.

Yes, it is expensive at $237. But, it is so worth it. I am 5'9" and it works absolutely perfect for me. It was a blessing to set it up one time and have it work out exactly as I had had hoped for! It is adjustable.

4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

(752)

on June 01, 2012
at 11:23 PM

Thanks for posting this site. I think $237 is cheap compared to the $1800 I was looking at.

0
43dc35766af20c5ea0e9b496cc42d770

on October 03, 2012
at 06:46 AM

I had two of them - started approx 3 years ago with Newton 270 (now is discontinued and is sold at approx USD 250).

Recently changed it to Decart Ergo (price is USD 500).

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on June 01, 2012
at 08:27 PM

I use two monitors for work (open laptop + spare), I work mostly from home, so I ended up just stacking crap until everything was high enough to use.

I took a cheap folding table, and put a very short endtable on top. I measured the distance of my elbow to the floor and it was 42", which coincidentally was the height that the endtable, on top of the folding table. Another, totally mismatched endtable with drawers was added to give me storage, and provide my 2nd monitor a boost (using some very old MCSE 2000 training books as a monitor stand). In a perfect world I'd have enough room to use the mouse beside the keyboard, but as I rarely use the NUMPAD I just use the mouse in front of the keyboard, which is at a very comfortable distance away from me and gives my wrists a place to rest when typing... and I'm a command-line commando, so I type considerably more than I "mouse".

tell-me-about-your-standing-desk?

I am now looking towards improving this design by using a sturdier table underneath (or an old vanity/chest of drawers) and using TWO matching bedside tables with a tabletop on top, or between them supported by wall-shelving mounts.

0
A797cae5516ff44ed5483eb00b0a5d86

on June 01, 2012
at 07:23 PM

We've made a treadmill desk for home use. Not counting the treadmill which I already owned, this cost under $7 - all materials from Home Depot. Bought a vinyl covered wire shoe shelf (this is important because it had a lip that other shelves might not) that we trimmed to size with hacksaw, lashed to top of treadmill with zipties, with some foam providing padding/stability. I'm about 5'6" and this is at a good height for me. Might be off for someone much shorter/taller. I've had a standing desk for 3+ years and this is a nice additional option.

0
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on March 05, 2012
at 04:23 AM

Standing desks have dropped down in price. You can get one for about 700 bucks that goes from standing to sitting height via electric motor. The geek desk I believe its called. There are also ones that attach at the edge of the table that you can manually adjust. They are like 400. I have a dual screen setup, with keyboard mouse and wacom board. I currently just use my drafting table and a chair. I'm looking to upgrade.

0
669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on December 23, 2011
at 09:27 PM

At the workplace where I'm currently working as a volunteer,we made 2 wooden boxes to up my desk,once I measured it and how much it should go up.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v196/sculmully/standingdesk.jpg

[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v196/sculmully/standingdesk.jpg[/IMG]

0
9d741bcbe702044635f2ce3078043054

(1435)

on November 18, 2011
at 01:03 AM

I have one of those corner desks at work (two wings with a curved corner section joining them. I bought a $14 shoe shelf from Target (closetmaid brand) that is long enough to "bridge the corner and is also long enough to accomidate both a keyboard and a mouse pad. THe monitor sits on a second shelf identical to the first. Works great.

0
E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 17, 2011
at 11:18 PM

lol no thanks. i enjoy sitting on my ass. thankyouverymuch.

0
3870f2b8db53cb623c34843064003a90

on November 17, 2011
at 09:45 PM

I have an awesome standing desk that was very affordable. http://www.ergodesktop.com/ If I could figure out how to post a picture I would. Anyway, I started with boxes on my desk and when I determined that I liked standing I searched for like 2 months until I found something I could afford.

0
4e5acf33d756516c06d720395c2b3150

on November 10, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Maybe in a year or so I will be ready to move to a standing desk. I've been experiencing a lot of back pain, and my chiropractor told me it's from my excess weight. I don't have the stamina yet to stand all day, but once I lose some weight he said it would be good for my spine. Until then he wants me to get one of those big and tall office chairs. They're more ergonomic for people my size, or something.

0
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on October 13, 2011
at 11:29 AM

I finally just stuck a sufficiently large box on top of my desk/table. Works like a charm!

0
7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on September 03, 2011
at 09:13 PM

I use a shelf in my room that has space for my seventeen inch laptop and a mousepad. I don't use mice so there's usually pistachios by my computer instead :P

When I'm not at home, I use a kitchen counter or just stack books under my computer.

0
5b4fd1d0dcb02b1cc3c666ece9e5983d

(1169)

on July 08, 2011
at 03:00 AM

I've taken a small end table that used to be in the lobby of my office and placed it on my desk.

Cheap and easy.

Though I have to sit down when I need to dual monitor.

0
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on July 07, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Mine is similar to Senneth's in that I also just have a riser on top of a desk (table). I went to Home Depot and bought some ply wood, cut it to size and screwed it together. then hit it with a couple of coats of grey spray paint so it would match the desk. Mine just has two sides and a top, that way I can use underneath for storage.

0
16cd12d7208203f231632d38249e39b9

on July 07, 2011
at 06:44 PM

I want to thank everyone in this conversation for posting their picks and discussing their standing desks. This is great information to share with friends and loved ones who feel that a standing desk in their home or office is impossible.

FWIW, my standing desk looks exactly like the first photo- created out of a spare book shelf. I'm hoping to talk my boss into getting a real standing desk, or putting a group standing desk in the main area, as this setup puts the monitor too close to my face for my liking.

0
67460907f9d818f56e1ef4c846317386

on July 07, 2011
at 03:34 PM

I just propped everything up on my normal desk using card board boxes, super easy.

0
F81dd30896f5b45c64dc64cf177e5333

on July 07, 2011
at 02:40 PM

I put my laptop on top of the bookshelf in my room. I have to stand on top of 3 textbooks to use it, but then it becomes a balance challenge too ;)

0
B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

on June 22, 2011
at 02:21 PM

What sitting-standing ratio is best for you? I find standing for too long makes my feet ache! I'm thinking a high stool might be useful for short periods to take a break from standing.

Also, is there any consensus on the height of the monitor in relation to eyes? I've read that the top of the monitor needs to be at the level of the top of your head. That would seem about right. But, standing-deskers, does that work for you? Loving the pictures too. Would love to see more.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 22, 2011
at 03:15 PM

I totally recommend the high stool option. It's what I do, and it gives me a chance to sit once in a while. Also, when people come by the office/cubicle, I can sit with them if they want to, which is more socially comfortable.

0
2fec3ee86dbc8582a3d807a842d2bbd8

(0)

on August 05, 2010
at 02:57 PM

I have an adjustable keyboard tray from Ergonomic Concepts (ECI-650 SST $258.00) that the employee health and safety folks like to recommend. It's OK, though I'd prefer to have a work surface that goes up and down as well as the keyboard/monitors. This tray can be modified to fit most keyboards (I have one of those microsoft Natural Keyboards -- the split kind). The surface can be tilted easily, and it moves very smoothly from the down to the up position. You can also swivel it from side to side, though I am not sure why I'd want to do that. My monitors are on adjustable poles, and I can easily move them up and down and tilt as needed for my very frequent position changes.

When seated, I am on a balance ball that I liberated from the fitness center after a dramatic sledding incident last winter that left me unable to use a chair for a few weeks. I went down and paid them for it when I decided I never wanted to sit on an office chair again. And that was before I read the sitting will kill you study! (OT: Also, I have narcolepsy, so this is a great arrangement for me. And Zev I am totally going to try your push-ups and stair sprints idea.)

Before I got this tray, I simply used a copypaper box placed on the desk with the keyboard on it, and a mousepad trimmed to fit on a boy scout fundraiser popcorn tin that has been kicking around the office for years. Not really pretty nor easy to switch from one to the other, but free, and a good way to decide whether you want to go ahead and drop some change.

I would totally go for the geekdesk if I could, though.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on September 08, 2010
at 12:59 PM

Hi, sorry about the thread derailing, but have you seen any differences in your narcolepsy after going paleo?

0
Fe783e04644862c30823614f31b9a996

on August 04, 2010
at 12:53 AM

Hey Melissa!

My office came with a desk that has two adjustable surfaces--not readily adjustable, mind you; it requires schlepping and an Allen wrench. So since I always type with the keyboard in my lap when sitting, I raised the main surface a bit, and when I work standing, I just put the keyboard on a box that my business's stationary came in, tilting the box a bit forward for an optimal wrist angle by slipping a few thick magazines under the box. It's totally jerry-rigged, but totally cheap (free) and quite effective.

Off-topic: I have been using Pomodoro (Mac) to time my work/break times, and have been meaning to slip in push-ups and stair sprints during my two/10-minute breaks, respectively. Hasn't happened yet.

0
D64a0ae059bb55a0881236bb60f81f7e

(204)

on August 01, 2010
at 03:38 AM

I've set up an Ikea Jerker desk as a standing workstation. It works very well for that purpose and you can pack a lot of stuff onto it. I've noticed improvements to my back and standing endurance.

I'm pretty happy with the setup.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 01, 2010
at 03:53 AM

That's a terrible name for a desk...

Fee18b2bd419b1cb011f23d501368366

on October 13, 2011
at 12:19 PM

+1, though I don't have the Jerker, mine is a Fredrik which AFAIK is the newer version of the Jerker. I like it, been using it at work in conjunction with a high stool for over a year now. Wouldn't go back. I also use an memory foam anti-fatigue mat on the floor.

0
49de4cd2f26705785cbef2b15a9df7aa

(840)

on July 23, 2010
at 01:51 AM

I don't have one yet, but am looking to buy one. I think it's important for the desk to be adjusted easily. There will likely be times when you want to sit.

So far, I've found the following adjustable desks:

Does anyone have any first-hand experience with any of these?

0
518a57a86b893c99204ac2a011767767

on July 22, 2010
at 10:18 PM

it's an ikea laptop station that looks like a locker on the outside. it was about $60.

6f0efd477208f51d145bea6d7272256e

(627)

on July 22, 2010
at 11:52 PM

Can you name the model? Would love to check it out.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!