Moving to a Standing Desk

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Over the last several months, both at work and at home I got fed up with sitting in front of my computer. There has been several articles recently about the benefits of standing verse sitting.

At Work

Sitting in front of a computer all day is an unavoidable aspect when you work in the software industry. Like many office jobs, a large percentage of our day is spent in a degrading slouch. Even if you have great posture you are still just sitting on your butt. At Microsoft standing desks are not that unusual, if you have a medical condition, such as a bad back, you can get a fancy motorized workstation. These are very cool, but they require a doctor's approval, a set of paperwork, and way too much frustration for my interest.

$10 is all it takes

After a brief Alpha test (involved books and fearful looks from my co-works) I determined the desk height that was going to work for me. From there I took off for my local home improvement store to buy 16, 6" x 6" x 2 1/2" pavers, four for each corner of my desk. This was much more stable then my Alpha build, although I was still getting some strange looks from co-workers.

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This may not be the fanciest office desk, but it solves the problem, and I already have a few co-workers building their own versions, a trendsetter, I know.

At Home

After a few months of using my standing desk at work, I really wanted to find a way to convert my home office desk to the same setup. In this case, it was not going to be as easy as a set of bricks. My home office desk is a large corner unit that I share with my wife. Plus, I didn't think the landscaping look was going to go over all that well within the house.

Before

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No this was going to take some creativity. After spending a bunch of time searching around the web, I found Chris Pollock's How To: Build a Custom Ergonomic Computer Desk. Chris' desk design was not exactly what I was looking for, but it gave me inspiration. Taking Chris' design, I was able to hack it for my purposes. I wanted to reuse my existing desk, but I just wanted the corner section to be about 42" high. After finding all the parts I needed at Simplified Building I was about set, I just needed 4x7' 1 1/2 inch galvanized fence posts from the local Lowes.

Hardhat Zone

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Finished Product

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Parts List:

5 X L152-7 Square Flange = $60

8 X L10-7 Single Socket Tee = $75

5 X 133-7 Plastic Plug = $12

4 X 7' Galvanized Fence Post = $48

Total =  $195

Not too bad, I was able to reuse my current desk, and did not affect the layout of my home office. Of course now that I have my desk this way my wife is thinking of having me do the same thing to her desk areas both at home and work.

Get off your A$$

As you can see, with a little creativity you too can build out a standing desk. Try it, I'm sure you will like it, I haven't even thought of going back.

Mark Groves Image
Written by Mark Groves

Mark Groves is a program manager and agile practitioner, currently practicing lean and striving towards continuous deployment. If you like what you read please subscribe and follow Mark on Twitter