Working at a standing desk

Just about three years ago, I read a couple of articles on the benefits of working at a standing desk. I had been sitting in a cube for several years, and I could tell that it was taking a toll on my body. I had put on weight, I was stiff and sore all the time and generally felt like garbage.

I thought about it for a day, and looked at my work environment to see what I could do. I started small by using a couple of paper boxes, and a small cube storage unit to raise up my screens and work surface. It worked pretty well, the first day I was able to stand for about two hours before I was too uncomfortable to keep going. That night my legs were throbbing, I was exhausted. I slept well, and started the next day on my feet. Over the next week I built up a little at a time until I was standing for almost the whole workday. During that week as each day passed, my legs were not as tired. That 3 o’clock slump did not come, I was more productive. There was an added benefit that I had not considered, after two weeks I had lost ten pounds. No other changes were made, just standing 5-6 hours per day, and my weight went down.

Fast forward three years to today. I am still working at a standing desk. I have made a more permanent setup that works well for me in my existing workspace. I have two cheap ClosetMaid Stackable organizers topped with a 24×48 piece of cherry plywood that I sanded down as my desktop. I built a monitor stand out of four 8″ x 1/2″ black iron pipe and a cheap 36″ shelf that I had around the house. This gives me enough room for my notebooks, mug of water, phone and iPad, all within reach.

My DIY Standing Desk Setup
My Standing Desk Setup

I have an anti fatigue mat which is hugely important. I don’t wear shoes when I can get away with it, but if we have clients in the office I will slip them on (most of the time). I was able to get a high desk chair, so when I do choose to sit I am able to without having to move everything.

Several of my coworkers have also adopted the standing desk. They have all cobbled together what works for them, one was even able to get the boss man to pony up for a Varidesk Pro. He likes it quite a bit, I found it to be a bit to cramped. I am hoping that when we move to our new space, I will be able to get a StandDesk. These look to be well made, and affordable to boot.