Back in April, I built my own standing desk using boxes. It was a cheap hack, but it didn’t work for long, because the boxes began to warp after a week. Although I am still not convinced that a standing desk is superior to a sitting one, I was inspired by a link in the most recent Wired magazine. They highlighted a tutorial that explained how to build your own standing desk for just $22 using items found at IKEA.
I followed the instructions and now I have a standing desk. I’m pretty sure this one isn’t going to warp like my box solution. The only piece of information missing from the tutorial was the size of the wood screws. I made a lucky guess and selected #10 x 1-3/4. They fit perfectly. Below is a photo of the desk now. I may lower the keyboard stand.
TUTORIAL: A standing desk for $22
Standing Desk version 2.0
I haven’t been motivated by the recent health scare stories that equate sitting at a desk as a health risk equal to smoking. I’ve worked in offices. I know the variations in people. I’m a wiggly ectomorph that can’t sit still for long. I have to get up and move. Yet, I’ve worked with people who can sit for hours. They show less movement than a painting. To me it is obvious that our health outcomes will probably be different.
Better Movement has a great post titled Is a Standing Desk a Good Idea? that rings more true to me. It also covers the problems from prolonged standing.
This year I’ve been doing a lot more computer work and I’ve been experiencing more and more pain. The pain is behind my right shoulder and goes down my arm and lasts several hours a day. I probably need a new mouse, but today I needed to try something to deal with the pain. So based off a recommendation from a friend, I started shopping for an adjustable height desk. Then I had a thought that if didn’t help with my pain, I’d be out $400.
The logical course of action was to go ghetto. I grabbed a box.
My standing desk does double duty as my fermentation station.
Day one was a tough adjustment. My pain decreased, but at first I found it harder to focus on doing work. My guess is this just takes practice. I’ll continue this experiment to see if my shoulder and arm feel better.
Just when I was about to publish this post, I saw that the blog Pain Database just released part one in a series on Standing Desks. One line that jumped out at me was:
Variation in posture is extremely important for pain prevention and treatment.
Today I did have far more variation in my posture. I look forward to reading the entire series and learning how standing desks might reduce pain. Maybe I am on the correct path and soon my right arm, shoulder and neck will be pain free?