As you guys know, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I look for ways to increase my health all year long. The latest addition to my healthy living repertoire was actually suggested by Peter (!) Yes, I know – I’d like to think my desire for healthy living has gradually transferred to him through diffusion (not osmosis, dear reader. We don’t regularly dissolve into solution.)
There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about the dangers of sitting for long periods of time. Not only is there a correlation between long periods of sitting and chronic disease, sitting for 11 or more hours a day correlates with increased risk of death. Even regular exercise doesn’t seem to offset the risk.
(I’d like to point out that, as with many studies related to health issues, it’s difficult to pinpoint a single cause for a range of health problems. The gold standard of research – the randomized controlled trial – is the only way to show causation. Remember, folks: Correlation DOES NOT EQUAL Causation.)
Anyhoo, I spend a lot of my day working in front of a computer, and so I’ve had the idea for a standing desk in the back of my mind for a while. I’d done some preliminary research on standing desks a few months ago and was shocked at how much they cost. Check out the slideshow at the bottom of this page for examples. Yeah, I don’t have $1000+ to spend on a standing desk, thank you very much.
Then Peter came across this webpage outlining how to build your own standing desk for $22. Yes, please!
The standing desk isn’t adjustable, but for about 2% of the price, I don’t care. The desk involves the following parts from Ikea:
The assembly instructions are about 1/4 of the way down this page. Note that the instructions assume you have your own sitting desk already. Unfortunately, Ikea doesn’t ship these parts, so you’ll have to go in person to pick them up. Alternatively, you may find similar parts at another store.
Peter and I picked up the parts at the New Haven Ikea while we were in Connecticut over Christmas. I ended up getting a slightly larger shelf (ANTONIUS, $1 more in store) and different brackets (EKBY STILIG, same price) because I wanted my desk to be all one color, and I didn’t want that color to be bright red. Peter and I bought two LACK tables each so that we’d have a larger work surface, plus an extra setup for Peter’s office at school, so that’s six tables, six brackets, and three shelves = three double standing desks for $103.94 + tax. Not too shabby!
Check out the results:
I’m in the middle of digitizing my family’s old pics, hence the scanner underneath the LACK table.
Side view so you can see the brackets:
An awesome person at work:
I stacked my laptop on a book to bring it more toward eye level. I’ll probably add another one, or use the wire frame to the right of the LACK table.
I’ve been using this desk for about a week now and I love it! My posture has improved and, surprisingly, I feel less tired after a bout of computer work than I did before. Of course, if you have trouble standing or have been advised not to stand for long periods of time, I would not try this or any standing desk. I keep a stool under my desk (you can see it in the bottom of the above picture) to relax my legs every so often. Just like sitting for long periods of time has been tied to health troubles, standing for long periods of time may have negative consequences we don’t know about yet. Moderation, y’all.
Even though I bought two LACK tables, I ended up using only one because I like having extra open space on the side of my desk (see pic #1 above). I put my other table over Bonnie’s dog bed because I know she likes to sleep in nooks (as seen in this post, for example). She immediately partook:
Peter also went with the all-white setup for his home desk, but for his school office, he’s going for a black-tan-bright red combination. I’ll take a picture after we set it up.
So, what if you can’t build or buy a standing desk? Check out ways to increase your daily movements at the bottom of this page.
See you Friday, dear reader!
Q: Have you ever tried a standing desk? What do you do to increase your movements during the day?