Ninja Portable Standing Desk

2013-10-09 17.40.55As I’ve been on the road quite a bit since the start of the year, I find that I’m at home less and less. This means that I’m often resigned to using whatever desks are in my hotel room–if I’m lucky! Just take a look at my latest imaginative setup during an extended stay in Bangkok last month (right).

That’s why I was delightfully surprised to hear about the Ninja Standing Desk, created via a Kickstarter campaign by the creator, Dan McDonley. This particular standing desk is small enough to carry with you wherever you go, and is also infinitely adjustable as far as the height goes.

Able to be mounted to any door (or a bit more permanently, to a wall) with the included hardware, the Ninja is a mobile, minimalist solution to those who wish to set up shop anywhere they go.

ninja-standing-deskThe product web site totes the Ninja Standing Desk as a total replacement for traditional standing desks, able to accommodate full size monitors and work side-by-side with tower computer setups. I don’t think I’ll be heading in that direction anytime soon, seeing as the work space offered is a bit limited (and the fact that I enjoy my current setup), but I suppose it could get you by in a pinch. (The ability to buy a version with three shelves is definitely a plus should you buy it as a desk-replacement.)

At $147 base cost (plus shipping), it’s not cheap (for what you’re getting, which is a few pieces of aluminum, some door hangers, and the strap that goes between the surfaces). But, if you’re like me and are always missing your standing desk whenever you’re on the road, the cost is more than worth it.

Finally, I can have the benefits of a standing desk with me wherever I go. Find out more here.


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Computerized Standing Desk

Don’t you just hate how you have to manually (either through a lever or button) adjust the level of your height-adjustable standing desk? Well, that will soon be a thing of the past thanks to the Stir Kinetic Desk!

The Stir Desk has an embedded touch-sensitive control panel and IR sensors that know when you stand, and take appropriate action–raising to meet you. “Manually” switching the height is as easy as tapping on the control panel (embedded into the corner of the desk), and appears to be a very quick procedure (see video to the right). There’s even a feature where you can set the table to vibrate after a set period of time to remind you to stand up a bit after sitting too long! Amazing.

Be prepared to shell out a pretty penny though–the desk starts at $3,890, and can run quite a bit higher depending on selected options. The desk is not yet available for purchase, but you can be one of the first to know when it goes on sale if you sign up to Stir’s mailing list through their web site.

Definitely the smartest standing desk I’ve ever seen.

UPDATE: Wired Magazine recently profiled the desk on their website–check it out here.


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The Disadvantages of Standing Desks

quora-imageStewart Alsop on Quora has a first-hand account of switching over to a standing desk at his Silicon Valley tech startup.

His company’s solution is a low-budget approach of a dual-height wall-mounted shelving system. Seems to do the trick, but I’d be concerned about the lack of counter space and the inability to sit at your work space after extended periods of time standing.

Be sure you catch the biggest disadvantage of standing desks (listed at the end of the article). It’s one we really haven’t brought up before, but definitely deserves some consideration… 😉

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More IKEA Hacking Fun

IMG_0286Doug and Paul are roommates living in San Diego that have come up with a hack for a store-available IKEA adjustable desk. On DIYstandingDESKkit.com they detail how to go about purchasing the required materials from your local IKEA store, which you can combine along with their “hack” (basically an extended version of what IKEA already gives you), which you can purchase off of their site for $79 + shipping. This allows for more vertical lift between the two risers and the work surface, allowing a range between 39.25 inches (99.70cm) to 48 inches (121.92cm) from the floor.

It seems a bit expensive for four wooden pieces, but unless you have access to a wood-working shop and some experience in the field you won’t find a better deal. At a cost of $180 or so all-in, it’s still one of the least costly standing desk solutions that doesn’t involve taping together USPS boxes or using an old door as a work surface.

Know of any other cool standing desk hacks using a combination of store-bought supplies with a bit of ingenuity? Let me know.

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Table-Top Alternative #2: Stand Steady Desk

Stand Steady DeskI recently found out about another low-cost standing desk alternative that converts any normal desk into a standing desk: the Stand Steady Desk.

The Stand Steady Desk comes in two finishes (Black and Maple), is low-priced (currently $140 on Amazon), and very easy to set up (only three pieces plus screws). Sure it’s simple, but it’s also a bit more elegant than just piling phone books on top of your existing work space. 🙂

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Table-Top Alternative: Anderlyn Desk

Anderlyn DeskRecently I was notified of a small company selling table-top add-on desks, Anderlyn Desk, that are meant to turn any surface into a standing desk. For those looking to alter their existing desk at a low price point this could be just the thing you’re looking for.

Standing desks can be expensive, with many pre-built options starting at $600 or so (of course, you could always build your own). At only $200 (plus $60 shipping outside of California), you can just put this on top of your desk and be ready to go relatively easily. It is adjustable, and has four height levels to accommodate users ranging from 4’11” to 6’7″+.

For more information head over to Anderlyn Desk.

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Another Cheap Portable IKEA Standing Desk

Along the lines of the last post ($22 IKEA Standing Desk), here we have an even cheaper solution that is quite portable. Again, this particular construct is based on IKEA parts, but comes to a grand total of only $17. The one caveat is that this is more of an add-on to an existing desk/platform, so you’ll need that set up first.

Doesn’t look particularly aesthetically pleasing, but it does the trick for a low, low price! Great way to try standing up for a while without breaking the bank. If you don’t like it then you can always re-purpose the add-on and make it into a side table or something.

Originally posted on Lifehacker.

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$22 IKEA Standing Desk

Want to try out a standing desk, but don’t have $650+ lying around to buy one of the pre-made, adjustable types available? Thanks to some IKEA hardware and the folks at iamnotaprogrammer.com, you too can craft an inexpensive, decent looking standing desk for less than the price of an average restaurant bill.

Just stop by your local IKEA and grab the below items (or order online), and you’ll be up and standing within fifteen minutes or so (depending on your handiness with a screwdriver). Assembly instructions available in PDF form here.

This is the cheapest standing desk I’ve yet seen (besides the ones that you can build from a discarded door+cinder blocks, or Fedex boxes). Has anybody tried building and using this type of desk? Let me know how it worked out for you in the comments section.

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Kangaroo Pro Review

The Kangaroo Pro height-adjustable desk solution is a stylish, unobtrusive way of getting yourself up and out of the chair. These custom-made (you can select from four different finishes, as well as various upgrades/add-ons such as side tables, keyboard extensions, and stabilizing legs) monitor stand+work surfaces feature a metal base and stand, VESA mounts (so that they are compatible with most LCD monitors on the market), and a work area big enough for a full-size keyboard and mouse.

At $500 retail it’s not the least expensive option out there, but if you need a standing desk solution that can fit into a tight place this could be your answer. It looks pretty cool to me, and I might very well be a client in the near future (I’m a fan of mobile standing desk solutions, such as the previously reviewed QuikLok Laptop Stand).

Also available is the Kangaroo Pro Junior, which is a slightly smaller version of the Kangaroo Pro (only available in black).

Available for purchase through ErgoPro.

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David Teten’s Take on Workplace Ergonomics

David Teten, a partner at New York-based ff Venture Capital, has written a guest post Tim Ferriss’ blog regarding how he sets up his workplace for maximum health and productivity. Since moving to their new location in Manhattan, ff Venture Capital has documented their efforts to create a physically-optimized working environment for their employees.

In the post Teten refers to this New York Times article which breaks down exactly what happens to your body when you sit, especially when you sit for long periods of the day. The most important thing to glean from this piece is that if you sit all day, it doesn’t matter much whether you exercise or not–exercise is not an effective way to counteract sitting for long periods everyday. So, what can you do? Answer: not sit as much.

Continue reading

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