A Standing Desk Changed My Life

Michael Richard authored a  recent post over at Treehugger detailing the ways in which a standing desk had changed his life during the first month of (heavy) use. He briefly chronicles how standing up to ten hours every day alleviated his repetitive stress injury-prone arms and shoulders, and some of the difficulties he ran into along the way.

Note the amazing use of tissue boxes in the standing desk at the top of the page. 🙂

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MooreCo Adjustable Height Workstations

MooreCo (formerly known as Best-Rite and Balt) is a Texas based company that has specialized in making educational workplace furniture and equipment since 1985. All of their products are manufactured in their Temple, Texas facility, and most are GREENGUARD certified as being free of indoor chemical pollutants.

MooreCo makes a variety of adjustable height workstations, desks, and movable carts. These include the Alekto Workstation (27 1/2″ to 52 1/2″ adjustable height movable desk, $515), the Beta Sit-Stand Workstation (a lean, customizable, dual-monitor, movable workstation, $TBA), the Ergo E.Eazy Workstation (a stationary 29″ to 39″ adjustable height desk with customizable keyboard and tower trays, $683 [pictured] ), and the Hi-Hi-Lo Workstation (a lean 31 1/4″ to 39 1/4″ adjustable height, movable workstation, $485).

There is however a form on the site to request quotes on individual products, and Google searches brought up other purchase routes that were available. Modern Furniture Warehouse seems to sell most of the models online at competitive prices–probably your best bet.

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Conset Electric Sit Stand Workstation

ConSet, a company in Denmark, makes a variety of electric motor-powered sit/stand desks for home and office use. They have the advantage of being the manufacturer of both parts of the desk–the frame and the tabletop–thus ensuring a great fit and build quality for both.

These desks can be compared to the much-publicized GeekDesk, but at a slightly lower price point. There are however some differences which may make this model a better fit for some. The ConSet version of the desk has a higher range of adjustable height (56cm-122cm vs GeekDesk’s 66cm-118cm). The surface area of the standard table is the same on each, but the ConSet version can be constructed with custom finished wood, or a custom-sized/shaped table top. The price is also about $60 lower on the ConSet version.

Online retailer Jaymil offers the entire set of these electric sit-to-stand desks, as well as other lines and styles, on their web site at http://www.jaymil.com (the model above can be seen here–other options can be seen here).

ConSet also manufactures a variety of well-made frame-only standing desks, so that you can choose the type and size of tabletop you would prefer. You can view a full list of offerings and retailers on their site.

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Budget Standing Desk

Lifehacker has a post about a reader, Matthew King, who took things into his own hands and created a standing desk workspace for himself. To accomplish this, he took the popular IKEA standing desk hack and modified it to suit his own needs.

You can see that he has both sitting and standing spaces at which to work, which is what I am also currently using. That way if you get tired, or want to eat while working, etc., you can sit down without going through the trouble of raising/lowering the desk, or going to another room. Great work on the wire tray under the desk to hold the cabling–looking good. Just goes to show you that you don’t necessarily need to spend $750 and up on a pre-constructed standing desk.

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IKEA Standing Desk Hack

There’s no need to sink a couple of paychecks into getting started with a standing and working lifestyle. Along with the previously reviewed QuikLok Laptop Pedestal, there are ways to create your own full-size standing desk on a budget.

Sure, you could go the ultra-cheap route and use a wooden door, lay it on a kitchen table, and prop it up with phone books, but many people will be looking at creating something a bit more aesthetically pleasing. One well-publicized way of doing this is to use parts from everyone’s favorite hip, low-cost home furnishing retailer, IKEA. IKEAHackers.com has posted a great step-by-step guide with pictures on how to go about getting it done.

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Online Standing Desk Timer

Looks as if someone has gone ahead and created an online timer application that can track how long you’ve been standing (or doing anything else, I suppose).

The app is free, links up with your Google account and is pretty simple to use–click button to start, press button again to stop. There is even a handy graph that the program creates to tell you how long you are standing every day.

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Sitting is Killing You

Medical Billing & Coding has developed an interesting and informative infographic detailing the cons of sitting at a desk all day.

Some of the more interesting statistics include:

  • We’re sitting down an average of 9.3 hours per day
  • Sitting 6+ hours a day can increase the risk of death by up to 40%
  • People with “sitting jobs” have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease
  • Sitting at an angle of 135 degrees puts less strain on your neck and back

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Z-Lift Laptop Stand Review

Even when using a standing desk you may the need for some sort of laptop stand (if using a laptop computer, of course). This could be to raise the laptop up to be more level with you gaze, or to put the keyboard on a slight slope to make for easier typing, or to allow more ventilation to keep your laptop cool and extend its life.

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Negatives of Standing Desks

Although standing definitely has  a number of benefits over sitting all day–such as increased circulation, increased body movement (burning calories), and less back and neck strain–there are some downsides to standing for long periods of time.

The most obvious downsides are apparent within a few hours of switching to a standing desk: a sore lower back and feet. Your body has been used to sitting for a good chunk of the day, and it takes some time to train your body to get used to a new posture. Beyond that though, there are some things to watch out for when spending extended chunks of your day on your feet:

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Standing Desks @New York Times

Standing desks have made a few appearances over at the New York Times as of late.

The first article, “Stand Up While You Read This!“, details the dangers of sitting for too long and the benefits of making the change to a standing desk and getting more exercise and movement into your everyday routine. It goes into detail regarding the medical reasons that inactivity is bad for the body, and the metabolic rate changes associated with it.

So what’s wrong with sitting?

…the first is that sitting is one of the most passive things you can do. You burn more energy by chewing gum or fidgeting than you do sitting still in a chair. Compared to sitting, standing in one place is hard work. To stand, you have to tense your leg muscles, and engage the muscles of your back and shoulders; while standing, you often shift from leg to leg. All of this burns energy.

The second article, “Can’t Sit Too Long? There’s a Desk for That“, reviews a few custom standing desks created by companies such as GeekDesk and Anthro. The author describes hsi experience with standing desks and the transfer from standing to sitting.

…I discovered the adjustable-height desk. These so-called “sit/stand” models are equipped with an electric motor that lets them shift from chair height to person height at the push of a button. Unfortunately, they’re regarded as specialty furniture. Sit/stand desks tend to be expensive, hard to find and not very easy to test in person. That’s too bad. I got my hands on an adjustable-height desk a few weeks ago, and I can’t stop raving about it.

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