$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.

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One Year Later: A Standing Desk Review

I know that I have been gradually slipping when it comes to using my standing desk setup on a regular basis. I’m assuming that happens to everyone, but I’m doing my best to actively realize this fact and get back on track to standing at least half of the day.

I think that the toughest thing for me is that I currently have two PC’s set up–a “sitting” desktop, and a “standing” laptop–instead of one sit/stand desk solution. Of course, when I’m a my desk, most of the work is on my “sitting” desktop, as it is faster, has a bigger screen, and usually has the most up-to-date files stored on it. Once I sit down, I usually stay sitting down–it’s too much of a pain to sit. And that’s how I spend most of the work day. Of course, it doesn’t help that I need to travel all of the time, where I don’t have the option to stand most of the time.

Well, here’s the story of another person who has tried the standing desk lifestyle. She’s had a bit more success at it than myself. She details his daily routine, along with the downsides and upsides of working at a standing desk.

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Sitting All Day is Killing You

Lifehacker recently came out with an article detailing how much sitting all day is hurting your body, and what you can do to counteract it. Of course, the number one tip is to not sit as much. And who wouldn’t heed their advice, when you’re losing up to seven years of productive life and becoming more susceptible to certain forms of cancer?

Along with this article, they detail the ways in which your body reacts to the physical action of sitting, how you can arbitrarily add more walking to your daily routine (take the stairs, park in the back of the parking lot, etc.), and how to measure your sit/stand ratio to determine where you stand (pun totally intended).

Check below the fold for the full infographic detailing “The Truth About Sitting Down”.

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How-To Build a Treadmill Desk

This comes in from reader John Stone, who created his own guide on how exactly to go about designing and building your own treadmill desk. John was good enough to write a blog post detailing parts needed, how to choose a treadmill, and build steps over at his blog, Node Floating.

Touted as a “simple standing treadmill desk”, it does seem to be very functional, and gets the job done at a low price point (just a few dollars, besides the obligatory treadmill itself). An added benefit is that it is portable–able to be easily removed at will from the treadmill unit when not needed. This design also has no need for specialized bottom-only treadmills, which is what a lot of full-size adjustable standing desk designs call for.

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Office Workers Sit Too Much, Go Crazy

Maybe not the most astounding news you’ll ever hear today (especially if you’re an office worker yourself), but the British Psychological Society has come to the conclusion that office workers sit too much, and suffer negative psychological effects because of it.

Surveyors selected 1000 office workers and found that they spend an average of about six hours a day at their desk, working. Besides the well known negative physical effects of sitting too long,  they found that mental well-being decreased as sitting increased (which of course could also be tied to the fact that they aren’t exercising).

Read more about these astounding revelations here.

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Sit or Stand: Which is best?

Researchers at Cornell University’s Ergonomics Department have, upon much research, come to the conclusion that neither sitting, nor standing, is good for one’s body.


Well, if you read the results they published it comes down to one thing: moderation. Too much time spent in any one particular place is bad for your body. The report goes on further to suggest that treadmill desks aren’t optimal either, as they decrease overall productivity and concentration. They conclude with the advice that you should sit while doing computer work, and take frequent breaks (every half hour or so), where you not only stand up but also walk around or do some sort of activity to “get the blood moving” (such as jumping jacks).

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Building Your Own Treadmill Desk

Eric Wilhelm, the founder of Instructables (a site that teaches you how to build just about anything you could dream up), has detailed his journey of building a standing treadmill desk for his home office. He actually details how to build three separate desks, running as little as $150 for everything (keyboard platform and desk attached to treadmill, keyboard platform attached to treadmill and desk attached to wall, and both keyboard platform and desk attached to wall).

The instructions are quite detailed and easy to follow (nine steps in all), so if you have the will, some tools,  and a bit of free time you should be able to grab a few parts and create your own standing treadputer desk.

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TrekDesk CNN Video

TrekDesk, reviewed in the previous post, was featured on CNN’s Edge of Discovery program.

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