A cheap stand up desk so that I live longer

Stand up desks have been making waves pretty much everywhere. Even more so since infographics such as this and articles like this started doing the rounds.

There’s no doubt sitting for 8+ hours a day is bad for you, in a whole lot of ways. For me, the clincher was that after sitting hunched over a computer for years, my shoulders natural position was the wrong one (read: bad posture). This caused some muscles to over compensate for other muscles during heavy lifting. One day at the gym, one shoulder decided it had had enough. It’s bad enough that the physio has banned me from workouts until further notice. I mentioned to him that I was interested in stand up desks. His instant reaction evidence enough that this was something that should happen sooner rather than later.

The problem is, people have noticed that there is a market for these things now. With little competition, they can charge whatever the hell the like. Paying $2000 (Aussie) to stand up while you work seems a little insane. This is what held me back for a long time. You could go for a DIY job using bricks or wood from the hardware store, but who can be bothered right?

Turns out there are really cheap options now, at a store that services a whole lot of the developed world…. Ikea.

Stand Up Desk

The Desk James Built

The build-your-own-desk section at Ikea now has adjustable legs up to 107cm. Perfect for all but the longest of human beings.

It’s pretty simple. Buy four legs, buy a desk top and screw them together.

The legs you’re looking for are called “Gerton”. They’re the only ones that go that high, and they’re $25. Tops range from $20 to $100+. Mine was $40, and easily fits a 27″ and 22″ monitor side by side, plus a microphone, speakers etc.

My Stand Up Desk Cable Management

You can also get come cable management trays to screw in to the bottom. This example isn’t so tidy yet, but you get the point. Including this, my whole desk came to a massive $170. I also picked up a matching TV cabinet for $50. How awesome is Ikea?

There’s also a ton of desk top options. The picture below was about half of them.

Desk top options

What a stand up desk is like

You’ll probably have to check back once I’ve been doing this a bit longer. So far, it’s been a bit of a pain but definitely manageable. A sensible person probably would have bought a stool to sit on when they get tired. Unfortunately I don’t fall into that category.

Standing all day gets tiring pretty quickly. However if you mix it up by going to get a drink here and there, sit down for a minute if you’re taking a phone call etc, it’s easily manageable. There’s also those gel anti-fatigue mats people claim makes a difference, which may be an option if you just can’t stand it.

So far, I’ve already noticed my posture in general improving (not only while I’m at the desk). That in itself is awesome. Another win is that I’m completely stuffed when it comes to the end of the day, which means getting to sleep without trying to battle 7,000 thoughts per minute. Oh, and don’t forget that sitting is apparently killing you, so there’s another positive for standing.

2 Responses to A cheap stand up desk so that I live longer

  1. Tony February 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    How funny is it that people actually have a winge about having to sit down all day and all I want to do when I get home is sit down. ( for those of you who don’t know I am a tradesman on my feet and climbing up and down on ladders all day. Either way great review man. I am interested in a new office chair though. Any thoughts on that?

  2. Jimmy February 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    Haha yeah. You also don’t need to bother with a gym membership which is awesome. I was sitting on a gym ball for a bit which was alight. Aeron are supposed to be the ducks nuts for ergonomics. Expensive though

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