Everyone seems to be talking about standing desks, and offices all over the country are offering employees the option to convert to the new contraptions. But why would people want to stand all day?
It turns out that all those hours we spend sitting at our computers for work (not to mention at night in front of the television) vastly increases our risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. It might even be as bad as smoking.
Fortunately, manufacturers all over the world have answered the call of this health crisis by inventing tall desks so you can be up and out of your seat and still get work done. Many of these desks also have adjustable legs or mechanisms for changing the desk height, so you can switch back and forth between seated and standing throughout the day. Definitely a nice way to modify your environment!
With this new level of power over our health in hand, many people have opted for the DIY approach to standing desks as well. In our guide below, we list everything you’ll need in order to build your own standing desk in the wide variety of ways they can be made.
Whatever style you go with, just keep in mind that for ergonomic purposes, it’s best to have the desktop be at elbow height. Here are the basics to start planning what you’ll need and how to budget for it.
To build this standing desk, you’re going to need basic tools, such as screwdrivers, hammers, screws, nails, and maybe even a saw. Simply getting a basic tool kit will get you all that and more, and you will be able to use it in many other areas of your life. Who knows, your health might be so radically transformed by utilizing a standing desk that you find the energy to unleash your inner-handyman and take on a bunch of other DIY projects.
No matter what kind of standing desk you’re building, you need a work surface. There are many different options for this, including bamboo table tops, shelves of various sizes, framed slats, or even unfinished slabs of wood. What you choose really depends on how big you need your desk to be and how you want it to look. We encourage you to get creative!
Now, let’s give this project legs. There are a few different ways you can support your desktop. An easy way is to create a saw-horse set up, much like traditional sawhorses used by carpenters. The saw-horse leg option just requires a plan, wood cut to length (likely by a nice worker at your local home improvement store), two saw-horse brackets, and some screws. There are a number of wall-mount and leg options available as well. In lieu of committing to a standing desk full-time, you might also consider legs or wall-mounts short enough to fit on top of your current normal desk so you still have the option to sit.
The Anti-Fatigue Mat
Standing at the desk all day is healthier than sitting. Fortunately, the worst that can really happen to your health now is that your legs get tired. Anti-fatigue mats provide a cushioned surface for you to stand on that drastically reduces the amount of pressure on your knees, ankles, and hip joints. Adding these to your standing desk will reduce your risk for cardiovascular problems and make you feel like you’re standing on cloud nine. Don’t scrimp on this expense—your mat could mean the difference between you committing to standing all day, and taking a load off.
Don’t be ashamed—there might be some days where you just don’t feel like standing all the time, or, knock on wood, where you might be injured and unable to stand. Why limit the functionality of your desk to the functionality of your legs? Go ahead and get a stool for those times where you just need to sit down and hunch over your computer to get something done. And if it makes you feel better, just think of it as a multi-functional side table.
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