A few months ago I realized that despite setting alerts reminding me to get up from my desk periodically, I just wasn’t doing it. Having read several articles about standing desks, treadmill desks, etc. I set up an approximation of one using boxes on my desk and on top of my CPU case:
This worked fairly well, except that when I wanted to switch from standing to sitting or vice versa it was a pain moving the monitor off/onto the box, etc. I noticed a co-worker downstairs had obtained a WorkFit-S Stand-Sit Desk Attachment, and had my boss arrange to get me one as well. Here it is in the standing and sitting positions:
The WorkFit-S costs about $400 (note that the writing shelf above the keyboard tray is an optional extra item). Custom standing desks, some with treadmills, can cost considerably more.
If you don’t have room for a full desk and/or travel a lot, you’ll want to check out an upcoming Kickstarter project for the Ninja Standing Desk. It hangs from a door (with over-door hooks) or a wall (with drywall fasteners), and packs small enough to easily fit in a carry-on bag! Check out their video, and look for their Kickstarter launch on July 11th: [7/11/12 update: the Kickstarter is now live here]
Finally, some quick tips for when you begin using a standing desk:
- Wear decent, supportive shoes with arch support, especially if you are not used to being on your feet for long. If you are concerned about looking stylish at meetings, get a pair of supportive clogs (like those designed for nurses and kitchen workers) to leave under your desk to wear while standing there.
- Pick up an anti-fatigue mat. Chances are that your office floor is concrete with a minimally-padded commercial rug. This one for under $20 works for me.
- Don’t let your enthusiasm carry you away – just as you wouldn’t start a new exercise program by running a marathon, don’t start out standing all day! Begin with no more than one hour, or less, at a time, then take a sitting break for 30 minutes to an hour. Build up standing time gradually.
- Don’t lock your knees when standing – in fact it’s better to move around a bit rather than standing totally still. Put on your headphones, tap your feet and sway to some music. Take a short walk to the water cooler or rest room.
- If you decide standing is working for you, consider getting a wireless headset for your desk phone (some can also connect to your cellphone via Bluetooth) so you don’t need to juggle a handset while standing and typing.