A standing desk is a desk you stand up at instead of slouching in front of in a chair.
Some studies have come out recently saying that despite your 30 minutes of daily excercise, you will die a horrible death because you sit at a computer all day and then go home and lounge in front of the TV.
Who knows if it’s true? For my part, I know I feel icky after a day of sitting in front of the computer. I decided to try the standing desk idea. But since I didn’t know if I’d be able to stand it (pun intended), I decided to try it on the cheap.
Turns out, my cheap solution will likely be my only solution because it’s great!
For the past year, my work desk has been a Galant table ($210) from Ikea. I didn’t include its price in my calculation because I already had it. The Galant has adjustable height legs. Though not essential, it is a useful feature for tweaking the height.
For good ergonomics, I had to get my screens and keyboard at the appropriate height. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t bending my neck or leaning over to type. I did some measurements, held my keyboard in the air, and wrote down some numbers. Since I didn’t know what platforms I would find, I gave myself a range of heights and widths and headed off on my quest.
My first (and last) stop was Walmart. I had low hopes as I snooped around their furniture aisle. I didn’t see anything even remotely suitable, and I was about to give up when I found the Mainstays End Table ($13). These tables are almost 20 inches high, which was at the low end of my height range, but they were cheap and matched the surface color of my existing Ikea table. I have a big iMac and a second screen, so I got two of them. The reason I almost missed them was that Walmart did not have any assembled ones on display.
I was thinking about getting a third end table for my keyboard, but there wouldn’t be room for my mouse, water bottle, and assorted junk I need handy. Fortunately, right next to the end tables was the box for the Mainstays Coffee Table ($19).
For a coffee table, it’s actually pretty small, less than three feet long. It turns out that it has the perfect surface area for my work surface. Also, it’s the perfect height for my keyboard at 15.75″ high. (For reference, I’m six feet tall. A nice thing about the Galant desk is that its legs are adjustable, so this set up could be made to work for shorter or taller people.)
There is a reason why the Mainstay tables are cheap. They are kind of junky. But assembly wasn’t very difficult, requiring a screwdriver, a hammer, and about and hour to put together all three tables. They look pretty nice and are sturdy enough for the job.
So there it is! I’ve spent the day in front of this new setup and and so far so good. The nice thing is that I can convert this back to a seated arrangement in about two minutes. I’ll post a follow up after I’ve used it for a while.