My standing desk setup

It was Nomadic Furniture that first got me interested, almost a decade ago, in the idea of working standing up. I’ve tried several times, since then, to pick up the habit, but only over the past six months, or so, have I finally made it stick.

I built these two work tables from old card table legs, hollow-core doors, and extra-short molly bolts soon after moving into my current home, and published a Make: Project about it right after they were done. In spite of naysayers who believed hollow-core doors were too flimsy for this purpose, both tables have held up great, and are still going strong.

When, eight months ago, I was inspired by Mark Frauenfelder’s standing desk experiments to try it again, myself, I didn’t want to spend a lot on new furniture, or make any irreversible changes to my hollow-core door tables (which I am still quite fond of) in case it didn’t take. I had four of these cement “Dek Blocks” on hand for another project, and I decided to try simply setting one under each table leg, which had the effect of raising the work surface by about 6″, to 35″. This proved to be a very comfortable working height for me. Getting the monitor up to eye level on a wall-mounted shelf was also a critical change.

I have also found, per Benjamin Palmer’s suggestions as quoted in Mark’s follow-on post, that a barroom-style footrest or -rail is helpful for long term comfort, and the Dek Blocks also, by happy accident, provide a convenient means for adding one, as shown: Just slot a 2×6 (or other 2x nominal-dimension lumber) into the promolded slots in the front pair of Dek Blocks. Between the grooves in the blocks and the table legs themselves, gravity alone is sufficient to secure a footrail, which can simply be lifted away as necessary, e.g. for cleaning or maintenance access.

I now comfortably work from a standing position about eight hours a day, five days a week, and find it noticeably improves my attention span, energy level, mood, and overall health. There was some discomfort during the adjustment period, but, being a bit older and wiser this time, I didn’t try to just throw out my chairs and go from sitting all day to standing all day all at once. Rather, I worked up to it, starting out at just two hours in the morning, then going all morning until lunch (for awhile), and from there to standing up, all day, from 8AM to 5PM, except during my lunch hour. Done piecemeal like this, the transition was not uncomfortable at all.