Just as I finish the details on my new stand up desk, the Wall Street Journal publishes an article on the very subject. I am pretty excited about it, so decided to talk about it here. Those of you reading are sitting right now — how long have you been in your chair? Even if you don’t make the jump to creating a desk, it might get you moving a bit more.
Here are some quick facts:
- Higher calorie burn and better posture
- Medical studies have tied excessive sitting to increased obesity and other health problems because of factors including a drop in physical activity
- The human body is designed to stand, not sit. Standing is better for the back than sitting. It strengthens leg muscles and improves balance.
And a few resources:
- The Many Benefits of Standing At Your Desk, Harvard Business Review
- Stand Up While You Read This! The New York Times
- Those With A Desk Job Please Stand Up, The Washington Post
So I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while. Since my desk is a part of my living room, I wanted something that didn’t look too ultra modern (not my style). The ready-made desks I liked were either way over my budget or too big and bulky looking for my house. And being an artist, I admit that I do like to build things with my own hands.
My first step was to get a file cabinet, which was on my list for a long time. I found a fantastic deal with a damaged floor model. I can overlook the nicks because I love the look of this one. Next was to decide on the countertop.
I found the perfect economic and beautiful solution at Ikea – butcher block counter top for only $60. When I went to pick it up, I found that it was damaged from being dropped on one end. It was not a problem for me to cut it down 6″ , and I took it for a 30% discount. I stained it and gave it 4 coats of poly.
Now to height. I needed a little boost over the file cabinet, but could not find the exact thing. On to Home Depot to find some ready-made black shelving. I cut it to create a box, used some pull-out shelf hardware, and created just the height I wanted.
More pull-out hardware and a couple of boards made my keyboard tray. My previous desk supplied the cabinet base on the right side. And here is the (almost) finished product:
The shelf also came from the previous desk, and its a little bowed – I will soon be finding a nice straight shelf to replace it. Cool rusty fleur-de-lis brackets from ebay – love them! Also on my list, a stool, so that I can sit once in while during a long day. I think moving back and forth is a good idea, especially when feet and back need a little (note “little”) break.
I hope this was inspirational – stand up for a while!