How I Made a Stand-Up Desk

“Sitting is the new smoking…”

Have you heard that phrase?¬†While I feel like it’s a little sensationalistic, it’s certainly true that sitting for long periods at a time is detrimental to our long-term health and wellness.

I have written about the dangers of being overly sedentary in the past (click here for the article). Over the last few months I’ve felt the overwhelming need to do SOMETHING about my own office space since my job as an online business owner entails hours of sitting at the computer. (Yes, it’s ironic that my job is so sedentary since FemFusion Fitness is a FITNESS business!!!)

I would love to have a treadmill desk, but we don’t own a treadmill and we didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on this project. We figured the next best thing would be a stand-up desk. My husband was vehemently opposed to propping my computer monitor and keyboard up on boxes (my original idea); rather, he wanted to raise my entire workstation. So we headed to our local hardware/home improvement store and purchased HUGE cinderblocks to lift my desk. The total bill was just over 10 euro (approximately $13). Pretty good deal, if you ask me!

Here’s what we did:

We purchased the largest cinderblocks we could find and planned to stack them such that they would raise my workstation by approximately 14 inches — the amount I needed based on my height.

Using cardboard and a marker, we traced the outlines of the cinderblocks that would be on the bottom, and cut these out to use as padding against our tile floors. Then we emptied my desk (removing drawers, etc.) and moved it out of the way.

We measured the distance between the two “pillars” of the desk (the cabinet on the left and the drawers on the right) and placed the cardboard+cinderblock stack into the correct positions so they would be directly under each “pillar.” Then we — carefully — lifted the empty desk onto the cardboard+cinderblock stacks. We had to do some fine-tuning to get a perfect placement, but it worked!

The verdict…

I’ve been using my stand-up desk for nearly two weeks, and it’s great. The one downside is that there’s really no option for sitting… Since it’s not adjustable (i.e. on some fancy pneumatic platform), I have to stand to type, Skype, etc. I do have a barstool that I can use if I’m really in a pinch but I try not to! I’ll also admit that at times I find myself leaning heavily on one side or putting most of my weight onto one leg. I have to remind myself to shift back and forth, and to occasionally do some heel raises to relieve any foot discomfort from standing on the hard floor. Our floors are tile, so having a soft rug under my feet is essential. For long periods of standing I stand on my yoga mat as well.

All in all, a stand-up desk is for me. It makes me feel better about the hours I spend in front of the computer.

Do you have a stand-up desk or a treadmill desk? Do you know anyone who does? I’d love to hear how you (or they) did it!

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