It’s been nearly a year that I’ve been using one form or another of a standing desk. I’ve been trying to prove to myself how what I’m willing to tolerate, how committed I am, and discover the tradeoffs.
The objective is to alleviate constant pain and gradually improve my health and wellness. Earlier this year I had cobbled together a prototype standing desk for me to use daily and get used to. My key learnings were:
- Determining proper height (i.e., computer, second monitor, keyboard, mouse) primarily to reduce strain on my forearms and wrists.
- Raising the computer and second monitor another 3-4″ higher than the keyboard and mouse helped reduce neck and eye strain. I use a 4″H x 27″L x 9″W glass stand.
- Getting used to standing for lengths of time and finding natural ways to give me short rest breaks during the day.
- Experimenting with floor mats to cushion the strain of standing all day.
- Trying different types of stools and office chairs to find a solution that helped me rest my legs a bit.
After many months I became convinced I could continue to do this. Eventually I invested in the Husky 62 in. x 24 in. Work Table. I bought several on sale at Home Depot for $199 (normally $149) for the office.
- They look great and serve their purpose well at low cost.
- The black powder coat metal frame is very thick and solid.
- Butcher-block style table surface feels smooth, feels solid and looks nice.
- The hand crank works okay. The distance from lowest to highest position is about 8″.
- Each came well packed/protected in a single box that I think was around 160 lbs. Assembly took about 20 minutes each.
- Can either use heavy duty 3″ castor wheels or flat silicon feet.
The work table is great but realistically it is hard to stand all day. And not everyone is as enthusiastic about standing for long stretches. To solve that, cushioned floor mats relieve pressure on the feet. A high quality bar stool works well for me when I need to sit for a bit. Some prefer to crank down to the lowest setting and use a standard desk chair.
As for cons, the only thing I’d point out is that there are no drawers like on a standard desk. It’s funny how muscle memory has me reaching to a dead space when I want to grab some tape or a calculator from where I used to have drawers. If you really wanted to, you could mount something underneath. But I’m really trying to embrace a minimalist approach now as much as possible and reduce clutter everywhere. If necessary, you could always buy a short 2-drawer or tall 4-drawer file cabinet for each desk/worker.
- At the lowest setting, I found it better to use the flat silicon feet in order to be low enough to sit comfortably as a desk. That made the height 32.5″ from floor to top of table.
- The heavy duty wheels add 3 inches to the overall height making it uncomfortable to occasionally sit with a standard office chair. My arms are raised too high to comfortably type at a keyboard, causing strain on the shoulders. An alternative is using a bar stool as an occasional resting seat for when the table is raised to full height.
- For cable management consider installing a heavy duty power strip underneath. I attached a 3′ power strip underneath one table so it’s easy to keep various device cables in the back off the floor. Zip ties make everything neat.
- On another table I mounted a large shelf underneath to hold a heavy UPS/power strip. Again zip ties help secure everything and prevent a messy appearance.
- A cushioned floor mat will help you endure standing for long periods of time. There are lots of inexpensive interlocking floor mat tile systems to use.
I’ve received many compliments on my current setup. I’m hoping to be satisfied with this for years to come. What’s great is it will give me flexibility to adapt over time as my needs may change.
Note: I’m not receiving any compensation for writing this. I’m just sharing my journey to alleviate pain and improve health. You should do your own research to determine what will be best for you. Maybe this information will help you make an informed decision.
So, what works for you? Please share a comment below.