DIY Standing Desk

Apr 22nd

In January I got a promotion, from client services and recruiting to the very awesome Project Coordinator. That meant a bump up to full-time hours, health insurance, more work, and a raise. It also meant spending a lot more time on my ass.

Before the promotion I spent at least half of my workdays running around the facility at the speed that I most associate with my cats running when the hear the automatic feeder (if you’ve never seen this, it’s amazing and a little scary how quick they can move.) It kept me on my toes…literally. These days I’m tucked away in my corner desk feeling lazier by the day…until a few weeks ago.

Enter – the standing desk.

DIY Standing Desk Top

My boyfriend Chris also works in an office and swears by his, so we went off to IKEA to gather the requisite supplies. We picked up:

  • A Lack side table ($8)
  • 2 Valter brackets ($3 each – they did have cheaper options, but these were pretty and matched the table)
  • 1 Ekby Laiva shelf ($2)
  • Some screws and a screwdriver (that I already had)
Grand total – $16.

To get all this to work I duct taped up a handle to the side table, creating what looked like a large wooden portfolio bag. It was certainly a lot easier than just carrying the whole mess, and I made it via subway unscathed.

Standing Desk Parts from IKEA

Assembly was easy. First I put the table together, with the two image instructions on the package. Next, I popped this on my current desk. Standing in front of it, I held up one of the brackets to see approximately where my hands would go typing (just a touch under 90 degrees.) I marked this with a pencil, then marked the other leg as well.

DIY Standing Desk Shelf

I screwed in the brackets, then attached the shelf. All told the whole thing took me 20-30 minutes, including the time spent trying to find a tape measure and popping holes through the surprisingly resilient veneer of the table and shelf.

DIY Standing Desk with IKEA Parts

The first few days were a little rough, with my feet and lower back getting a bit achey by the end of the day. I’ve settled into standing though, and definitely feel more focused at work. I take the occasional break here and there when I need to write or make a long phone call. I also sit for lunch, which is nice because I can’t be messing around on the computer at the same time – I actually pay attention to what I am eating. The only downside thus far has been confusing my boss, with whom I share an office, who thinks I am perpetually going to leave the room. Also, I apparently dance a lot.

If you’re considering a standing desk, this is a cheap way to give it a go and see if you like it. I doubt I’m going to upgrade any time soon as this meets my needs, but there are also a number of much fancier desks and desk attachments that also look excellent. Also, it may look awkward if you work in a cube.

All in all I am very pleased with my cheap DIY standing desk, and feel both more motivated and more energetic at work. Are you interested in a standing desk? Would it work in your workplace? Should I pawn it off on you when I start my masters program in September? Tell me!