I’ve transitioned to a standing desk.
I started thinking about it a year or so ago, after reading about the benefits of standing rather than sitting for desk work. Those benefits include (for a lot of people) increased energy, diminished back pain, weight loss, and–most interesting to me–improved focus and concentration.
I don’t have any back pain, but the other stuff sounded pretty good.
For a long time I pined for the GeekDesk, a hydaulic beauty that lets you raise and lower the work surface in seconds with the push of a button. (The ability to alternate easily between standing and sitting seems to help the transition to a standing desk, and even many long-time standers say it’s good to take a sitting break from time to time.)
But the GeekDesk is pricey, especially when you add the cost of shipping. I could never quite justify it, so I dithered and did nothing. Meanwhile, the awesome Cat Rambo did the opposite, i.e., something. She rigged up a standing desk and started using it. Her FB and G+ posts about the results inspired me, and when she posted that the IKEA Frederik desk can be used or modded as a standing desk, I went out and got one. At $149 it’s hella cheaper than the GeekDesk, although it can’t be raised and lowered, and I did the shipping myself.
I’ll pass lightly over the assembly process, except to say that: (1) this desk is the first IKEA product I’ve ever assembled that did not come with an Allen wrench, and (2) I put the desk together in our living room, while enduring the godawful Syfy movie “Swamp Volcano,” and getting it into my office eventually involved taking a door off its hinges and, when that proved inadequate, taking the damn desk partly apart and reassembling it in the office. So, um, put the thing together in the room where you plan to use it. Duh.
Anyway, I got it set up last night. My old sitting desk is on the left, the new standing one on the right:
My work habits are pretty jumpy; I usually take frequent bathroom, TV, walk, play-with-cat breaks, so it’s not like I’m going to be standing for hours on end in one place, like some literary-assembly-line worker. (Although my publisher might find that an improvement.) But for sitting breaks at my desk, I got a $20 IKEA bar stool with a padded footrest. I’m also going to take Cat’s advice and get a gel floormat, like the ones chefs use.
I’ve only been at the desk for a couple of hours, but I like it. I’ve gotten some work done: revising an outline for my nonfic publisher, revising a short story, and writing this blog post. Time to down tools and see what that cat’s up to.