In today’s age of technology, spend an average of eight hours sitting in front of a computer screen each day. This can cause back problems, tight hamstrings, depression, anxiety, lack of sleep and a host of other health issues. Ultimately, your body wasn’t made to sit for such long periods. Thus, many people are finding standing desks to be one possible solution.
While these desks do encourage a well-functioning metabolism and a healthy heart, they can be incredibly expensive. Most cost between $100 and $500. If your budget is tight, purchasing one might not be an option. Luckily, creating your very own standing desk is quite easy and affordable.
A Word on Ergonomics
There’s a reason why standing desks are so expensive. Companies invest a fair amount of time, research and money into developing quality products. This way, they can ensure customers are standing properly and can adjust the height of the desk to suit their needs. You, however, probably aren’t an expert on standing desk ergonomics. Therefore, it may be beneficial to read up on the basic ins and outs of creating a standing desk that supports good posture.
Once you understand how and that your computer screen should sit at eye level, there’s nothing to stop you from creating your own. Just be sure to pay careful attention to your posture during the first few hours or days of use. Being aware of your tendencies to slouch will allow you to adjust your desk to the correct height. Plus, noticing tension in your neck or back now could help you avoid repetitive strain injuries later.
That being said, here are a few simple ideas to spark your creativity.
1.The IKEA Idea
This solution takes a bit of imagination but is incredibly simple once you’ve gathered your materials. Head to IKEA and pick out a cheap side table and a matching shelf. Place the side table on top of your desk at home and attach the shelf to its legs. Adjust the height to support your height and posture. Then, place your keyboard on the shelf and your desktop on the side table and get to work.
2. Make a Platform
You can also make your current desk taller by getting crafty and making your own platform. All you need for this project is a large piece of plywood or reclaimed wood, a drill, some square dowels, and fasteners like screws or bolts. Pay close attention to this part, as there’s a . Your desk will likely be holding a lot of expensive equipment, you don’t want it to fall.
Depending on which tools you already have at home, this project will only cost a few dollars. Plus, you can customize and personalize it to match your personality and standing desk needs.
3. Tables on Tables
This idea is quite similar to the previous two. However, it only involves materials you already own. For instance, you likely already have a desk, and most people have a short coffee or TV stand. Why not stack one of those tables on top of your desk? Chances are at least one of them will raise your computer and keyboard to a comfortable height. You’ll also have a bonus space underneath to store papers and other office supplies.
4. The Standing Dresser
If you have a spare dresser or an old one with sticky drawers, give the piece new life by converting it into a standing desk. Just be sure it matches your height to ensure good posture. You can also store office supplies and files in the drawers and even convert the top one into a keyboard shelf. If you don’t have a spare dresser, search your house for old bookcases and other excess pieces of furniture you might use.
Finding a Balance
While standing is beneficial to your health and mental well-being, it’s important to note that standing for an entire workday can actually have adverse effects. This is especially true if you don’t exercise regularly, aren’t used to standing for long periods or have poor posture. Thus, if you go from one extreme to the other, this can result in injuries, and oxidative stress.
Find a balance of both standing and sitting to best improve your health. You can do this by alternating positions every hour or so or simply standing to work for half your workday. This will keep your body guessing and avoid resigning it to one single spot all day.
Scott Huntington is a writer who lives in Vermont and covers the world of business, tech, and more. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.