In 2008 and again in 2011, I blogged about treadmill desks. It’s an interesting idea, and I actually tried it for a few hours, but it’s not really for me. I’ve also blogged about how your chair wants to kill you. I’ve read and written about these things because I’m becoming increasingly aware that I just don’t want to have a “desk job” anymore. But of course, the problem isn’t the desk, it’s the sitting.
Today I began my experiment. I wasn’t about to go out and spend money on a new desk at this point, so I knew I had to rig something. I did a quick measurement to figure out how much higher my desk had to be in order for me to stand and still keep my elbows at 90-degree angles while I use my laptop. For me, that number is between 11.5 and 12.5 inches.
I thought about using some cement blocks, but the ones I have are about 7.5×7.5×15 inches. I started to clean off some regular bricks left over from when our house was built, but then thought that it would be easier to just use some plastic milk cartons. Easy enough, but rather than run to the store to buy some, I wanted to try something quickly. We had two Sterilite bins that we weren’t using and they’re 12 inches deep. I managed to lift my desk up one side at a time (without dumping the entire contents of the desk) and slide the bins under each side. I then added a half-inch board to better distribute the weight across the surface of the plastic bins.
The desk is now 12.5 inches higher, and seems to be just right for me. I pushed my desk chair under the desk (there’s plenty of room under there) and now my office actually has more space to it. I also have a decent Ikea chair in the corner to sit in if I need a sitting break.
The beautiful thing is that I’ve reversed things completely. Now I can work standing up, and take short sitting breaks as needed.
So far so good, although I’ve only spent a few hours standing and working at the desk so far. I’ll be blogging about this experience as I go along, and I’m pretty excited about the health prospects!