How To BUILD a Standing Desk | Building Convertible Electric Workstation For Easy DIY Stand Up Desks
How to Make a Standing Desk
Working from a standing position relieves stress on the spine, promotes good posture and improves circulation and alertness. The downside is that ditching your old-fashioned desk for a more contemporary upright version can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Fortunately, it isn’t too difficult to build your own. With a handful of basic materials and the right know-how, you’ll be able to piece together a custom standing desk with the perfect marriage of comfort and productivity to help you work and feel better.
Measuring for Your Standing Desk
Measure yourself.The perfect standing workspace is one that’s specifically suited for you. Before you attempt to construct your own desk or go on the hunt for another option, it will help to estimate a few basic body measurements. Make a note of your overall height, the level of your eyeline and the distance between your hips, elbows and the floor.
- These rough measurements will come in handy later while working out the specifications for the standing desk that fits your build.
- No need to break out the tape measure. Eyeballing it will give you a basic idea of what size and shape your desk should be.
Stand up straight.You shouldn’t be slouching while you’re working in a standing position, so try not to slouch while you take the necessary measurements. Adopt a natural, comfortable stance that you can maintain for long periods of time. Not only will this allow you to determine the optimal height and orientation of the desk, it’s just better for you all around no matter how you slice it.
- If you get tired after long hours of standing, it’s advisable to sit down for a short spell rather than hunching or resting in a posture that could cause strain.
- Your computer monitor should be even with or just below your eyeline.
Note the position of your elbows.Ideally, the top of the desk should be at the right height for you to rest your elbows on. This will be especially important for people who use have to use a mouse while working, or who do a lot of writing or drawing. Your materials will be more accessible to you without the need to stoop or lower your center of gravity.
- A little higher or low is fine, so long as you’re not forced to raise or lower your arms too much to work comfortably.
Keep a chair nearby.Don’t throw out that old office chair just yet. Rather than standing nonstop throughout the day, studies demonstrate that the healthiest course of action is to find a golden balance between standing and sitting. When you feel the need to take a load off for a while, have a seat. Alternating between up and down provides the greatest number of health benefits.
- For most people, this will be a simple ratio or proportion—10 minutes or so of sitting for every hour of work you perform from a standing position.
- Convertible or adjustable desks offer the advantage of being able to change positions at will while working.
Building Your Own Standing Desk
Purchase some inexpensive materials.It isn’t hard to construct a simple standing desk setup yourself. All you’ll need is a few basic materials: a desktop or tabletop piece, lumber or pipes to serve as the legs of the desk and tools for measuring, mounting and adjusting. After that, it’s just a matter of arriving at the right dimensions and putting it all together.
- Many DIY desk builders recommend starting with pieces like the Gerton table or Viktor shelf from IKEA, then fitting them with customized legs separately.
- With the right base components, you can cobble together a standing desk that’s made to fit your needs for less than 0.
Set the base at the right height.Buy the materials you’ll be using for the legs in the right specifications. You also have the option of modifying them later based on the initial body measurements you took. Wooden boards or posts can be sawed to the exact size you need and will be easiest to work with and fine-tune. If you prefer to use metal pipes for the base, double check their length and width before you take them home.
- Use a tape measure, T-square and level to ensure that the specifications of your standing desk are precise.
- A person of average height (somewhere between 5’7” and 5’11”) will likely have the best results with a desk that’s about 3’-4’ tall.
Attach the legs to the desktop.Center the desktop with the base. The base should be flat and spaced relatively wide to allow taller desks to stand without wobbling or leaning. Use wood screws to secure wooden legs to a wooden desktop. Metal legs and stands should be bolted into place for added stability.
- Measure a couple times to avoid making careless mistakes.
- Test the sturdiness of your desk before you begin piling your things on it.
Make the desk adjustable.If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can add clamping joints at the intersection of your desk’s legs that will enable you to control its height. That way, you'll have just one desk that functions as both a sitting and standing workspace. Adjustable desks can be useful if you don’t have enough space for a dedicated standing desk, or you’re not willing to make a permanent commitment just yet.
- Constructing an adjustable desk will require you to use telescoping legs. These legs must be made from pipes of a couple different diameters that can slide into one another to let you find just the right height.
- Adjustable desks are a great compromise that make it easier to heed physicians’ suggestions to split your time between standing and sitting.
Making an Improvised Standing Work Station
Work from a different surface.Take a look around your home or office and see if you can find a taller alternative to the desk you’re currently using. This could be a kitchen counter or bar top, an elevated cafe-style table or even dresser of a medium height. You can then move your laptop, books or paperwork to the new workspace and stretch your legs a bit.
- A no-frills drafting or crafts table can function as an excellent standing desk.
- Look for a work surface that places your materials at roughly elbow height, or slightly lower.
- Working from a different place can disrupt the monotony of constantly sitting at a traditional desk and give you a much-needed break from sedentary postures.
Place a separate object on your desktop.This is an effortless, no-cost solution solution to rigging up a standing desk setup. Simply stack a low box, tray or some other platform onto your existing desktop and use it as a “lift.” You’ll then be free to work from an upright position, and you can simply remove the underlying object as needed.
- Be sure that the platform you use is sturdy enough to hold your computer, devices and anything else that’s fragile or expensive. The last thing you want is for something to break due to a collapse.
- One common practice is to use a small side table (like the IKEA Lack) to support your work materials on top of a sitting desk.
Use a cabinet or shelf.Any type of furniture with shelves at different heights can make an effective standing desk when you start thinking outside the box. A large bookcase, for instance, will easily hold your computer, paper documents, books, utensils and other accessories like framed pictures or a mug of coffee. Best of all, this creative setup comes with its own built-in storage system.
- Surround your workspace with books and reference materials related to your work or studies.
- If necessary, drill small holes to provide access to electric outlets or wall mountings.
Mount a standing desk in the corner.You don’t have to be a master builder to fit a wall-bracketed desk space in an out of the way area of your home or office. Just find a desktop of a preferred size, locate a couple studs for support and bolt the whole thing into place. You can store supplies and materials in the area beneath the desk when it’s not in use.
- Though it won’t offer the greatest view, a corner mounted standing desk is easy to install and takes up little space.
- A wall-mounted desk can double as a shelf for displaying books, candles or an attractive flower arrangement.
- Get creative when selecting your building materials and put together a standing desk that works for your budget as well as your body.
- More frequent standing burns calories, builds leg strength and keeps your body in a more natural alignment.
- See if it would be possible for you to trade your old desk in for a more standing desk at your place of employment.
- Try not to lean on the desk. The point of a standing desk is to get you used to supporting your own weight and lay the foundation for a healthier posture.
- If you start getting tired or restless, shift your weight from one leg to the other, or stand perched on the balls of your feet. This will promote proper blood flow and let you work out nervous energy.
- Placing an anti-fatigue mat beneath your standing desk can make it more comfortable for you to stay on your feet for extended periods.
- Standing for too long isn’t good for your health, either. Make sure you’re taking regular rest breaks to sit, walk around or limber up throughout the day.
Video: How to make a Standing Desk
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