The web has been awash of late with buzz about the health benefits of standing at a desk (especially how sitting jobs undercut the good we do exercising); a New York Times piece on these findings is linked to by several Lifehacker posts about how to create a standing desk affordably.
I tried it in our Agile SCRUM room, and there's truth behind the buzz! Several weeks now of standing at my desk, I am experiencing much improved focus, energy, and endurance, from no longer slouching and breathing shallowly in a chair. No lower back pain or cut-off circulation to my legs. Time will tell how it aids weight loss, but it can only help. Ergonomics seem better, as I maintain a clear 90-degree angle, mouse-arm to body.
Better yet, I tried it without any significant reorganization or investment:
Purchased items in my configuration, if you're curious:
- $20 - Shoe shelf
- $3 - .5-inch-wide rubber weatherstrip (applied to shelf bottom)
- $25 - Anti-fatigue mat
- $35 - Swivel work stool (rarely used, in fact)
Here are some things that I found helped:
- I cut the anti-fatigue mat in half and stacked the halves: twice the cushion and still ample room.
- The weatherstrip along the bottom edges of the shelf is working very well to add cushioning and prevent slipping when I lean on it. Yet no adhesive touches the desk: I can remove the shelf in a heartbeat, and there are no marks or damage.
- Keeping the monitors on the desk but rotated up for angled viewing feels less stressful and more natural than having them raised up to head height.
- The keyboard "podium" doesn't really cost me desk space, as the lower shelves offer good places to stash headsets and papers.
- I keep the right edge of the desk lighted with a desk lamp for occasional sitting and longhand writing/drawing.
- It's all about the shoes. I think I've had no need of my stool because I wear MBTs exculsively.
Many thanks to my coworker Melissa Burpo, for being the first to improvise a standing desk in our office and inspiring me!