By now, you know that I'm a fan of standing.  (In fact, I'm standing right now.)  Standing helps you stay more active and awake at work, keeps your back healthy, doesn't tighten up your hamstrings, and makes you die less or something.  What's nice is that you get used to it fairly quickly, it's even great for games, and you don't have to buy one

So I've decided to start a new series on the blog where I'm going to post pictures of……wait for it……people standing up.  I know, I know — try not to pee your pants from the excitement.  Just snap a picture of your workstation or doing anything standing up that most people do sitting or lying down.  Send it to me — and provided that it's not X-rated — I'll post it.  You will then earn the esteemed designation of Upstanding Citizen, and you will join an elite cadre of everyday heroes who are standing up for your right to…stand up.

Upstanding Citizen #1: Danny

Now, some people need a full desk, whether for a monitor, papers, or a phone.  But even then, you can do it yourself at fairly low cost.  Check out this email I received from Josh Newman about his pal, Danny.

"I thought you might enjoy the standing desk I put together recently.

The items used:

  • 4 CORK Trivets by IKEA – 7" Round
  • 12 Pack of Magnolia Brush 5 qt Galvanized Metal Pails
  • Rolodex Bridge Desktop Manager

I lifted the desk so that each leg would rest on 3 nested pails.  To reduce the stress on the bottom of the pails, I placed an IKEA cork trivet on each.  To lift my monitor, I used a rolodex desktop manager, and a laptop stand I had lying around.  I am still looking for the best way to elevate my keyboard.  I've had it for a week, and I can report that it works for me – I feel great."

Danny, we salute you.  You are truly an UPSTANDING CITIZEN.

16 Responses to “Upstanding Citizen #1: Danny – Build your own standing desk on the cheap”

  1. Ario says:

    This post inspired me to set up my own!

    Milk crates + wood work great!

  2. Carl says:

    I’m pretty sure I saw one of these made out of wood, bones, and entrails-rope in a pre-history class I was in a few years back. . .

  3. Eric M says:

    working on doing this for my workstation. What do you guys think of a squatting desk for home? Maybe not really a desk, but but somewhere to put your laptop on while you read Squatting is a good natural position too!

  4. Dave says:

    Excellent start. Now we need a cheap *adjustable* desk. The folks in my family all have different heights, especially the 8-year old.

    • John says:

      Not sure if this is a good idea, but maybe you can create a safe *platform* for the shorter folks to stand on

      • Dave says:

        You mentioned in another comment that you tend to shuffle a bit at the desk. Imagine an 8-year old hellion doing the same on a raised platform. I have hard enough time keeping him from scaring the golden retreiver by leaping off the sofa.

    • John says:

      Good point…I’ll keep my eyes out for an example

  5. Sara B. says:

    i’ve wondered since i first heard of "standing" desks how beneficial they really are.. We certainly didn’t evolve to sit all day long, but do you think we evolved to stand all that time instead? Paleolithic man had a lot more leisure time than we do nowadays… I bet he spent a lot of it lounging around…I wonder if, as long as we are being active for a good chunk of the day (say after work), that standing at our desks seems a little unnecessary? What do you think?

    • my blog says:

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    • Carlos says:

       I’m affraid I have to agree with Sara. I am standing as I write this, and have been for about three weeks now, problem is, I work all day in front of the computer and spend many hours standing but not necessarily moving, I have to stay glued to the silly thing and… about a week or so ago I noticed it first, my ankles were swollen. There’s no pain, only thing I had noticed before was I had to conciously unlock my knees every-now-and-then, or set a timer for me to move about the place before re-engaging into work. So now I have gone to alternating, mostly standing and then for some periods, sitting. Swelling has improved, but not completely gone away. Hope it’ll get better because if I didn’t look at my ankles, I’d swear I feel much better, but that can’t be good.

      • John says:

        The most recent study shows that time sitting increases mortality independently of how much time you spend exercising: Also, HGs would have been walking much further each day than we do. Carlos, as for your swollen ankles, I’m not sure what to say. Are you otherwise healthy? I’m rarely standing completely still in one position when I’m standing. Often shifting feet, or weight between feet.

        • Sara B, says:

          Hmm… but it still doesn’t say that standing > sitting… Most people who are inactive for ≥6 hours of the day are most likely going to be sitting at a desk, not standing… the only exception I can think of would be people who stand all day at a register or something similar.  So could the mortality rate be higher because they were sedentary, not necessarily the position they were in? Does standing and shifting your feet or fidgeting count as being non-sedentary? It would be interesting to see the same study carried out with people standing for 8 hours/day vs. people sitting for the same amount of time.

          I was really intrigued by the whole standing desk concept when I first learned of it, but I’m not quite sold on it yet I don’t think :)

          • Sara. Yes, standing and fidgeting and shifting your feet do count. Researchers have coined the term Non-Exercise-Activity Thermogenesis to describe activities that are not strictly sedentary but not in the range of exercise. 

          • John says:

            I admire your skepticism. I think the article does indicate that people who took breaks from sitting fared better than those who sat straight through. I don’t imagine those breaks are much more than standing up, walking around a little. I’ll have to dig deeper and see if I find anything more convincing for ya…

          • Sara B. says:

            Awesome, please let me know if you find anything!

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