Healthy living for home office workers

Standing Desks: An Overview

I’ve been reading a ton about standing desks recently, and I don’t think it’s all hype. Some office employees may be able to pull this off, especially in smaller or more forward-thinking organizations, but it will be a while (if ever) before this becomes a mainstream option. That’s where you home office workers have the advantage. Your home office setup is your choice, and standing desks are an option you should consider.

Standing desk illustration
An idea of the standard heights/viewing angles for your standing desk.


News Flash: Sitting All Day is Bad for Your Health


I don’t think you had to make it to this blog to figure it out. The articles are everywhere. Sitting for 8+ hours a day is really bad for you, and the chairs design to make it better really just help you to stay in a position that’s bad for you for even longer.


According to resources at WebMD, sitting has been linked to about a million things you want to avoid, including:


  • high blood pressure
  • obesity
  • bad cholesterol
  • heart disease
  • heart attacks
  • overall risk of death (including from cancer)


So if you’re like me, and would prefer to lower the risks of what’s going on above there, you should try to find ways to not sit in a chair all day. That includes taking breaks during work to move and making sure you’re not sitting all day AFTER your job too, but even if you’re making those efforts, the sitting you do at your job may be too much.


Standing desks offer a great way to keep productive during the work day without having to stay seated.


Buy it or Do it Yourself


If you’re already all in on standing desks, you’ve got some cash in pocket and are ready to make the commitment, there’s a lot of great standing desks available out there for purchase. A quick google search will get you there. Quality adjustable desks will start around $800 and can go up into the thousands, depending on what you’re looking for.


If you aren’t scared of picking up a few tools, a do it yourself solution may be better for you. It’ll allow you to make a custom desk that really fits you. The folks at The Human Solution have provided a calculator that can give you an idea of standing desk measurements tailored to you. Keep in mind that this should be used as a starting point, and you will need to assess differences in your own body to get the perfect fit.


Git out to the shed and make yerself a standin’ desk (sorry, that was terrible).


If you just want to try out a standing desk before you make a bigger commitment to it, there’s some great cheap options, that go anywhere from putting your monitor on a box you might have laying around, to something cheap like this GREAT Ikea standing desk hack for 22 dollars that I hope to post about soon.


For some other DIY standing desk ideas, check out Bob Vila’s site for inspiration. The only limits are your time and your willingness to learn.


Types of Standing Desks


Full Desk

A full standing desk can be free-standing or wall mounted (like a shelf – see the links in the DIY section above). Many of the free-standing desks you can buy will be adjustable, with either a motor or a crank. The advantages here are that you can adjust the height to fit you perfectly, and that you can adjust back down to a seated position whenever you want.


If you spend large amounts of time at your desk (e.g. you have a job that has you primarily at your computer), you still want to keep moving as much as possible. Standing desks are not the end all be all of movement. Sitting for short periods of time is beneficial as well, and especially when starting out, you’ll probably have issues with long periods of standing. I highly recommend an adjustable solution for these reasons.


Standing up for your health doesn’t have to be this mysterious.


Desktop Mod

Since a lot of us already have a desk we work at, and aren’t willing or able to make the costly commitment to buying a nice adjustable free-standing desk, desktop mod standing desks offer a simple and cost effective alternative.


These small pieces of furniture sit right on top of your old desk, allowing you to raise your screen, keyboard, and mouse to a height appropriate for standing. Before purchasing or making a mod like this, make sure that the final height will work for you, or that there will be a good height within its adjustable range.




For more information on the benefits of a standing desk and the horrors of sitting all day, check out these links –

Hi, I'm Nick. I'm the man behind the scenes at Remotely Healthy. I'm a nerd on a mission to improve my health.
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