You would be amazed at how rewarding it is to work on your computer while standing on your own 2 feet. About 6 months ago, I built a stand up desk in my home office. The idea was first planted in my head as a tiny seed by a co-worker who has truly earned my respect over the years. A few years ago, I visited our main office in Berea, Kentucky for a team wide conference and first laid my eyes on a colleague standing behind his desk in the corner of the room. My first impression was, “What are you thinking!”. I figured that it would be tiring to stand at your desk all day. Later I found out that it is just the opposite. Here is a great info graphic on the detriments of sitting all day.
Standing up to work allows me to keep moving during the work day. Standing back from my screen to review a design, moving between screens on my desktop, or even just taking a quick walk break to keep fresh. Before I built this desk, I was finding that my back was aching after every 10 hour work day due to the gravitational push on my spine. My posture was pretty much non-existent and was causing problems in other areas of my life. I now have more energy at the end of the day, my posture has vastly improved and I am even more productive in my work.
When I stand during video meetings with clients, it gives me a feeling of power and confidence. This even comes across to the client and sends a good message about my ability to handle their projects.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Absolutely. Too much of anything can be bad. Standing up in one place for several hours can definitely hurt you more than it can help. Sometimes a meeting can string out to 3 hours and cause me to reconsider the choices I have made. I will even pause my camera just to get a little rest on the stool I keep behind my desk for just these occasions. I also have a small stool under my desk to rest a foot on to slightly recover from continued standing. Another con to a stand up desk is that it looks behemoth in my small office. My guests stare in awe and ask me if I am aspiring to be the Anchorman in the near future. I guess the lights, camera and green screen help with that assessment.
How I Built The Stand Up Desk
First, I found a free desk that would serve as a suitable top for my standing desk, and I took it apart. I bought some cabinet wood from the local hardware to make the legs, back and shelf under the desk. Since the top of my desk is a dark cherry wood laminate, it was difficult to copy it with stain. With persistence, I matched the color beautifully and nobody even notices that it is different wood. I put it together with screws in the office as I don’t ever want to try and move this thing fully assembled. All in all it was a pretty painless process with huge benefits.