You may not know it, but sitting is killing you.
The TLDR; version, simply put, is: our body aren't meant to sit for almost all day. After all we have evolved in a dynamic and active environment, and it is not easy to conciliate it with a typical white collar job. A good remedy is a standing desk: a desk where you work while you stand on your feet.
There is a lot of different kind of standing desk out there. A simple search on the big G give you thousands of different options, ranging from DIY idea to commercial one.
Yet, there wasn't one that could suit my needs. I wanted a desk where I could quickly switch from standing to sitting and wouldn't cost me thousands of bucks. I've come up with this idea, and I hope you'll like it!
Step 1: Core Idea: Don't Sit All Day, Don't Stand All Day
As you have probably guessed, the core idea is to use one monitor for a sitting place, and another for a standing place. A very important benefit is the ability to quickly switch from one setting to the other. If sitting all day is really bad for your body, so does standing all day long, especially if you're not used to. Simply ask any waiter / bartender / barber, they'll know what I mean.
Most of the DIY standing desk didn't provide for both the settings, and I tried them: I could stand only for three or four hours, and after some weeks I always quit. There are some commercial desk, with a motor to lower or raise, but we are talking about 3k bucks, minimum. With my idea, you can obtain the same with waaay less xD
As per instructions: when you want to exercise your body a little, switch the active monitor, move keyboard / mouse and start standing, When you want to rest, do the same in reverse. Quick and easy!
Step 2: Obtain the Following Items (by Any Means Necessary).
Let's talk about what you'll need. Any way of obtaining the following materials is allowed - but remember, if you're a famous thief you're doing something wrong!
- Two monitors. I got lucky, at my workplace I managed to obtain a second one. If you need to buy it, you can get a good one for 100-150 bucks.
- Wireless keyboard and mouse.They are not completely necessary, but they're quite handy. In my experience, Logitech as always been a good brand for these things.
- A small custom desk to put over your main desk! Here you'll need a little of work, but you're prepared for it, aren't you? For this I bought from a local store a 60x60 cm piece of mdf, and four legs 30 cm high. The space is enough to work comfortably!
- The height of the custom desk is very important. Look here for advice!
Step 3: Warning: Some Assembly Required
At my workplace I use a laptop, and I decided to put it under the custom desk. I've also put together a little stand in order to ensure maximum air flow. Poor thing, for the experiments for my ph.d. its cpu has been running continuously at full capacity for the best part of the last month. It deserves a small treat!
Now put on the custom desk, and the monitors. Time to connect everything!
Finally, set the correct height for both the monitors. For example I've raised the sitting monitor using a twilight book and some scrap wood. Look again here for advice!
It's done! Now some quick tips:
- Don't stand all day. For me, the best schedule is to switch setting every hour (an hour standing, an hour sitting). For me it's a good compromise, at the end of the day my legs aren't too much tired.
- While you're standing, try to keep moving your feet! You'll reduce fatigue a lot.