How to: Make the 5-Second DIY Standing Desk

created at: 01/26/2011

It’s Workspace month on, so I’ve been doing tons of research into home offices studios, and all the desks, desks, desk, desks!

And I’ve learned something: sitting at a desk is really bad for you. It’s bad for your health, bad for your posture, bad for your emotional wellness, bad for your muscles, and bad for your bones.

Rather, it is more ideal to be lying down flat (which brings along other implications), or preferably, standing up. As a person who makes his living online, I knew I needed to start changing my habits now if I didn’t want them to affect me in the long run.

Thankfully, I came up with a no-cost solution that allows me to maintain a traditional desk with standing options. And by no-cost, I mean free. And healthy. Whatup.   The trick lay in something I already had around: office storage boxes. See, standard desk height is 29 1/2 inches. Add an 11 1/2″ storage box (like the IKEA KASSET magazine box), and I’ve got a store-able solution that puts my keyboard at exactly the height I want it, at six-feet tall. If your shorter, IKEA also makes a 10″ and a 7″, all of which have bases wide enough to support most laptops. (Mine has  a 15″ screen). My partner’s only 5’3″, and she finds the larger box perfectly comfortable.

To make sure everything stays nice and safe, I keep two squares of ribbed shelf liner in the box, and put one on the bottom of the box, and one between my computer and the top of the box to prevent anything from sliding around. With the box full, it’s very secure, and I have no worries of my computer falling or getting knocked off.

No, it’s not permanent; this isn’t something you’d want to leave your laptop on forever. But it’s meant to be a temporary solution that gets me off my butt when doing computer tasks like emails, feed-reading, editing, etc.

It wouldn’t really work for a desktop computer (unless your monitor was high enough and you put your mouse and keyboard atop), but my office isn’t set up for a permanent computer station…it’s why I have a laptop. So, for a space where flexibility is key, it’s a perfect solution. I’ve been doing it for weeks now, and I’m sleeping better and have less pain in my lower back.

Plus, it’s free, and gets put away when I’m done.

Win, win.