Monday, April 19, 2010

My New Standing Desk

By Diana Hsieh

Since mid-March, I've been seriously wanting to work at a standing desk.

I've never been terribly comfortable sitting at any desk, and my laptop causes some kind of mysterious muscle pain deep in my thighs if I use it on my lap. That's not due to the heat of the laptop because the pain will develop even through a pillow and blankets, when I can't feel any heat. Plus, the pain fades only over the course of hours after I've used the laptop. I find the whole thing quite alarming, not to mention uncomfortable, so I try to avoid using my laptop in that otherwise-comfortable position. (Has anyone else had that problem? Any ideas what it might be?)

However, standing desks seem to be insanely expensive. So I've delayed switching to a standing desk because I've been afraid of spending a boatload of money for a standing desk that I don't much like.

Happily, a few days ago, I realized that I could make the perfect standing desk just by moving two filing cabinets in our office. So I did! So far, it's working quite nicely. I like to stand while I work, particularly for podcasting. I feel so trapped sitting at a desk, whereas standing allows me to wiggle. (Ultimately, I'm all about the wiggle!) My feet and legs ache, but that should be temporary.

Here's my set-up:



I had to make the desk deep rather than wide to avoid the glare from the windows to the left of my standard desk. I like having the computer far back though. That allows me to lightly rest my whole forearm on the desk, something helpful for my still-lingering carpal tunnel problems. Plus, I can drive my computer from my traditional desk by just turning the monitor slightly, as well as use my traditional desk as an additional surface while standing.

When my feet grow particularly weary, I can use the barstool, appropriated from upstairs, to sit for a spell. I hope that I won't need that often or for long. The small stool is for resting one leg at a time, something that I've seen recommended. I'm going to buy some standing pads from Costco too, as those will add some more padding to our rather thin carpet.

I'm sure that I'll do some tweaking, but I'm pretty pleased with this set up. Best of all, I didn't pay a cent for it!

As a bonus, don't miss the sorrowful look of doggie Conrad. Yes, I did require him to lay on his fluffy dog bed for all of about three minutes while I took the picture. The horror!

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