For the past five years, I have been working 100 percent from home. While I love the freedom that comes with working from home, I am not a fan of the changes that I have noticed in my body. You see, I seem to spend more time sitting in front of a computer doing work at home than I ever did when working from an office. I do not know if it is due to the fact that my chair is more comfortable here at home or because I hated my last desk job so much that I needed to flee my desk regularly.
All this sitting seems to be taking its toll on both my waistline and my lower back. While I do not have back pain every day, it does seem as if my waistline expands a little more as each day passes. And even doing 30 minutes of cardio a day does not seem to help.
Standing Desks Do Not Have To Be Expensive If You DIY!
That led me to check out treadmill desks and standing desks like the Pop Up Desk Top.
Treadmill desks seem great, and I really wanted one of those, but the ones that I found are well over $1,000, which puts them out of my price range. And since standing is a heck of a lot better than sitting, I focused on replacing my traditional computer desk with a standing one. Keep reading to learn how I did that and how inexpensive it was to do.
Components of My Home Standing Desk
My Standing Desk Requirements
When I was looking for a good, cheap standing desk solution I had a few requirements. My main objective was the price – I did not want to spend a fortune. In fact, for a few months I was stacking crates and cardboard boxes on my regular computer desk to kind of hack a standing desk. It worked okay but was kind of a terrible idea. The boxes could not really handle the weight of my computer monitor, so after a while the box with the monitor would start sagging in the middle. Not the best idea for my computer screen, eh?
I also have some allergies, which means that I could not buy something made with toxic materials. This ruled out a lot of decent looking options. Some of the toxic materials include particleboard and laminate. Some of these materials have things like formaldehyde in them, which can be toxic to breathe in on a regular basis.
The result is that I could only look at standing desk options that were real wood, metal and glass. As you can imagine, this ruled out all of the super cheap options. However, I was able to find a few solutions under $200 that met all of my pricing and building materials criteria.
I also wanted something that was adjustable so that I could change the height if I wanted to add a bar stool to the setup.
Luxor Rolling Multipurpose Height Adjustable Standing Desk
my cheap desk solution!
After evaluating all of my options, I decided on this metal desk from Luxor. Technically it is called a “utility cart” but it has an extendable keyboard tray, some shelves and a good places for my computer monitor.
The height on it is adjustable, which is perfect since I found a $25 padded bar stool at a yard sale. When I get a little tired of standing, I just pull it over and lower the height on the desk and it works perfectly.
One of the things that I love about this one is that it is incredibly sturdy. It seems like it will last a really long time. I read a lot of reviews for it and discovered that some auto shops are using this for their computers, which proves just how great and durable it is.
The wheels on it are also a nice feature since it means that I can roll it into the kitchen if I am waiting on something to boil – that way I do not have to stop working.
While I ordered in the funky cool green color in the photo, you can actually get it in other colors! Choices are:
You can read the full product details right here, if you’re interested.
Don’t Forget The Anti-Fatigue Mat For Your Feet!
The other main component to my home setup is the anti-fatigue mat. I use the Sublime Imprint Nantucket Series one in the 20-Inch by 36-Inch size. The truth is that you can use any size or brand that you want, I just chose that one because it happened to be on sale when I was ready to buy a mat. Also, this one is Phthalate free and non-toxic, which is important if you have pets or kids in the house.
It is important to get one of these mats because it reduces the stress on your joints and your back while you are standing. Plus, it keeps your feet from getting crampy and sore since it supports your arches!
If you are shopping for one of these in a local store, they can usually be found with the kitchen floor mats. On a side note, this is also of great use when you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner!
Why You Need A Standing Desk
learn about the health risks of sitting too long!
If you spend more than two hours per day sitting – such as at a desk – then you have some serious health risks that you might not know about.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, you are at an increased risk for things like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Some specific conditions include:
–high blood sugar
–high blood pressure
–increased body fat around the waist
–high cholesterol levels
And if that is not scary enough, the Mayo Clinic also says that sitting for more than 2 hours per day results in a 50% increase in chance of death for any reason and a 125% increase in risk of a heart related event!
What’s Your Home Office Setup?
Are you still using a traditional desk or have you upgraded as well? Tell me about your experiences! I love learning how people are hacking their own treadmill desks and standing desks on the cheap.
top image: Blake Patterson/ Flickr