It took me over two years to acknowledge that I wanted a standing desk.
After I began working right here at The Verge, one of many first tech toys I obtained to play with was a desk that you would elevate and decrease to a standing or sitting place. It was the primary time I’d really tried one, and till then, I had all the time been a bit of skeptical concerning the thought of standing desks. How might you do your work when you’re standing there shifting from foot to foot?
Nonetheless, I quickly misplaced my skepticism. I discovered that spending a while on my toes stored me from getting stressed and helped maintain me alert within the later hours of the afternoon. I not solely obtained used to it but in addition actually favored having it.
Then, in fact, got here the pandemic. And I used to be again in my house workplace.
At first, a minimum of for me, it wasn’t a giant deal. I had spent a number of years working from the small second bed room in our home; I might do it once more. However slowly, I spotted that I had turn out to be used to having that standing desk out there. I missed it.
I briefly thought of buying a brand new desk for the workplace. However the one which a number of individuals at The Verge really helpful, the Absolutely Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk, normally runs round $600 or so, and I had different bills to cope with. Additionally, these desks are typically quite massive, and my workplace is already overcrowded with cabinets, submitting cupboards, and a wide range of miscellaneous furnishings and tech that may take a number of months to undergo. Lastly, I like my little picket desk — it has household historical past — and I didn’t wish to both discard it or condemn it to a lonely storage existence. So I started to see if I might give you a kludge that may give me what amounted to a standing desk.
Right here’s what I’ve tried, what didn’t work, and what finally did.
A pile of books
For essentially the most half, I work simply utilizing my laptop computer; it’s not hooked into a bigger monitor or a keyboard. My first thought was to easily have out there a pile of enormous books that I might transfer on or off the desk as I wanted them.
I piled up a number of of my bigger books and put my laptop computer on high of them. At first, I believed I’d resolved the difficulty; the books had been massive sufficient to carry the laptop computer moderately regular. However the pile of books was additionally, nicely, heavy, and each time I wished to face and work, I needed to transfer them — which can have been a superb higher physique train however wasn’t precisely an encouragement to change from sitting at my desk. And since I’ve my telephone on a stand subsequent to my laptop computer and do are likely to consult with it often, it was an inconvenience to should stare down from the pile of books to the place it sat on my desk.
So the pile of books didn’t work.
A bookcase shelf
One inspiration for making a do-it-yourself standing desk got here from Verge co-worker Kaitlin Hatton, who, again in April of 2020, transformed a bookcase right into a standing desk. I believed that was a very nice thought, and though I don’t have the nifty Goal bookcase that she had used, I do have a quite ugly however very serviceable metallic shelving unit that stands close to my desk and normally holds a printer, a load of outdated onerous drives, a bag of unused greeting playing cards, a bunch of out-of-date laptops that I haven’t but been in a position to get round to recycling, and a wide range of different odds and ends which have amassed through the years.
So I cleared off a shelf, moved the trash and recycling baskets that had been on the ground subsequent to it, and gave it a attempt as a standing desk.
This was a greater expertise than my pile of books. There was loads of house on the shelf for my telephone and a pocket book and pen (in case I wanted to take any notes). It was the right peak for me to face and kind. And because it was an open bookcase, I might even organize for a separate cable to plug my pocket book in.
Nonetheless, it was not very handy to have to maneuver my pocket book / telephone / different supplies forwards and backwards from the shelf to the desk. To actually work for me, I’d have needed to transfer all the six-foot-high shelf in order that it was subsequent to my desk, and the present setup of my workplace didn’t actually enable for that.
And I had no thought what to do with the issues I’d cleared off that shelf to make a workspace. (Though anybody trying on the quantity of stuff I’ve amassed would justifiably marvel if having to eliminate plenty of what was there may not be a superb factor.)
So whereas this was a risk, it wasn’t a super resolution. I used to be going to should chunk the bullet and both purchase a brand new desk or discover one other different.
Standing desk converter
I lastly determined to attempt a standing desk converter. There are a number of those gadgets on the market; they principally sit on high of your present desk and create a further work floor that may be raised or lowered.
These gadgets fluctuate broadly, from very simple ones that may elevate to a single peak to surfaces that may be manually moved up and right down to your required peak and motorized converters that simply want the push of a button.
I weighed my wants, the scale of my desk, and my funds; scoured the web for critiques; and settled on a guide desk converter from an organization known as Vivo that makes use of a facet deal with to maneuver the floor up or down. Like all of the converters I discovered (besides the best ones), it added about 4 inches to the peak of the desk at its lowest degree, nevertheless it additionally had a keyboard tray that may dangle to the extent of the desk. I didn’t want the keyboard tray (as a result of I at present don’t use a separate keyboard), however the tray was a separate piece that could possibly be added or eliminated as wanted. So I ordered the Vivo.
When it got here, the desk converter labored like a attraction. Since I wasn’t going to hassle with the keyboard tray, I merely hooked up 4 rubber toes to the 4 corners of the converter’s help, cleared my desk, and put it on high. The deal with on the high let me easily elevate the floor to precisely the fitting peak, and whereas I wanted to push down barely to decrease it, it labored precisely as I wanted it to. Apart from one factor.
I had puzzled whether or not the 4 additional inches that the converter (at its lowest) added to the peak of my desk would possibly make it tough to make use of once I was seated. Sadly, I used to be proper — I had bother utilizing my laptop computer in a seated place. And at a weight of about 20 or so kilos, I wasn’t going to be shifting the Vivo on and off the desktop each time I wanted it.
I started to wonder if there was any actual reply wanting investing in a brand new desk.
Desk converter plus TV desk
Fortunately, I discovered an answer.
I occur to have an outdated TV desk that, for the final couple of years, has been simply holding books and an out-of-date, no-longer-used monitor and whose floor is just a few inches decrease than that of my desk. I eliminated the monitor, changed it with the desk converter, and moved the desk so it was positioned at a proper angle to my desk. (You possibly can see the leads to the highest picture on this article.)
Success! Now, each time I wish to spend a while standing quite than sitting, I simply shift my laptop over to the Vivo on the TV desk, regulate the peak (if I must), and work away. I wish to sit once more? Simply transfer my laptop computer again to the desk. I may even regulate the Vivo in order that the laptop computer digital camera is a greater peak for Zoom periods.
It’s possible that this association might change — I could determine to get a show and keyboard and rearrange the workspace to accommodate them — however for now, I can sit or stand whereas I work with consolation and confidence.
Pictures by Barbara Krasnoff / The Verge