Raised Desks Save Lives

(Well, at least he didn’t die of heart disease.)

One thing that’s recently slipped by my visually greedy little eyeballs is the slow influx of make shift standing desks in the home office and workplace. No longer thought absurd, in fact, backed by some pretty solid research, we all need to be standing at our desks, not sitting!

Years ago, Al Nolan, a middle aged attorney at the gigantic law firm where I worked, insisted on an impressive standing desk for his brand new office. We would walk by his office with question marks above our heads. Secretly, I applauded him for swimming upstream in a current of stuffy conformists. As I still see Al cycling up and down our Greenway Trails, many of his then-sendentary colleagues have since gone to the that big sidebar in the sky. I guess the joke’s on them. (Unless practicing law is a health hazard.)

You don’t necessarily have to purchase a made-for-standing desk to get the job done. Kate Franzman has DIY’d it and built ‘up’ to turn her old tank desk into what I consider the perfect fit to meet her needs. This is what I’m going to do at home and in my studio.

Here’s how cute Kate is working diligently at her day job at PivotMarketing.com while I’m trying to distract her with desk questions.
In her off time, Kate authors the blog PaigeTurnerIndy.wordpress.com, loves cats and is a retired roller derby girl (Noxious Donna). Excellent!

If you live in Indianapolis and are at all connected to the art crowd, you’ve heard of our photographer to the stars, Polina Osherov. This photo popped up on FB of her newly raised IKEA desk. My curiosity got the best of me. I just had to ask her about it since I’ve been in an ongoing battle with my desk chair and low desk surface.

Here’s Polinas account of the simple desk adjustment:

The “lifts” are small bookshelves we got from Michael’s, set face down on the floor – just wide enough to support the ikea desk bases on each side. The shelves gave me 11 inches of height, but we did have to remove one of the end from the ikea bases – about 2 inches worth of height as the desk was too tall for me otherwise. Hubby and I did it together – we tried about 5 different variations using different boxes and shelves to get to the right height and not have it look too ugly. The risers are not permanently attached although we did use those little round rubber nubbins that you put a CD on in a paper cd case, to prevent slipping and sliding. [:-)] And, the best part, it only cost her $30.00 for the shelves.

A little research shows that historically, standing desks have been the chosen work surface for many great men, including Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill and Charles Dickens.

Thomas Jefferson’s Standing Desk

If you think about it, everything structural in our body is out of whack while sitting, not to mention all of our internal organs being squished together and pushed downward. Well, it’s just unnatural.

In a nutshell, according to MedicalBillingandCoding.org, here are the hazards we face from too much sitting:

1. Increases risk of death up to 40%
2. Sitting make us fat
3. Sitting wrecks your body
4. After work excercise is not enough to counteract a full day of sitting
5. Spending 3 hours a day in front of the TV is BAD!

As I mentioned, my desk chair has been wreaking havoc with my abs, posture, back and left hip. The chair could be wrong, but it doesn’t matter, I’ve now been enlightened and this desk has to be raised.

Here’s another easy DIY desk lift that’s as easy as four buckets.


And if you’re ready to lay down the big bucks to live longer, you might as well check out one of the best looking adjustable height desks I found. This Executive style desk has an adjustable height feature that allows a work surface from 29″ to 48.5″, very accomodating, indeed. It’s available through ambiencedore.com.

To read more about stand up desks, check out TheArtofManliness, DailyInfographic, and Hunter-Gatherer

Posted in makeover | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Raised Desks Save Lives

  1. I hear you on this topic! The last two homes I built had stand-up desks in the kitchen. I decided this after building a home with a sit-down desk in the kitchen which I never, ever sat at. So, the one I have now is 39″ tall (ordered the taller height cabinet from the manufacturer), is just 21 1/2″ wide and 24″ deep. It fits my calendar, a telephone (!?!), note papers and pens. There’s also some clutter that accumulates but we won’t talk about that. 🙂 Above the desk, my carpenter added four “cubbies” where I house incoming mail, coupons, recipes and electronic junk. They aren’t very big …. about the size of stacking office in/out boxes but boy I couldn’t live without them! When the kids were here each one had a cubby with their name on it for their mail, etc. One of the best custom touches I added to the kitchen!

    Now about the computer desk. I hear ya. My back is giving me fits. I just got a new chair, have a great office set-up and I try to take frequent breaks but I’m still in pain a lot. Maybe a stand-up desk in the office would work for me? We shall see!

  2. shellyleer says:

    Sounds like you found the magic ticket for the ‘kitchen office’ desk situation.

  3. cat says:

    I have a horrible back. But if I stand a long time it kills me. So I am not sure what is best….

  4. Tina Jett says:

    Good lawd, I think this is exactly what I need. I love/hate my office chair, and I think standing would also limit the amount of time I spend farting around on the web NOT working. This just landed towards the top of my to-do-list.

  5. shellyleer says:

    It’s a MIRACLE. My back doesn’t hurt and I don’t get as fatigued getting up and down from my desk chair. Do it!!