Sitting too much? A standing desk might be the answer

January 9th, 2013


Sitting for hours on end behind a desk? You might be putting yourself at risk of fatal heart related illnesses. A recently available report by NPR included comments originating from a researcher at South Carolina University who discovered that men who sit more than 23 hours a week are 64 percent more likely to die from coronary disease than are their equivalents who only sit for 11 hours or fewer a week. That’s shocking news.

The Good News

But there’s good news, too: You can dramatically minimize the amount of hours each week you sit by making your own standing desk, a desk where you stand as opposed to sit. Best of all? You can build that standing desk even if you are not handy or if you do not have many dollars to spend. Web-site Lifehacker recently gave its own recipe for a standing desk, one which uses low-cost parts that you’ll find at any Ikea furniture store.

The Easy Way

If you just need a simple desk, Lifehacker suggests creating a standing desk using Ikea’s Utby legs. Though this desk is going to be smaller, it will be possible to fit your laptop, monitor and keyboard easily enough on top of it. You will have space, too, to have a lamp and storage. To construct this desk, purchase a Vika Amon Top, Utby under frame, Ekby Jarpen shelf and one set of Capita legs. You will find these parts at Ikea for a total of about $140. Best of all? Based on the Lifehacker story, you can assemble this desk with simply a screwdriver.

A Bit More Complicated

Do you favor a desk with a wider top, one that can provide more room for your speakers, keyboard and monitor? You will want to construct a wide standing desk directly from Ikea parts? Lifehacker recommends you invest about $250 in five Vika Byske legs, one Lack shelf, two packages of Capita brackets and one Vida Amon tabletop. Then, with the aid of a power drill, you’ll be able to complete a standing desk that includes a little more room.

A few more ideas

Three other simple ideas to help combat too much time spent sedentary at work include:

  • Finding a sport to play at night after work - whether you play indoor soccer in a league or softball in a group through your place of worship or just simply rounding up some folks from the 'hood for some basketball at the local school gym a couple of times a month - look around for opportunities.  They're abundant.
  • Take advantage of walking paths or nearby parks (or even just step outside for a break from the indoors) for some fresh air and a walk on your lunch hour occasionally.  Even if its only 15 minutes, fresh air and the sun on your skin calms a hectic brain and allows opportunities to refocus like nothing else.
  • Get a workout buddy.  Finding one - or a few - girlfriends or buddies from the neighborhood to run, bike or do some strength training with (bootcamp style, if that's your thing) helps keep each other accountable for following through and showing up.

How do you keep from stagnating at your desk?  Share your ideas...