Stand While You Work!

June 20, 2009 📬 Get My Weekly Newsletter

After experiencing some back troubles recently, I was encouraged to work standing up. The pain relief was immediate, and for the past several months, it's been great. I work most of the time standing, sitting for a few minutes if I get a bit tired. Not only is this great for my back, but it ensures I don't work insane hours...I simply can't stand for more than 8 hours a day. When I first brought the subject of standing up with my company's office manager, she was open to whatever I wanted to do; I figured since it's my issue to solve (and since I wasn't yet sold on the idea), I'd make do with something and bring it in.

While Joel Spolsky outfits his offices with super fancy motorized desks that can go from standing to sitting with the flick of a switch, those desks were way out of my price range. Further, fixed height desks were also quite expensive (much like the word "wedding", attaching the word "ergonominc" to something seems to double its price). Enter the Ikea Utby! The perfect size and perfect height, it looks great and was under $200!

Some might think it's a bit small, but I find the more space I have, the bigger mess I make. The Utby is, for me, the perfect amount of space. Though, it's so cheap, you could get two of them and make an awesome corner desk. I work from home on occasion and also work on side projects after work. Until recently I enjoyed the venerable (and, sadly, discontinued), Ikea Jerker. Last week, however, I was home recovering from back surgery, and was forbade by the doctor from sitting down. I had to use my own makeshift stand up desk out of a keyboard stand and ironing board. Pretty ghetto.

So, the Jerker is now in pieces and has been replaced by a second Utby at home. The sitting problem, both at home and at work is simple: a bar chair. I've got some plush comfy ones at home and bought a (reasonably) cheap Henriksdal for work. So, for less than $300, I have a nice looking desk at which I can stand or sit, and should have continued good back health. Even if you don't have back problems, I highly recommend standing; it keeps me alert and focused and feels great. You just have to make sure you have comfortable shoes.