Catherine Gracey

Living Life, One Misadventure At A Time.

My New Standing Desk

on October 30, 2014

After years of discussion and general procrastination, I finally took the plunge and bought myself a standing desk. Today is the first day that I am using it, and I’m already convinced it was the right thing to do.

My original plan for a standing desk had been one built around a treadmill. Standing still isn’t much better than sitting still, and the treadmill would have given me the incidental exercise during the day that I generally lack when I am working. Since the arrival of Shroomi, however, my incidental exercise has risen enormously and my desire for moving objects that little fingers could get stuck in has plummeted. The old standing desk design was out, and I needed something new.

For the last few months I have been working from the back of a tallboy. It has been a nice alternative to my regular desk, but the height on it was a compromise between the height I needed for the keyboard and the height I needed for the monitor. My shoulders were always slightly too high and my neck was always slightly too bent. I couldn’t use the setup for very long before fatiguing.

During the week my partner found the dimensions for the proper setup of a standing desk at iamnotaprogrammer.com. We got out the tape measure and worked out what the numbers would be for my body. He was keen to go with the suggested Ikea solution, but I wasn’t thrilled about it. It’s not that I don’t like Ikea’s products, it’s just that I hate their store design so much that it tends to influence my opinion of what they sell. I kept looking for an alternative that didn’t require going to Ikea.

I went through a few local furniture stores to find pieces I could combine with each other. My initial idea was that I could put one piece on top of the other and bolt them together. Nothing I found fitted this plan, so I changed tactics and decided to look for pieces that I could put beside each other.

Yesterday we realised that my mother’s old filing cabinet was the perfect height for the keyboard component. I’ve wanted to buy a filing cabinet for years, so I decided this was the time. After a quick search online I found the Stilford range. The three drawer cabinet is slightly lower than what I need for the keyboard, but it’s so comfortable that I’m not too concerned about the angle of my wrists. The four drawer cabinet is slightly higher than what I need for the monitor, but this height is also so comfortable that I’m not concerned. Here’s what my new setup looks like:

Standing desk image

Red, because you always want your desk to go faster.

The pair of cabinets cost me $659 at Officeworks, which I was happy to pay since these are bright red and totally hot. No assembly was required, and when I rang the store to tell them I was coming they had them ready at the front door for me to collect. The boxes that they came in are quite sturdy, and my Ikea loving partner has decided that he might use them to make a standing desk of his own. Shroomi has had a great time thumping them, so I need to fill them quickly with something to kill the noise, but they are lockable so I don’t need to worry about her getting her fingers stuck in the drawers or tipping anything onto herself.

Has anyone else tried a standing desk? What worked for you and what did you need to change?


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