17
2014
Mar

Stand-up Desk Experiment

Bob Dumouchel

Several of my friends have been converting their offices to stand up desks and we have been talking about doing this for well over a year.  The challenge has been making the commitment and finding out if we will actually like this. My friends tell me that the first 3 days are tough and you have to just work your way through it. Knowing that not everyone who tries this likes it committing to the cost of the desks is a bit much.

So I built one from scraps in the garage so here is version 1 of my stand up desk experiment.

Standup-Desk-Version-1.0

I worked on it yesterday and so far I like the standing but the design will  have to change. I mounted the monitors into the work surface and while it is a cool idea the pictures are poor when viewed from a 15 degree angle. It turns out that you need the monitors to be much closer to 90 degrees. So far the cost for the desk is under $10. My next one will be all new material and if I go fancy it could be as much as $30.

Stay tuned for the rest of the experiment.

Well this failed in spectacular fashion and it had more than a few design problems. The big one was the monitors when viewed at a 14-20% angle were impossible. Pictures were super saturated and some screens were impossible to read. I clocked the brightness to the max for the monitor and while this improved the visibility it was still a challenge, especially on graphic work.

 

 

So here is Version 2 :

Standup-Desk-V2

The new version is more conventional with a flat surface and I made the top out of a high quality plywood so we can finish it to match the oak desks in the office. This has the extra benefit of having storage space under the desktop. Assuming this works out well for us my plan is to wrap the bottom in fabric so I will have access to storage giving me a place to put some of the extra desk things we all have.  I need to drill a 2″ hole in the desktop to route the wires through but so far I am happy with this new version. I made one for Dana as well although her’s is about 4″ shorter to get the right fit for her. The challenge with the fixed height design is that you have to measure and custom cut the legs.

The first three days were tough on my legs but as I go into my second week I am really starting to like standing up. I purchased a pad to stand on and I tend to skip wearing shoes most of the time. I purchased a two additional items for my desk and they are slant blocks and balance pad. The slant blocks provide a stretching of the lower leg but it will take time to use them for more than a few minutes. The balance pad is not in yet so look for another update.