Make a Stand Up Desk - Better Working, Longer Living
It's not true!
For years we were told by the media that a mere 30 minutes of daily exercise would sufficiently combat the hours and hours on end we sit and work on our backsides. That, if we only put a little effort into keeping in shape, we could sit down all the day long and live to a ripe, old age. However, if you've read anything about standing desks lately, you know that their recent mass popularity results from the newly available, albeit scary, diverse medical research findings telling us all now that sitting down can kill you.
The Facts about Sitting and Standing
This recent medical data states that, in a nutshell, sitting all day will take years off of your life in spite of any physical conditioning you religiously perform. In other words, your daily walk around the neighborhood won't save you. Your thrice-weekly visits to the gym won't save you. And your short, sweet morning yoga routine won't save you from the shocking, 50 percent increased risk of any-cause death that you face when you spend all day sitting on your arse.
Further studies also illustrate the grim dangers associated with working at a desk all day. Elevated obesity and cardiovascular disease occurrences were noted by American Cancer Society Researchers observing the health, and subsequent deaths, of over 100,000 sedentary-working men and women over a 14-year period. Baton Rouge, Louisiana's, Pennington Biomedical Research Center also delivered alarming study findings. After documenting the physical health of 17,000 Canadians observed over 12 years, the researchers found that men and women who spent their days sitting were a whopping 54 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who spend it standing up.
This new, widespread information precipitated a wave of standing desk popularity that has taken the U.S. workforce by storm. During the past 18 months, workers ranging from secretaries to writers to computer programmers, have all risen for the standing desk challenge.
Although standing desks are nothing new the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Thomas Jefferson were all rumored to be stander-upper workers until recently, their use was left on the dusty shelves of history. Today, after some serious scolding, everything old about standing desks is new again.
The True Advantages of Standing Desks
The first and most obvious standing desk advantage is the alleviation of spinal stress that leads to the constant back pain overwhelmingly reported by sedentary workers. The second, and equally obvious, advantage to standing while working is that you burn more calories standing up. Simply shifting your weight from one leg to the other, and tensing your upper and lower leg muscles, will help you slowly but surely drop weight. You'll also experience:
- elevated energy due to increased movement
- sharper focus and concentration resulting from increased energy
- better posture
- the elimination of fats and glucose from your bloodstream that would otherwise stagnate in your body from continual sedentary postures
The Disadvantages of Standing Desks
Expect leg and feet soreness when you transition from a sitting desk to a standing desk. You can, however, counteract a lot of the initial pain and bodily fatigue by wearing your most comfortable, well-fitting shoes, and standing on an anti-fatigue mat while you work. Another notable drawback to standing up all day are the increase in varicose veins reported by people who do not sit at all during work hours. You can combat developing varicose veins by finding your own ratio of standing to sitting, such as 70:30 or 80:20. The most important thing to remember is that you want to stand more than you sit, not stand all of the time, to reap the optimum health benefits of the system.
How to Make a Standing Desk Yourself
The recent popularity of standing desks has not yet served to drive down the price of retail units. Any quick Internet search will reveal that manufacturers are asking from several hundred to several thousand dollars for one. These hefty price tags can quickly turn you away from wanting to experience the healthier lifestyle that accompanies standing while working. Even if you could afford to pay the retail price, you honestly have no idea if the standing desk alternative is one that will complement your personal working style, or specific health needs, until you try it out for at least a few weeks. That being said, you might not be too quick to lay down your hard-earned money for that expensive of a gamble. You might, however, be more willing to try a lower cost option that does not require advanced technical skills to execute.
How Kee Klamp Fittings and Pipe are Revolutionizing the Standing Desk Construction Process
The Kee Klamp is a simple metal fitting the quickly and easily can be attached to standard pipe sizes. These connectors allow you to build structures that have industrial strength and allow the DIYer to build a desk of just about any size and shape.
These sitting / standing desks were built for the new Simplified HQ. The desk is deisgned to work in either a sitting or standing configuration. If you're looking to try a standing desk, but you're not sure you want to do it "for life," then this is a fantastic standing desk option.
Like thousands of others sold on the idea of living better and longer, Simplified Building's own Chris Pollock quickly converted. He built the simple standing desk below that consists of a floor-to-ceiling, telescoping pole, and a perpendicular pole to hold his laptop. Chris did get a little fancy by placing a tensioning device to better secure the telescoping pole to the ceiling. He admits that you can shave some of his $200 cost off of the project by simply manually attaching the pole to the ceiling.
Simplified Building Concepts customer Nate Bunnyfield created his own, incredible “Sled Desk,” when he joined the standing desk working craze. Nate built this neat contraption to sit atop an existing sitting desk. His impressive, $300 design can be constructed to suit any height using varied pipe lengths. Nate's simplistic and futuristic design scheme effortlessly affords desktop users an airy, uncluttered workspace area.
The team at Grain & Mortar Strategy & Design Company constructed this sit-stand desk after coming across our Maker Table project. Using the Maker Table's basic frame, they commissioned a local woodworker to build a custom-wood top. The end result is a sleek, modern design that allows you to find your perfect stand:sit ratio.
This Simplified Building Concept's client had the ingenious idea to build an adjustable height desk for his small apartment. He used Kee Klamp structural pipe fittings to construct a desk that can be used as a stand-up desk, sit-down desk, and coffee table. Notice how the casters at the bottom allow the desk/coffee table to be easily transported from the workstation to the couch.
Need a standing desk that can adjust to different heights? The folks at Cowork in Greenville, SC built this amazingly adjustable standing desk. It works perfect for acccomodating the people who work at different heights.
Can't decide if you should sit or stand? This split-level sit-stand desk has room for both. You can use the same computer and work off of a different monitor on each desktop, or simply use a lap top. With this configuration you can sit for part of the day and stand for the other.
Like industrial style? This Simplified Building customer's sleek, industrial design really shows off the clean, shiny finish of the Kee Klamp fittings. Kee Klamp fittings are not only easy to work with, they have a clean, industrial styles that fits well in many modern work and home environments.
Truth is, humans were not designed to sit down all day and waste away. We at Simplified Building have joined numerous other businesses and individuals in the standing desk movement to elevate our health and maximize longevity. We hope you join, too. We can't wait to help you build your own inexpensive Kee Klamp and aluminum pipe standing desk to help you add more years to your life.