I spent the first couple years of my business working from a wooden kitchen chair, so when I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a real office chair, I kind of went all out. And by that I mean I spent a big wad of cash on an ergonomic leather beauty. But a year later, I was still getting these shooting pains in my back, and adding up the number of hours I spend sitting per day was depressing. I realized I needed a standing desk! I still have my old desk (made with an Ikea countertop and hairpin legs) and chair for when I need to sit, but I now spend the majority of my days standing up.
It was really easy to make!
The first step was to measure from floor to elbow. You’ll want your arms to be at right angles to the desk surface, or a little lower. When measuring, keep in mind that if you make angled cuts (see below) to the bottoms of your sawhorses, you’ll lose a little height, and you’ll probably be standing on a mat for comfort, which will add a little to your height.
Then, I headed to Home Depot for sawhorse supplies. I bought some silver sawhorse brackets, which have a chart on the back that tells you exactly how long to make the sawhorse legs for the height you want. I had Home Depot cut eight 2x4s to the correct heights, and two 2x4s to match the width of my desk for the top boards to support the desk top. (Note: It’s better to cut the legs too long, because it’s easy to cut them down later if you need to!) For the desk top, I used an Ikea countertop (the $129 Numerar). Side note: some friends who work in a studio nearby made their standing desk with sawhorses topped with an old door with glass… really pretty!
At home, my Dad and I made 15 degree cuts on the bottoms of the eight legs so that they would sit flat on the floor. Keep in mind that when you make the angled cuts, you’ll lose a little bit of height. Once all the cuts were made, I painted the boards white and we nailed it all together. We did this over two days, but the most time consuming part of the whole project was the painting and drying time.
Since I work on hard concrete floors, I also purchased a Wellness Mat for support. These things are not cheap, but are well worth the expense… after a few days of standing directly on the floor I realized a Wellness Mat (or something similar) was a necessity. (You can purchase Wellness Mat covers if you want something other than the solid brown or gray!)