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Master firewood maker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a software developer, so I spend pretty much all day (5 days a week) at a desk staring at a computer screen. There are many studies that show that sitting so much is not good for you, so I am thinking about making a desk that is adjustable that I can stand at. Then I could get a low back bar stool and stand most of the time, but be able to sit as well, when I was tired of standing.

Has anyone here made such a desk? Thoughts?
 

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Chris, we've had a couple of threads here in the past for similar concepts. To date, I don't believe I've seen a build thread though. My thoughts on this vary as I always like the idea of versatility.

I'd build something along the lines of an architect's drafting table, personally. Say, 4 feet wide by 2 1/2 or 3 feet deep. I'd put it at a little above standard bar height (42 inches) for the center of the range, probably about 44 inches. (I'm 6'1" tall).

In a perfect world, it would have a lift like for a barber chair that was foot activated for the two support legs. Think something like a pedestal table but maybe with a treadle bar that can actuate both lifts simultaneously. Perhaps the pedestal connector bar could be used as the treadle bar. I don't know if those lifts would give you enough height variation but it's where I'd start my design.
 

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Do you really want a desk? or would a table do? A table would be easy to make.

"Then I could get a low back bar stool and stand most of the time," How does a low back bar stool qualify as standing?

Would not sitting be sitting, regardless of a bar stool or regular chair?

George
 

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George, I suspect Chris means that sort of "bar sit" kind of position, where you're mostly standing but you rest your butt on the edge of a stool, maybe pick one foot up and put it on the bar foot rail and one on the floor. And having a chair for when your legs get stiff is always nice, no matter what height desk/table you're at.
 

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When I used to write code, I just needed my screen, keyboard and trackball. Almost no paper, so I only needed to support these items.

Consider having screen, keyboard and pointing device on articulated arms which are readily available.
 

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Master firewood maker
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I was talking about standing most of time, but I expect that I won't want to stand ALL the time. The stool would be for those times when I didn't feel like standing.

About the table/desk question ... I guess it would actually be more of a table than a desk, as I don't see a need to have drawers integrated into the thing.

About adjusting the height ... I am thinking that setting the height would be more of a once-and-done sort of thing, not a regular occurrence. Given that assumption, something like a slotted rail that is held in place with carriage bolts would be sufficient.
 

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Chris, why make it adjustable then? Why not find a height you're comfortable with and build to match? That said, I built an incredibly ugly but quite effective outfeed roller stand with a nested box leg with a carriage bolt height adjustment every half inch (depending upon which pair of sides you slot the bolt through) that works quite well. The box leg ain't pretty but it could be done much better than I did mine and it's quite strong.

Pictures and a sketchup of the design can be found here: http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/no-pics-yet-9809/
 

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Master firewood maker
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Frank, I might want to tweak it a few inches up or down to fine tune it.

How about this design ... think it would it be sufficiently sturdy for a couple of monitors, keyboard/mouse, and a phone?
 

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Frank, I might want to tweak it a few inches up or down to fine tune it.

How about this design ... think it would it be sufficiently sturdy for a couple of monitors, keyboard/mouse, and a phone?

Keyboards, monitors and mice weigh very little these days. You will need table strength more for your accidental leaning on it then to support those items.

The earlier suggestion of a drafting style table would be appropriate. Just make it where the top does not move.

GMC
 

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My friend (a code writer) went through a phase of being obsessed with very simple desk design. The one that I ended up submitting to him as my "simple desk" was more like an artists easle, with multiple slots to move platforms up and down. I then had a monitor "platform", and a keyboard "platform" that could slide in and out of dadoes on the easle(think tripod made of wood). You could then adjust the height of the keyboard to a comfortable hand position, and separately adjust the monitor to a comfortable viewing height. This design also allowed for auxilliary platforms or boxes to be built to accommodate whatever other needs one would have.

Simon
 

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Master firewood maker
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My friend (a code writer) went through a phase of being obsessed with very simple desk design. The one that I ended up submitting to him as my "simple desk" was more like an artists easle, with multiple slots to move platforms up and down. I then had a monitor "platform", and a keyboard "platform" that could slide in and out of dadoes on the easle(think tripod made of wood). You could then adjust the height of the keyboard to a comfortable hand position, and separately adjust the monitor to a comfortable viewing height. This design also allowed for auxilliary platforms or boxes to be built to accommodate whatever other needs one would have.

Simon
sounds pretty slick. did it ever get built, and/or do you have any pics or drawings of it?
 

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Chris, that looks like a good clean design with a little adjustability without going overboard. I like it. I will say you need to be really sure it will remain stable. I have one very similar that I use for an end table next to my work bench. It wobbles something fierce. If you're in the mood for a drive down to Dulles (well, nearby anyway) PM me and I'll give you my address. We can talk shop, I can show you the table and maybe get a bite to eat. I have yet to meet a fellow member after 7 years posting here.
 

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Hi Chris, I'm in the same boat as you(software) but I asked my boss for a standing desk and they bought me this guy: http://www.ergodesktop.com/content/kangaroo-elite
It's pretty salty at $600 but they do have cheaper models. This thing is so awesome, it goes up and down quickly/easily and when I have it in the down position I'm sitting on an excercise ball. I stand about 2/3 of the day and sit the rest.
I could not go back to sitting all day. Have not used my office chair in ages :thumbsup:

Good luck man!
 

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Master firewood maker
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Chris, I'm in the same boat as you(software) but I asked my boss for a standing desk and they bought me this guy: http://www.ergodesktop.com/content/kangaroo-elite
It's pretty salty at $600 but they do have cheaper models. This thing is so awesome, it goes up and down quickly/easily and when I have it in the down position I'm sitting on an excercise ball. I stand about 2/3 of the day and sit the rest.
I could not go back to sitting all day. Have not used my office chair in ages :thumbsup:

Good luck man!
I sit on an exercise ball currently as well. Thanks.
 

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As a Safety Team member for a large software company, I deal daily in ergonomics. Specifically, proper desk setups. We tested adjustable workstations and found that after a year or so test period, no one adjusted them and less than 10% stood up.

I realize that there are articles from "experts" saying this is bad or that is bad. Bottom line, it's about having your work area set up to YOU and then moving around. I've been to many Ergonomics Conventions (have another in March to Orlando) and the common theme is doing the same thing all the time is bad.

We have taken the approach that employees should be getting up and moving around every 45-50 minutes or so. Our simple approach combined with our evaluation system has earned us high regards from work comp & insurance. It's very effective.

As far as the exercise ball, don't get me started on those. Bad idea...
 

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As a Safety Team member for a large software company, I deal daily in ergonomics. Specifically, proper desk setups. We tested adjustable workstations and found that after a year or so test period, no one adjusted them and less than 10% stood up.

I realize that there are articles from "experts" saying this is bad or that is bad. Bottom line, it's about having your work area set up to YOU and then moving around. I've been to many Ergonomics Conventions (have another in March to Orlando) and the common theme is doing the same thing all the time is bad.

We have taken the approach that employees should be getting up and moving around every 45-50 minutes or so. Our simple approach combined with our evaluation system has earned us high regards from work comp & insurance. It's very effective.

As far as the exercise ball, don't get me started on those. Bad idea...
I am a software developer as well, and getting up in moving around is what I do. I also try to walk up about 8 flights of stairs once or twice a day. When I am at my desk, I am slouching back in my chair.
 

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Master firewood maker
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
As a Safety Team member for a large software company, I deal daily in ergonomics. Specifically, proper desk setups. We tested adjustable workstations and found that after a year or so test period, no one adjusted them and less than 10% stood up.

I realize that there are articles from "experts" saying this is bad or that is bad. Bottom line, it's about having your work area set up to YOU and then moving around. I've been to many Ergonomics Conventions (have another in March to Orlando) and the common theme is doing the same thing all the time is bad.

We have taken the approach that employees should be getting up and moving around every 45-50 minutes or so. Our simple approach combined with our evaluation system has earned us high regards from work comp & insurance. It's very effective.

As far as the exercise ball, don't get me started on those. Bad idea...
Advise received and registered, thanks.

Re the exercise ball ... for me, the reason for the switch was primarily because I found myself sitting almost 100% of the time either with my left leg folded up underneath my butt most of the time, or with my legs crossed at the knees under the desk. In both cases, it felt like I was cutting off the circulation to one or both legs. Sitting on the ball forces me to keep my legs in a position that does not seem to cut off the circulation nearly as much. It also makes me want to get up more often.
 
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