Christian ministers frequently report bad backs and shoulders. Mine became so bad that I ended up in surgery at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital a few years ago. I’ve no idea if we deviate from the norm on this, but I’ve a hunch (I know, I know) that hours spent sitting reading as well as using a screen may contribute to our problems.
So it’s worth considering solutions – especially as I’m not going to suggest you give up reading or computers. One of the big fads/trends at the moment is a ‘Standing desk’. The theory is that sitting for hours at a time is doing our spines and general health no good at all. Standing up to work would do us good – and burn off a few more calories as well.
The trouble is that Standing Desks, as the best solutions are called, are ruinously expensive – probably because they are big fads/trends. Try Googling, and then wince.
So here’s my cheapskate alternative, knocked together out of some standard IKEA parts:
1 x LACK side table £8
1 x EKBY JÄRPEN Shelf (79cm) £8
2 x EKBY STILIG brackets £6 each
As you can see, I’ve simply mounted the shelf on the side table, off-centre so I can use the mouse or trackpad comfortably. And I stood it on my normal desk: that happens to be birch, so I chose the birch effect for the side-table and shelf.
That’s £28 spent – but if I decide in the end that I don’t like it, I can easily re-use the parts.
I’m still experimenting with the layout: currently I seem to like the keyboard high and the mouse slightly lower. I haven’t tried, but I imagine it would need to be differently configured for a laptop. I have to say, though, that it is way more comfortable than I imagined, and even though I don’t use it all the time, it is a very useable option. And I am forced to be much more mobile and change my posture constantly.
The Mac, of course, did not come flat packed from IKEA.
(Not a very spiritual post, but we are embodied beings, and good health is good stewardship)
Have you experimented with a standing desk? How did you do it, and what’s been the result?
8 comments on “How’s your back? My £28 suggestion.”
I haven’t tried a standing desk, but it has good pedigree, as you will see from the link: http://kendrakinnison.com/start-standingdesk/ Winston’s desk is angled, so it looks a little low to me (guaranteed to give more back ache?). But apparently he always stood to write. Hope you get some relief.
Ha ha! Glad to be following the great man’s pathway- but won’t be donning a onesie any time soon.
Chris, have you seen xkcd’s healthier alternative? http://xkcd.com/1329/
How can your normal desk be tidy enough to accommodate one of those! More seriously, I am still using a conventional desk, but wanted a ‘riser’ for my monitor for the same kind of reasons. Having investigated the options, I found that 4 soup tins and a small shelf got my monitor to a better height and saved me £20 or so 🙂
You’ve spurred me back into action! I began plans for a standing desk when reorganising my study in the autumn. Just going to need a bit of weekend DIY to turn some MDF offcuts into a custom-built desk on top of a couple of half-height IKEA BILLY bookcases already installed. Thanks for the reminder!
Hey Chris, as I consider a new study layout I was drawn back to this post and wondered how you were getting on with your standing desk idea 5 years later – any suggestions, improvements, hacks that are worth mentioning? Any wisdom gratefully received brother.
No change, really, though I do sit for extended writing stuff.