I don’t know about you, but I’m really bad at sitting. When I sit too long my knees start to hurt. I slouch and my back starts to hurt. I fidget and fall out of my chair. Really.
So a little less than a year ago I jumped on the standing desk bandwagon. I couldn’t afford a real standing desk so I made a nice hack from Ikea odds and ends. It was a gold medal solution… until I changed jobs within my company and moved to a new office.
But this week I finally got my standing desk back in its rightful place! In honor of that, I thought I would take a little time to talk about my office set up.
An Ikea hack you may have seen floating around the internet is a great starting point and inspired the design of my DIY standing desk. I used 2 Ikea end tables, as I have 2 monitors. And since I wanted the shelf that holds the keyboard and mouse to be a little offset, I brought in the big guns – velcro strips – to attach it to the brackets. Otherwise, I followed the model pretty closely.
If you’re worried about it holding up, one of the most frequent comments I get is about how sturdy the whole thing is. I also lean on it way more than I should but it has held up nicely. It’s a great value considering the entire set up cost just about $30.
So, what ergonomic considerations are important for a standing desk?
Well luckily, you don’t have to worry about a chair since that can get quite costly. But it’s important to make sure your gear fits. Take some measurements and figure out how high to put the shelf that will hold your keyboard and mouse. You can also use a handy dandy internet calculator to figure out where everything should be placed. My stuff is all a little higher than I would like, but I’m short and it couldn’t get any lower with the elements I was using.
Good monitor placement, wrist rests for my keyboard and mouse, and a nice anti-fatigue mat are all part of the set up as well. (The mat still hasn’t made it to the office but it will soon!)
Notice that little lamp on the right hand side of the picture.
I’m lucky enough to have an office mate who hates the fluorescents as much as I do. We each brought in a few lamps and voila! Our office has lovely soft lighting that keeps us alert but minimizes strain on the eyes.
One thing to note about lighting – it is important to make sure you don’t have glare on your monitor and that your brightest light source is to the side. Lamps can help you accomplish this nicely.
The best part of it all? Dual monitors.
Really, I can’t emphasize enough how much easier these make my life. They are almost crucial for anyone working on elearning or a similar pursuit where you have several programs running at the same time. And certainly useful for anyone else who likes to watch cat videos (or the Olympics!) while responding to email.
What do you find particularly useful in your office set up? What tweak, hack or item makes your life golden? Share your must haves, tips, and tricks for a great working environment in the comments below.