My New Stand Up Desk

By Ron Pereira Updated on November 15th, 2009

I first witnessed so called “stand up desks” in Japan during my JKE trip. As an aside you can read about this amazing trip here, here, here, here, and here.

Anyhow, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the idea.  I mean come on… standing up all the time… seriously?  The claims are that those that always stand are far more productive than those that sit in comfortable chairs.

Kevin Takes Action

Well, a few months after I got back from Japan my friend Kevin Meyer went on this same JKE trip and saw the same thing I did.  The only difference is Kevin took action when he got home and scrapped his traditional desk for a stand up desk.  It’s now more than one year later and Kevin is still standing.

stand up deskIt’s Now My Time

So, alas, I decided it was time to give it a try myself and this weekend I converted my old desk into a stand up desk.

I used an old shelf I had to hold my monitor and speakers so the only thing on the desk top was my wireless keyboard and mouse.

I used a small hole saw to cut an opening behind the monitor and down towards the floor to hide all the cables which is really nice.

DSC03027How Did You Do It?

Now, you might be wondering how I increased the height of my desk.  Well, my goal was to not spend a cent on this project so I got creative and used two storage crates I already had to hold the desk up.

I know it’s not super professional and I’ll likely find a better solution over the next few weeks… but I didn’t want to delay anymore than I had.  And, again, I didn’t want to spend any money until I was convinced this was how I wanted to work for the next 30 years!

So Far So Good

It’s taking some getting used to… especially typing.  But my back feels great and I find myself far more focused on what I need to do.  So, we’ll see how it goes.  I’ll offer some updates from time to time and when (and if) I scrap the crates for something more professional I’ll be sure to let you know!

What Do You Think?

So, do you think I’m nuts?  Or are you standing at your desk as you read this?  And if you’re sitting could you ever imagine giving this stand up desk thing a try?

  1. Jason Yip

    November 16, 2009 - 3:34 am

    I really like this idea. Not sure if I can convince my office to try it though…

  2. Peter

    November 16, 2009 - 12:13 pm


    It is really nice idea. I will suggest it tomorrow at work. We stuggle actually with shortage of place in our office. It would help us to save on it. I curious about reaction of my fellow workers. I suspect they are to much accustomed to their chairs.
    I curious how long you will manage to work without your armchair (it may be difficult like giving up smocking ;P ) I wish you success.

    Regards Peter

  3. Tim McMahon

    November 16, 2009 - 3:04 pm

    Ron nice update. I think you also demonstrate an important concept in Lean. Take action. I like the concept :Adopt then Adapt”. Many time we try to improve on an idea we have or have seen and never put the improvement in place. Where as if you adopt it with the understanding that you will work to improve as you learn about the improvement you will get gains immediately. Now it might not be perfect and perhaps it does not work but you will know that now versus a year from now when you adopt it. Alway think how to implement then improve it.

  4. John Hunter

    November 17, 2009 - 5:14 am

    Very nice. At home I have a desk that I can stand at or sit at (with a tall chair). I sit most of the time but the option to stand is nice. I bought an adjustable height desk – because I wasn’t really sure I would like it. It has worked well. I really don’t think I would like standing all the time – and I have had the option and certainly don’t choose to stand more than 10% of the time.

    I like the monitor on a shelf and the hidden wires.

  5. Jim

    November 18, 2009 - 12:10 pm

    Where are the cables for the monitor and speakers?

  6. Ron Pereira

    November 18, 2009 - 2:11 pm

    Hi Jim, the cables are behind the wall. I used a small hole say to drill a hole behind the monitor and another on the floor to hide the cables. Makes it much cleaner. Although my wife gave me a dirty look when she learned I cut holes in the wall!! 😉

  7. Jim

    November 18, 2009 - 3:37 pm

    Nice work!

  8. Panu Kinnari

    November 20, 2009 - 2:50 am

    I just learned that our new head office where we will move in spring will have every single table motorized to enable working standing up as well as sitting down.

  9. John

    November 30, 2009 - 5:20 pm

    No, you’re not nuts! : ) I bought an adjustable height desk last year (a GeekDesk Mini), and love it — will never go back. Standing is good, but sitting AND standing is beyond great.

    …and yes, I’m standing as I write this. ; )

  10. miket

    December 5, 2009 - 3:43 pm

    I think after i get my right ankle fixed i might try this.

  11. Jose Ramos

    December 11, 2009 - 1:44 pm

    Great idea. Don Rumsfeld had a stand up desk in his office at the pentagon. And I know that the gentleman in charge at Contractor’s Supply in East Providence does his work on a stan up desk. I would love that at work. I would be more productive and I would burn more calories!

  12. Dale Savage

    May 6, 2014 - 8:12 am

    Not sure if my company would go for this but I wuld love it. We have an open office concept so a stand up desk does not fit neatly into that unless everyone adopts it, and I highly doubt that would happen.

    You say your back feels great but do your legs give you any problems? Do you have some sort of anti-fatigue mat that you stand on?

    • Ron Pereira

      May 7, 2014 - 7:46 am

      Hi Dale, my legs definitely ached the first week… but I fought through it. Now, I can stand, with no problem, all day. We have really nice carpet and padding here at our studio so I don’t use any sort of mat… but that may help depending on flooring you stand on.

      Thanks for the comment!

Have something to say?

Leave your comment and let's talk!

Start your Lean & Six Sigma training today.