My standing desk experiment

Norcross Mar 6th, 2013How I Work

This is where the magic happens, folksAs a developer, I spend a LOT of time working at my desk. 8-10 hours a day, minimum. Some days it’s closer to 16 hours. So when my wife and I purchased a new house, we decided (with her encouragement) that I’d move to a standing desk. We’ve all seen the news about how sitting is the new smoking. And since I already smoke, I didn’t need one more thing killing me. So it’s been a month since I’ve been using a standing desk every day, and I have to say: it ain’t bad. In fact, it’s not much different than my old setup, and I’ve noticed a few benefits.


IKEA items

Amazon items

Total Cost – $420.88

The initial adjustment period was strange for me. Since we had just moved, I was already sore and in pain, so I can’t say if the desk caused any pain or it was already there. It may have prolonged it, but I hadn’t done that sort of physical work in a long time so I simply can’t be sure one way or the other. Also, I have a bad hip and knees from badly breaking my leg when I was 20, so there’s always an added part there. Pains. I haz them. But the pain and soreness didn’t seem out of the ordinary, and didn’t last that long, generally speaking.

There are a bunch of different standing desk options out there. Pre-built ones, fancy pneumatic ones that go up and down, and god knows what else. But given the space I had to work with and my budget, the custom build I did myself was perfect for me. Also, I didn’t want to invest too much money into it from the beginning if I found out I couldn’t handle the standing.

If I were to do anything different, I would probably look into a better chair. I got a drafting chair that I could use when I wanted to sit, but the chair itself is uncomfortable. Perhaps that is a good thing, as it encourages me to stand. But I still like having the option.


  • Less physical space required in office
  • Better posture
  • More energy later in the day
  • Legs feel better overall (more on this later)


  • Required all new office furniture
  • Ongoing tweaks to setup
  • Changing habits

At the end of the day, I’d say that the experiment has been a success. I’m not a doctor, an ergonomics expert, or anything besides a nerd who spends a lot of time working. So take it with a grain of salt, but it’s been a good thing for me.

8 Responses to “My standing desk experiment”

  1. Louis Thibault

    Looks great and that’s because it works. I might have an acoustic guitar and play at the same time. Another idea well stolen! Thank you.

  2. Dave

    What is your work schedule like using the standing desk? How often do you need to take a break and sit-up during the course of the day? And did you have to work up to standing for hours on end?

    Thanks for providing the Ikea links to your set-up!

    • Norcross

      My workday is usually 8am(ish) to about 5 or 6pm, then again from 9pm to midnight. Since I work remove and the company I work for is in Nashville, I usually have 2 or 3 Skype calls a day with them. That’s when I sit more often than any time else. I was standing about 80% of the time within a few days.

  3. Pete Schuster

    I’m switching with a co-worker tomorrow to a standing desk, looking forward to it. It’s encouraging to hear you like it.