Weight Loss

Do It Yourself (DIY) Standing Desk for Under $400

by Mike Mutzel

40 comments

Just because you exercise doesn’t mean you can sit all day.

In fact, science is showing that low “non-exercise physical activity,” such as sitting at work, is linked to a high incidence of death from cardiovascular disease. However, breaking up prolonged sitting time with a walk every ninety minutes or so can offset that danger.

An easy way to reduce your risk of heart disease is to put together a standing desk.

The cheapest option is to find a large box and place it on your desk. I did this for over two years; but, in addition, to it being unsightly, I found it was not good for my wrists. (Extended time writing books and blogs, and editing videos and podcasts left me with wrist pain.)

But a box is better than nothing.

However, the Ergotron WorkFit station is worth considering.

Ergotron WorkFit-P Sit-Stand Workstation PLATINUM (24-408-227)

This super sturdy (and beautiful) workstation allows you to raise and lower your laptop to your desired height. (Since I have both a MacBook and an iMac, I toggle back and forth between the two with this unit.)

Setup was very easy; it clamped right onto my desk.

I did find that prolonged writing and researching lead to my neck feeling awkward at times, so decided to mount my iMac to the wall at eye level.

It’s not easy to find a VESA mount for a flat panel device, but I dug around and found this website: www.imacmount.com

The arm that enables the iMac to swing is available at an Apple store, and installation is pretty easy (just two large screws into the framing), but you’ll need a stud finder to make sure you don’t hit just dry wall.

After I installed the mount, my wrists and neck felt much better, less strained. I have more energy during the day and less lower back pain.

Travel Standing Desk

As much as I love to travel, a big drawback is the sedentary activity that comes with travel (sitting on an airplane, riding in a taxi or train, or sitting at business meetings, etc.).

Stand Steady Travel Standing Desk Review

Traveler Folding Stand up Desk (Black)

So I purchased this Stand Steady fold-up travel desk that I bring with me everywhere. It’s made out of aluminum, and it’s as sturdy as they come. I’ve edited a couple of interviews, podcasts, and written a few blogs while standing at this unit.

It’s available on Amazon.

Give it a shot and leave a comment if you decide to make one yourself!

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  1. I did it for far cheaper and better.
    1. went on craigslist and got a used treadmill for $100 this was at least a $500 treadmill, but people buy them as new years resolutions and then they just become space hoggers. This one replaced a much lower quality treadmill i got for $75 but it didn't last.
    2. I put a board, actually an unused shelf from who knows where, across the parallel handles, with screws on either end to keep it from sliding back and forth.
    3. I had a monitor, flatscreen with a built in stand. I ran a strap in a loop from under the control panel of the treadmill, just long enough so that I could set the monitor on top of the control panel with the strap looped around the bottom bracket.
    4. I set the laptop computer on the board on the treadmill (I cut a couple of triangles out of wood to slant the keyboard up, replacing the looseleaf notebook that previously served the purpose.)
    5. I walk 3-5 miles a day while I am working, 1.8 to 2.4 mph, with or without incline or just use it as a standing desk when I get tired.

  2. MIke!
    Love it and need it for my back! Set me up! We can afford what works best! I have a MacBook Air and sitting is not good for me! So glad you are my son (step-son!).
    Carol

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  10. Great blog, Mike! Thanks for sharing this fantastic set up info. Damian and I have been wanting to tackle this for each of our home offices for awhile. He will not share an office with me… co-owned business thing. 😉 Btw, your Rode Podcaster makes our Blue Microphone look sad, wish we'd seen that option first! Keep up the great work, HIH.

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