TODAY I BORROWED AN IDEA

Here of late I have suffered from an aching neck. I sit too much at a desk, and I have a tendency to slouch. I thought about getting a better chair, but I am cheap.  You would think I would learn, but I have never paid enough to get a decent chair, one that would actually give my back proper support.  Grimly, I realized I probably never would. So I puzzled over the matter.  What about an inexpensive standing desk.

I looked at the bookcase we have in the basement. I bought it years ago at Lowes. At the time I thought it a clever design with unfinished wood.  The sides had slots. The beams that supported the shelves fitted snuggly into slots in the sides, and the shelves had grooves in the underside so that they rested securely on the beams.

Wooden pegs made the concept work.. Once I stuck each beam into a slot into the side, I used a wooden peg (hammered through a slot in the beam) to hold it in place.

So I bought what I needed, put it together, and finished it. It turned out to be an easy job, and has set there, trouble free, for years. So I hoped Lowes was still selling those bookcases. With a few modifications, I figured I could easily use one as a standing desk. Unfortunately, I did not have any luck.

So I tried something else. Searching for “standing desk,” I discovered A standing desk for $22.  Here is a picture of the design I copied.

Introducing The Standesk 2200

Since I wanted a contraption that would hold two monitors, I got a cheap coffee table and a longer shelf. So I suppose that makes mine The Standesk 2700?

Anyway, it may have been inexpensive, but finding the parts, putting it together, and convincing my lady I would not break anything took up most of the day.

Of course, I have now rediscovered why people like chairs.  I now need to rest my weary legs. So I now need a barstool that will cost more than The Standesk 2700.

 

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24 thoughts on “TODAY I BORROWED AN IDEA

  1. I think what is really needed is an adjustable desk…you know like an adjustable piano stand? It can change to any position you want with the flick of a button. Of course you have to clear the piano off first. Everything is work.

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  2. novascout

    A lot of the lawyers, even the younger ones, that I work with have gone to adjustable-height standing desks. They report much improved back-health. I’m holding out against it largely because I do most of my thinking slumped in chair. I may have to reconsider, however, as rave reviews continue to come in from my colleagues.

    Scout

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      1. novascout

        I do a lot of thinking and a lot of slumping. They seem to go hand-in-hand. Fortunately, I have a big comfy chair that suits me well. Then I have people who know how to manage technology transfer my conceptual brilliance into legal papers. I still think I may spring for a stand up desk just to keep up appearances.

        Scout

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        1. I recommend that you not make it your only desk. You may find it pleasant for a period of time, but a full transition is very difficult.

          I am reminded of a plaque (with amusing illustration) I saw in a client’s office:

          When I works, I works hard.
          When I sits, I sits loose.
          When I thinks, I falls asleep.

          I suspect that I am the only one here who has an automotive seat belt installed on his desk chair. Nerve damage to back muscles (among other things) necessitated it … but it also helps normal people stay more upright in the chair. I’ve had visitors resolve to borrow the idea for their own offices.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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        2. Seat belt? That would definitely stop scout from thinking.
          😉

          Seriously, that sounds like a good idea. I know I catch myself sitting in the wrong position, slouching.

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        3. I just looked up my order, placed last year with Seat Belts Plus:

          Code Name Quantity Price/Ea. Total
          ——————————————————————————————-
          1800-60 Lap Seat Belt, Chrome Lift Latch, 60 Inch Length 1 $16.95 $16.95
          Color: 3009-DesertTan
          Add_2pt_Hardware: With_Hardware $2.95 $2.95
          Shipping: Priority Shipping: $9.00
          Sales Tax: $1.59
          ——————————————————————————————-
          Total: $30.49

          The $31 including expedited shipping was not bad, and there were bolts underneath my standard office chair (where the seat mounts to the base) that worked perfectly. The lift latch was a good choice; easier to operate than a push-button style though that is certainly available.

          I use it every single time I sit down, so the belt gets opened and closed a dozen times a day at least. My waist is 36″ these days, so the 50″ belt reaches under the chair and allows a few inches of pull length. A larger person might go somewhat longer on the belt.

          This thing makes my long hours at the computer possible. Today I built an eight-layer “spreadsheet from hell” for federal government budget calculations. I’ve been in the chair, save for restroom and fix-a-sandwich breaks, for about 14 hours today. The back’s good.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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        4. That is quite a recommendation. That would work, I think. Since I mostly sit at a computer at work, I would use a seat belt there. I will have to check out how the back is attached the seat on my office chair. Then I have to contemplate how much ribbing I am willing to take from my coworkers. Neck pain versus a few laughs. Neck pain versus a few laughs…..

          I don’t think even a seat belt would help the chair I have at home. It looks okay, but I have to use pillow to get almost enough support to keep my back straight. It is the sort of thing we don’t notice until we have been sitting in the chair for awhile. I guess that is how they sell crap like that.

          What is irksome is that the chair is fundamentally sound. It is just not possible to tilt the seat forward so that it is comfortable for my back.

          When I checked the bolts, I also noticed that the back is not tightly bolted to the seat. That doesn’t help….

          Anyway, thanks for taking the time to look up that order.

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  3. A difficulty with the arrangement is the level of commitment. Once your system is moved to it, that’s where you must work. And it can be tiring, as you noted.

    An alternative arrangement worked for me some years ago, accidentally caused by a cleaning crew in my office. From time to time, I’d be “evicted” from my office while the crew emptied trash, vacuumed and so on. I got in the habit of heading down the hall to a filing room where I stacked boxes to make a standing desk. But rather than setting up another computer there, I used index cards and made notes. Occasionally a legal pad would come in handy, but 90% of the time the index cards captured things to do and allowed me to stack them in a priority.

    Back at my desk, I had a business card holder for the cards, and I’d work through them. While I can no longer stand, I still use a variation of this system today. I have found it helpful to physically write from time to time, to organize thinking in a way the computer detracts from, even if my handwriting is no longer very legible. ];-)

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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  4. forget standing up and do like I do. Buy yourself a comfortable recliner and a laptop computer. Sit back and relax when you create your literary masterpieces. You will know if what you are writing about has any quality content if you manage to stay awake while you are writing. Works for me anyway.and besides, standing at my age hurts more than sitting. less cushioning .

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

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    1. Can you imagine how corporate America would react to cubicles with recliners? But it is a thought.

      My wife has suggested that I use a laptop. These days an IPAD or something similar work better, but I have been spoiled by the ease of using a real keyboard, and I still prefer a mouse.

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        1. I admit the deficiency is on my part. I would probably get a laptop or notebook of some sort, but I am so absent-minded I fear losing the darn thing. Since a desktop has bigger screens and a better keyboard and mouse…..sometime we make a virtue out of necessity. I believe that sometimes that is all we can do with sour grapes.

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        2. A wise man knows his limits. I know i never would have written my novel if i had to sit at a desk and write it. I read somewhere that Hemingway did all his writing standing up using a manual typewriter. To each his own.

          Regards and goodwill blogging.

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