By now you know that sitting all day long is killing you. Maybe you’ve even thought about asking your boss for one of those snazzy stand-up work stations that are getting a lot of buzz right now. If you’re self-employed like me, or if you have a stingy boss, maybe you’ve even considered laying out the cash for one yourself. While the popularity of these wonderful workstations has resulted in a wide variety of functions, models and prices, even a basic model will still set you back a couple hundred bucks. But, if you’re a cheapo like me, you could get creative and cobble together something that works pretty well for around $10, or even for free, depending on what you have lying around.
When I decided to begin studying for a second certification this year, I knew I’d be spending hours and hours reading. While sitting is metabolically bad for me, it is even worse for my posture. Even after as little as twenty minutes in a chair, everything hurts – my neck, shoulders, hips and knees. I stiffen up, get a headache and the rest of my day is kind of shot. So I knew I had to find a solution, and it had to be one that would allow me to read for an hour or two at a stretch. I started looking into stand-up desks. After seeing that the most basic model, which was really just a high table, cost around $200, I though, “Hey, I can just make my own for a lot less.”
Living in a downtown loft and having no access to power tools, my solution needed to come ready-made, so the ghetto set-up you see pictured above is my answer to the stand-up workstation. I bought a nice, sturdy cookbook stand online for $12 and placed it atop a bistro table that I already owned. This worked fine, and I used it that way for a couple of months, but as it came down to crunch-time and I was spending more and more time reading, I noticed that my neck was still getting sore from having to look down at the book a lot. So I propped my book stand up on a yoga block. Voila – perfect! This set-up also works really well for typing on my iPad. I set the iPad up on the yoga block and use the wireless keyboard on one of the bistro stools, which puts it at about the perfect height for reducing strain on my carpal tunnels.
So look around – chances are good you already have some things in your home or office that will work for making your very own stand-up work station. Then you, too, can say goodbye to sore, stiff muscles and that throbbing headache that comes from hunching over a desk all day long.