How I Built My Stand Up Desk and Why

by JR Griggs

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Stand Up DeskFor quite some time I have been hearing about the benefits of having a stand up desk. Increased blood flow, better focus, etc. Every article or blog post I read about stand up desks, talked about more productivity.

Add to that all the articles about how bad it is to sit all day and I was sold. (just do a google search)

I spent quite a bit of time researching the benefits and some different options for a stand up desk. I’ll cover the benefits, some options and how I built mine.

Why a Stand Up Desk

You might think this is something new but it certainly is not. Thomas Jefferson used one. They are however, gaining in popularity now. I believe the reason for that is office jobs are more popular now. Less manufacturing, etc. Also we are starting to see the effects of sitting all day and it has taken time to get attention.

Our bodies were not meant to sit down all day. If you are sitting at a desk all day, you are spending 8 – 12 hours a day sitting. That is a lot of time. Don’t forget about the 6-8 hours a night you are laying in bed.

Then you try to make up for it with a few hours a week of exercise.

When you’re standing, your blood is flowing faster. This increases focus and burns more calories. This is better for your productivity and your health.

Stand Up Desk Options

There are quite a few options for getting a stand up desk. My favorite was the electronic adjustable one from GeekDesk. You can adjust it for standing and sitting on the fly.

I knew that I would not want to stand all day. There are times where I would want to sit. When I go running in the morning it’s nice to sit for a little. So the adjustable was appealing.

It’s a pricey option but this is where you spend most of your day. This is your money making station. It should be worth an investment.

I was set on getting the adjustable stand up desk. I wanted the ability to sit when I needed to. Then my wife said “Why don’t you just get a stool to sit on?”

Duh! I was so focused on the adjustable desk I didn’t think of just getting a chair high enough to sit on. It’s faster to change from sitting or standing with a stool, than waiting for the desk to raise or lower. It’s also less expensive.

So I started researching the best way to purchase or build a stand up desk.

Building My Stand Up Desk

After more research on buying one, I decided the best option was to just build one. This would allow me to have a custom desk at the height I need and the right size top.

The important thing with building one was making sure the height was right. You need your arms to be just about at a 90 degree angle. You want the monitors to be lined up so that the top of the monitor should be at eye level.

So I began researching the best way to build one and possible still be able to adjust it. IKEA turned out to have everything I needed. I got the legs, top, and a monitor stand all at IKEA.

I figured adjustable legs would allow me to make sure the height was perfect. For that I got these adjustable legs that are the perfect height. These are $30 each and I bought 4.

IKEA Byske Chrome Leg

Then I got a nice black top for $35.

IKEA Vika Amon Top

For my monitor stand I got a shelf combo for $50. Here are the legs and shelf.

IKEA Capita Shelf LegsIKEA Ekby Gruvan Shelf

That’s it. $205 for a pretty sweet stand up desk.

I absolutely love it. It looks great, has tons of room and productivity is up. I feel better at the end of the day. Have less time where I feel sluggish.

For a stool I grabbed a cheap $20 stool for now until I find one I like. I didn’t want something too comfortable though, I don’t plan on using it much.

Stand Up DeskStand Up Desk

You can see more pictures of the finished product on Facebook and Google +

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Zack Andrews

Love it, man. I’m actually going to be building one for printing, matting, and mounting purposes for my prints, but this post has helped me a lot to get an idea of where to get the materials. I love the idea of the adjustable legs, that was one thing I was concerned about was getting it just the right height, those will be perfect for adjusting to perfectly suit my needs. I won’t need the shelf on top, so that will save me a bit of money as well. I’m actually going to buy a solid core door blank for the top of mine, so might even save a bit of money there also! Anyways, just wanted to let you know that your post helped me out! Thanks!


JR Griggs

Glad to hear it! Post some pics when you are done. I still love my stand up desk. Will never go back to a sitting one.


gaius gracchus

Standing all day can also be problematic. That is why we went with a treadmill desk. Makes all the difference in the world! We do alternate with some time sitting – it is maybe 50/50. But it feels really good to walk slowly while we work instead of just stand or sit. We forget we are walking we get so engrossed into our work on our computers.

We got a new Multitable and we LOVE IT!!! We ordered the entire table from them, not just the base — they customized it for us, too. We checked out almost every standup desk on the market before settling on this one. They have a plethora of types of desks – something for everyone.

Although they had models that fit over their own treadmills, we already had a high-end Precor treadmill at home. Note that most of the treadmills that come from the standup desk combos have no console in front to get in the way, but ours, just like a gym model, does. So we needed the table that goes up really high, plus we needed a more narrow table since we are further back on the treadmill due to the console. Plus, we just have small laptops so no need for a wider desk.

They took their table from the treadmill combo and created a customized top for us. Also they were able to adjust the width.

It fits perfectly! The inner width is 34″ between the legs, the tabletop is 36″ wide and 18″ deep. The height goes up to 54 inches!!!! Yayyyh! Finally we found one that fit our needs over our treadmill! (good luck finding one that tall, and, if you do, good luck getting the rest of these dimensions.)

It was pretty easy to assemble, and putting things together is not my forte. We ordered the “left-handed” model, which is just having the crank on the left side, since our treadmill is up to the wall on the right side. We really appreciate a manual operation, although they certainly have electric models. I don’t want another thing to have to plug in, and it takes so little effort to crank it, why bother with electric.

Their customer service is outstanding. Their prices are far, far better than any other desk of this quality, and especially compared to companies who are willing to customize for you.


JR Griggs

Awesome! Yeah a friend of mine uses a treadmill. That is a great option as well. For now I just use the stool and sit when I am tired of standing. But I like the electric ones that I can adjust up and down. All great options as long as you are not stuck sitting all day lol.


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