Standing desk DIY Episode 3: It was too hard AND it was too soft, but now it's just right.

October 22, 2010    

Two more days of Standing Desk, with a level keyboard, and I love it, but I have two problems.

The first is, my feet hurt, especially my heels. The second is that I have a tendency to rest my hands on the keyboard shelf when I not typing, causing it to flex, and I’m afraid I’m going to warp or break it.

So today, I’m fixing both problems.


The first is easy, although not cheap. I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a GelPro Basket-weave Mat which, although the single most expensive part of this setup, it totally worth it and has made a big difference in how my feet feel already.


I stood on a couple of cheaper mats at the store, and this one was far and away the most comfortable so, even though it was the most expensive, I got it anyway, and have no regrets so far.

I have one concern, which is that I don’t know how durable it is. I still have a chair in my cube for the times when I feel like I need a break from standing and want to sit down (which I’m doing for about an hour a day, mostly right before I go home), and I’m worried about if the chair getting rolled over it will tear it up or not. Time will tell, I guess.


As far as the keyboard shelf goes, I decided to go for overkill. I went back to the building supply store and got two pieces of 6 inch by 18 inch by 1/8th inch welding steel. I took off the top board of the keyboard shelf and put the welding steel pieces in between. Then I put the other sheet back on and secured it all together with the binder clips.


It looks exactly the same as it did, but now it hardly flexes at all.

As you can hopefully tell from this stack of books piled on the edge.


So now I’ve solved my two biggest issues so far.

And with that, I have no more doubts or concerns. It has been a very positive experiment, and I don’t want to go back to siting all day.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say about working standing up as we go on, but at the moment, I feel more energized, especially in the afternoons when I used to get sleepy at my desk. I feel far more connected to my colleagues around me and far more plugged in to what my group is doing, and that’s a good thing.

I don’t know that I’m getting any more done, but I’m not getting any less done, and that was a concern I had going into this, which turns out to have been completely unfounded.

I’m calling this a Huge Success.