My Container Store Standing Desk

by Randy Murray on November 14, 2012

Sitting and writing is killing me. Literally.

And yes, I’m using the word literally correctly.

I find that the longer I keep my butt in that chair and do what I need to do as a writer that the pain in my lower back and the aching in my left shoulder and numbness in my left hand becomes so intense that I can no longer focus on writing and getting the work done.

And all of this is in addition to the current findings about desk jobs.

I’m having surgery on my neck and I’m getting my back treated, too, but that doesn’t change the base problem. So I have to fix that.

My new system on my desk.

I still have to spend part of my day at my desk. I love my desk. I can spread out papers and work on it and I can connect my new Macbook Pro to the gigantic Thunderbolt Display and see EVERYTHING I need to research and write. It’s glorious.

But I also wanted to be able to disconnect the laptop and be able to comfortably and properly stand to work.

There is a lot of information out there about standing desks. You can buy very expensive desks that can change their heights, some with arms to move monitors and keyboard trays up to a standing position. Others claim an increasing variety of “there I fixed it” solutions with kludgy but low cost options that basically boil down to stacking stuff on top of other stuff.

All I wanted was something where I could stand upright and type with my arms bent comfortably at a 90 degree angle and have my laptop directly in front of my face so I wouldn’t have to look up or down.

The simplest solution appeared to me to simply mount two shelves on the wall. My wife was unconvinced.

She suggested mounting some sort of adjustable shelving and track system, much like the one I built in the basement to hold our 1,000 title DVD collection.

And so off we went to The Container Store.

I’ve had very good luck with the Elfa system that The Container Store offers. I’ve built closet organizers for the girls, and as I mentioned, a rather large movie storage rack system. At the store I asked for help and they introduced me to a helpful designer. She had no idea what I was talking about when I told her that I wanted a standing desk. But I had brought along my laptop and I set it on a nearby shelf and showed her what I wanted.

And in just a few minutes she designed what may be the perfect standing desk.

  • It’s free standing.
  • It’s adjustable.
  • It’s good looking.
  • It’s relatively affordable.
My Container Store standing desk.

It took me all of five minutes to assemble when we got home and a few more minutes to get the shelf heights exactly right. And now I can move from my big Amish-made “paymaster’s” desk with its big as a door surface to my standing desk by just setting the laptop on the top shelf and the wireless keyboard and trackpad on the lower one.

I’m writing this post at it.

Having a standing desk like this in my office offers me the flexibility that I was looking for. I can move back and forth very easily. Since it’s free-standing I can move it somewhere else in the office or around the house. I could even disassemble it in minutes and cart it away to work somewhere else.

If you work sitting you owe it to yourself to explore standing desks before you end up like me. You’re not a hero by destroying your health. I’m working to become pain-free and I plan on staying that way.

I believe that this standing desk will be a big part of my journey to pain-free work.



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