I spent most of my career in chairs. I sat beside various sizes of tables. One thing never changed though: their heights.
Recently I had to work from home for a week, and I decided my neck, back and bottom should be treated better. Fortunately my desk at home is an IKEA Fredrik, and I have a Dennis stool (you can see a picture of a similar one here), which now has a successor in IKEA called Franklin (buying advice: choose the 29 1/8” or 74cm tall one).
My only problem is getting an anti-fatigue mat. I have flat feet, and standing is not one of my strengths. However, while a Genuine Joe’s Air Step is just a click away in the US for $20-30, this kind of stuff is completely unknown here. I’m testing a roll-up workout mat folded in half, with moderate success.
How fantastic, DIY, inexpensive, yadayadayada. I was curious, and I asked whether we can do the same at my workplace.
First off, I asked the local Ergo team whether they can help. They could: I got a mail a couple of days later from the furniture supplier company, telling that they can set me up a standing workstation for $2-3k, I just have to ask my manager for funding.
Of course we don’t have a budget for something like this, but if I make a case with a note from my doctor, we can push it through. Ookay, doctor’s recommendation, sounds reasonable.
Anyways, the supplier’s suggestion was a Steelcase Activa Lift 2 with gas struts (AFAICT Steelcase Series 5 is more or less the same), mentioning it’s cheaper than the electric motor version. They also mentioned gas struts can be set every day. How nice. Still, GeekDesk version 2.0 is $200 cheaper, and when you adjust its height, your cup of water will stay there.
Can be set every day… read: you have to put everything off of your table before operating. I’m sorry, but I already have a lot of stuff on my table when I arrive: a laptop with a stand, a keyboard and mouse, my coffee mug, my Aeropress. Then I put other stuff on it, like my own laptop, a couple of USB drives, keys, wallet, badge, and the like. I want to sit whenever I’m tired, therefore I want to move the table up / down every single time.
At this point my unconscious interrupts. Why do I need all these stuff? Why I need a height-adjustable desk? I don’t! All I want is to raise my external monitor and my input devices. Raising a monitor is not a big deal, every furniture shop has adjustable VESA standard monitor stands. Raising my keyboard however is not something furniture designers figured out: they tend to forget good tilt and palmrest. My old natural keyboard had negative tilt and a wide palmrest, the way it should’ve always been.
My revenge will come on Monday: I’ll go to the closest DIY retailer, and I’ll buy a 11” x 32” x 1” ash board, and four 15” long table legs (eg. 30x80cm 2.5mm wide board, and 40cm table legs). It will beat the supplier’s $3000 setup.
News at 11.