Posted in Fitness, Life + Living

Ikea Standing Station Conversion Kit

I built a standing station at work because I convinced myself that sitting is no good.  I found a list online… (sorry, online source, I didn’t keep the link 😦 If this is your idea, please post in the comments below and I’ll provide a link-back!)… that provides for an easy desktop conversion for about $20:

Standing Station Parts
You’ll also need screws and the know-how to assemble the table… basically just install the shelf 1/2″ below where your hands would be if you bent your arm 90 degrees at the elbow.

It’s pretty important to get the deeper shelf so that you have room to maneuver your keyboard or mouse.  I find I like my keyboard at work a little catty wompus and having an 11″ deep shelf allows me to set the keyboard at an angle and still have plenty of room for mousing.

I dove into this head first and decided that I wanted it right now, forever more.  I fooled myself into thinking that it would be easy to just take the table off of the desk if I didn’t want to stand.  WRONG. Although the parts are light in and of themselves, it takes two people to get this thing situated.  I have a 24″ monitor at work and that thing weighs more than it looks like it should.  The cables, too, are too short to really set the screen aside while getting the table in place.  The alternate option is just to unplug the screen and all of the accessories, but repetitive action like that isn’t good for them, so I’d just rather not.

Here’s how mine turned out:

Standing Station

Once the standing station was in place, you’ll notice that I effectively doubled the cost of the installation by dropping $20 into getting an anti-fatigue floor mat.  I swear it’s been a life saver:

Western Kiln Brown 24 in. x 36 in

Observations:

1) It’s hard to go from sitting 8 hours a day for the last 6.5 years to standing.  I’d recommend taking it a little at a time when you can, and make sure to stretch on your breaks.

2) The line of sight to my monitor is ridiculous.  Like, seriously.  24″ monitor that sits higher than any cube walls?  Yeah. You can see it from across the department.  You can’t *read it* from across the department, but you can definitely see what I’m doing and what I’m not (productivity points?) I’ve ordered a privacy screen stat.

3) It’s much easier to walk around.  I’m already standing, so there’s no thought required if someone needs me at their desk, I just start walking.  It sounds odd to point that out, but I don’t have to stand up first or do any mental pep talks to get up and walk around.

4) Pain points. My back was hurting before I started the standing station… it’s part of why I WANTED the standing station.  The bad news is that all back pain has not gone away.  It just changed.  I hope that it’s because I’m just using different muscles and they’re freaking out while it’s new, but I’ve got mid to low back pain that’s starting as well as tension that’s being carried through my neck/shoulders causing headaches.  I’ve looked up some videos on “how to stand” so that I’m making sure to keep my spine neutral, abs engaged, and neck aligned properly.  I think, once I get my privacy screen, I’ll be getting rid of the dual monitor set up (with my laptop open under the table) because I think that looking downwards at that monitor may be what’s causing the neck pain/tension.

5) Adjustments: As I stand for longer periods of time, I also feel a pulling on the inside tendon on my leg.  I’m attributing this to poor shoes and I’ll be remedying that post-haste.

Overall, I’m glad that I’ve converted to standing at work and look forward to the benefits that it’ll provide.  So what do you think?  Knowing you could turn your sitting desk into a standing desk for just $20, is it something you’ll be doing?

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5 thoughts on “Ikea Standing Station Conversion Kit

  1. This is great, good for you girl! Funny, I used to work at ikea in college and we had standing stations similar to yours. It was brutal, good supportive shoes are key! However, I probably weighed 10 lbs less back then and I attribute it to standing. For the last five years or so, I have been sitting in a cube and I am so stagnant for 8 hours it makes me lazy for the rest of the day so when i get home i am unmotivated to work out.

    1. I’m much the same way!! I got new insoles for my shoes this weekend and I’m hoping that helps make standing a bit easier 😀 We’ll see how it goes!

  2. I wonder if even some kind of back brace would actually help you keep posture and help to stabilize you while standing? I didn’t even really think about standing hurting too, until you mention it here, and I remembered when I used to be a Hostess back in my early college days and my feet and back really did hurt after awhile. Although, I do feel like that was when I would just start out at a place – so hopefully it’s something your body will get used to and go away eventually so you can just be left with benefits of standing!

    So, what do you think overall? That you’ll keep it like this for awhile?

    1. I definitely do think I’ll keep it this way for a while. I’m going on to week two with some fresh inserts for my shoes and that makes all the difference in the world. When I had a standing job before, I got used to standing pretty quickly–but then, like you, I was also moving around lots. Since I’m standing more stationary now, (don’t laugh) I actually looked up videos on “how to stand” to make sure I’m doing it in a way that’s going to be beneficial to my posture and the alignment of my spine. Interestingly enough, it talked about tucking the tailbone and engaging the core so that your trunk is really stabilized. It also mentioned standing with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, and making sure not to lock the knees. I’m looking forward to seeing improvements 🙂

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