Health and Wellness · Home and Garden

My Healthy(ier) Home Office Solution

I love my job, but it is sadly lacking in health benefits. No healthy snacks, no workout room and I sit at a desk, usually not stopping for lunch, for 8.5+ hours a day. That can probably be said of a lot of work places. The only activity I get is when i use the restroom on the floor below, just so that I can use the stairs and get a few extra steps in!  Until recently my home office was in the basement just off of the utility room.  Cold, cramped, and yet more sitting.  Not to mention the spiders!  So it is no wonder I dreaded sitting down to balance my bank account, pay bills or compose a personal email when I was home.  I certainly would not have committed myself to a blog knowing the time I’d have to spend down there!

About a year ago my Younger went to live with her dad a couple of hours away.  And when she has come back to stay since then she has taken the spare room down in the basement (and away from prying eyes) – despite the previously mentioned cold and spiders.  So I decided to move my office to her old room on the main floor.  And I really wanted a Sit to Stand desk. You know, the ones with the controls, where at just the push of a button you could raise or lower the desktop.  At least that way I don’t have to feel guilty if I spend a couple of hours in front of a monitor on my days off!

old-office
The cold, spidery office

But of course I’d have to spend money.  Not that I shy away from that, I just like to know I’m getting the biggest bang for my buck.  I live frugal in whatever areas I can. So rather than spend several hundred to several thousand dollars on a Sit to Stand desk, I opted to create an ‘IKEA Hack’ Standing Only desk.  I already had some of the items from my original office.  A 4′ table top, a file drawer and 4 adjustable height legs. Its the dinky little thing in the picture below between the two shelves that is taken over by my PC.

So off to IKEA I went, and for $125 bucks I not only got my desk, and more storage, but some new frames and plants to brighten it up.  I call that a win! For my purpose this was the least expensive combination.  For the desk I bought two shelves, a 5′ table top and a set of nesting tables, one was used for the monitor stand, the other as an accent table.   The shelves were only $20 each, but because this desk can’t be raised or lowered you’ll want to determine how tall you would need yours to be and by your shelves accordingly. The price will vary depending on the design chosen.   Ideally your arms should be bent to a 90 degree angle when typing.  The table top ($29) is roughly 1 and 1/2 inches thick so deduct that from the measurement, elbow to floor to determine the height that the shelves should be.  Attach 2 of the adjustable legs to the back corners.  For the monitor stand I used the shorter of the leg sets for the longer of the two nesting tables ($29).  You may need to cut these down as well as I did.  A circular saw worked well, but a table or chop saw would be ideal. I took 2″ off of mine so that my eye was centered in the middle of the monitors.  Because I have a PC, in order for the tower to be easily accessible I cut a section out of the fiberboard backing so it could be flush with the front of the shelf, img_20170116_120528375rather than sticking out. img_20170115_105121936 It took me all of an hour to put everything together and hook it up.  And I am thrilled with the results!  Added bonus – all of the wires are behind the shelves but can be easily reached  from behind the desk for plugging or unplugging as needed.

I had chosen to keep the colors that the Younger had in her old bedroom since it already complimented the little bit of decor I had in my original office.  I should also note that since I don’t have young kids in the house I chose not to secure the table top to the shelves or to anything else but that is certainly an option if you choose.img_20170116_120627308

As a side note, the lamp is a simple project as well made from a pre-wired IKEA hanging light kit and a plastic flower pot.  I simply drilled a hole in the bottom center of the pot and fed the cord through.  If you prefer to hide the monitor cords that you can see in the above picture hanging down behind the desk a couple of solutions would be to attach fabric of your choice with hook and loop tape or a couple of cork boards.  IKEA has inexpensive ones as well for just a few dollars each.

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