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The Beauty Of The Standing Desk

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Winston Churchill studying at his standing desk

[Occasionally I write an article that doesn’t have anything to do with theology. This is one such post. However, those who appreciate the importance of spending hours of studying Holy Writ may find this post interesting.]

I usually spend anywhere between 25-40 hours a week in my study working on sermons, writing articles and blog posts, responding to E-mails, reading & praying, &c. Up until a few weeks ago, I did most of that sitting down – and I was feeling the physical consequences. Any health expert will tell you that sitting for long periods of time is bad for your health (Check out this infographic: “Sitting Is Killing You“). After a few hours of sitting down with a book or computer, I would find myself getting tired and my mind beginning to wander. I would have to stand up occasionally just to ‘wake up’ my legs and my mind. 

All of this changed a few weeks ago, when I added a “standing desk” to my study. I find myself being able to concentrate better and for longer periods of time (and therefore am more productive), I don’t get as tired, I’m burning more calories, and I just feel better all around. 

My Standing Desk

I began with some cherry I bought from a local lumber mill, and planed each piece down to my desired thickness. The largest pieces I reserved for the top. As time permitted I began to slowly assemble what I envisioned. 

Standing Desk Construction 1

 Then I assembled, sanded, and finished it. Since cherry ages well and darkens on its own over time, I didn’t stain it.

Standing Desk Construction 2

The finished product, now in use:

Standing Desk Construction 3

Think I’m silly for having a standing desk? Go ahead and think that. I know I’m just a young nobody preacher. But there are some notable men who are known for using standing desks, like:

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

 

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

 

Donald Rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld

And the list goes on, including names like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, Leonardo Da Vinci, &c.

Demand To Stand

I’m pretty jazzed about this idea. And if you’re not entirely convinced, try it. Maybe it isn’t for everyone, but if you do try it, you may just find that it gives you more energy, keeps you from getting sleepy, and helps you remain focused.

You can test drive this concept by first piling some books on your desk, or stacking computer paper under your desk until you reach your desired height. If you like it enough to go with it, invest in a real standing desk. Make one yourself (like I did) to keep costs down (people have made them out of old doors, iron pipes, plywood, &c), or buy one online. 

Here are some ideas:

Anthro Standing Desks (Don’t even bother to look at this if you’re poor like me)
Cheaper Anthro Desk
Foldable Laptop Card
Convert Your Current Desk
Safco Muv Stand-up
Simple Non-Adjustable Standing Desk
NextDesk Standing Desks
WoodChuck Standing Desks

For Further Reading:

Benefits & Drawbacks Of Standing Desks
The Art Of Manliness: Become A Stand-Up Guy
Standing Desks: Why You Should Make The Switch
Six Weeks With A Standing Desk

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10 Responses to The Beauty Of The Standing Desk

  1. John F Board October 10, 2013 at 3:04 PM #

    Ben I have said for years I was going to make a standing desk. My brother in law who preaches in California made one from an old library cart (pretty ingenious). I like your desk. Since I originally hail from the northern panhandle of WV, I had seen numerous times Alexander Campbell’s study. Great desk and hopefully it will motivate me

    • Ben October 10, 2013 at 3:06 PM #

      Thanks brother! Did Alexander Campbell utilize a standing desk? Did he have one in his study?

      • carlmj October 10, 2013 at 3:24 PM #

        He did indeed. Seen it with my own two eyes.

  2. timdooley670564506 October 10, 2013 at 3:20 PM #

    Benjamin…One of the professors at Heritage Christian has a standing desk/workplace in his office. He and I had a long discussion about it last summer and I have been planning the same thing. Not sure when or how. I’m a little older and a bit slower. Thanks for the reminder and inspiration!

  3. James Randal October 11, 2013 at 12:08 AM #

    Another one here who has been doing the stand-up routine.

    BTW, if I had realized you were in Louisville, I spent a day there recently, might have dropped in on you for a visit.

  4. Doug Post October 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM #

    What are the dimensions of your desk? (the top) as well as the height? What is the degree of angle of the desk top?

    • Ben November 12, 2013 at 9:44 AM #

      The top set at about an 18 degree angle, and the hatch is 36″ wide, 18″ deep. The back of the desk at the top (which is level), used for placing books, is 36″ wide and 7″ deep.

      Under the hatch, the desk is 32.75″ wide and 22.75″ deep. The front legs are 44″ high, and the rear are 49″.

      The bottom shelf is 31″ wide, and is held in place by two 1.5″ wide (3/4″ thick) boards going between the front and rear legs. The legs are about 1.7″ wide, and 2″ deep.

  5. Matt Burnett October 29, 2013 at 8:38 AM #

    It’s beautiful! At work people thought I was crazy when I recommended a standing desk be made available to all 800 employees. Burns more calories, promotes clear thought, helps with restlessness, and keeps you productive. Good call bro.

  6. Jon M. October 29, 2013 at 4:23 PM #

    Beautiful desk Ben! Seems like there is a movement of ministers who are no longer satisfied with long hours in a chair and the associated ‘preacher pooch.’ I switched over to a treadmill desk about a year ago and have found my productivity, focus, and energy have all increased. Your desk is of a higher quality construction than mine, but you can check it out at http://www.DIYTreadmilldesk.com

  7. Trevor Christiansen July 19, 2014 at 4:55 AM #

    Ben, It’s beautiful desk. I am trying to build a standing desk from last two weeks, but it’s still not completed. So, I need some suggestion of yours. I like your desk, but I need a desk with space for desktop, CPU & keyboard. So if you have any suggestion then please let me know.

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