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picture hidden computer desk 17

But it’s harder to request a $3,000 desk when everyone else in your office is content with sitting. Not only does it mean asking for an expensive perk, it’s also likely means disrupting the whole office infrastructure. And for HR, there’s also the precedent to consider. So great is the standing-desk mystique, once one person gets a desk, lots of other employees either want one too—which can get expensive fast—or resent the person who got the special treatment (the Wall Street Journal calls this “standing desk envy“).

The most difficult part of this project was to drill the VESA holes through the top of the desk accurately. I countersunk them, then attached the monitor to the inside of the desk. I filled the holes on the top with some wood filler to keep it flat, then used some silicone caulk to attach the desk-pad permanently.

Then in May, I read about how a standing desk helped allay a blogger’s chronic back woe. I was sold. I set my iMac on top of a small table on my home desk and put in a request for a standing desk at work. Vindication was almost instant. Within a week, my back pain started receding; a month on, and I’d almost forgotten about it. Aside from a weird hip glitch in August, the back pain is still mostly gone.

Shut that door - For another really neat office space that won’t intrude on the surrounding area, look for a desk that can be easily concealed behind a pull-down shutter. The sliding shutter over this desk, plus the stool that fits neatly underneath, keep this study area streamlined and tucked away when not in use.

A bit of googling, however, clarified that I’m not the only standing-desk convert to suffer sudden-onset cankles. And the medical explanation is really pretty obvious. Unsurprisingly, it’s a very common affliction among nurses, waitresses, and anyone else who spends the whole day on their feet. “Blood pooling while standing is common if the legs aren’t periodically moving,” Dr. Todd Manini of the University of Florida told me, though he noted that neither the positive nor negative effects of standing desk use have been well researched.

The shift is a big enough deal that, when a law clerk friend got a standing desk, someone from her HR department coached her through her transition. And when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. As Chris Blattman, a Columbia University professor whose blog post on standing desks inspired my conversion, observes, you spend most of the 24 hours in a day either at your desk or on your bed.

Of course, these preferences vary by person, occupation, and day, making it hard to generalize how much time the average sit-stand desk user is spending in a chair. But if one of the leading studies of sit-stand desk habits is representative, people using sit-stand desks spend two hours a day, on average, standing in lieu of sitting. Not that much, in other words.

Tech Devices and Digital Photos - Erase your data from old devices, then drop them in a cell phone recycling bin or return them to your cell-service provider for a credit. Back up your current computer and other devices to an external hard drive, as well as a cloud-based service for extra security. Order a photo book or prints from last year’s digital photos, and create a simple plan for organizing digital photos in the future.

Sit pretty - What to do with your chair when your office is closed can be problematic, which is why this cheeky little seat is genius – a slide-out padded chair on castors disguised to look like a drawer. A tambour, or vertical shutter-style, door would work well to conceal the computer.

That’s a lot of time. I’d been propping myself against a few pieces of furniture in the exact same way for more than a decade. Yet I only spent about two weeks standing in the morning—at home—and sitting in the afternoon before I switched over completely. Suddenly standing most of the day was perhaps the biggest shakeup of that routine since I started working on a computer every day. In my rush to abandon sitting, that hadn’t occur to me, though—nor had the fact that when I gave my body so little time to adjust, things were liable to swell.

These desks allow you to adjust the height of your computer, either electronically or manually. This feature is appealing because many people seem to like doing email or talking on the phone while standing, but struggle to write or do more focused tasks unless they’re sitting.

He says the right components are key, since there isn't a lot of room in there—but with the right LED monitor and a very thin keyboard, you can hide your entire setup (minus the tower, of course) inside your desk. Hit the link to see a bit more.

If yours is the latter, take cues from a grander home and bring in an armoire. It offers tons more storage than a kitchen cart does, plus it has doors to hide the mess. Use the shelves as a makeshift pantry or as a desk space, like in this kitchen.

It wasn’t fear of cancer, heart attacks, diabetes or even early death that did it. The reason I switched to a standing desk was, simply, to find a reprieve from pain. Since I graduated from college, back pain and its cruel confederates—neck, shoulder, and hip pain—have been unshakable facts of life. I’m not talking about the odd lumbar throbbing after a late night at the office; low-grade agony was pretty much a given, flaring into something more blinding a few times a month. Workday, weekend, vacation—it didn’t really matter, nor did the number of treadmill miles or chaturangas I’d banked that month.

For those who don’t know, this portmanteau of “calf” and “ankle” is a slur for shaming women out of wearing capri pants and into surgery if their ankles are any heftier than a ballerina’s. It’s a nasty term. But as a description of my new standing-desk malady, “cankles” was irresistibly apt. And it turned out I needed a casual, efficient term to field the questions that followed after propping my feet on a chair at after-work drinks, or to explain that, no, I didn’t need crutches for those sprains.

Going into this whole standing desk thing, I knew to expect foot pain. That’s why I splurged on squishy pads called “anti-fatigue mats.” Grotesquely distended ankles, though—nobody had mentioned that. I started wearing two sets of insoles while standing on two anti-fatigue mats. But by late afternoon each workday, there were my cankles, peeking out from my pants-cuffs.

When workplaces like Google, Facebook, Boeing, Intel, Apple, or GlaxoSmithKline get a critical mass of requests, it makes sense to do an office-wide overhaul. They’ve got deep pockets and, in addition to slashing the bureaucracy of managing different desk requests, they’re probably ordering in enough bulk to command a big discount. Plus, if you’re going to pay for moving fees, you might as well invest in top-of-the-line product.

Men’s dress shoes aren’t known for being comfortable. But compared with women’s, at least men’s tend to be flatter and, often, cushier. This means that for women working in all but the most casual offices, looking professional means strolling through the workday on rigid, unforgiving soles—a recipe for cankle-causing blood-pooling. Unsurprisingly, shoe strategy came up quickly in nearly all of the conversations I had with female standing-desk converts. Those with standing-only desks have invested in office Crocs or other comfy footwear to don at their standing desks on days when it’s appropriate; the sit-stand crew said they avoided standing on days where they had to look spiffy. Perhaps those strategies are enough to promote blood flow. Anecdotally, the biggest take-up of standing desks is in Silicon Valley, where less than a quarter of the workers are women.