I bought a standing desk

I outsourced the figuring out what to get to DH.  He likes shopping waaaay more than I do (exceptions:  food and books).

He ended up picking out an Updesk Uplift v2 in black, 60*30.  That’s the biggest size that will fit into the space my old desk occupied after cannibalizing all of the space around the old desk (the computer has to go under the desk now instead of next to it and DH and I will have touching desks).  We also got a thingy with monitor arms (Fully Pole-Mounted Monitor Arm) so the monitors can be adjusted more easily and they take up less space (no more sitting on DH’s old college biology textbooks).

The desk came with a bunch of random free stuff.  The mat for under the keyboard is great.  I’ve been enjoying playing with the balance board during faculty meetings– it really does seem to help.  I do not like the desk set and will probably give it away.  I have put a more complicated desk set on my amazon wishlist for Christmas, but I’m open to suggestions if there’s something you love.  Currently I’m using an old coffee mug that DH was gifted but never used to hold my pens (it says “Engineer”).  We also got a filing cabinet.

I also temporarily moved my desk set-up to the guest bedroom, to the delight of Nice Kitty whose room it belongs to.  The carpet is the BEST– I can stand for long periods of time when the balance board starts hurting my feet without my feet hurting.  Sadly, the internet wireless doesn’t work as well in the guest bedroom and I can’t directly hardwire myself to the internet through the wall like I can in the office.  That’s fine for faculty meetings, but not so great for conferences or meetings that I’m running.  (My meetings are short!  New record:  5 min.)  So we’ll be moving back to the office with the hardwood floors.  I wanted to get a colorful rug from overstock, but DH bought a mat instead.  He says we can still get the colorful rug, but he wants to have an anti-fatigue mat for his own use.  We’ll try this out.

I’m using the footrest that I never used while nursing that was supposed to go with the glider that I never used while nursing (the mothers helpers loved it for rocking to sleep, but I guess I never rocked– just used magical mommy milk to induce naps) with the two position chair I got in graduate school (long story:  they only sell them in bulk) since I traded DC1 for my Aeron.  As noted before, I’ve swapped the purple pillow with an everlasting comfort pillow.

I have three of the four settings programmed:  Sitting, standing without the board, and standing with the board.  I really like it so far!  I also like that it has a lot more desktop space than my old home office setup which never really quite fit my big Moleskine.

Desk: $720

Monitor arms:  $85

Filing Cabinet:  $100

Anti-fatigue mat:  $40

That is a lot of money!  But if it lets me work without agony, it is worth it.  (Just last week I was able to go back to touching my toes… hopefully that keeps up.)  I have a LOT of work to do this summer.

Amazon links are sponsored, other links aren’t.

How is your home office set up?  Oh wait, I just asked you that.  Um… what kind of rugs do you like?  How do you keep your pens and pencils and post-it notes and other sundries on hand?  Also:  is it weird to lust over cat-shaped paperclips?

16 Responses to “I bought a standing desk”

  1. omdg Says:

    Three cheers for short meetings! I have a weekly stats meeting, and SO HAPPY it rarely lasts more than 30 min!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      My students have noted that one of the great things about zoom is that you no longer feel pressured to have a longer meeting just because everybody trekked over to your building. (Other students are sad that meetings are shorter and no longer include fluffy socializing. :/ )

      • Debbie M Says:

        I was also going to say you are amazing for having short meetings!

        Besides the socializing, I also liked the snacks in some in-person meetings. But admittedly, the snacks were mostly at the very worst meetings. Where, like, the Dean or President told us staff how great and important we were, either describing the things we do (um, yes, we know) or making it obvious that he (always a he) has no clue what we do. And those awards meetings where you listen to the chair laugh about how the Executive Admin does all his work for him (probably three people’s worth of jobs) making me think I hope I never have to do what it takes to win an award. Or giving out longevity awards, where people try to think of good things to say about the “winners,” which admittedly is sometimes amusing but also sometimes pathetic. Do they still have those kinds of meetings during the pandemic (I’m retired now)?

        I did like all the other meetings when I used to work. Even the pre-meeting meetings where we planned what to do at the upcoming meeting, including whether we even needed one.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I’m definitely going to blog about how to have short and effective meetings. Stay tuned one of these upcoming Mondays.

  2. FF Says:

    The cat-shaped paperclips are very cute. Not weird at all.

  3. teresa Says:

    I mean, I have a drawer of office supply things that I bought because they were pretty but almost never have any use for since the only thing my job/life regularly require is pens, so nothing weird about cat paper clips. Looking at the desk almost makes me wish I needed a desk at home because (a) the live edge wood ones look beautiful and (b) a standing desk with a balance board sounds really fun.

    I haven’t had any rugs in my house for…the 11 years I’ve lived in this house, but recently caved and ordered one of the machine-washable rugs I kept getting targeted ads for. I’m weirdly excited to get it.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Rugs must be part of the zeitgeist right now.

      Yesterday I was driving DH someplace which was weird because this past year I’ve been just driving myself, and of course I couldn’t listen to the Young House Love Has a Podcast podcast, so I asked DH if he could talk about rugs or minimalism or something to make up for it. He declined.

  4. middle_class Says:

    Do they have desks that work for sitting and standing? My work from home situation will continue partially after pandemic restrictions are lifted. I may have to finally pay for a decent WFH environment!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yup– I currently have button 1 to be sitting, button 2 to be standing without a board, and buttons 3 and 4 to be standing with a board (it’s the same setting, I just didn’t have 4th position and would rather it just not move if I accidentally press 4).

    • Dana Says:

      I have a standing desk addition that sits on my normal desk. I love how I can raise and lower it depending on whether I want to stand or sit. Teaching sitting so much this year wasn’t great for my body.

  5. Debbie M Says:

    How is my home office set up?

    (I didn’t answer before because I don’t have back problems.) I have a cheapo desk with one file drawer and two regular drawers on the left, which I love, and one keyboard drawer over the chair, which turned out not to be handy. I have a cheapo swivel chair. And behind the chair is narrow 5-drawer dresser of standing-desk height. So I can stand or sit. Normally I sit with the chair sideways (the dresser is on one side and the desk on the other) with my laptop actually in my lap. I have library books and books for current (and future) projects across the back of the desk.

    I also have the stereo cabinet my parents built that is perfect for a turntable, reel-to-reel tape deck and receiver on top plus 45’s and regular records behind the doors on the bottom. It is not as perfect for what I have now, but I have notebooks in the big space on top, shoe boxes of stuff on the short receiver shelf, and papers and craft supplies behind the doors.

    I also have bookshelves of course. My how-to books and other reference books are in the office. (My fun books for people to judge me by, ahem, for me to lend people and for conversation starters are in the living room. My cookbooks are in the dining room.)

    Plain paper and things for projects are in the drawers of the standing dresser. Stamps, post-its, extra pens, envelopes, and calculators (?!) are in my top left desk drawer. Important papers (passport, will, deeds) and other recent papers (pay stubs, utilities bills) are in a shoe box in the second drawer. And health and insurance records are in the file drawer as well things like maps (?!), menus, other ideas for fun things to do (for when company comes), and Spanish things for me to practice on.

    I also have use of two drawers of a five-drawer filing cabinet (recipes, remodeling a redecoration ideas, receipts for housing repairs and updates, and in the olden days, ideas for jobs to get, how to write resumes, etc.).

    What kind of rugs do I like?

    Pretty ones? I do like those cushiony ones in kitchens that have hard tile flooring. But I never want that kind of flooring myself except in entrance ways and hallways.

    How do I keep my pens and pencils and post-it notes and other sundries on hand?

    Pens, pencils, ruler, scissors are in a mug. I have a two-shelf spice rack with tiny jars of paper clips, thumb tacks, etc, plus a mini-stapler. This is not as super handy as I’d fantasized, but it does let me store a few little things on the edge of my desk against the bookshelf next to it.

    Also: is it weird to lust over cat-shaped paperclips?

    No, those are so cuuute!

  6. Matthew D Healy Says:

    My wife’s office is upstairs and mine is downstairs. Both work well enough for Zoom with our wireless that we’ve never bothered to run Ethernet cables here (in a previous residence we had to use Ethernet for reliable Internet). The most important ergonomic item in her office is a transparent plastic thing that goes over her keyboard to prevent the cat from adding her own keystrokes!

    There are two laptops in my office, one that I own and one that my employers own. The work laptop is on a regular desk, positioned so that I face a window while working, and I sit on a no-name imitation of an Aeron chair (bought at Staples before the pandemic and good enough for me that I’ve not sought alternatives while DW has gone through several different chairs). My personal laptop is on an improvised standing desk on the side wall of my office (just a bookshelf with cardboard boxes stacked up to get the exact height I want). The basic idea is, I work sitting down, but I do random browsing, social media, etc., standing up. That lets me straighten my bad knee occasionally. It also, and this is important, limits the duration of my random browsing breaks because I’m standing up while using my personal laptop!

    But the most important ergonomic tool in my office is a Logitech K400+ wireless keyboard. It’s marketed for couch potato use with a connected TV, but I find it perfect for work because my right forearm tends to get tired after extended computer use. The K400+ combines a keyboard with a touchpad. I use it atop a lapdesk, so that I can rest my arms on the lapdesk, and I have an additional cushion under the lapdesk so get that in exactly the position I want. The touchpad takes less physical hand movement than a mouse does.

  7. In which I collect things | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] recent readers are aware, I recently swapped out desks.  Doing so gave me a chance to sort through my top desk […]


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