Around 2009, I saw a photo of a DIY standing desk built from cinder blocks, old shelves and cardboard boxes. Not pretty, but it did the job of allowing its creator to stand at his computer.
I had been working desk jobs for eight years up to that point, and hadn't once thought of getting off my butt. I was inspired. Reading everything I could about the benefits of being on your feet more, I looked into buying a standing desk. Turned out they were too big and expensive to just "try out.” What if I didn't like standing?
With the help of my uncle, I built my own simple desk that fit me specifically:
After a year of using it at home and in the office, I was hooked. My best friend, Ben, suggested we make them for others who wanted to stand more often. Not having any clue what we were doing, we worked with mechanical engineers, chiropractors and designers to figure out how to create something adjustable, inexpensive and ergonomically correct for every person who used it.
Three years later, we launched Readydesk.
Ben and I received strong support along the way: Coworkers tested prototypes. Friends volunteered weekends for photo and video shoots. My employer allowed me to post this on their blog. It’s been great.
It's fun to stand more. I feel alert, my posture is more upright and you can react faster when a someone says there are leftover cupcakes in the breakroom.
The change is more than physical, though. You start to see your chair as an obstacle you have to break away from before actually doing something else. When you're standing, you're already ready.
Learning on the fly about how to create and sell a physical product has been fun, frustrating and foreign. Oddly enough, overcoming setbacks feels even better than everyday progress. The whole experience turns into a healthy addiction of seeing how far you can take an idea—an education without the classroom.
Don’t let The Man keep you sitting down. If you've entertained the idea of standing up more often, try your own Readydesk.