Thursday, April 7, 2011

Standup Desk V1

For a long time i have struggled with posture while sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day so I finally got off my ass and decided to acquire a standup desk. The benefits of standup desks are documented all over the interwebs, so I won’t cover them all here. Suffice to say that not sitting all day long is A Good Thing™.

Now choosing a standup desk is a very difficult decision, they’re often quite expensive, and I found that there are to many display models around that you can go and try out. This is in a city of 2 million+ people, YMMV.

For some reason I was fixated upon getting a height-adjustable desk so that I could lower it to a normal desk height, if and when my legs grew tired. There’s plenty of options out there for this style.

Height-adjustable pros:

  • Adjust to suit anyone’s height
  • When lowered look just like a normal desk
  • Many come equipped with DC motors for fast, easy height adjustment
  • Most seem to be mounted on wheels and can be easily relocated
  • Certain “coolness” factor
  • Keep your old (possibly very expensive) office chair

Height-adjustable cons:

  • Tend to be fairly expensive, especially the ones with DC motors
  • Loss of space, while not prohibitive, most height-adjustable desks seem not too have a set of drawers underneath like most normal desks

Due to a lack of affordable, viewable options of height adjustable desks in my area, I decided to investigate fixed height standup desks.

Fixed-height pros:

  • Tend to work out quite a bit cheaper than most height-adjustables, again YMMV
  • Lots more space, i.e. drawers and more shelves
  • No moving parts to wear out or break down

Fixed-height cons:

  • Kind of have to be custom fit for whoever is going to be using the desk, not so much of an issue for me as I’ll be the only one using it.
  • Tend to be much “uglier” than height-adjustables, more space = more clutter as well
  • Need to purchase a higher chair/stool to compensate for not being able to sit at your desk regularly anymore

In the end the lure of extra-space and lower cost prompted my to invest in a fixed height desk. And when I say invest, I went to the local hardware store and bought some 16mm melamine and slide runners to fashion up an extra level to my existing desk. The result being:


Yes, ugly i know. But for $50 worth of materials and a couple of hours of time, it works for me. Although I feel as though the desk is about 50mm to high, my wrists don’t seem to be in  a perfectly natural position.


Now, I have been using this desk for two straight weeks now and I can honestly say I don’t think I’ll ever go back to a normal desk. My biggest problem was the fact that my feet were getting very sore, even within half an hour of standing still.

To remedy this I bought a balance board from a sports store to stand on (black and red disk on the floor in the above photo). It makes a world of difference and I find I can stand for hours without getting sore feet. Helps to keep the hips, etc in a “non-locked” position or so I’ve read. The added benefit of this is the fact that the board is about 50mm high, making the desk a perfect height for me. Genius at work here. No really.

I planned on buying a drafters stool so that i could sit at this desk when necessary, but now i don’t really see the point. I’ve got a couch in my study that i can relax on when taking phone calls etc.

Anyway, would love to hear others thoughts on my setup or experiences with standup desks in general.

c# Linq Compound Froms

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but even after using linq in it’s various form for a couple of years now, I hadn’t really ever noticed compound from expressions e.g.

   1:  public void Linq16()
   2:  {
   3:      List<Customer> customers = GetCustomerList();
   5:      var orders =
   6:          from c in customers
   7:          from o in c.Orders
   8:          where o.OrderDate >= new DateTime(1998, 1, 1)
   9:          select new { c.CustomerID, o.OrderID, o.OrderDate };
  11:      ObjectDumper.Write(orders);
  12:  }

(from 101 LINQ samples)

Very handy for flattening an object hierarchy, etc. In the end though it’s just syntactic sugar over SelectMany (like a good deal of many LINQ functions). Anyway, another tool in the belt.