Is a DIY standing desk for me? Roger tells his story

By Roger Jones


I am a 67 year old who works in the water utilities sector. Originally from South Africa, I now work in Uganda and the UK.

Standing desks

I started reading about standing desks in 2009 and thought I would see if it would help my back pain…

First DIY standing desk: 2009 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The office chair I had was so uncomfortable; I got angry and made my first standing desk with materials to hand. I worked the first day for over 8 hours & felt pretty good.

Here is a photo of that desk:

DIY standing desk

Second DIY standing desk: 2010 Damascus, Syria

I decided to have a moveable standing desk that could be placed on existing desks.  A local carpenter made this one with a metal frame holding the three sides and back panel; this created a convenient storage space underneath/inside.  Also note that the large TV monitor was not really a success, too far and too high.

I reckon I used to stand for 80% of the time, probably too much, but I can attest that standing improves concentration and focus as well as reduce back pain.

DIY standing desk

Third DIY standing desk: 2012 Hereford home office, UK

Experiences with the first standing desk led me to convert my home office desk back in Hereford, UK.  The original desk was a modular desktop (liberated from a store at my last South African employer in 1994) placed on two x 2-drawer filing cabinets.

I bought two boxes to stand on the filing cabinets to lift the desktop to a practical height & a couple of wooden battens to get it to right height.

Also note that the desk created more storage space underneath, but a footrest would be nice!

 DIY standing desk

Fourth DIY standing desk: 2014 for two months, RUWASS project office, Kampala, Uganda

I used another project office due to lack of office space at ministry.  With a very nice climate and with no spare offices, I used to work mornings on an upstairs verandah.  Big hornbill birds would sit on the railings about 3 metres away sometimes during the morning, here’s the morning view & desk which I had.

DIY standing desk 

Current DIY standing desk: 2014, Ministry of Water, Kampala, Uganda

This desk was left behind by a German expat who left a few years ago.  He had back problems and had it made to his specifications, although he did not use his computer on it.  It is about a cm or two too high for me, but passable.  I must take regular breaks from standing for long periods as I get even older, however there is no doubt that I benefit all round.  Local managers here are very into image, desk size etc, so they are disconcerted when they see me at work at this desk!

DIY standing desk


Because of my work I am looking for something portable, adjustable, durable and professional. This is how I came across ZestDesk and I eagerly await their launch so I can take my standing desk to the next level!

free "standing vs sitting at work" report