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

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47 reviews

ZestDesk (incl. laptop stand) + Bag: $299AUD (48% OFF)

All day at my laptop... it's great to be standing and moving while I work.

Final phase of my PhD means solid computer work: data analysis and writing, all day, every day. My main 'desk' is the family dining table, and the ZestDesk is great - it looks fine, it's easy to move when we want the space, and it's sturdy enough for me to lean onto whenever I gaze blankly at the screen (very important!). No more long bouts of sitting. I can feel the difference in my legs, back and shoulders. It's great. Thank you.

Love it!

Great little set up.. very sturdy and I like that I can mount my laptop up higher to keep my posture straight. Thanks guys! :)

New User, smitten.

I am smitten with my ZestDesk. For years, I had noted to my partner about how sitting at a desk was inhibiting my productivity. The chief reasons for this were two. First, I have a bad lower back. Too much sitting, even for someone with a healthy back, is still too much. Add chronic discomfort and its very counter-productive. Second, I am one of the Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) nation. Sitting still isn't something I do well. With distractablity being heightened by stillness, again, sitting is NOT optimal. One day on Instagram, I stumbled across ZestDesk and showed it to my partner because it seemed like a good solution to my persistent, counter-productive problems. Being the angel she is, she put in an order while ZD was still in its prototype phase. I am forever thankful to her for doing so. Once my ZestDesk arrived, my hopes were met and my problems relieved, significantly. My ZD allows me the flexibility to work in more places, how I can best work in them. My back feels MUCH better. Standing allows me to shift my weight, walk about and focus my body better so my attention deficit is minimized appreciably. Also, getting on the floor has been an added bonus, as I sometimes prefer to sit in in lotus or half-lotus postion. The design of my ZestDesk is great. Its easy to open and collapse. Its weight is very manageable, factoring in for another bag carrying peripherals and personals. ZD also looks pretty cool, which doesn't hurt. If I were to suggest one change in ZestDesk's design, it would be in the platform's white laminate surface. It works just fine, and I'm sure it's weight consideration was part of its design choice. However, after working at my ZD for a while, the surface material doesn't feel great on my skin. I just wonder if a bamboo material could be considered in later versions. All in all, my ZestDesk has been a terriffic game changer. Thank you for the life-upgrade!!!

We all need a ZestDesk

After sacrificing my study for an extra bedroom that was needed I found myself working anywhere and everywhere, slumping over the edge of the lounge, or hunched over in bed while working on my laptop. My posture was suffering. The ZestDesk was the perfect solution. It's beautifully designed, super easy to set up, and turns out it's a great table for the kids to use when I'm not working on it! Win-win.