Remote Learning Tips: DIY Standing Desk


Elisha V

Along with all the other inconveniences of pandemic life, our eyes are constantly glued to Zoom and our bodies glued to our chairs – or beds – more than ever before. Even though most workers and students had quite sedentary work days before the pandemic, we failed to realise how much movement we actually did. In a normal school setting, we’d get up and walk around to our different classrooms periodically. We often stood or walked during the classes themselves for gallery walks, table stations, or presentations. At the very least, we would walk through the hallways (sometimes more than once) to travel to our next class. Without sports teams and commutes, it’s become increasingly difficult to find the motivation and time to move our bodies. Although we are only teenagers, the pandemic has seemed to prematurely plague us with back pain and stiffness. Fortunately, the standing desk serves as a fix, and you can DIY one at home.

Stand-sit desks range from $750 to $3000, expensive mainly due to the adjustable legs heights. If you don’t want to dish out that money for a piece of furniture, there are ways to create a standing desk out of existing furniture in your house. Any surface such as a bookshelf or breakfast bar, which is around the height of your elbows, should do. One could also stack a load of thick textbooks as a platform on top of your normal desk to reach an appropriate height. 


Standing is best recommended for when you have more lecture or discussion type classes, rather than intense note-taking or typing tasks. Standing the entire day will tire you out, so to maximise the benefits, it’s a good idea to do one class period standing and the next sitting, and repeat. 


In the long run, increasing evidence shows that standing desks and generally moving more throughout the day decreases risks of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood sugar, and more. While these illnesses aren’t common concerns for us middle and high school students, standing desks have been shown to keep us more motivated and engaged. In one study, 87% of those using standing desks reported increased vigor and energy throughout the day, which in turn increases productivity. 


Zoom fatigue has taken its toll on all of us, so switching it up by standing may seem like a trivial thing, but it’s worth a try to improve physical, mental, metabolic, and ultimately, academic health.