Database Design And Standing Desks
My first standing desk was from Ikea, which is arguably the world's most popular standing desk. I used it for a couple of years and it certainly fit with my decision to spend time both sitting and standing whilst at work. However, after a further back injury (I originally herniated my back in the oh-so-common L4/L5 zone over ten years ago) I got myself a fit-ball for a period of time and used that. My back mostly recovered but my routine for sitting and standing didn’t and that was down to poor habits and laziness. The laziness was no doubt due to the fact that the Ikea desk required a handle to be turned to change the desk height and yes, I grew too lazy to even do that. Daft really as I'm really quite active (hence my interest in having a healthy back) but there we go.
A few years went by and the Ikea desk travelled to a new home and I stayed sat on my fit-ball. I eventually upgraded to a Herman Miller Aeron Gaming chair and then shortly after that decided that I wanted to give sitting / standing a try - again. I thought about recovering my Ikea desk but could hardly take it back from my wife (she runs a dance school and has the desk permanently in standing standing mode in one of her studios). So, I looked into a new standing desk. A motorised one. Geeky excitement ensued as I searched for a sitting / standing desk with …. motors.
After my research, I had discovered that motorised desks have either a single or dual motor assembly. Single motors are cheaper and usually weaker than their dual motor counterparts. However, dual motor versions can sometimes get out of sync, whereby the two motors run at different speeds, resulting in a desk surface which isn’t level. Decisions decisions. You also get two and three stage legs - not much difference there (certainly not regarding stability) but three stage versions do allow for a greater range of desk height. The next issue to consider would be the dimensions of the desktop itself. I wanted a desk that was at least 70cm deep with a width of around 120cm (about 28” by 47”). Two stage, dual motor desks with these dimensions in a finish I liked were few a far between. In the end, I decided to buy the legs and motor assembly and source my own desk surface.
I opted for the MAIDeSITe Adjustable Height Standing Desk Dual Motors - Black (currently selling on Amazon for £240.00).
The next problem was that I wanted a wooden desk top and wood, nice wood, is really quite pricey. For example, the pieces I was looking at more than doubled the cost of the desk legs. So, after some back and forth I bought a cheap piece of ply from the Wood Shop (a brilliant wood reclamation centre in Weston-super-Mare). I then laid some wood effect laminate flooring I had across the top and cut it to the dimensions I was after. I told myself that my plan would be to use this as a test to see if the dimensions were a good fit. As it happens, after a few weeks I’ve given up on the search for a nice bit of wood and will stick with my botch job for the foreseeable future. If a suitable bit of wood turns up, I’ll switch, no questions but for now, I’m very happy with how it has turned out.
So, after assembling the desk (a couple of hours work including making the legs / base and cutting the laminate flooring) what’s it been like? Wonderful. The MAIDeSITe desk works very well indeed. The dual motors are very smooth and quiet (I like the noise they make when in use - sounds like a sci-fi movie sound effect) and they raise and lower my desk setup with ease (I have an ultrawide monitor weighing over 6kgs, along with a Mac mini, monitor stand, some books, the desk top itself and it handles this 20 kilos or so of weight quite effortlessly). There’s very little wobble although I’m only 5’8” tall so the desk is set to 98cm at its highest point so not much chance to wobble anyway. The control panel is great. It has 4 memory settings and you only really need two per person so the desk is good to go for a couple of peeps before you need to worry about manual adjustment. It has a timer function so that after 30 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours after it’s been started, the control panel will vibrate, reminding you to change your position (obviously, you don’t need to use this). There’s a decent safety feature that stops the desk descending if it pushes against something (if it does, it’ll stop and rise automatically) handy if you forget that you wheeled a printer under your desk whilst it was in standing mode.
And does it help with posture? Well, the jury’s out on that one but since I now spend between a third and half of my work time standing instead of sitting, I’d reckon that it should offset the damage I’ve been doing by sitting for extended periods of time. The Ikea standing desk did the same thing but after a while, that manual handle simply got in the way of changing the desk position - there’s simply no excuse with a motorised desk because it only takes a few seconds to switch :)
All in all, I’m very happy with the sitting / standing desk concept and equally so with the MAIDeSITe desk. I can’t imagine I’d go back to sitting all the time and for what it’s worth I can happily recommend the MAIDeSITe. BTW I'm not affiliated with the desk manufacturer and . sadly, I had to buy the desk myself - but to be clear, I really think that it's money very well spent so no complaints.
Lastly, top marks to MAIDeSITe who have done a great job on the instructions (both building and how-to-use) - very clear indeed. The packing was also rather neat though quite a lot of foam (no polystyrene) which is to be expected considering that it's both heavy and bulky.
Okay so there's no database design in this article but you can't have everything - peace!