Run towards your true self: Embracing authenticity while chasing your goals

Want an simple, affordable stand up desk? Here’s 2 ways how under $20!

Did you know that the Americans spend an average of 13 hours per day sitting? That doesn’t include the time slept, which would than equal an average of 21 hours /day on average Americans spend leading a sedentary lifestyle.

If that doesn’t shock you, here’s some more. The average American male, weighs 195.5 according to the CDC. If he sits the average 8 hours per day, he burns 1906 calories. Using this online calorie tool, I calculated that standing, he would burn 2542 calories per day.

That’s a net caloric difference of 636 calories per day if he chooses to stand verses sit. That does’t sound like a lot, but let’s crunch some numbers (I do love a good math problem!) and see the effect that has over a given year. 

365 days/year X 636 net calories burned from standing = 232,140 more calories burned from standing vs. sitting

Let’s not stop there. We know that 3,500 calories = 1 lb of fat

232, 140 calorie/year ÷ 3,500 calorie / 1 lb of fat = 66 lbs of fat burned/year  from standing instead of sitting

Let’s say you make the change for 5 years, that will equate to 330 lbs of fat burned per 5 years!

Burning calories is not the only reason to use a stand up desk. According to a study by Stanford University, 78% percent of workers using a stand up desk are more likely to be pain free than those without a sit-to-stand desk. I could go on and on with the health benefits. If you want to read more the stand up desk movement, please visit

Okay, so you get it. Stand up desks are the way to go.

Yet, I just could not bring myself to buy one.  My husband has this  Stand Steady desk for his home office.  I mean look at this. How slick is that? It is also slick in price. This will set you back $189 retail. I just cannot justify spending that (That’s like one race entry fee, come on!).


After about a month of us fighting over it, I thought to myself, “There has to be a way to make one myself?”

I set out on a mission and came up with 2 ideas for simple, cost effective ways to make a stand up desk for under $20 (one is under $2)!

First solution: Wrapped box with decorative paper.

Cost: $2 (for paper)

Pros: doubles as storage, looks nice, cost effective

Cons: not as much room on the box top. Had to build up a separate platform with books for my mouse, a little clunky to move around.


First, I found an old box at a height that worked for me. Next, I found some cute wrapping paper and wrapped the box. Be sure to wrap the lid and box separately because it will need to have some weight placed inside. An alternative, is placing weight inside before you wrap. The benefit to wrapping the lid and box separately is that it will provides the box a cross functional use as storage. I filled it with wood planks to add some weight so it wouldn’t shift around. You could also put other items in there for storage, which would also provide the weight needed.

You will need to add weight to the box, so it doesn’t shift around. I used a couple of wood planks.


First, you’ll need a child’s size table. Ours is from IKEA and priced around $2o when we bought it about 10 years ago. I like that I am able to re-purpose it!

Next, measure how high you want your stand up desk. The key here is to make sure it’s shorter rather than taller. You can always build up your desk with books under your laptop, but can never take away height. I am 5’2 and went with 12 inch legs. it was perfect for me.


I would recommend going outside for the cutting. I only had a  hacksaw handy, but would recommend a circular saw if you have one. My cut was rather jagged and uneven which is why I added the tennis balls to the bottom pictured below.

 You will need 4 tennis balls and a serrated knife. To cut the tennis ball, I would recommend just 1, 2 inch slit straight across. Of course, this depends on the thickness of the table legs. The first ball I cut with 2 slits perpendicular to each other and once I put it on, it did seem loose. I believe one slit will a snug fit that you need without worrying about the tennis balls falling off too easily.

Lastly, put the tennis balls on the bottoms of the table legs. This will prevent the table from any rocking due or scratching due to uneven or jagged cuts. This step may not be necessary if you are a little more skill in the wood working area than I (or have any skill in the wood working area). The table legs I cut was rather jagged due to the type of saw I used, thus, the tennis balls solved this for me.


There you have it! A simple, cost effective way to make your own stand up desk. Two simple, easy, and cost effective stand up desk solutions you can do at home for less than $20!

I love that I was even able to up-cycle my children’s old table we no longer had a use for.

Let’s hear about your stand up desk solutions! Did you try these? Or perhaps had your own solutions? I would love to see pictures of what you’ve done at home!

Until Next Time…Be the Change.















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