I’ve heard a lot of good things about so-called “stand-up desks”. There’s been a flurry of recent studies claiming that sitting all day– even if you get up and exercise– can lead to increased incidence of heart problems. I know a couple of people who have stand-up desks and they say they’re great.

Since I’m sitting most days and don’t really feel like having a heart attack any time soon, I figured it would be worth digging into a bit. But motorized desks (which adjust from a sitting to standing position) are pretty spendy, and I don’t want to leap right into this and buy a new stand-up desk without giving it a trial run.

So with a bit of engineering, I converted my trusty basement office desk into a stand-up version. It involved eight cinder blocks from Lowe’s (total cost: $14) and help from a neighbor, but my desk is now sixteen inches higher and a perfect height for standing.

Do the cinder blocks look ghetto? Absolutely. I’ll run with this for a few weeks and if it turns out that standing is as awesome as everyone says, I’ll think about getting something a little more professional. In the meantime, if my feet get tired I’ve got a barstool right behind me.