I’ve been using an UpDesk since I started working from home in July 2013.  I typically try to stand over half of the day being careful to not hurt my lower back with multiple days of standing fatigue.  I do plenty of stretches and general movement while standing as well – but I do like to sit in my fancy Herman Miller Aeron chair once in a while.  Having the motorized desk is awesome for this because I can change the configuration of my workspace based upon my mood, attention momentum and other variables.  I noticed after some time, however, that I didn’t have a really good understanding of how often I switched configurations and generally how long I could stand.

So, I connected my standing desk to the Internet.

IMG_4173I’m using a SmartThings multi-sensor which has a magnetic switch, temperature and vibration sensor inside of it.  I attached the sensor to the bottom of the desk lift and the magnet to the bottom of the desk tabletop.  When the desk raises up, it sends a signal to the SmartThings hub over a Zigbee mesh network.

IFTTT RulesIFTTT is connected to my SmartThings account and I set up an action there for both the open and close events of the switch.  When either event occurs, an entry is added to an existing Evernote note with the action and time stamp.  It’s fairly simple and I wanted to send the events to a graph or spreadsheet but in the end I found the note and its history are sufficient for my needs.

Next steps?  Since I work remote I’m not tied to my desk.  I have the ability to work anywhere and on occasion I’ll work from a coffee shop or even my back porch.  I want to incorporate some sort of occupancy sensor to my office but I haven’t come up with the right solution.  Ultimately I want to know when I’m using the desk, not necessarily when there is movement in my office.  A weight sensor or maybe a limited proximity beacon of some sort would work.  I could pair the occupancy with desk position to determine the actual amount of time I’m sitting or standing and not just the change between states.