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I have a regular, standard, workplace: a desk, a chair an LCD monitor, a mouse and a keyboard. I would like to have the ability to work while standing. I have the feeling that my employer will not will to buy an adjustable desk, instead of the existing one, so I would like to have your help with ideas on how to convert a workplace to a "standable" one on as low budget as possible.

I saw this discussion, but the solutions proposed there are way above my "low budget" definition

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What, you're tougher than the rest of us mortals who get tired of standing for 10 hours straight? –  muntoo Jan 9 '11 at 9:39
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Place piles of books under the monitor and keyboard. –  Programming Enthusiast Jan 9 '11 at 9:51
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Not sure it's worth an answer, but adjustable monitor arms will be a necessity here. You can adjust them on the fly for a proper viewing angle when you're sitting, and when you're standing. –  Craige Jan 9 '11 at 14:20
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@Jon - That's why I explicitly said "adjustable monitor arms". –  Craige Jan 9 '11 at 18:04
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@BGBG - Can you provide information on why you want to work standing up? Might be useful for people trying to come up with solutions or alternatives. –  Jon Hopkins Jan 10 '11 at 9:52
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closed as off topic by gnat, Kilian Foth, Thomas Owens Mar 13 '13 at 10:12

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12 Answers

Ikea Fredrik

Standing is supposed to be a great way to improve productivity as well as save your back.

I purchased the Ikea Fredrik on Craigslist for $70. It's a low-cost standup workstation that adjusts to fit you. I like how there are shelves for a monitor. They say it's bad to look down while standing. This supposedly helps maintain your posture.

I also hear it's a good idea to put a mat on the floor where you stand or even put a bar stool behind you to lean on occasionally.

Unfortunately, I have yet to put this together as I'm a bit of a procrastinator. But I might do that this weekend now that you've brought this up.

Here are two versions of the Ikea Fredrik at Ikea:

$119 - Approximately 58 inches tall / 149cm
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00115992

$149 - More width and depth, but the heights are the same http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60111123

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I definitely recommend the anti-fatigue mat. I wonder about those shelves though as it says it supports up to a 19 inches monitor, but I use a 24 in portrait. Do you think it would fit, maybe by removing the top shelf ? –  julien Jan 9 '11 at 13:29
    
@Julien - The only thing I might be concerned with is stability. Having large items on the shelf would increase it's center of gravity. Ikea furniture -- in case your not familiar -- is generally very lightweight. I don't know if your 24" portrait is light or heavy. If you did use it, I'd recommend some of those sticky things you can put on the bottom of your monitor to help prevent it from being knocked off your shelf. –  jmort253 Jan 9 '11 at 18:17
    
I had one of these once, before upgrading to something a little more up-market. I can say for certain that those shelves will be able to handle any sized LCD monitor. Maybe a 19" CRT would be the limit, but certainly they're strong enough for a 24" LCD (and probably more besides). This is actually a really sturdy desk, considering it's Ikea :-) –  Dean Harding Mar 6 '11 at 8:20
    
It appears that this product (the Fredrik standing desk) is no longer in production...so this wouldn't be a good answer anymore. –  James P. Wright Sep 27 '12 at 23:44
    
@JamesP.Wright - I know! What a bummer. Luckily, you can sometimes find them on Craigslist. That's what I did! I have one in my house that I picked up for 1/2 price. (This is still valid, considering there are many of these likely still in existence. Just don't go to Ikea.) :) –  jmort253 Sep 28 '12 at 1:16
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I had this exact requirement, and used plastic shelving from Lowes to solve the issue. The shelves cost $29. I used a hacksaw to shorten one side and I've been standing for a few months now.

The shelving unit is: Blue Hawk 55"H x 34"W x 16"D Plastic Freestanding Shelving Unit

Here is a pic!

enter image description here

The only disadvantage is you can't put your foot up on something, which would be nice. But for the price, it's a life-changing investment.

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Now you can. Just edit your answer. :) –  kba Dec 10 '11 at 0:46
    
Thank you! Pics are there now. –  Mark Theunissen Dec 11 '11 at 0:56
    
+1: You picked a good color for the walls too. –  Jim G. Dec 11 '11 at 3:22
    
Inspired by your photo: img152.imageshack.us/img152/16/biurkopracanastojaco.jpg –  Czarek Tomczak Sep 28 '12 at 8:06
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Here is another option that I've considered getting for work:

Speedy Stand Up Portable

As you can see, he's looking down slightly, but for $60 you actually get something that will allow you to easily convert from standing to seated! The Ikea Fredrik (see other answer) is a fixed setup that requires you to take everything off the desk in order to adjust it.

I would recommend this for anyone who is hesitant to try standing or as a tool to get used to standing by only doing it for a few hours per day until you get used to it.

More information can be found here: http://www.lampsusa.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=80196

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This one is just great! –  ivorykoder Jan 9 '11 at 11:12
    
I just checked their site and they have these in other colors now! lampsusa.com/… –  jmort253 Aug 17 '11 at 18:07
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Can you back up your request with medical advice, or demonstrate that sitting down is sub-optimal for you?

In the UK the employer would be bound to purchase on grounds of "Health and Safety". Incidentally, you wouldn't be allowed to provide your own. In my work (Switzerland), several people have adjustable desks that allow them to stand up.

Do such rules exist in "IL"? If this is Illinois, USA, can you also rely on your nation's (in)famous tort laws if you can justify your request as per my first sentence

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IL, in my case, stands for Israel –  bgbg Jan 9 '11 at 10:51
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No laws about desk specs., and I don't recommend threatening your employer with a law suit over your seating arrangement. –  JeffO Jan 9 '11 at 16:38
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Note that there is a discussion on the DIY SE site about making your own hieght-adjustable desk.

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You can connect two sets of keyboard/mouse/screen. The computer must have two extra available USB ports (for the extra KB/mouse), and a dual monitor videocard with clone capabilities. Both sets can work in tandem, so no plugging/unplugging necessary – you can switch between them instantly and with zero effort. Each set could be placed on its own portion of the desk or at different angles (or if you can get it to work, one above the other).

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Great idea, however if I only had 2 screens, I would want to use both at the same time. (could get 4, but that's just greedy) –  mattnz Sep 28 '12 at 0:40
    
@mattnz: You could, if they were close enough together. Just switch your video card from clone mode to extend mode. You may want to switch which one is the primary display according to your position. –  Allon Guralnek Sep 28 '12 at 1:29
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Here is a list of solutions:

Kangaroo desktop

enter image description here

enter image description here

My desktop

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As requested by the original poster, I'm posting my comment as an answer.

Place piles of books under both the monitor and keyboard to let yourself code while standing!

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Standing at a desk is very hard to do for many hours a day.

You will need a supportive chair that keeps you semi-standing while allowing you to take weight of your legs so you can move them and get the blood flowing.

I got one of these - http://www.google.dk/images?q=stokke+move - and my back is already better.

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I designed and built a standing desk a few months ago, and I've been a big fan of it so far. I documented my build process here:

http://chris-allen-lane.com/2012/09/building-a-diy-standing-desk/

Here's a picture of the end-result:

enter image description here

I'm generally pretty proud of that design. The thing is made entirely out of pre-existing products (principally two nine-sectional organizers), and the materials only cost a bit over $100, which is pretty damn affordable when it comes to desks. It's also got a rad built-in bookshelf at the bottom, which I've loaded up with programming books to anchor it to the ground so it doesn't flip over and kill me.

You might want to see if hacking together something along these lines would work for you. While I find that I lose concentration if I try to stand at the desk all day, I do find it nice to use about 50% of the time. It's helped me with some knee and hip pain I used to have from sitting too much, and generally leaves me feeling less lethargic at the end of a workday than I would otherwise.

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Speaking from experience I can tell you that the best budget option you can get that won't look horrible is the IKEA Lack table.
$10. Perfect height to plop on top of any existing desk to get a great height for a standing desk. Easy to "plop" right back down on the floor to go back to a regular desk.
And if you want better ergonomics, pick up any IKEA bracket and put 2 on the legs and grab any IKEA shelf to put on top of the brackets. Now you have a perfect keyboard/mouse shelf.

I custom built my own standing table for my perfect height...and I still find myself going back to the Lack table at a regular desk anyway.

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If you can still find them in your area, the roll around adjustable 'printer stands' make a great work surface that you can put next to your desk. You can get lots of great ideas on how to 'improve' one by visiting the electrical conduit / fastener section of your local building supply store.

As said by others, it is a good idea to keep your monitor as close to eye level as possible, or the love you give to your back comes at the expense of your neck. Additionally, you can mount a monitor directly to the wall, and just put the printer cart beneath it.

I'm sure that you could come up with some kind of kludge rather cheaply. Perhaps, if your boss sees your effort into making something work (or can't stand the amount of duct tape now on display), he or she will just buy you the desk that you really want.

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