Stand-up Desk





Introduction: Stand-up Desk

Raise your desk so you can stand while working. I did this for my home music studio because I stand while playing keyboards and guitars, and found I really liked it for all types of computer work.

Check out my other various ergonomic Instructables:
Ergonomic Work Station, Standing Desk, How to make a vertical, ergonomic (tie-fighter) keyboard, and Create an Ergonomic Standing Desk and Office on the Go.

Step 1: Measure and Test the Height

I wanted the desk high enough so I could comfortably write on it and position my computer keyboard at an ergonomic level, but not too high that I couldn't sit my laptop on top of a monitor and use both.

I tested the setup with milkcrates for a few weeks before refining and committing to a final height.

Step 2: Modify Existing Legs

I drilled holes in the existing legs, and bolted on 2x4s with rubber feet.

Step 3: Reinforce

The extra tall legs were pretty wobbly, so I strengthened them with some steel cross-bracing. The steel is 1/8 x 3/4.

Bend approximately 2 inches at each end of the steel to 135 degrees and drill two holes. Screw the steel to the desk and the legs forming a triangle with each leg. Triangles are much stronger than rectangles because to change the shape of a triangle you need to change the length of its members; a rectangle can change shape just by changing the angles between its members (making a parallelogram).

With the cross-bracing my desk feels rock solid.



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    Check out my housemate's super hacked-together version of a standing desk!

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    How is your wife supposed to iron your shirts with all that stuff on her board?

    She's probably busy playing Crysis 2 to realize :)


    The treadmill is a good idea. I probably couldn't type or write while walking though. The Life Balance station is pretty unique. You sit at a semi recumbent elliptical machine and pedal slowly. It includes an adjustable stand up workstation with it. I think you could accomplish almost all of your tasks at this one. Definitely not cheap though :)

    Great idea! You could also put a treadmill underneath the desk and make it a heart-healthy desk!

    That is a great set up! I have been reading more about these stand up type desks for my own use. Thanks for the excellent tips on how to build your own. I will be sure to recommend this site. Here is another good article about adjustable stand up desks. I had no idea so many people in history used these things too :)

    I've been a fan of working standing up for a few years now. One client I worked for (BP) had desks that could be raised and lowered easily and at will. A latch under the desk's surface would be pulled, and then the desk surface and pillars for LCD monitor braces would rise together. Having access to this kind of desk turned out to really help me manage my back pain. I am a software developer who commonly practices 'pair programming' (sharing the computer/keyboard/mouse with another person and changing back and forth fluidly). Working with an elevated desk, our team discovered that standing up reduces a person's footprint, making the kinds of motion through the computer's 'focal point' (the prime, ergonomic position) easier. Pair programming when sitting in wide, square chairs often results in people stretching long distances to reach the keyboard or, worse, twisting through unbalanced angles for extended periods of time. I have found that working a full day standing can be quite tiring, though it is something you develop the strength for. Through university I worked weekends dealing cards in a casino for ten hour shifts. Standing that long at a desk like this became tiring for the feet. A card dealer's job doesn't involve any walking around, and so the circulation within the feet suffers. As a musician working at your desk, I'm guessing that you have quite a bit of gentle motion for your feet. As a programmer working all day in one spot, I'd like the option to combine sitting down and standing up throughout the day. So, can anyone come up with an instructible for a desk that can have its height altered so easily that it doesn't require any real effort to do it? I certainly can't work out how to do it. Desks I've seen like this have powerfully strung counter-balancing springs that take the effective weight out of the desk and it's contents. Definitely a challenging project. As an aside, I don't believe the desks I have worked on were designed to be used standing up. Rather, the ability to raise the desk seems to have been included as a convenience for IT support staff who spend quite a lot of time underneath desks. Thanks for the instructible, and for the site.

    After hunting around a little (there are some cool adjustable desks to buy out there) I found this company that manufactures specialised hydraulic height adjustment systems to be integrated into products or projects.