Introduction: Zero Gravity Workstation and Laptop Stand
I work at a standing desk for most of my day, but I have back problems, so sometimes I want to sit down. I've tried various lap desks, but none have come close to the comfort and ergonomics of this set up.
It's a zero gravity chair and an A-frame guitar stand. Many people have zero gravity lawn chairs. They're great, but not often used indoors (at least not the patio furniture type). I've seen zero gravity workstations online that cost several thousand dollars!
What's great about this set up is that it doesn't require any tools, tables or other gadgets, and it's impermanent. I have seen similar DIY zero gravity workstations, several of which use some kind of swingarm monitor attached to the zero gravity chair or that require the chair to be placed next to a desk or pole which holds the monitor swingarm. I didn't want all that hardware hanging around.
Thought I'd share for anyone who wants an easy ergonomic setup that doesn't require tools, drilling, bolting and unavoidable cursing.
- 1 zero gravity reclining lawn chair: $50-100.
- 1 adjustable A-frame acoustic guitar stand: $20.
- 1 body, preferrably alive and needing an ergonomic workstation. Not many deceased folks have that need, I find. Although they're generally permanenty reclined, they don't often work. Lazy dead people! Get a life!
- 1 laptop
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Step 1: Buy a Zero Gravity Lawn Chair or Drag Yours Inside!
I already had a zero gravity chair. I bought the optional cushion at Amazon for about $30. A zero gravity reclining lawn chair costs $50-100 depending on how fancy you want it. Have one? Drag in into your office! Your back will thank you.
Step 2: Grab Your Acoustic Guitar A-frame or Buy One
I already had an acoustic guitar A-frame. If you don't have one, there are many choose from online. The one you see here cost about $20 on Amazon. Choose a stand that has foam-padded support hooks (most do). This A-frame stand's legs have several positions from quite narrow to as wide as shown. Make sure there is a setting that is wide enough to staddle your upper thighs or waist. Mine fits snugly, but not too tight. Feels more secure that way anyway.
Step 3: Get in the Chair and Recline to Your Favourite Position.
To get the full ergonomic benefits, recline all the way. The A-frame stand works best if you recline about half way or all the way. If the chair is in its full upright position, the A-frame stand doesn't feel as secure.
Step 4: Place the a Frame at Your Waist or Just Below. Put the Laptop on It.
As you can see, the laptop fits nicely on the A-frame. The hooks protrude just a little above the plane of the laptop, but they don't impede keyboarding. The back of the laptop rests nicely on the top of A frame. If the hooks get in your way, stuff a pillow or rolled up towel beneath the front edge of the laptop to push the keyboard up a little.
Step 5: Work, Surf, Read or Watch Videos Like Royalty!
This solution is so simple that I can't believe how well it works. I work 8-10 hours a day and split my time between standing and sitting. Before this setup, I sat in a chair or on my office sofa with a lap pillow or lap desk, but I found lap desks were always unstable, particularly with my 17" laptop. The monitor was never at the proper height or angle, and the keyboard distance and angle were bad ergonomically. Now, my back feels supported, the angle of the monitor is perfect (and adjustable) and the keyboard is just right.
Give it try!