When I put together my original IKEA standing desk, I was still experimenting and wanted a solution where I could convert back into a regular sitting desk if necessary.
That solution worked well enough but it was never a long term solution. The biggest problem I had with it was that the computer screen was too far away from my face (the desk I used was 60cm deep) and I found myself leaning forwards to make out text on the screen. The desk was also pretty unstable and would begin to wobble if I was typing quickly.
So when I moved into my new home in late 2011, I began devising a more permanent and flexible solution. The result is this: a standing workstation made from an IKEA NUMERÄR countertop and an Ergotron LX Dual Stacking Arm.
IKEA NUMERÄR countertop – I got the solid beech one because I needed something solid to withstand the Ergotron arm. However if you’re not planning on the arm you could try the VIKA AMON or GALANT table tops. Be warned: The NUMERÄR countertop is a heavy piece of wood, and really hard too. I broke 3 screws while trying to put my desk together.
The NUMERÄR countertop also comes untreated. I foolishly applied shellac (a type of varnish) to the countertop. The end result is slightly shiny but will easily get water damaged. Don’t make my mistake and use the recommended BEHANDLA wood treatment oil instead.
Next it was time to attach 2 VIKA BYSKE adjustable height legs. This is no easy feat because the wood is really hard. You need power tools and someone to help. The back edge of the countertop is mounted directly onto the wall via brackets that come with the VIKA BYSKE legs. To determine the height of the countertop, I simply stood straight and measured the distance from the floor till my elbows.
Under the countertop I placed an EFFEKTIV file cabinet (not on sale anymore). If your countertop is tall enough, the top of the file cabinet can function as a cable management solution – just hide all your cables in the space in between the countertop and the file cabinet ;)
Monitor display stand
The next component is really what makes it all come together for me – the Ergotron LX Dual Stacking Arm. This is an awesome piece of equipment that stretches out 2 feet and holds 2 monitors, or in my case a laptop and a monitor.
My countertop has less surface area than my GALANT desk, but because both the monitor and laptop are off the table top I don’t feel that it’s more cramped. I can also pull the laptop and monitor outwards closer towards me so it’s easier to read.
I won’t turn this into a review of the Ergotron LX Dual – suffice to say it’s an excellent monitor stand. You can view the YouTube video below to see how it’s assembled and how it works.
The Ergotron LX Dual is also a significant investment. The arm itself costs USD240, and I paid another USD100 to have it shipped from Amazon to Malaysia via a shipping company because this is a product that can’t be shipped outside of the US.
I’m sure you can find this product here, some might say. Sure, but they’ll ship it in from overseas anyway and you’ll pay more than what I paid. For example, you can buy the Ergotron LX Dual on Dell Malaysia – for RM1569 (excluding tax and shipping) :P
A stool will give your feet and back a rest after standing for extended periods. I have a FRANKLIN bar stool by the desk. I tend to stand 20-25 minutes and take 5-10 minute breaks by sitting on the stool.
Slippers help cushion your soles if you are on your feet for long. I have a simple pair of Havaianas but you may want to spoil yourself with a pair of super comfy Birkenstock sandals or microterry bedroom slippers.
View full-size photos in my IKEA Standing Desk 2 Flickr photo set
I’ll admit that a standing workstation is a little far out. But think about it – you spend 8 hours at work sitting, and maybe another 2 hours sitting in traffic jams to and from work. At home you sit at the dinner table and in front of the TV. At least half of that time you’re slouching.
There is lots of proof that standing has it’s benefits. Here’s one article that summarizes a lot of the studies – Ditch Your Office Chair for a New ‘Standing Desk’.
You don’t have to go overkill with a setup like mine. You can try these cheap and easy-to-make standing desks:
Questions? Ask them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. And if you liked this blog post, please share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and wherever else you hang out. Thanks!