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  • My IKEA Standing Desk

    April 8, 2014 · 10 comments

    desk

    I read that sitting all day is bad for you. I do a lot of sitting in my line of (no) work so I rigged up my existing desk to be a Standing Desk to see how I liked it.

    IMG_1625

    So with the help of some garage scraps I cobbled together the contraption you see here. It may look like a computer nerd went dumpster diving, but this turned out to be a very good thing; I was able to figure out exactly how high I wanted everything to be. I needed my keyboard at 40″ (101.6 cm) and my monitors about 19.5 cm higher than that (sorry IKEA’s got me counting in centimeters).

    So after a week of using it, I want to keep standing. It’s not always the most comfortable thing (thus the purchase of a drafting stool) but I can feel the difference in my back and legs. When I want to be productive, I’ll be standing. When I’m writing or concentrating (read: gaming) I’ll be sitting.

    Though the mock-up above reflects a design that is more-or-less my own creation, it was created with a lot of input from various other IKEA standing desks I found while searching Google. It is much smaller than my current set-up, but it makes use of the vertical space beneath the desk, space I no longer use because I’m standing. I hope to fit both desktops and possibly a printer underneath. I’m really excited about the anti-grav monitors too. Though the preview above doesn’t show it, all of my items will be the “black-brown” color IKEA offers.

    Here’s my shopping list:

    2 – (Lower Legs) CAPITA 8″ 21-22cm – 200.495.38 – $16.00
    2 – (Square Shelves) KALLAX 77 cm – 602.758.12 – $34.99
    1 – (Tabletop) LINNMON 59×29.5 – 3.4 102.513.52 – $35.99
    2 – (Shelf Legs) CAPITA 6″ 17cm – 000.545.64 – $14.00
    1 – (Shelf) EKBY AMUND 59×11 – 2.5cm 202.109.07 – $19.99

    Subtotal = $185.96
    Tax 7% = $13.02
    Grand total = $198.98

    Not the cheapest standing desk option… but it’s definitely one of the cheapest. And if you’re counting, my desk-height is 101.4cm (39.92 in) and the monitor shelf is at 120.9 cm (roughly 7 3/4″ from the desktop) If I had the time and energy I would build one out of 2×4’s and MDF but it would look like a workbench rather than office furniture.

    I’ll be sure to update with some real pictures once I get it put together. Subscribe to get updates via email!

    **Update**

    Here’s my modified Ikea hack standing desk. I wanted to take a front shot, but there’s a wall in the way.

    ikea-standing-desk-ver2

    I moved the legs from under the shelves (as shown in the mock-up) and onto (under) the desktop. This makes the unit sturdier and gives me a shelf under the desk. The shopping list was unaffected. I set it up so my back was to the window and face was to the door. This was mostly because I wanted easy access to the back of my PC’s and because my family is constantly scaring the living crap out of me coming up from behind. This did not work out. The view of the door was obstructed by the monitors. The PC’s on the floor messed up my cable length. The placement also created a dark corner that had odd sounding acoustics. I ended up switching things around and placing the new desk where the old one was.

    My Ikea Hack Standing Desk

    ikea-hack-standing-desk-ver3

    You’ll note that I moved the bottom shelves out a bit and have placed the PC’s on each side. This is perfect. I realize that it looks less structurally sound than  the original, but the legs provide just as much support 2 1/2 inches from that edge as they did from 2 1/2 inches from the other edge. The desktop is large and holds my mixer (under the lime towel), recorder, speakers and Wacom tablet with room to spare. The back shelves on the wall hold my ABS, cable modem, router and a power-strip. Ikea offers inserts for the squares so I will eventually put drawers in the front-top two. As an added bonus using the same placement I don’t have to move the mount for my mic stand.

    ikea-hack-standing-desk

    I’ve still got some cable management to do and I’ll be reinstalling my led backlight system, but it’s functional and promises to meet my needs for weeks to come (this is Ikea stuff we’re talking about). 🙂

    For reference here’s the before:

    IMG_0345

     

    A great desk. Heavy with lots of storage but was too deep… plus I need to be standing. It’s been three weeks and I’m hooked.

     

    • That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. Looks great! I never thought anyone would ever actually build one. 🙂

      • MarkOnThis

        I’m actually heading to Ikea here in a few minutes to purchase the parts. I’m a little over 6 feet tall, so I think I may add some more legs to the bottom to bring the height up a bit more. I’m also going to see if I can find a slightly shorter shelf for the monitors, that way my speakers can sit further back and right under the monitors. I’ll share mine when I’ve finished with it here in a week or so.

        • Can’t wait to see it!

          The shelf does come in different lengths so you should find what you’re looking for. And for the height, just another set of legs probably. They all adjust about 1/4″ (maybe more) in or out.

    • Now that it’s been a few months.. have you gotten tired of standing?

      • I’m still 100% into standing. It’s easier now than it was then. The only time I really just want to sit is when I’m brainstorming. But that’s when I pull up a Google doc on my iPad and sit on my futon.

        • Do you ever use a tall chair?

          • Yes, I do. I have a stool that I’ll use when my feet need a break… but after 5-8 mins I’m back up on my feet. It’s not a very comfortable stool. No back to it.

    • It’s great to see that you’re still happy with the standing desk. A combination of your creativity and quest for better health!

      I switched over a couple of years ago at work. I used to get a lot of strange looks when people walked past my cubicle. I’ve had good conversations about why I do it, and the pros/cons. My DIY solution started with cardboard boxes and storage bins on top of my desk, then I moved to another cubicle where I can elevate my monitors on a shelf.

      • Guest

        Not sure why I was having trouble uploading this picture of my desk…

      • I had to scroll up to make sure that I had included my original DIY standing desk. They both deserve the strange looks… but I think the DIY is an important step. You need to try it out, figure out the height you need keyboard and monitors. One size defiantly does not fit all.

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