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May 13, 2012 7:50 PM   Subscribe

I want to buy a...something that would help me convert my regular desk into a standing desk and back into a sitting desk if I choose.

Does such a thing exist? I was thinking someone must make an adjustable platform or hutch that I could raise up when I want to stand and lower when I want to sit.

BUT, while I know that there are desks that do this, they are not approved by my workplace. Whatever I do has to use my existing desk as a base.

Alas, I use a huge desktop Mac at work, so it's not like I could just buy a music stand to prop a laptop on when I wanted to stand.
posted by elizeh to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm going to tell you what I did for my boss. You didn't mention a price range, so forgive me if this is ridiculous.

I got this monitor arm for him and bolted it to his desk. Provides about 2.5-3 feet of vertical movement (enough to go from sitting to standing), plus tons of rotational/sideways flexibility. Then I installed this keyboard tray mechanism, which extends upwards enough to be usable while standing. He's only like 5'4", though, so it may not be tall enough if you're taller.
posted by supercres at 8:27 PM on May 13, 2012


I don't know what they're called, or where they may be had, but at Hewlett Packard in Houston, where I work, we have desks in our cubicles which you can crank up to standing height or down to sitting height. I say "crank", because there's literally a little crank handle on the things that you, well, crank, to move them up or down.

I've only ever seen one person crank it up to stand-up desk height.
posted by smcameron at 8:43 PM on May 13, 2012


I had one of these at work. It was functional, but I ended up not using it. I wanted a whole desk that was tall versus just a tray and monitor that raised and lowered. Now I just stand all day :)
posted by tayknight at 9:14 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Recently someone here on askmefi recommended Ergotron Workfit. I thought I favorited it but now I can't find it. I don't have one but I jotted the name down and I think it's what you are looking for.
posted by BoscosMom at 10:02 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are you in an office or a cubicle? If your office will allow it, this (and a variation) is a possibility. I recently set it up in my home office, and it works quite well. I just took the top off of my desk and put it on the brackets.

It's not necessarily a quick adjustment from standing to sitting, but it is possible.
posted by kethonna at 10:07 PM on May 13, 2012


Reframe the problem. You want a desk you can stand and, and a desk you can sit at. Does the desk need to be adjustable?

I have a stand-up desk at work, and a chair that's essentially a bar stool with a small back. I stand for a while, then I sit for a while. It doesn't really matter that I'm sitting high (and it's a chair that's very easy to get out of.)
posted by dws at 10:39 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have an adjustable height desk which I got from here (the cheapest possible sort, which is just a frame), and bodged an Ikea top onto it. It works well as a standing and sitting desk.

To get the screen height right I have another raised bit on top of the desk which is just made from a bit of wood supported on my speakers. Here is a photo of the arrangement (you can also see the treadmill part underneath).

Having the screen raised like that seems to work fine for me in the sitting position as well.
posted by larkery at 1:50 AM on May 14, 2012


Seconding the tall chair at a non-adjustable standing desk. You don't have to get a bar stool, you can find office chairs that are the right height with full adjustments and wheels for about the same price as a regular office chair.
posted by Ookseer at 2:03 AM on May 14, 2012


Oh, the other advantage of adjustable height (at least for me) is the ability to quite finely control the height. Things like wearing different shoes change my height enough to warrant a little tweak up or down.
posted by larkery at 2:22 AM on May 14, 2012


There are commercial options (example) that do exactly what you are asking; they aren't as cheap as a DIY, but the advantage is that they will look appropriate in a modern office setting and don't take a lot of experimentation and building. Googling "adjustable standing desk" brings up plenty of websites; which path is correct will depend a lot on your budget and how you need it to look.
posted by Forktine at 5:53 AM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


That kangaroo (in Forktine's post) is pretty neat, and does what the OP wanted (using the original desk, as his office requires). However, I'd like a similar thing that would accomodate more than my computer set-up: I edit real paper manuscripts, and thus need to be able to elevate a bigger workspace on which to spread papers around. Does anybody know an adjustable surface that would do something like that?

(apologies if it's bad form to add a modification to OP's question -- feel free to memail me instead of cluttering this thread, if so.)
posted by acm at 6:49 AM on May 14, 2012


I used two cardboard boxes that paper comes in on my desk at work as a way to have a standing desk.

It was quite ugly but worked well for over a year before the facilities guy finally convinced me to let him move my desk up.

I had my keyboard on one box and my mouse and notepad on the other. I put the monitor on a smaller box so it wouldn't be too high.
posted by MonsieurBon at 10:00 AM on May 14, 2012


The ergonomics program at my work has shifted over to the Ergotron line and everybody who has them seems to like them. As far as I can tell, they're both sturdier and cheaper than the stand-alone electric sit-stand desk I got before the Ergotrons were introduced (*grumble*).
posted by Lexica at 6:47 PM on May 15, 2012


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