Backwards standing desk adapter?
July 24, 2022 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Does this exist? I have a desk in this sort of style but bigger. Currently placed so when I sit in the chair my back is to a wall and I'm facing out toward the room. I'm thinking i'd like to have a walking desk again and I'm wondering if I can somehow rig something up to have a monitor and keyboard sometimes face the BACK of the desk. How would I set that up?

So the idea is that when I sit, I would have monitors (currently dual monitor arm attached to the actual desk) facing the chair and then when I walked I could have a monitor and keyboard drawer facing the other way. Then the treadmill could come out from the back of the desk...sort of "walking toward" the back of the desk. Obviously the very front part of the treadmill (the motor, not the walking belt) would sit under the desk's modesty panel.
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Grab Bag (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Response by poster: Oh...and obviously a mousing surface in addition to the keyboard.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:19 AM on July 24, 2022


I did something like this, for different reasons. Simplest solution in my case was just to plug in a second monitor and keyboard/ mouse. Place them and face them wherever you want.
posted by fake at 8:16 AM on July 24, 2022


I've got my dual monitors up on a double arm that clamps onto the back of my desk.

It wasn't my intention when I got them, but - small space problems - I rearranged yet again recently, and decided to try backing my desk up to my bed. (So I could watch cartoons in bed with the granddaughter.) The arms flip around entirely in just a few seconds, and since my keyboard & mouse are wireless, it's a pretty simple matter to set them toward the back of the desk when I'm not using them, making them easy to grab from either side.

*** Note: Having previously had the desk against a wall, I wasn't smart enough to remember on my own that the monitors turn completely around - my 22yo son pointed it out when I was asking for ideas for my room that fit requirements x, y, z, & peanut butter. This monitor arm is surprisingly versatile; I can use one, and stretch out the other and tilt it toward a beanbag granddaughter is using on the floor, too. Totally wish I'd gotten it at the start of Covid instead of three months ago.
posted by stormyteal at 8:37 AM on July 24, 2022


Response by poster: I actually have a double-arm on the desk right now, but A) It's quite fiddly to position and I'd be spending a lot of time getting an ergonomic placement on each side and b) It can spin around it's main post 360 degrees, but that doesn't solve the height issue at all. The monitors would be at waist/groin height if I were on a treadmill.

And yeah, I assumed I would likely get a separate keyboard/mouse and maybe just use the laptop display instead of another monitor, but the question is what do I put them on? Like how do I set up the desk so I have somewhere ergonomic to hold the keyboard and display?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:58 AM on July 24, 2022


Okay, if I understand you correctly, You want your monitor sometimes to face forwards (toward your desk chair), and sometimes to face backwards (toward your treadmill "behind" your desk).

Your existing dual-arm is probably a less flexible version that only has a single post, that goes T-fashion to 2 monitor arms. I have one of those too. Not really that adjustable.

What you need is a BETTER monitor arm, something like this Huanuo on Amazon for about $100 (and there's a promo code for 5% off).

The keyboard tray is a much easier problem to solve. Windows PC doesn't care how many "keyboards" you attach to it at a time. They all work together. So you can just add another keyboard near your treadmill anywhere you like.
posted by kschang at 11:59 AM on July 24, 2022


Response by poster: The keyboard tray is a much easier problem to solve. Windows PC doesn't care how many "keyboards" you attach to it at a time. They all work together. So you can just add another keyboard near your treadmill anywhere you like.

Well this is sort of the question. How do I attach a keyboard anywhere i like? i mean the place it needs to go is slightly below my stading-on-a-treadmill elbow level, floating in the air behind my desk. Since it can't float in the air presumably it needs a pull-out keyboard tray, but how do I get a pull out keyboard tray higher than the height of my desk especially given that i can't render the actual surface of the desk unuable.

I've been googling and measuring all day and I'm coming to the conclusion that returning to having a walking desk is likely a non-starter right now. But who knows. Maybe somebody can think of something.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:14 PM on July 24, 2022


If you want REALLY fancy solution, you can get the TRIPLE arm version, and use one arm (probably the center and mount a keyboard/laptop tray on that instead. However, generally the center arm is fixed in place and is only height adjustable. Personally, it's probably better to just velcro a "mobile" keyboard to the back of the desk for your treadmill time, probably one with a small touchpad so you don't need a separate mouse.
posted by kschang at 12:15 PM on July 24, 2022


Does your treadmill have any add-ons that lets you put a keyboard / mouse tray somewhere? Maybe you can clamp it THERE instead of to back of your desk.
posted by kschang at 12:17 PM on July 24, 2022


Response by poster: Does your treadmill have any add-ons that lets you put a keyboard / mouse tray somewhere? Maybe you can clamp it THERE instead of to back of your desk.

I have not yet acquired a treadmill for this incarnation of my walking desk (previous incarnation here. I had a son and this is his room now, so that space is no longer available). But if I do the backwards desk thing, I would want something I could slide under the couch when the workday is done (which seems to be another sticking point, which is why I'm thinking I'm not going to find a way to make this work).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:33 PM on July 24, 2022


It's going to depend on how big of a keyboard and mouse surface you want when you're treadmilling, basically.

You can go with a keyboard with a touchpad, like the Logitech k400, which you can put in a hanging pocket or some sort behind the desk. Or you can go mini keyboard (something the size of a TV remote, but still with a touchpad) then you can just velcro it to the back of your desk when you need it.

If you *must* have a full-sized keyboard and mouse, maybe this tray that can be ADDED to a monitor arm, but It'd be kinda in your face when you're not using it. The show it on a stand, but it'll work on an arm, no problem, as long as the monitor and keyboard are not too heavy, and you don't accidentally lean on it :D The "catch" is you won't be "centered" between the two monitors, as you're direclty in front of ONE monitor.
posted by kschang at 1:31 PM on July 24, 2022


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