Standing Desk Options


I liked Jeremy’s review of the Jarvis Bamboo desk but I don’t have $600 to drop on a desk. The price was a barrier to me getting a standing desk for a long time. I considered just building one. I think you could just get a desk top from Ikea and put the longest legs on it if you were really hard up. After a bit of Googling and whatnot, I found an Ikea model that is now discontinued but there are plenty of them still out there. It’s called ‘Fredrik’. I got mine for ~$50 I think. In most of the pictures it shows a desktop at normal height and two shelves above it. You can configure it however you like so for mine one of the shallow shelves is below the desk top, the desk top is at standing height and the other shallow shelf is above holding all of my monitors at eye level. The holes on the upright rails are spaced about 4" (10cm) apart so that is degree of adjustment available.

The downside of this model is that it doesn’t move up and down at will, you have to take it apart to reconfigure it, which isn’t a difficult task as the brackets that support the desk top and shelves just hook into the upright rails. Obviously you have to take everything off the desk so this isn’t a standing and sitting desk, it’s a standing or sitting desk. Once you commit full time to standing, you’ll get used to it after a couple of days.

I would still recommend the more expensive type of desk that can move up and down as it just gives you more options but this works well for me. It is very sturdy and I don’t anticipate it wearing out ever. Also, if the particle board shelves ever wore out or disintegrated I could easily replace them as they basically just sit in place.

If you’re thinking of making the jump to standing desk go for it. I would have difficulty going back.


Neat. Thanks for sharing. Would love to see other standing desk reviews too. :slight_smile:


Seven years ago when I lived in Portland I found a Haworth adjustable height desk at a place that sold used office equipment and furniture. It’s an older model of the newer Haworth desks and is spring-loaded instead of motorized. It’s very heavy, but I only paid $75. Was a great find; so much so that I’ve kept it through several moves. Hauling it up and down stairs is no fun, but worth it.

I definitely recommend adjustable height desks, as it’s helped me cope with RSI. The one thing I’d recommend to anyone looking for one, is make sure it goes high enough AND low enough. It’d be great if my Haworth went 2 inches lower. If it did I’d be able to sit with my knees and elbows at 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor. But it’s pretty darn close.

If I ever had to replace my current desk, I’d strongly consider something like the Lian-Li DK-05. I could re-build my desktop PC inside my desk (yes, inside) and free up space next to it. :slight_smile:


Another thing I would mention about the Fredrik model of desk is that it collapses to components in about 5 minutes with no tools as it’s just tabs and slots so if you lived in a place with tight stairwells or something it would still work fine.


I’ve modded an Ikea Galant desk:

Unfortunately Ikea also cancelled that desk, but getting parts is cheap. The thing that sucked about it is that it was stuck that way, and I eventually hurt my back and had to do physical therapy.

I am currently using this:

It was only $110 dollars and is adjustable, but it’s not fancy with a motor or anything and adjusting it is annoying since I have to take out bolts, etc. But it was cheap enough to just have it set up in a corner, then I only use when I need it and alternate between that and my normal desk, so I eventually turned the Galant back into a sitting desk.


I have a Varidesk, the mid-size one, because my desk is under a sloping roof and if the entire thing went up and down my printer would hit the roof. I got it because I was having back problems, although they have now receded. I still use it occasionally. It’s very stable and works well, and is much cheaper than a whole adjustable desk.


Do you think the back problems receded primarily because of the standing desk?


@jonobacon I know you weren’t asking me but for me it has definitely helped the back problems I was experiencing when sitting. For anyone who is having back trouble with a conventional office chair, transition to an exercise ball if you can and then a standing desk. The exercise ball forces better posture and helps to build your back muscles that have deteriorated with too much sitting.
That’s my experience anyway, mileage may vary of course.


No; I didn’t use it enough for that to be the factor.


Great to hear. I am trying to mix sitting and standing. I will not be sitting on an exercise ball though, seems weird to me. :wink:


For anyone who is having back trouble with a conventional office chair, transition to an exercise ball if you can and then a standing desk.

will not be sitting on an exercise ball though, seems weird to me. :wink:

I also once owned a gymnastic ball to sit on at work. As a sort of preventive measure for the sake of my back.
I felt it was kindof weird weird, but I thought it was the rationally correct thing to do (one year earlier I had started wearing a bycicle helmet and that still induces the vague and irrational feeling of being an idiot to this day).

The only actual problem I found with that ball was that apparently the ball hadn’t been designed to be constantly pressed onto a hard floor with a force of more than 800 newton.
So one day it desintegrated right under my ass. Imagine my colleagues’ merriment.

So, from my personal experience: if you are happy when your dear colleagues are, and you are ready to buy a new exercise ball from time to time, they are great.

By the way, for my self, I decided that my back would have to look after itself for the time being.


I spent a year working at my own hand built standing desk during my time at HP. I was a remote worker and decided to give it a go. I loved it. I felt energised, I could focus better on my work, the weight seemed to drop off too (not that I’ve ever been that much of a tubby).

I’ve since changed jobs twice, and the reception to the idea of a standing desk is surprisingly negative. I know that several studies have been done on the benefits of standing desks, but there still doesn’t seem to be a willingness for companies to invest in the option for its staff. Has anyone else faced this?


The culture in lots of companies is very much to see people to conform to an accepted norm so in most companies I have worked for anyone using a computer as a large part of their job has been expected to be sat in front of one, or in some circumstances two screens and personalisation of your working area has been kept to a minimum: you may be allowed a picture of your spouse and kids for example.

I’ve been tolerated more than most because my job by necessity means I spend a lot of time not sat at my desk so I am able work pretty much how I choose but I can’t imagine any of the full time software engineers being able to do anything other than sit at a desk. The same would be true of accounts, purchasing and sales for example.


@jorge been thinking of you with space for a kubenetes rig under that desk :man_technologist:

hope you’ve fully recovered from the storms recently ?
& - did you see or notice any open-source used in the hurricane~recovery ?


Having cats in the house adds a new dimension to sitting on exercise balls… they sometimes try to climb them with predictable results and if you’re sitting you’d best be alert or your butt will be on the ground. Hilarious when I saw it happen to my wife; a little less so when my much larger ass hit the ceramic tile floor (though she disagrees, laughed for 15 minutes straight). We have reluctantly gone back to standard chairs for the home office (the room configuration is not standing-friendly).

My work setup is a pretty standard standing/sitting adjustable station. IMO, it’s beneficial to switch occasionally; I’m about 75% stand/25% sit. Also you need to move now and then. Standing motionless for hours at a time isn’t much better than sitting. I’m a lab supervisor and have plenty of convenient excuses to take a short walk every 30 minutes or so, but have resorted to occasional marching in place when faced with endless paperwork. Yes, a little weird but we can largely do what we want if we meet turnaround times with good quality data:slight_smile:

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