convert your traditional desk to a stand desk for less than $25

As Dr. James Levine notes, "Sitting is the new smoking." Sitting for hours at a time wreaks havoc on our bodies, leading to diabetes, hypertention, cardiovascular disease, and a number of other health complications.


Many of us have traditional desks at home or work that we can easily "hack" into standing desks by using materials that can be found at Ikea.


We decided to take one of the desks here at Obesity Solutions and show you how you can convert it into a standing desk for less than $25.





Here is our little desk that we wanted to convert to a standing workstation. 











From Ikea we bought:

- Lack side table

- 4 L-brackets (two of which had clamps, since we weren't allowed to drill holes in our office furniture)

- 1 23-inch shelf








We spent just over $22 at Ikea, but their materials didn't come with any hardware (screws), so we went home and scrounged through our toolboxes to find some. We needed:

- (6) 1-1/4 inch screws

- (2) 1 inch screws

- (2) 3/4 inch screws

- (2) 5/8 inch screws


We needed so many different lengths because the L-brackets we used varied in thickness, and we didn't want to accidentally screw all the way through our keyboard shelf.




We started by putting together the Lack Side Table according to directions.











We measured the height for the keyboard shelf. Ideally, you want the shelf to be about hip-height, however, since we needed to use clamps for our desk (instead of normal L-brackets), we made ours the proper height for the clamps. (If you are not using clamps, you should make this the same height as your hip bone.)










Once we had the height set, we marked holes for where we needed to drill them. Remember the old saying, "Measure twice, cut once." After that, we drilled pilot holes and screwed in the L-bracket.










We used a level to make sure our shelf was square before marking the holes for the second bracket. Then we drilled pilot holes, as we did for the first bracket. We finished by screwing the second bracket into place.










At this point we rested the shelf on top of the brackets. From here you could proceed one of two ways:


(1) Attach the shelf and install two L-brackets to the back legs of the side table, securing to the desktop. This way is good if you can put holes in your desktop or if you have a shallow desk. This would allow the keyboard to come out over the front edge of the desk without problems.




(2) Attach the shelf and install two L-brackets with clamps to the underside of the shelf. This way is good if you aren't allowed to put holes in your desktop. However, it requires a deeper desk (at least 31 inches) since the keyboard won't be able to hang out over the front.


We do recommend that you secure the stand-desk to your desktop in one of the above ways for safety's sake. Once your keyboard is on there, you might accidentally lean on it or do something to tip the apparatus over.


We proceeded wtih option #2.

As we mentioned earlier, the L-brackets varied in thickness, so to prevent screws from sticking up through the shelf, we needed to use several different lengths. Be sure to measure and make sure the screws you use are not too long or too short.










We measured and marked the places where we needed to drill holes on the underside of the shelf. We then drilled 8 pilot holes (2 for each L-bracket) and screwed on the clamp L-brackets.










We then screwed the shelf to the L-brackets that we installed on the Lack side table.











Here's the finished product!











We used the clamps to secure the stand desk to the top of our workstation, and then set it up. We now have a standing desk in our office!