Four Kitchens

How I learned to stop slouching: a case for the standing desk

3 Min. ReadWork life

I was standing in line for tacos the other day when an absurd idea happened to me: What if… What if I could stand all day long?

This is the story of how I invented the standing desk.

Okay, just kidding. To be honest, standing all day was far from an enticing concept to me. On the other hand, I also wasn’t looking forward to getting up to stretch every half hour during the three decades it would take me to find a chair that didn’t hurt my back. So, after countless personal testimonies from friends who had made the switch to standing, I figured it was time to give it a shot.

Necessary equipment

1. IKEA PS 2014 Standing Laptop Station – $50

First of all, IKEA doesn’t lie, it’s called a laptop station for a reason. The usable surface area is about 16 inches by 12 inches, which is enough for a MacBook and… nothing else. Fortunately, the toolset required for software development is short: MacBook.

The height of the desk is comfortable for typing on the MacBook, but a wall mounted monitor is an absolute necessity.

2. 27″ Monitor – $400 and wall mount – $20

Wall mounting a monitor was intimidating for me – I was positive that I’d butcher it and the monitor would crash into the desk leaving a giant mess of destroyed equipment behind. But it’s been two months, and the monitor is still firmly mounted on the wall at perfect eye level. If you’re feeling like you can’t do it alone, get someone to lend you a hand with it. It’s not worth stressing over, and you’ll probably do a better job as a team anyway!

As far as which monitor and which wall mount you should get, you should get the most hugest monitor you can find and whatever wall mount will support it. I opted for this pretty ASUS monitor and a highly rated wall mount.

3. Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 – $60

With my MacBook four feet from the ground, the built-in webcam has a great view of my torso. But it turns out that’s not what folks hope to see in video calls, so I put this webcam on top of the mounted monitor. Now people can see my face! Sweet!

4. IKEA – KVISSLE cable management box – $10 and powerstrip – $20

Having all of my chargers and cables coming out the top of the desk would be a little much, so I opted to limit the top to just MacBook power, HDMI for the monitor, and the USB cable for the webcam. The rest of my office type cables are connected to a power strip with two AC outlets and four USB plugs which hides in a nice little box from IKEA.


After using this setup for about a month, I felt further away from things. Turns out I now stand an entire inch taller. Wouldn’t you like to stand taller? You can, with a standing desk.

This setup also takes up less than three square feet of my apartment. That’s every single thing I need to do my job in the smallest office I’ve ever seen. It also allows me to quickly walk up, perform a task, and walk away without getting sucked into things the way I did when sitting down to work.

Needless to say, I’m a standing desk convert. And if I’m feeling lazy, well, that’s what couches are made for, right?

  • Photo credit: All images are from Amazon and IKEA. Lead image icons made by Freepik. Special thanks to Elia for creating the lead image and making this post totes awesome.