Standing desk on a budget

Repurpose your normal desk with as low as 30€.

I spend 8 hours a day working seated. I have about 3 hours of meals and 3 hours of commute a day. That means I may easily spend 14 hours sitting (plus 8 sleeping).

That’s bad, no doubt. To mitigate that I try to replace some of that time with standing. When commuting, I always stand. When having meals, at home or at the mall, I use the “bar table” to eat while standing. It’s not as uncomfortable as it sounds.

The strategy is to cut sitting time whenever possible. A small but frequent change like this has a big impact long-term.

The goal

At work I have a proper standing desk, but at home I have one of those old table + bookcase furniture, which makes impossible any standing set up. When working I use my laptop most of times… if only I could find a way to raise it…


My DIY prototype costed me 6€, with just two files. It’s more stable than it looks and gets the job done #minimalist #desenrascanço

Caveat: However, the constant pressure weight of my arms started deforming the files. So I found the perfect replacement: Levit8.


It’s fast to set up and easy to fold and put it away. I ordered from Amazon, as it was cheaper than buying directly from the brand 🤷‍♂️

Caveat: While that worked great, my heels started complaining. At work, the floor is soft carpet so this (first world) problem never occurred before. The solution was a standing mat: Topo.

Better solution

There are cheaper and totally fat alternatives to this mat. I decided that Ergodriven deserved my 100€ because their design naturally makes your legs and feet change position once in a while. That’s great on your joints because it releases the tension that builds up after you stand still for a long time.

Best solution

That’s it. With 130€ I was able to convert an average 40€ desk into a standing desk. It’s still lower than the cheapest standing desk from IKEA.

Is this combo perfect? No, it has a major flaw. I’m still looking down to the screen. That causes me neck pain at the end of the day. That will only be solved by a proper standing desk with a raised monitor.

One day…