Important Bits

Standing desk in a bookcase

January 23, 2015

Got a bookcase with adjustable shelves? Want to see what using a standing desk feels like? Here’s an inexpensive way to try it out. You’ll need a separate keyboard and pointing device (mouse, tablet, trackball, whatever).


The middle shelf of an Ikea Billy Bookcase is perfect height (About 42″ or 106cm) for a keyboard and mouse for me (I’m 5’6″), so I put those there. I emptied out the next shelf and placed it about 8 inches above that one. My 15″ laptop, 19″ external monitor, and a power bar fit up there. I could run wires behind the shelves (taking advantage of the bendy rear surface of the Billy) to connect the 2 areas.

It took about 10 minutes to set up, another 10 minutes to tear down, and proved that getting a standing desk at home was worthwhile to me.

Be wary of using this long-term because you might be too close to your monitor. My face was 13″ away from the screen instead of the usual 19″ I find comfortable.

More examples

Similar idea, using up 1 shelf instead of 2 for laptop

A fancier version of my Ikea hack with stow-away monitor

Similar idea with shorter bookcase

Cat image is from Neko

Adam Sullovey

Written by Adam Sullovey, powered by Gatsby.
Find me on codepen, github, or at Toronto meetups.

tags: desks, ergonomics