WAY OT, Adjustable height desk

OK, so now that I have a new job description I get to sit even more!!! My sciatic is killing me so I’ve been looking for some ergodynamic solutions. I have seen adjustable height desks that I could stand up at,and they are outrageously priced…like 1100.00 and up??? What I’m thinking it that I could build something. I actually need it about 42" high and doesn’t need to be as deep as a regular desk,and doesn’t need any storage, just something long and narrow for my laptop and notebooks, coffee cup, etc. I could probably come up with a top off of something else if I looked a little, but not sure about the legs. I’d prefer some kind of metal pipe with a crossbar near the bottom for a footrest. I can’t believe there’s nothing out there. Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong place???

Any suggestions?



how about metal shelving?
Something like this?


You could cut the legs to the height you want, and then just use a top shelf (for the desk), and a bottom shelf set at foot-rest height.

Or finish it off real nicely with an old hollow-core door to make a larger work-surface. :slight_smile:

sitting back pain solution
When I worked for JC Penney telemarketing, they had wedge shaped foot rests that would raise your feet off the floor so your legs were raised.

This made a big difference with my lower back pain.

This may not work for you, but it is worth considering and mentioning to your doctor to see if he approves.

Hope this helps.


Hospital bed tray

– Last Updated: Aug-25-09 10:13 PM EST –

They can be purchased for $100 (and up) at medical supply stores. May not be big enough for your needs, but certainly big enough for your laptop, book or two, and cup of coffee. They're also on wheels, so easily moved, and some have a small drawer. You can go from sitting to standing in a flick of the wrist.

Hey Kaps,Jill,
I actually went around the office yesterday until I found a small box that I could elevate my feet on, helped but not enough. Also have a call into my neurosurgeon regarding ideas.

Jill that’s a great idea!!!



how about an ergonomic consult?
Larger places I’ve worked for (hospitals, universities) have had an ergonomic specialist who is available to help you get your workstation set up correctly, including finding necessary equipment/furniture for you. It’s definitely in your employer’s best interest to do so, to avoid lost time, insurance claims, or workman’s comp.

a suggestion: shop drafting tables
If you just want an adjustable work surface, maybe shop some drafting tables. Many are height adjustable on all legs. You can always supplement it with file cabinets and shelving.

Some other great advice here I’ll repeat is kaplan’s recommendation for a footrest, it makes a huge difference. Nate also makes a good recommendation here if you have a consult available.

Old door?
You can convert old door into a nice desk - couple of A frames/saw horses will lift it to the required height. If the surface is not flat, sheet of plexi or glass will make it even.

Or get new doors at the local discount mart

Or get some synthetic solid surface. Synthetic marble/granite/corian(sp?) with roughed up edges will look awesome.

Talk to human resources
You offices personnel department may already be very familiar with the need for some people to have standing desks. If you work in a cubicle they can be very easily modified. If you work at a normal desk you’ll be able to get a hutch type thing that fits right on top of it so you can stand at your desk and work. If you work at an engineering firm you’ll be very happy to set up your stuff on a drafting table (expensive but they already have a lot of them around).

At my home office my desk is a four drawer dresser that is on 5 inch legs so my feet fit underneath comfortably and it is 42 inches high which is just right for me. People who stand and work are 15% more productive so I think they may be interested in helping you.

I second the door
My dad had an old solid oak door on horses when i was a kid.

Later, when I was a surveyor and map maker and needed a drawing board I lucked out and found one with flat Luan surfaces. Because one surface was poked through by a fork lift, I got it for pennies on the dollar.

Maybe you can luck out too.

desk options
Have you tried the backless kneeling chairs (harder to find than they used to be) or the chairs that are made of the inflatable rubber exercise balls? Both are easier on the lower back.

Also, look at office and art supply stores for drafting tables and desks. They are generally height adjustable as well as angle and tend to be high so they can be used with a tall stool. I have seen them for under $100.

Also, look in regular furniture stores – I bought a cabinet for my mother that resembled a tall narrow dresser but the top flipped forward from a diagonal split to create a desk work top that extended out with cubbyholes behind it, large enough for a writing desk or laptop, that you could stand at and use. I only paid around $350 for it and it had lots of storage below and looked very nice, with carved short legs on the bottom and inlaid wood designs.