How I Made My Desk a Standing Workstation for Free

For over a year now, I’ve been standing to work on my computer when at home. I kept hearing about the health costs of sitting too much as well as the benefits of standing. I have a history of back problems and struggle to maintain a healthy weight. A standing desk was said to help both issues, so I wanted to try it.

I looked at options for converting my traditional desk into a standing desk, but they were expensive, and I would have to wait to implement them. The second factor was as much of an obstacle as the first; when I decide I want to do something, I want to do it now. My impatient nature was actually helpful in this case, because I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I needed a cheap, temporary solution so I could test the idea before I committed to any big or expensive changes.

I came across this post. When I saw the pictures of desk risers made of Coke cans and boxes of paper, I knew I could find something that would let me stand at my desk without spending a penny.

What did I have lying around to use as supports? Books, of course. I stacked up the biggest and heaviest books on our shelves, doing my best to pick ones I didn’t think we’d be looking for any time soon, and gave it a try.

My DIY standing desk
My DIY standing desk

Although my feet hurt some at first, I quickly adjusted and became a serious convert. I am much more productive and focused when standing. My back problems are gone, and I am now aware if I’ve been sitting for too long. I can’t say it’s helped with the weight at all, but I don’t care. Increased productivity and a healthier back are good enough for me.

I’ve grown so fond of standing to write that I get cranky when forced to sit. As a result, while visiting relatives in November, I went ahead and made myself another temporary standing desk. I just grabbed some of my favorite risers and was good to go.

Standing desk away from home
Standing desk away from home

I would like to graduate to a permanent standing desk solution, maybe something that is still DIY but a little more elegant, but I’ve been using my book stacks for 14 months and I’ve only had to take it apart once to get a book I needed. Any change I might make is going to take time, and I’m too busy writing to deal with it right now.


Published by

Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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