After wrist pain, back pain, and trouble concentrating, I decided it was time for a change in my work setup. A stand-up desk seemed to be the right solution, and I found a way to build one without investing too much time and money. After using this setup for the past year and a half, I've found that it's been an improvement in many ways. I don't need to rewrite the history of standup desks because they already have. Some schools are installing standup desks for their students. This is a guide for building your own desk using standard Ikea parts. If you already have an Ikea tabletop, you might only need the legs (as was my case).
Time & Tools
Tools needed: just a Phillips screwdriver and the supplied hex keysTime needed: approx 30 minutes for assembly
1 x Ikea VIKA tabletop ($ varies, choose your size/color)
Example: VIKA TabletopsYou could use whatever tabletop you already have as long as the legs are removable.
4 x Ikea VIKA Kaj adjustable table legs ($15/each)
Ikea link: VIKA KajAwesomely adjustable and stable. These will go almost a foot higher than stated in the description.
(optional) 1 x Dual monitor adjustable stand (~$50)
Example: Sturdy dual-monitor standThese are solid and nicely adjustable and super cheap! Since I have a seemingly paper-mache tabletop, I used a piece of 1" thick pine underneath in the spot where this clamped to the table. No problems or issues have arisen yet.
(optional) 1 x Cheap, height adjustable, semi-uncomfortable stool (~$80)
Example: A tall shop stoolThe semi-uncomfortable nature of the stool forces me to not sit for long and change positions often. Make sure you get a stool that's tall enough that you don't have to change the monitor height between sitting/standing positions. You might also want a footrest at the correct height.
Measure the approximate table height you'll need. Here's a guide to estimating a good height for your desk.
Gather the parts and assemble the table. Attach the legs as instructed by IKEA and then adjust their height as measured in step 1. Try it out with a keyboard before you start putting all of your things on the table. Make sure the keyboard is at a comfortable height.
Install the monitor stand. I used a piece of wood between the monitor stand and tabletop to spread out the monitors' weight over a larger area. If you have a solid wood tabletop you may not need to do this. Adjust the monitors to a comfortable height.
Enjoy your new table! Take it easy at first so you don't get sore feet, but you'll notice that it gets easier after a week or two. Change positions often and take a rest or walk around when needed. It's all about changing positions frequently. You're now in the good company of Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Jefferson, and many more.