Many of us are working from home and are doing our office work with our home budget. Fortunately, the basics of a good ergonomic setup isn’t expensive.
Besides, it pays to use much of what you already have, which makes it even more affordable.
Start with the desk you love (or have), then add a riser and a few components, and you’re off to a great start!
How to have a great standing desk on a budget
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Nexstand Laptop Stand
This is a good choice if you move your laptop around the house or write on the road a lot.
You can also see it above, because just because I have a sit/stand desk doesn’t mean my screen is high enough!
Pair this with an external keyboard and mouse, and you’ve got a great basic setup!
If you want to take it to the next level, add a standing desk or a sit/stand desk.
Standing Desk Riser
This setup allows you to use the desk you have and make it a sit/stand desk with the least cost.
I have this one, but in white. They come in several sizes and colors.
VIVO Black Height Adjustable 36 inch Stand up Desk Converter Quick Sit to Stand Tabletop Dual Monitor Riser
This can be great alone, but some monitors and laptops need to be raised up to eye level.
See options, below.
How to raise your screen to eye level
These options bring the screen up to eye level so you don’t get tech neck!
If you’re using an external monitor, then those typically go up and down on their own, so you might not need a stand. Personally, I like the swing arm for its easy adjustability.
Swing Arm for monitor or laptop (requires laptop holder, below if using with a laptop)
If you want to use the arm to hold your laptop you’ll need a tray or holder for it, like this one.
Laptop Holder (attaches to swing arm, above)
I like the one above because my laptop just lifts on and off vs having clamps or holders to keep in in there. I move around a lot…
Do you write in different places?
Another option is using a laptop stand, like the one below, which is what I started with.
I still love it and use it for travel and writing at the kitchen table!
Nexstand Laptop Stand
The Nexstand is a good choice if you move your laptop around the house or write on the road a lot, but remember that you’ll still need a keyboard and a mouse!
Keyboard and Mouse
If you have a desktop computer or USB keyboard and mouse, you don’t actually need Bluetooth versions.
However, if you use a laptop and want to move around a lot without disconnecting cables, then Bluetooth is a good addition.
This is the one I use. It switches between my phone, tablet, and computer by pressing the three yellow buttons at the top.
This is one of the best and most popular keyboards you’ll find. My buddy Kevin Tumlinson uses one to write his [over 50] books, too.
It works on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, and iPad.
Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard
This mouse is smooth and quiet, but any Bluetooth mouse will do.
Bluetooth Mouse – Slim, rechargeable, quiet
How about an adjustable stool instead of a chair?
I’m not a chair expert, but I was trained as a restorative exercise specialist, so I’m passionate about movement and ergonomics.
A perfect chair is only perfect for a short time, and can even leave you weaker than you’d be using a lesser chair.
I’d rather build a strong back and core, which means I’m not the biggest fan of chairs with a lot of support unless absolutely necessary. I’d rather build my strength vs letting the chair support me.
After trying a few stools and backless chairs, I went with a ‘wobble stool.’ Learniture calls this one an ‘active learning stool,’
Either way, this one keeps me moving more and I end up less sedentary.
It’s actually very stable, even when leaning with it.
On carpet or a non-slip surface, it sort of becomes a tripod along with your legs!
Learniture Active Learning Stool
My current budget ergonomic writing desk
Put all this stuff together and you’ve got my basic desk setup. None of the pieces are particularly pricey, most do double duty, and I love them all.
The stool wobbles, but gently. It’s very stable and super fun, too!
Start with the basics, and upgrade a bit at a time
This is my basic setup, but I’ll be updating things for my home office as things change. Or I do!