I Built a Standing Desk! (And Kicked a Limiting Belief to the Curb)
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I Built a Standing Desk! (And Kicked a Limiting Belief to the Curb)

Written by Emilie

Topics: Confidence, Work

About two months ago I hurt my neck.

It was silly, how it happened. I just slept in a funny position one night, and then BAM, excruciating pain. It lingered for weeks and wasn’t getting any better so I finally started seeing a chiropractor and physiotherapist.

My doc helped me feel better but told me that my neck wouldn’t properly heal unless I stopped doing the things that were preventing it from healing, namely, poor posture while using the computer.


It’s funny how it sometimes take a desperate situation to get you to take action and make a big change in your life. (Desperation or inspiration, that’s what Tony Robbins says, right?) I couldn’t work without my neck getting sore. Even a computer stand didn’t really help. It was awful.

Enter the Standing Desk

I’ve been hearing about standing desks for a while. They’re popular in the paleo community and people seem to have really good results with them. They run around $700 though, which is nuts! However, after finding this article, which teaches you how to build a standing desk out of Ikea furniture for $22, I decided to give it a try.

Now, I’ve never really thought of myself as a particularly “handy” person. I had never built anything before.

Although this project was relatively easy, there was something really empowering about it; just being able to say that I built something!

Take a look:


The best part? My neck doesn’t get sore anymore when I work!

Time to build more things or take a woodworking class? Maybe, just maybe…

Your Turn

Have you ever tried something that was way outside your comfort zone but gave you a real sense of empowerment?


  1. Allison says:

    Hey Emilie!

    After you talked about doing this during Puttython, I decided to make one too. Cost a grand total of €10, plus about a half an hour for assembly.

    Great idea, and it’s nice to not be sitting down all the time.

  2. Jenn Coyle says:

    Oh wow, I really want to try this out! I love those LACK tables from Ikea and I feel like I would really benefit from stacking my laptop and stand on top of the LACK table to finish my standing desk. (Right now, I sometimes just stand and hunch down to see my laptop on my counter-height desk.) Thanks for sharing your hack!

    • Emilie says:

      Totally! You should do it. It’s easy. Honestly, the hardest part was getting my act together to go to the Apple store and pick up the stand, keyboard and trackpad.

      Send me a photo when you build yours. :)

  3. I love it, Emilie! At first glance I thought that was an example picture of what the ones you can buy look like.

  4. Erin OK says:

    Hey Emily,
    I similarly hurt my back in september and was in excruciating pain for almost a month! Meanwhile I am studying to be a herbalist (one of my big interests I’m finally pursuing on a deeper level). . . so I just wanted to share a few things that helped me, in case they could help your neck if it keeps bugging you. . . the big one was vitamin and mineral intake. Hydration, electrolyte replenishment, multivitamins and especially calcium and magnesium, which are huge for muscle and joint pain. I made a tea with nettles, alfalfa, rose hips, oatstraw and blackberry (or raspberry) leaf, which provides alot of vitamins & minerals and helps keep you hydrated.

    Just thought I’d share in case any of that is useful to you!
    Way to go on the desk!

  5. Emilie says:

    Hey Erin,

    We have similar interests. I’ve been interested in naturopathic and functional medicine for a while and will likely be pursuing them in a more formal way soon too.

    I’m pretty on top of things with my supplement regiment. I have celiac disease and have been healing from that plus a few other things so I’m pretty good with my supplements. The tea is a great idea though, and hydration. I let that slide sometimes. Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. Cassie says:

    I can totally relate to this! When I moved to Houston, I brought only what would fit in my vehicle–so no furniture. I bought everything from IKEA when I got here, and since I didn’t know anyone in my new city, I put it all together myself (I was basically doing the splits trying to assemble my bed frame). Ironically, I was just thinking about this today–about how confident and powerful I felt in that phase of my life, when I’d moved myself across the country with no help, and had advanced my career (and doubled my salary!).

    My fiance takes care of so much for us these days, which I’m very thankful for…but I think I need to tackle something big again to remind myself of how much I’m really capable of. Luckily, I’ve got a few projects in the works that should do just that.

    Great post, Emilie!

  7. Jess says:

    Nice work! You’ve got me thinking about building my own now! =)

  8. Rob F. says:

    Yep! Just recently finished an eight week boot camp. It was as uncomfortable as all get out and I didn’t even want to do it in the first place (a family member asked me for a favour) but I’m glad I did; my posture has improved, I’m breathing a lot better and I have muscle tone, not to mention some new friends!

  9. Rob F. says:

    Also: Congrats on putting the standing desk together! I’ve been reading about them for a bit and yours is very neat!

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