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Build the perfect standing desk workspace

The secret’s out: sitting all day is bad for your health, and if you spend most of your workday at a desk, it’s better to get a standing desk. Whether you’re looking to alleviate back pain, lower your risk of heart disease, or simply update your workspace, a standing desk is an easy investment to make in yourself and your career.

If you’re thinking about making the switch to a standing desk — or you just want to spruce up your existing standing desk — take some time to plan what you want your workstation to look like and everything you’ll need on it. Most standing desks are smaller than traditional desks, so it’s important to plan for making the most of limited space.

Ready to build your perfect standing desk workstation? Start with our list of workstation essentials to plan what you’ll need to keep handy, then check out the products we’ve picked for some of our our favorite setups.

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Not all standing desks include a motor for raising and lowering the surface. Some budget models have a hand-crank that you turn in order to adjust the desktop.

What you’ll need room for

Here are the basics you should plan on keeping on your standing desk.

  • A laptop is a must for using a standing desk — just make sure you get one that doesn’t take up too much space.

  • A laptop stand is ideal for making sure your eyes are level with the middle of the screen, which can go a long way towards reducing eye strain.

  • Depending on the screen size of your laptop, you may want to use an external monitor. Using an external monitor is a good way to get more screen real estate from your laptop.

  • Don’t forget the audio! Pick up a set of computer speakers to make sure your music and online meetings sound as good as they can.

  • Be good to your eyes: pick up a desk lamp to make sure there’s enough light on your workspace.

Our picks

Ready to build your perfect workspace? Check out our favorite builds.

For the minimalist

If you love the minimalist aesthetic, you’ll appreciate the gear that goes into this very “Zen” workspace.

  • Standing desk: We love the timeless looks of the JUMMICO Electric Standing Desk, no matter what color you choose.

  • Laptop: Apple’s ultra-thin laptop, the B08N5M7S6KMacBook Air, is a master class in simplicity.

  • Laptop stand: This Soundance model is both portable and ergonomic. 

  • Computer speakers: Creative Labs’ Pebble speakers complement Apple’s white-and-silver motif perfectly, and they produce remarkably clear audio.

  • Mouse: Apple’s own Magic Mouse is, not surprisingly, beautiful and easy to use.

  • Keyboard: Paring Apple’s Magic Mouse with their Magic Keyboard is an easy decision for any minimalist.

For the tech-obsessed

If you want a standing desk workstation, but need the top tech to go with it, you can’t go wrong with these cutting-edge components.

For the traveler

If you find yourself working from hotel rooms a lot, or having to create impromptu workspaces wherever you go, you can still enjoy the benefits of a standing desk. Here’s our setup for office road warriors.

  • Laptop: Dell has finally mastered the balance between portability and power with the XPS9360. It’s fast enough for any office work you can throw at it, and light enough that you won’t mind taking it everywhere you go.

  • Mouse: If you’re traveling with a mouse, you’ll need it to be durable, so a Logitech mouse is a safe bet. We love the M317 because it’s portable and about as “plug-and-play” as you can get.

  • Keyboard: Good travel keyboards can be hard to find, but Logitech’s Keys-to-Go Portable Keyboard is ready to go wherever you do. We love the Bluetooth connectivity, but the three-month battery is the real scene-stealer here.