Standing Desk Alternatives: What to Do if You Don’t Have a Standing Desk

A standing desk can be a great way to stay focused, alert, and productive while boosting health during the long work day.

However, if you don’t have one for whatever reason, then you may be wondering what you can do instead.

Several options can be great to do if you don’t have a standing desk.

This article covers:

  • Standing desk alternatives and their pros and cons
  • The benefits of standing desk alternatives
  • The downsides of standing desk alternatives

Let’s begin!

Standing Desk Alternatives: What to Do if You Don’t Have a Standing Desk

What are Standing Desk Alternatives?

A standing desk allows you to stand during the day while remaining comfortable and productive.

For those who don’t have a true standing desk, an alternative is simply something you can do to create your standing desk at home or in the office. 

While the options remain from easy and DIY to more complex, many offer some benefits.

However, there are also downsides to be aware of about standing desk alternatives.

Let’s look at the general pros and cons before looking at some of the specific alternatives that you may want to choose from.

What are the Benefits of Standing Desk Alternatives?

There are a few benefits to standing desks without having a standing desk.

While not every alternative offers every benefit, many of them provide all of the benefits we listed.

Not only are standing desk alternatives better for your health, but they are more affordable, more compact, and easier to use. 

Better for Health:

When compared to regular sitting desks, standing desks and standing desk alternatives are better for your health.

This is because they reduce sitting time and eliminate sedentary lifestyles, thereby burning more calories, using muscles, and allowing for good posture and natural positions. 

While research is still limited, some studies show the health benefits of standing desks.  

Not only is excessive sitting associated with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and premature death, but a lot of standing desk users also report better focus and productivity.

While it is best to move around throughout the day, using a standing desk alternative can be a great step toward more movement because you will already be on your feet throughout the hard work day. 


If you have a small office or work out of a cubicle, then you know that not all standing desks can even fit into your small space.

Alternatives on the other hand can offer the benefits of a standing desk without taking up any more space than your existing desk. 

If you work at home, this may also be preferable because you don’t have to haul desks in and out and can make better use of vertical space without extending horizontally.

However, we will admit that there are compact standing desk options. 

Read More >> How Hard Is it to Assemble a Standing Desk?


Standing desks, like any other type of desk, can be somewhat pricey. While there are affordable options, many of the alternatives are much cheaper.

Many of the alternative options are free or use items you already own! 

The best part about this is that you get to try out a standing desk alternative and see if it's right for you, without having to pay exorbitant amounts.

Then, if you do prefer the standing desk lifestyle, you can spend some money on a true standing desk with confidence. 

Easy to Use:

A lot of standing desks have complicated assemblies, but some of the alternatives are super simple to try out and add to your existing desk.

This can be great for those who are just looking to use a standing desk alternative temporarily or, as we mentioned above, try it out before spending money. 

What are the Downsides of Standing Desk Alternatives?

While there are certainly benefits to standing desk alternatives, there are also some downsides to keep in mind.

Let’s examine some of the biggest cons to keep in mind before selecting an alternative. 


A lot of standing desks are adjustable, which means you can boost health even more by alternating between sitting and standing regularly throughout the day.

Since this is the healthiest way to use your standing desk, the alternatives slack in this department because they are not likely to be adjustable, at least not without some work or rearranging. 

This is also a concern if you plan on sharing your standing desk alternative. When deciding on which alternative option is best for you, keep adjustability in mind. 

Improper Height:

Improper standing desk height can cause more problems than benefits because your body will not remain in a natural position that maintains the curvature of the spine and solidity of the neck.

Many standing desk alternatives do not have a specific height adjustment or option to ensure that you have the right height.

This causes similar problems to lack of adjustability and is something else you need to keep in mind if you want to avoid additional problems after using a standing desk or standing desk alternative. 

Read More >> Why is My Standing Desk Converter Hard to Raise or Lift?

Not Sturdy:

Standing desks are built to stay stable and sturdy while typing, writing, or even leaning. Many of the alternatives are not good for this and may wobble and shake while in use.

This can be frustrating and cause spilled coffee and other accidents.

Just keep this consideration in mind when deciding if you want to select a certain alternative option. 


A lot of standing desks are quite attractive and match certain aesthetics and some alternatives can also be beautiful, but others are more ugly.

They may not fit into your office and can stand out like a sore thumb. You can eliminate some of the choices if you don’t want the area to look trashy or unorganized. 

Standing Desk Alternatives: What to Do if You Don’t Have a Standing Desk

Standing Desk Alternatives

There are some great alternatives to standing desks that can allow you to stand while working, in meetings, or while doing anything else.

Let’s look at some of the options you may want to consider. 

Stacking Stuff:

While this may not be the best option, it is beneficial because it is super easy and affordable.

It may be hard to get it at the right height, but just stacking books, paper, cardboard boxes, and other assorted items can raise the surface of your desk.

Just place your computer on top and you are good to go. 

The problems with this option are that it can look tacky, be wobbly, and is a chore to adjust.

Still, it can be a good option to try out standing for a couple of days to see if you want to try out a more permanent desk. 


Bookshelves, whether freestanding or attached to a wall, can make better use of your vertical space than a true standing desk.

While they are not adjustable, they can be a great option because they also offer storage.

Plus, if you choose the right bookshelf, you can have a shelf at sitting height and one at standing height, which makes it easy to alternate throughout the day. 

Another benefit of this option is that they are attractive and can match your existing décor whether you want woodgrain, black, white, or some other design. 

Ironing Table:

This may not look very professional, but can be the right height for a keyboard.

However, we want to warn you that the screen may be a little too low, which can cause unnatural neck bending that can cause more problems than it’s worth.

For this reason, we do not recommend using an ironing table, but will admit that it is easy to use and you probably already own one!


Using a projector is possibly the best alternative.

 You may still have to raise your keyboard to match, but you can easily project your computer screen at the right height for standing.

Plus, it is easy to adjust the height of the projection as well as the size. 

This is even a great way to keep entire meetings standing or to project multiple computer screens in one area of a room.

Plus, it is entirely compact because it simply uses your wall space. 

Laptop Stands:

Adding a laptop stand on top of your desk has similar results as a standing desk converter.

They are compact, easy to use, and effective. Some options take up minimal desktop space as well as others that have additional features like wire management or adjustability.

They are also more affordable than converters or complete standing desks. 

Read More >> Best Compact Standing Desk Converters (2022 Review)

How to Stay Healthy Without a Standing Desk

If you want to get the health benefits of a standing desk without getting a standing desk, there are some things you can do.

First, during meetings or when you aren’t using a computer, stand anyway.

While it may not be as much time that you would stand with a standing desk, it is a good option for adding some standing time into your day. 

With or without a standing desk, it is important to walk and move around often. Take walks around your home or office during the day, after lunch, or take a long way.

You can also incorporate exercise into your daily work routine. Do some stretches after a meeting, sit-ups before lunch, jog in place, or do jumping jacks when possible. 

 Final Thoughts on Standing Desk Alternatives

There are several standing desk alternative options to choose from and they offer some good benefits to help you learn whether you want to invest in a standing desk or not.

However, there are certainly some downsides to keep in mind before choosing which alternative you want. Good luck!

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Darryl Higgins

Hi, I'm Darryl. I made this site to help share information & reviews about ergonomic desks, chairs & accessories to help others who want to work more comfortably. Learn more about my journey by reading my bio here. Enjoy!
Picture of Darryl Higgins

Darryl Higgins

Hi, I'm Darryl. I made this site to help share information & reviews about ergonomic desks, chairs & accessories to help others who want to work more comfortably. Learn more about my journey by reading my bio here. Enjoy!

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