Many authors are on a budget or already have a desk they love, so there’s no need to start over from scratch to be more ergonomic.
For most, a standing desk riser and a few inexpensive accessories are a great place to start.
I was recently interviewed for Indie Author Magazine on the subject, so I’ll link in the PS at the bottom of this page.
Curious if an ergonomic laptop setup is right for you?
Even if you upgrade later, these three basics can be for home, travel, or writing in the other room!
And, you can see how you like it with that old USB keyboard and mouse you still have in the garage 😉
My budget ergonomic desk setup
Some of these are affiliate links, which help me support the site at no additional cost to you.
Anything is better than waiting until you can afford ‘perfect’
There’s no perfect, anyway, so start somewhere, now, and get better tools when you can afford it (or are convinced they are good for you).
Recommended Basic Desk Riser
I used to recommend the ones with bendable legs, like this one, but they tend to be wobbly.
This is the one I recommend now. It’s more stable, and it also has room for a mouse or cup of coffee. It’s also a lot easier to adjust vs the other kind!
It comes in two widths, and in black or white, too!
Ok, ready to take your sit/stand desk to the next level?
Even if you upgrade to the things below, you’ll still keep the one up above. It’s great for floor sitting, the bed, or doing some standup work on the deck when the weather is nice.
Ready to upgrade?
Standing Desk Riser
This setup allows you to use the desk you have and make it a proper (and easily adjusted) sit/stand desk with the least cost.
I have this one, but in white. They come in several sizes and colors.
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.
If you want to use the arm to hold your laptop you’ll need a tray or holder for it, like this one.
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.
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.
This mouse is smooth and quiet, but any Bluetooth mouse will do.
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!
Kneeling chairs are a great way to sit more upright
I’m a fan of switching around my seating, so also have a kneeling chair, and I switch between that and my stool every day or so.
The one I have is below, and in wood, but I got mine from a moving sale last year. I love it, but if I was going new, I’d choose something more modern to match my desk.
There are a lot of options available in metal, wood, and a variety of colors.
There are even kneeling chairs that rock, which can be great for you fidgeters out there!
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.
Start with what you have and add as you go.
Mix and match, write more, write better, and set yourself up to writer forever!
PS. Be sure to check out Indie Author Magazine’s article on standing desks in the link below.
Are Standing Desks Worth the Hype? — Indie Author Magazine