Set Up an Instant Standing Desk with iPad & Wireless Keyboard

Feb 27, 2013 - 1 Comment

Instant iPad standing desk

If you have an iPad and a wireless keyboard, you can instantly create yourself a simple standing desk setup!

Standing desks are becoming more and more popular as people realize just how detrimental it is to sit all day, but anyone who has looked into the significant expenses associated with buying a standing desk knows it’s not always the most realistic purchase.

So with all of this standing desk stuff in mind, that’s where Caleb D.’s excellent reader submitted trick comes in; sync up an iPad to a Bluetooth wireless keyboard to create an instant standing desk just about anywhere. It’s all about positioning the iPad in a place that accommodates your standing and that is at good eye level.

In Caleb’s case, he used a wall mounted bookshelf to rest the wireless keyboard on, and the iPad sits atop a cross bar that sits at a comfortable level.

The important thing to remember about standing desks (or any desk, for that matter) is to have the screen at eye level to prevent neck strain, and then have the keyboard at the same level of your arms. This is exactly why the iPad and a wireless keyboard make it so easy to setup a quick standing desk, because they’re both detached from one another yet synced together, you can set them virtually anywhere to get the desired ergonomics.

Standing desk ergonomics

Keeping in mind the various ways to mount iPads just about anywhere, you can get creative by using any of the following to stick the iPad to a wall or surface at eye level:

  • Smart Cover – utilize the strong magnets to attach the iPad to a metallic surface (probably not on a refrigerator though)
  • Velcro – attaching those cheap little adhesive strips to the back of the iPad plus a wall or other surface will adhere it surprisingly well to just about anything. Remember this video?
  • Suction Cups – many car mount kits use suction cups to attach the iPad to a window, but they will also work on smooth surface walls
  • Nails – it might not look great, but just about everyone has a couple nails and a hammer laying around that you could bang into a wall and rest an iPad on top of, not pretty but it’ll work in a pinch
  • Shelves – Just like the picture shown in this piece, a wall mounted shelf or shelving system work surprisingly well to hold an iPad and a wireless keyboard
  • iPad stand – Some iPad stands can be raised up and used on a swivel, allowing for a quick standing desk setup that is ergonomically friendly *

* You can also setup an easy iPad desktop workstation with an iPad stand and keyboard on a budget, though which stand you choose and how you set it up may determine if it’s ergonomically viable for you, and if it works in a standing desk configuration.

Don’t forget to learn the iPad navigation keyboard shortcuts too which work exclusively on external keyboards synced to the device. They will speed up your workflow dramatically on an iPad, letting you switch apps and navigate around the screen using just the keyboard and without tapping around the screen constantly. In fact there are tons of other keyboard shortcuts for iPad that can be explored for many apps, and learning those should help your iPad workflow but also improve a desk situation like those described here.

Get creative and find something that works for you. Even if you don’t use a standing desk all day, which can take quite a while to get used to, just using one for specified tasks like sending and replying to emails can be a great way to break the habit of sitting for prolonged periods.

We all know that sitting is bad, but work is typically a necessity. So stick that iPad (or even an iPhone if you don’t mind the tiniest workstation screen in the world) on your wall, on a shelf, on top of something, and get to work while standing!

Thanks to Caleb for sending this in, ergonomic image via Ergotron


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, Tips & Tricks

One Comment

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  1. Bluegrass says:

    This is a good post. One question I have is if there’s an external scrolling device available for the iPad other than a wireless keyboard. A wireless keyboard is quite bulky and often I just need to scroll through web pages or PDF documents. It is tedious to have to touch the screen to scroll, and the keyboard is overkill for simply that purpose.

    Does anyone know any? To my knowledge you can’t pair a mouse with an un-jailbroken iPad. I would like to do so to just use the scroll functionality. It would make working standing up a lot easier.

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