How to Use a Standing Desk Converter – 3 Important Steps

Person using a standing desk converter

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Using a standing desk converter is an excellent way to reap the many health and productivity benefits of a standing desk, without having to invest in an entirely new desk setup. Standing desk converters (also called sit-stand converters or desktop risers) are height-adjustable platforms that sit on top of your existing desk, allowing you to seamlessly transition between sitting and standing throughout your workday.

With obesity, back pain, and other health issues on the rise due to increasingly sedentary lifestyles, using a standing desk converter is a simple and affordable way to get on your feet while working.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to successfully set up and use your new standing desk converter. From proper placement and adjustment for ergonomics to tips for building healthy movement into your routine.

Key Takeaways

  • Secure Placement is Crucial: Ensure your desk can support the converter’s weight and that it’s positioned stably with all corners supported. Lock any wheels and utilize non-slip pads if available.
  • Ergonomic Setup for Health: Adjust your monitor, keyboard, and mouse for ergonomic comfort. Monitor in your normal line of sight and about 20 to 30 inches away from you, keyboard and mouse at elbow height, and use forearm support, if possible, to reduce strain.
  • Balance Sitting and Standing: Alternate between sitting and standing every 30 minutes to avoid discomfort and maximize health benefits. Start slowly if you’re new to standing desks.
  • Incorporate Movement: Add stretching, walking, or standing desk exercises to your routine to boost circulation and muscle strength. A movement and exercise break of 5-10 minutes every hour is recommended.
  • Select Suitable Accessories: You can enhance your setup with a monitor arm, an ergonomic keyboard, cable management solutions, and an anti-fatigue mat for increased comfort and productivity.
  • Listen to Your Body: Adjust your standing and sitting intervals based on how you feel. Stay hydrated and always react to any of your body’s signals.

1. Setting Up Your Standing Desk Converter

Use of a standing desk converter in standing and sitting position

Secure Placement on The Desk

When setting up your standing desk converter, first make sure your existing desk or table can safely hold the weight by checking the product specs and stability. Carefully place the converter in position, ensuring all four corners are fully supported.

If your converter includes locking wheels, be sure to lock them in place once positioned to prevent the unit from shifting during use. Some desktop risers also have non-slip pads or rubber feet to grip the surface below.

Placing Your Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse

Once your standing desk converter is securely in place, the next step is positioning your computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Most converters offer two levels – one for the monitor, and a lower platform for the keyboard and mouse. Some allow you to adjust the lower platform.

First of all, you simply have to securely place them there and in the next step, we will explain how to adjust their placements for ergonomic positioning.

Adjusting Height and Distance for Ergonomic Positioning

A key benefit of using a standing desk converter is the ability to adjust the height and distance of your workstation to achieve proper ergonomic positioning, whether sitting or standing. This helps reduce neck, shoulder and back pain caused by poor posture.

Here is a quick checklist:

  • Monitor Height: Make sure your monitor is in your normal line of sight. This means you should position your monitor so you can comfortably view it with a slight downward gaze (around 10-15 degrees). This prevents you from tilting your head up or down, which can lead to neck strain. 

  • Monitor Distance: Place your monitor about an arm’s length away, roughly 20 to 30 inches from your eyes. This distance helps reduce eye strain and ensures you can comfortably view the entire screen without squinting.

  • Keyboard Tray Depth: Adjust the desk height so that when you’re standing, your elbows are at a 90-100-degree angle when typing. This means your arms should rest comfortably at your sides, with your hands at or just below elbow level.

  • Keyboard and Mouse Placement: Keep your keyboard and mouse on the same level and close enough so you can use them comfortably with your shoulders relaxed and your elbows bent at 90-100 degrees. Your wrists should be straight while typing or using the mouse.

Be sure to take some time finding your ideal ergonomic setup. Fine tune the converter height, keyboard tray depth, and monitor distance as needed. 

2. Optimizing Your Standing Desk Converter Routine

Person making use of a standing desk converter

Balancing Sitting and Standing for Maximum Health Benefits

While using your standing desk converter, be sure to alternate between sitting and standing. Avoid prolonged static positions, which can cause discomfort. Many experts recommend alternating between sitting and standing every 30 minutes, which translates to a 1:1 sit-stand ratio. If you are a beginner, start with around 10 minutes of standing every hour and gradually work your way up.

Set a reminder to prompt you to change positions. Prioritize listening to your body as well – shift positions whenever you start feeling fatigue. Building more movement into your routine leads to increased energy, productivity, and well-being.

Incorporating Movement and Stretching into Your Routine

In addition to alternating between sitting and standing, also be sure to incorporate more movement and stretching into your workday routine. Experts recommend taking a break of 5-10 minutes every hour. Here are some simple ways to avoid too much inactivity while using your converter:

  • Perform standing desk exercises like shoulder rolls, torso twists and march in place.
  • Stretch your hips, legs and back muscles between tasks.
  • Simply walking also helps.
  • Use a balance board while working.


Adding more physical activity to your day will boost circulation, strengthen muscles, and give your body and brain a much needed break from work.

3. Selecting Accessories for Enhanced Comfort and Productivity

To further customize your standing desk converter for maximum ergonomics and productivity, consider adding accessories like:

  • Monitor arms to independently adjust screen height.
  • Ergonomic keyboards and mice to reduce wrist strain.
  • Cable management trays and cable clips to reduce clutter.
  • Anti-fatigue mats to ease pressure points when standing.
  • Laptop stands and document holders for optimal viewing angles.


Be sure to measure the dimensions of your converter’s surface area prior to purchasing any accessories to ensure everything will fit. This allows you to create a truly custom and functional workspace tailored to your needs.


From the initial setup to building healthy habits around use, follow this comprehensive guide to successfully transform your workspace with a standing desk converter. Allow yourself time to fully adjust to alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day. Listen to your body, stay adequately hydrated, and incorporate more movement and stretching to reap the most rewards.

The benefits of giving yourself the choice to stand while working are immense. Improved mood, energy, productivity, ergonomics, and reducing health risks are just some of the upside. Commit to long-term use of your desktop riser to experience the full impact. Your body and mind will thank you!


1. How do I set up my first standing desk converter on top of my existing desk?

To set up your standing desk converter, carefully remove it from the packaging and place it on top of your existing desk. Ensure there’s enough space on the desktop for the converter and that it’s placed securely. Most converters are ready to use immediately, though some may require minor assembly such as adding a keyboard tray. Once in place, you can adjust the height to your ergonomic comfort for either sitting or standing.

2. What are the key features to look for in a standing desk converter?

When selecting a standing desk converter, key features to consider include adjustability to ensure it fits your ergonomic needs, a large surface area to accommodate your monitor, laptop, and other essentials, stability to safely hold your workspace items without wobbling, and ease of use such as an electric motor for smooth height adjustments. Also, consider the size to ensure it fits well on your current desk.

3. Can I use a standing desk converter with dual monitors?

Yes, many standing desk converters are designed to support dual monitors. It’s important to check the product specifications for the maximum weight capacity and surface area to ensure it can accommodate your setup. Some converters come with or offer compatible accessories like dual monitor arms for better ergonomics and more effective use of workspace.

4. Is a standing desk converter even worth it?

Whether a standing desk converter is worth it or not depends on your personal situation. If you are someone who wants the health benefits of a standing desk without having to buy one, you should probably choose a standing desk converter because they are usually cheaper, easier to assemble, and much more compact.