So now I’ve got this wonderful DIY treadmill desk built from Craigslist and IKEA parts. Perfect! … Well, not quite perfect. I am constantly adjusting treadmill desk heights for computer components.
Adjusting the Monitor
Experts say that the top line of the screen is supposed to be near eye level. The laptop was far too low for my line of sight when it was directly on the desk. I had to keep my neck bent with my eyes down to use it. While I’m sure that my chiropractor would have loved getting fees to fix this constantly, I was not willing to deal with that pain in the neck (pun fully intended).
To combat this, I stacked a few games and put the laptop on top. (Runebound: Island of Dread, Runebound: Sands of Al-Kalim, and Apples to Apples Party Crate formed the stack… #justsaying). The screen was maybe a hair below eye level. The game stack was also narrow enough that I could reach beyond it to the treadmill controls.
Adjusting the Keyboard and Mouse
The experts also say that the keyboard should be positioned such that your shoulders are down and your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. With just the laptop on the table, I was reaching down pretty far to use keyboard and trackpad. Clearly, this called for more game boxes. I grabbed the USB keyboard to use instead of the integrated one. The keyboard sits on top of the Cards Against Humanity Bigger, Blacker Box. (Note: I have the older edition that came in the long, skinny box) I then used the Carcassone box to bring the mouse up to the right height. This provided enough support to keep everything on the desk stable, comfortable, and accessible.
Evolution of Adjustments
Just a few weeks ago, I decided to treat myself (and my eyes) to a snazzy new monitor. This requires the use of a monitor stand. The monitor is at the right height and the stand gives some additional spots to put desk stuff.
So now the setup is basically what you see below. The laptop sits under the monitor stand with all the stuff plugged into it. I keep it mostly closed so that I can reach through the stand to hit the treadmill controls. There are grippy pads under the sides of the monitor stand to keep it from sliding on the desk. It’s not perfect, but it also did not cost thousands of dollars.