For more than a decade, we’ve known about the positive impacts that movement can have on our work, from improving our health and relieving pain, to providing the energy we need to find our most productive workflow.
Standing desks are a great contributor to a healthy workspace, allowing you to move and change positions easily. People who work at standing desks testify to feeling much better than they ever did sitting down long hours in a row.
Standing desks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, heights, styles, and functionalities to suit different workspaces and worker needs. Oh, and budgets too. Generally speaking we recommend looking for commercial grade furniture that is sturdier with longer warranty coverage.
Ultimately, there are five basic categories of standing desks. Let’s take a look at each of them.
The fixed height desk
This is a type of standing desk built to a specific height. It is the simplest design, but you will need to find the one that will fit your height. You should be able to comfortably rest your elbows atop it on a 90 degree angle. However bear in mind that standing for long hours will generate other sorts of health problems, therefore we recommend pairing it with a high chair or stool for your comfort.Pros & Cons
+ Simple & affordable
- Requires investing in a high chair or stool
- May be difficult to find one at your required ergonomic height
The height adjustable desk
The height adjustable desk solves the problem we have as a result of being taller or shorter than the standard available heights of the fixed type, but more importantly allows you to switch between sitting and standing. Changing position as often as possible is really what will help you stay healthy and productive. They come in electric, pneumatic or crank versions and have been THE preferred designs for many health-conscious desk workers in the last decade.Pros & Cons
+ Offers more position: sitting, standing or half way on a stool
+ The whole worksurface is following your working position
- Takes the space of a new desk or replaces your current desk
- Can be pricier than a standard desk
If you are looking for a simple and efficient way to stand at your current workspace, may it be your designer desk or kitchen table, you may consider acquire a desk converter (also called desk riser). Typically easy to assemble and semi portable, you are ready to go in minutes and can put is away when you are done.Pros & Cons
+ Compact & more affordable solution
+ Can be stored away
- Less stable than a full desk
- Work surface is smaller while standing
The Monitor Arm
Another way you can turn a conventional desk into standing desk is by clamping onto it an adaptor that holds your computer’s monitor and possibly also your keyboard. The monitor arm positions your screen at standing eye-level, sparing you from the posture-wrecking necessity of tilting your head down to look at the display while you’re on your feet.Pros & Cons
+ Compact & more affordable solution
- On some designs the screen is too close to you
- Often unstable
- Limited work surface while standing
The Ultra Mobile Desk
Lastly, we come to the portable, remarkably versatile, ultra mobile standing desk. It’s designed to give you a fun alternative to your current setup or to accompany you on your travels. The ultra mobile has no legs but is instead outfitted with suction cups that let you almost effortlessly anchor it to a window or glass wall and then just as easily detach it when you want to put it someplace else or stow it away for another day.Pros & Cons
+ Compact, multi-use, portable & affordable
+ Fun addition to an existing setup to increase movement
- Small work surface
Upgrading to a sit to stand solution is an investment in your health and wellbeing. The desk is not a silver bullet though, as it will still be on you to be disciplined enough to induce movement as much as possible to get that healthy blood flow going. Switching from sitting to standing and back every 45 minutes is the recommendation, as standing for long hours will come with negative effects as well.