13 Best Standing Desks (Review) in 2021
You’ve heard of the phenomenon, you’ve seen the reports. Standing desks are on the rise, and as always, Gear Hungry is on the forefront of developing technology and consumer products (can you imagine what our warehouse looks like by now?)
We’ve tested out some stellar standing desks, and came here to report it all to you. There’s a lot more going on than people give this trend credit for, and it’s one that could (and should) absolutely be around to stay. From the guide to the goods, we’ve got a laundry list of epicness waiting for you.
The Best Standing Desk
We all know the benefits of standing desks by now. But what if you’re happy with your current desk? You might have spent a ton of money on a new desk before you heard about standing desks and now you’re stuck with it. Well, not necessarily. Without breaking the bank, you can buy the VIVO Black Height Adjustable Stand-up Desk Converter and turn your current desk into a standing desk. It sits on top of your desk and adjusts from 6.5” to 17”, with the help of two pneumatic springs.
The most impressive thing about this stand-up desk converter is how easy it is to adjust. You just grab either side of the desktop and lift it into the position you want. It’s that simple. Made from high-quality steel, it feels completely solid, which is important because you’re probably going to have some expensive gear sitting on top of it. We also like the fact that there’s plenty of space to work. The desktop measures 36” x 22” and it has a 10” accessory tray underneath to hold your keyboard and mouse. If you’re looking for an affordable way to modify your desk into a standing desk, this is the product for you. You may also be interested in some of these cool DJ laptop stands from our list. Check them out.
Dual pneumatic springs
36” x 22” desktop
10” accessory tray
Adjusts from 6.5” to 17”
Made from high-quality steel
Three-year manufacturer warranty
- Weight42.4 pounds
The Flexispot Standing Desk is one of the best standing desks on the market. It’s both affordable and really high-quality, which makes it a hit with consumers. We’ll start off this review by acknowledging that this is a no-frills desk. It’s not going to win any design awards and the desktop isn’t massive (48” x 30”) but it’s still big enough to fit a couple of monitors and a keyboard. So, if you’re looking for your ‘forever’ desk, maybe this isn’t the one you’d choose.
Powered by an electric motor and controlled by a simple up/down button system, this desk lifts from 28” to 47.6” high at a speed of 1” per second. We were really impressed with this adjustment system, which is one of the main reasons the Flexispot Standing Desk earned a place on this list. We were also impressed by how sturdy the desk is. With an industrial-grade steel frame and a solid desktop made from laminated fiber, it should come as no surprise that this desk is stable. If you’re looking for an entry-level standing desk, you won’t find much better than this. If you still prefer using a chair, be sure to combine it with some of the best desk chair mats for carpet.
Desktop dimensions – 48” x 30”
Electric height adjustment
Adjusts from 28” to 47.6”
Industrial-grade steel frame
Solid laminated fiber desktop
- Weight102.8 pounds
SHW has taken it to the next level with this large SHW 55-Inch Electric Height Adjustable L-Shaped Desk. The first thing you’ll notice about it is the size – it measures 55″ x 34.5” x 28.45″ and is L-shaped making it suitable for both gamers and office workers. Even with two large monitors and a laptop on it, there’s plenty of space still.
The second thing you’ll notice is the control panel on the left of the desk. It has up/ down controls and the numbers one to four. This control panel allows you to adjust the desk from 28” to 45” and save four heights, allowing the desk to automatically adjust to the right height. This feature is ingenious because it takes all of the guesswork about finding the perfect position for you and anyone else using the desk. Made from high-grade industrial steel, the frame feels very stable. Plus, on the bottom of the legs, there are four screw-in leveling glides to help you get the desktop completely level. We also like the fact that it comes with holes and a basket to help you organize your cables.
Made from high-grade industrial steel
Electric lift system
Adjusts from 28” to 45”
Desktop dimensions – 55″ x 34.5” x 28.45″
Available in three colors
- Weight79.6 pounds
The Vari Electric Standing Desk 60 is one of the highest-quality adjustable desks on the market. The desktop is made from solid laminate and is finished to look like real reclaimed wood, giving it that industrial vibe that looks perfect in a modern office setting. You can get it in a bunch of different colors but the reclaimed wood finish is our favorite.
The desktop sits on an industrial-grade steel frame with a stability crossbar making it completely stable. If assembled correctly, you won’t feel any movement. You can adjust the height from 25.5” to 50.5” and save three of your preferred heights. Another thing we noticed about this desk is how smooth the movement is – you can tell they’ve used a high-quality electric motor to lift the desktop up and down. That’s important because it means your coffee isn’t going to spill when you’re adjusting the height. Another feature is the cable management system at the back of the desk. This makes it easier to keep your cables tidy and out-of-sight, allowing you to get on with your work. Vari provides a 30-day risk-free guarantee, which gives you time to try the desk out. Plus, if you’re not completely convinced by the quality, they provide a five-year warranty on top of that.
Solid laminate desktop
Industrial-grade steel frame with the crossbar
Smooth electric lift system
Adjusts from 25.5” to 50.5”
Desktop dimensions – 60” x 30”
Available in four colors
- Weight83 pounds
Apex didn’t enter this race assuming it was a beauty contest; the all-steel pale white desk may not look like much on the outside, but it packs a punch (and is also available in nine different designs). Under the hood, you have an electronic control lift for simple movements, activating the dual motors housed within this unit. With a 60” workstation, you’ll be able to achieve far more than you did before, especially if you read on through our guide to the ideal setup for your standing desk. Most standing desks take up to ninety minutes to construct, but this one clocked in at just under an hour; there’s no frills, no eccentric accessories, just a stellar desk.
If you want to rock three monitors and a bunch of lead (we don’t know why you’d want to do this, but it’s your life), you’re ready to rock; Apex holds up to 225lbs of weight, which also includes the pressure applied when you lean on it with your elbows. The ergonomic design makes this easy to slide back over towards, like fitting in a glove. Standing here feels good, it does good for your body, and gives you the increased energy and mobility you’ve been after; Apex made it easy. Be sure to also check out our list of the best laptop stands for more great items like this.
Solid MDF desktop
Heavy-duty steel frame
Smooth electric lift system
Adjusts from 29” to 48”
Desktop dimensions – 60” x 29.5”
Available in four colors
- Weight151 pounds
Everything looks better in hardwood (except Station Wagons), especially when it comes from one of the most durable standing desk brands in the business. Their Pro desk converter series allows you to plop this on your preexisting desk for a fraction of the cost that full desks cost, albeit with a little less space. One thing we loved about Varidesk’s design is the ability to immerse yourself in the workspace, and focus on the things that matter without the distractions of the office, or your crazy home life. These come ready to go right out of the box, giving you a total hands-free, zero minutes spent assembly process.
Apart from all that awesomeness, you also get a two-tiered design, giving you space for your wireless keyboard and mouse (with plenty of elbow room, by the way), and a separate plateau for your monitors. When you go from sitting to standing, it’s like popping up into a more productive version of yourself, one that’s far more focused on work, getting things done, and exceeding their goals. To add an observational feat to the mix, Amazon’s community has submitted nearly 1,500 reviews, holding one of the highest ratings of any product we’ve ever seen.
Dual pneumatic springs
36” x 22” desktop
10” accessory tray
Adjusts from 6.5” to 17”
Made from high-quality steel
Three-year manufacturer warranty
- Weight62.7 pounds
Trying to get that healthy body on a budget? VIVO’s got you covered. We had to double back and check again when we saw this price, and were doubly thrilled when it stood up to the quality test. This desk offers 37.5lbs of weight capacity, which isn’t much, but given the space you’re not likely to be storing a lot of items on it that will crowd out and weigh down your space. You get two tiers, one of which is for your keyboard, all resting on a gas spring riser to lift up quicker than leading standing desk models. This does come with the option to replace that with an electric lifter, if you’d fancy, though it’s going to cost you a bit more.
One of our main criteria for the top of this list was seeing if these could be assembled under the guideline of ninety minutes. Most standing desks take about that long, but this one only took a little under seventy minutes to build, making it an invested process, but one that’s well worth it. Sit to stand, rest and relax in a luxury chair, or use it as part of a larger workstation display (see guide below); the choice is yours, but VIVO makes that choice a hell of a lot easier.
Spacious riser desk setup with two tiers providing ample working space
High quality build with adjustable height from 6.5” to 16” for seated to standing positions
Minimal assembly required so almost ready to use straight out of the box
Innovation simple touch height locking mechanism
- Weight52 pounds
This VIVO standing desk is what’s known as a workstation converter in that it needs to be used in conjunction with an existing office desk. It’s a versatile and flexible, incredibly portable solution too, that can instantly transform any workstation into both a seating and standing one. The ultra-slim design is attractive and contemporary looking and features innovative touch heigh locking mechanism taking the desktop from a position of 1” up to 15”. It’s incredibly space-efficient with a small footprint while still being practical enough to accommodate most sized monitor, laptop and keyboard setups. With a lift system, you can easily elevate your workstation with minimal effort and no disruption to your working day. It comes pre-assembled and ready to use in literally seconds and allows the end-user to alternate at their leisure between a seated and standing working position which promotes significant health benefits and is recognized for boosting energy and reducing user fatigue.
Fully adjustable sit to stand workstation setup
Innovative touch heigh locking mechanism
No assembly required is ready to use straight out of the box
Space efficient workstation with ample room to accommodate most setups
- Weight27 pounds
Back on the side of full desks, this adjustable desk by Stand Up Desk Store (no points on originality for a company name) gives you more than enough weight and power to get everything done in the work day, sporting a 180lb user-tested maximum weight. The desk comes in at 48” with a black metal frame, and casters along the bottom to make your workstation mobile should you need to. Whether you have two monitors or too many papers to go through, this will stand up to the test (horrible pun, I know).
We’re a big fan of the two-tiered designs to make it more ergonomic, as well as the adjustment range of 14” up or down for this desk. It’s straightforward, takes about seventy-five minutes to assemble, and comes in at the perfect medium between our top pick and some of the more cost-friendly ones. If you’re sick of sitting and want a little pep in your step, you’re wise to start here and get in the swing of things.
Two spacious, ergonomic tiers for even more convenient working space
High quality build steel frame with seamless smooth crank adjustment
Mobile workspace features caster wheels for smooth portability
Takes you from a seated to a standing position in under one minute
- BrandStand Up Desk Store
- Weight88 pounds
The most functional and awesome-looking piece of desk-based engineering that’s ever come our way, Made of super durable bamboo and sporting a weight capacity of 350lbs, this baby is built to last. If you’re getting this for personal use in your home, you’ll be pleased to know the electric motor is as quiet as can be, and allows this desk to adjust from a child-friendly height, up to a comfortable standing position for a 6’7” adult. As if that weren’t enough, you also get the option of ergonomic or rectangular for the desk plate, and it comes in up to seven different sizes.
To make reigning champ on one of our lists, you have to have as many attributes as possible that make you a “package deal,” and Jarvis brought their gloves to the fight. For everything you get, this is beyond fairly priced, and even grants you a frustration-free assembly process. The only tough time you’ll have is when you get to the programmable LED electronic lift, and compared to others, that’s still a breeze to throw together. From materials to options, plus free shipping from Fully.com, we couldn’t help but pop the crown on top of Jarvis’ head. This also makes a great gift for designers in your life.
Bamboo desk plate
Lifting capacity of up to 350lbs
Available in rectangular and ergonomic shapes
Comes in seven different sizes
Simple assembly takes just forty-five minutes
- ModelBamboo Standing Desk
- Weight16 lbs – 63 lbs
We break into the second tier of our list with a desk that’s anything but ordinary. If you’re using two monitors (and you really should be using at least two of them), you’ll be beyond happy to pop this little number at your pre-existing desk space. Rosewell Dual Monitor Standing Desk is fitted for two monitors, each with a 13”-24” diameter range and 11lb capacity (each), you’re basically buying a setup with a desk attached. You get plenty of space for the essential keyboard and mouse, plus a bit of extra room to store papers and other work-related mumbo jumbo on.
You have a very, very easy assembly process; the most difficult part is configuring the gas spring, which operates the height adjustability of the desk. You get a hidden cable management system, so you’re not seeing crazy wires all over the place, and a killer price that, at the time of writing this, was the absolute lowest initial cost on our list. Bonus if you’re an Amazon Prime member; you don’t have to wait 2-3 weeks for a full-sized desk. You can have this in a couple of days.
Has the perfect environment for two 13”-24” monitors side-by-side
Hidden cable management system
Gas spring loaded
Monitors can adjust up to 15 degrees either way; stand does a 360 swivel
Almost no assembly required
- Weight34.6 pounds
We’re winding down on the list, but we’re nowhere near finished pulling out all the stops. First and foremost, Varidesk threw in a little bonus package if you go with their newest model, the Pro Plus 3: you get PowerHub, which is normally a $45.00 value. Apart from the add-on, the desk itself fires on all cylinders. You can adjust this bad boy up to 18.75”, making it optimal up to 6’8” (depending on the size of your starting desk), as well as a quiet motor that doesn’t stir the sleeping family when you try to adjust it.
Cable management is key; some of the best keyboards for work are USB corded, but the last thing you want is a bunch of wires running all over your desk, making it a conduit instead of an actual workspace. That’s why they created a cable management system to take all the guesswork out of it, allowing you to optimize your workflow. Varidesk is notorious for being ready right out of the box, meaning you could grab this and have it by Monday morning, all nice and ready for work. Make sure you also check our guide to the best home office desks.
Includes PowerHub (which is normally a $45.00 value)
Cable management built into the keyboard tray
Adjustable up to 18.75”
Plug-and-play; it’s ready right out of the box
Quiet operation from the adjustment motor
Similar to our top pick, Uplift made a bamboo work station with a 1” thick panel, and a hybrid motor that’s both 33% faster than leading competitors, and fairly quiet for offering such a bonus. One thing we loved about this one was the adjustment range of 25.75”, giving you a wide array of options, whether you’re tall as hell or your kids want to use it for homework. If you’re not crazy about the idea of constantly adjusting it, don’t worry: it comes with a keypad for quick control, giving you complete and utter command over your desk.
If you’re not crazy about the rectangular shape, Uplift also offers a curved carbonized bamboo top to make it more ergonomic in the options under the product’s sales page. They bring all the work home to their warehouse in Houston, Texas, allowing you to pump cash straight back into the American economy. Dependable, high-quality components, and an easy-going assembly process: what more could you ask for?
1” thick pure bamboo desk panel
Adjusts up to 25.75” at any time
Low-draw control box
One-touch adjustments with keypad
Comes in standard and curved design
- ModelBamboo Stand Up
Standing Desk Buying Guide and FAQs
How We Chose Our Selection of Standing Desks
We went for a blend of comfort, and function. You can’t really knock a lot of these brands; they’re testing the waters, in a way. But then, there are those who tested, and tested and made sure they got it right before the little piggy went to market. We looked at the following criteria to figure out exactly where our top ten standing desks would come from:
- Maximum Height
- Ease of Adjustments
- Desk Panel Material
- Warranty Information
- Stand/Leg Construction
- Weight Capacity
- Desk Space
- Ergonomic Design
- Comfort While Using
We did the testing for you, so you can sit back and choose your favorite desk, knowing that we’ve taken the necessary data and firsthand experiences into account.
What to Look For in a Standing Desk
Everyone is going to have a slightly different display than the guy next to him. Some desks are going to be right up your alley, while others may not fit your criteria. This is what you should be looking for in a standing desk:
Enough Weight Capacity - Many of us rock the triple monitor display to get in our maximum effectivity at work. For some guys, they’re just using a laptop with a detachable keyboard and mouse. Whatever your setup is, you need to have the right weight capacity to host your items, hold new items that come in (coworker’s laptop, files, items), as well as your weight from leaning on them, which, even though our mothers always told us it was rude, we all do to some extent.
Good Surface Space - Like we said before, triple monitors are a big thing for productivity, but what good are they if your desk can barely fit them, and nothing else? This also comes down to the size of your actual monitors, but having enough surface space to host them, a keyboard, tablet stand, etc., is crucial. You don’t want your effectivity efforts to go to waste with not enough space.
Construction Quality - This counts for both the materials that comprise the desk and how well you can put them together. Most of these desks are very straightforward when it comes to construction; you’ll only encounter longer build times when you put mechanical/electric switches into the mix.
Max Desk Height - If you’re a guy that frequently has to put up with, “You’re tall,” to start a conversation, then we feel for you. It also means you’re the guy who constantly runs into the issue of certain things being too short. Desk height is something that’s not to be overlooked.
Types of Standing Desks
Rolling Standing Desks - We don’t want to give you flashbacks to every doctor appointment ever, but think about it: they’ve been using standing desks for ages. The people we look to when it comes to governing our health. These are generally on casters, and come with a nice station to slide out and provide keyboard and mouse access. If you’re in an environment that’s not just plain Jane, and you have things constantly moving in and out of the space, these can come in real handy to make room.
Exercise Desks - That’s right; if standing isn’t enough for you, why not hit the treadmill on top of it? Combined with a few different tiers of desk panels, you get a low key treadmill to walk on while you perform your daily tasks. If you’re serious about getting in shape wherever you are, this is an option to consider.
Sit-to-Stand Desks - You’re going to have that day where you look at your standing desk and say, “I just want to sit down already.” Well, with these, you can do that. The entire desk is adjustable and pops-up on a sliding track to lift up to your height level, but can also go back down if you feel the need to take a load off.
Panel Lift Desks - These are sort of two-in-one conversion type desks. These rest on top of your stationary desk, and help you rise up to the perfect height level. It’s the optimal choice for those who can’t afford a brand new standing desk, but still want to reap all the rewards (which we’ll be talking about in just a minute).
Electric Lift Desks - Some desks come with electronic controls mounted just beneath the desk panel itself, allowing you to just touch a button, and make adjustments without any intricate involvement. Unfortunately, these do come with a bit of noise attached to them, between 41-72 decibels, depending on brand. That’s around the same as a loud conversation, all the way up to a blender going off.
Additional Items We Recommend With Standing Desks
If you’re all about having the ultimate workstation, a standing desk may only be the tip of the iceberg for you. We’ve included items that we’ve personally used with standing desks that either enhance the performance, help free up space, or just make the workspace more immersive no matter what.
Some desks just aren’t going to come with enough space, but if every other criteria fits you really, really well, then you can make adjustments. We use the Fleximounts monitor mounting system; it’s good for 10” up to 27” of screen size, so long as you’re not rocking a 1998 bulky bastard. It comes with a few cable management channels, and three different versions of the same product if you need more monitor hookups, or a sturdy stand to go along with it. Free up space, and keep your workflow at peak performance.
We’re advocating that standing is better for your health than sitting, but damn if it isn’t harder on your feet. Dr. Scholls gives us all 1997 TV commercial flashbacks, and they also give maximum comfort and support to prevent sore heels, aching arches, and as a result, leg muscle fatigue.
We’re going to get into our ideal standing desk setup in a minute, and it includes having ample access to your USB needs, while also leaving plenty of space on your desk so it doesn’t get cluttered. This one takes a while to ship, but you get 22” of cable to run from your desk, to wherever you’re housing your computer tower. This is especially helpful if you live in a collaborative environment, and you have coworkers stopping at your desk for a few minutes. Gone are the days where they rummage through your junk to find a USB access port.
Your setup might be further away from you, which is going to make it a bit of a pain to try and listen to everything in your workload when there’s a dozen coworkers buzzing around, creating background chatter. This soundbar is wired, so you’re not going to have to try and charge half-a-dozen items just to keep your setup going, and works wonders to add that immersive element to your workstation.
No matter what type of desk you go with, you’re still going to be standing, and comfort is absolutely paramount to maintaining a happy and productive work environment. If you’re not a fan of insoles in your shoes, it could be a great alternative. As an added bonus, it comes with slip resistance.
Standing Desk FAQ
Q: What’s the Ideal Standing Desk Setup?
A: One thing that people don’t often think of, is that you’re going to be in a completely adjustable environment, and it’s going to affect how the rest of your setup operates. This is subjective, but in our humble pinions as total gear lovers, this is the ideal way to set up your standing desk, and why.
- Keep knick knacks off your desk. If you have a photo of the family or something else you treasure, find a way to either affix it, or keep it somewhere that’s a bit safer. Standing desks have a tiny bit of wobble compared to traditional solid desks.
- Try to only keep your mouse, keyboard, mouse pad, and USB charging station on the desk. You’re going to encounter files, items and coworkers throughout your day, some of which is going to pile up on the corner of your desk. We understand thriving in chaos, but your desk should be as clutter-free as possible at all time.
- You should either have insoles or a mat at your feet to reduce leg tension, and keep you nice and level. A lot of Americans have leg length discrepancy, which adds to back pain and muscle aching. Nip this in the bud with the right accommodations to standing.
Q: Why Should I Use a Standing Desk?
A: We’re about to outline some of the major health benefits to it, but apart from those, you can’t deny that a body in motion stays in motion. If you’ve ever felt that 3:00 PM fade at work (made famously funny by this old Robert Goulet ad), you’re not alone; your energy dips. Standing throughout the day disperses energy more evenly, and not feel like a zombie when it’s time to clock out and go home.
Q: What Are the Health Benefits of Standing Desks?
A: For one, you can experience improved cardiovascular function solely by being in an upright position. Many Americans have a lot of back problems, most of which can be rooted to sedentary positions at work, particularly when you’re sitting for forty hours a week for years on end. We slouch in our office chairs, we constrict blood flow and interrupt our system.
You’ll stave-off weight gain instead of packing on the pounds. Standing before and after you break for lunch, even if you’re doing desk work all day, will allow your body to regulate your digestive system. Gravity plays a big part in it, and if you’ve already got a few extra pounds on, those pounds are weighing down on your internal organs while you’re squished in a chair. Improved digestion means less irritation, and less sticking around your midsection.
If you’re already diabetic, you could lower blood sugar levels to help regulate your insulin resistance and/or production. One of the most confusing things about being diabetic is that everything appears to be bad for you, but keeping your body in motion, even if it’s just upright, will keep everything on the inside in tip-top shape.
If you’ve ever considered yourself at-risk for heart disease, you may opt for a standing desk just yet. According to Healthline, a study showed that bus drivers who stand for the majority of the day, are less at-risk for heart disease than their colleagues, by a landslide number. Prolonged sedentary time boosts your chances for heart disease; nobody has ever said, “Quick, get off your feet or you’ll get heart disease,” now have they?
We talked about office chairs earlier. Using a standing desk has been proven to reduce back pain and fatigue in general. Back pain strikes so many Americans each and every day, but part of it is due to the fact that we’re too comfortable, and our posture begins to suffer for it. Then we’re contorting our back, adding little pillows or headrests to get it just right, when we should really be standing instead.
Q: How Many Calories Do You Burn Standing vs Sitting?
A: There’s a lot of studies going on, since the standing desk craze is still relatively new. According to Livestrong, you can burn up to 114 calories per hour. In an eight hour workday, that’s going to yield just over 900 calories burned throughout the day. As time goes on, you may burn fewer calories if you’ve built up substantial leg muscle or lost weight as a result of standing for prolonged periods of time, as opposed to sitting. Those effects may only drop as much as 10-20%, which still make standing a far better option for your health and waistline.
Q: Can I Convert my Existing Desk to a Standing Desk?
A: If you go with Veridesk, you absolutely can. They’re more about creating an adaption to your current workday, rather than spinning it on its head completely. Using one of their customizable monitor holders, which also include mouse and keyboard space, you’ll be able to keep your desk, but also reap the rewards of standing versus sitting throughout your workday.
Q: How Much Are Standing Desks?
A: We’re going to break it to you: they’re not cheap. Depending on what type you go with, you’ll be paying hundreds, but based on the information we’ve gathered (and the fact that some of us use these ourselves), you’re making an investment in a healthier you; not just a desk. That being said, these companies who produce standing desks understand that the numbers can be daunting, which is why they slap long-term warranties on them, as well as fully customizable features. You’re looking at a range from two-hundred to over five-hundred dollars for a quality standing desk arrangement.
Q: Varidesk vs Uplift Desks - Which is Better?
A: The best way to define the differences between them, is to first surmise exactly what they are. You’re going to get two descriptions of the main differences, and then a brief summary on which is better, and why.
Starting off with a Varidesk, you get what they call the “active workspace,” which offers adjustable height to a certain degree. These are more designed to lift your setup versus your entire desk; you’ll be able to raise your monitors, keyboard, mouse, etc., all without having to run out and purchase a brand new desk. It’s the adaptable way to fit a standing desk solution into your space, (and you get to avoid the hassle of building furniture, which nobody likes doing).
When you go with an Uplift desk, you’re working with adjustable height. One of the main pitfalls of standing desks is that they can often do more harm that good if they’re not used properly. Hunching over, twisting muscles and hurting your back are all possible with the wrong height, which is where it gets difficult: there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for that. Everyone is a different height, wears different shoes, etc., and require different conditions. Uplift also gives a 7-year warranty, which is unheard of for desks.
Q: Are There Downsides to Standing Desks?
A: You ready to go dark side? At the base of it, standing while working is beneficial, and that’s a fact. However, with the products that allow you to stand comfortably throughout the workday, there are some known common issues that we’d like to air out.
For one, you might run into mechanical failure on certain desks with hydraulic or hand-crank movements. The number one way to avoid this issue is to leave about twenty pounds or more of wiggle room on the maximum weight capacity, i.e., don’t put more than 180lbs on a 200lbs standing desk. Sometimes, mechanical failure is just what happens, which is why keeping your warranty information close is always recommended.
If you go with an electric operator, loud motors may be an issue for your coworkers. We touch on this in a previous section in this guide; electric lift desks may be as loud as a house blender, or possibly a bit louder depending on which model you go with. If you’re in a generally noisy environment, or it’s just not bothersome to those around you, the convenience is quite nice.
Whether it’s with hand cranks or electrical switches, sometimes it takes a long time to raise the desk to where you want it. This isn’t really a major issue, but if you’re itching to get to work and have to adjust things, it’s something that’ll make you sigh and tap your foot.
Q: Are Treadmill Desks Effective?
A: In short, they’re effective at burning more calories as you work, but you’re also in for a rude awakening if you try to actually walk on them for eight straight hours. Whatever you’re doing at your desk, it takes some serious brainpower to get from A to B. You’re using a computer, or you’re reading over and signing documents; your brain is at work. With constant walking, you’re getting an eight-hour cardio workout. While there’s nothing wrong with that (hikers and campers do it all the time), it will be taxing on your body.
When people go for strenuous runs or hike through nature, there’s a bit of leisure involved. At the very least, they’re listening to music, or just taking in the scenery; they’re focused on the exercise. Eight hours of cardio is going to come with dehydration, distracting muscle soreness, and a touch of difficulty when it comes to keeping up your WPM on the keyboard. They’re effective, just don’t live and die by them.
If you’re going for a treadmill desk, we recommend:
- Have a one-liter water bottle around, or a built-in filter bottle so you can refill from the sink at work
- Begin taking multivitamins during the morning to keep your body happy
- Try to intake a bit more calories at lunch, and doubling up on protein if you can
- If you feel yourself getting winded, especially with breathing, stop and stand instead of being stubborn and trying to keep walking
Treadmill desks are like a subconscious way to get fit, lose weight, and even build a little bit of leg muscle, all while doing the same thing you do 40+ hours a week: hustling.
Q: Do Standing Desks Make You More Productive?
A: Business owners feel as though standing desks are actually elevating productivity across the board. Before you feel cheated like you’re working extra for the same pay, think of this: those who hustle hardest, and let themselves be heard, are the ones who become indispensable and rise to the top well beyond their years. More productivity also helps you cut down on:
- Dread: You won’t feel like someone’s breathing down your neck, because you’ll both be standing (cricket sounds for the terrible joke). Seriously though, you’re being more productive, and you don’t have anyone looming behind you wondering if they have to annoy you, or if your work is going to get done on-time.
- Anxiety Reduction: Some of us don’t think, “Crap, I didn’t do enough today,” but instead, we think, “I’m going to get fired at any minute.” Workplace anxiety is real, but it’s different from dread; you feel like something bad is going to happen to you, even without any indication that it is. You’re on your feet, you’re shoulder-to-shoulder with your coworkers, production is up, and your higher-ups are happy. It’s one way to combat workplace anxiety that works wonders.
- Increased Focus: If you’ve ever found yourself slouching or lurched-over in your chair, it’s not because you’re tired; it’s making you tired. Standing up allows you to feel your best, which reduces focus inhibitors, such as fatigue or that afternoon groggy feeling.
- Calorie Burner: How Much Better is Standing Up Than Sitting?, BBC News
- What’s the Right Sitting-to-Standing Ratio?, Uplift Desk Official Website
- Standing Desk FAQ, Veridesk Official Website