Tips Before Buying a Standing Desk
For people who work from home, their desk is the heart of their work space, and often they spend more hours at this desk than those with jobs outside the home. In the past few years, we’ve all heard about the dangers of uninterrupted sitting, which is why Reviews.com wanted to investigate the adjustable standing desk, a step in the right direction. They recently spent six weeks researching and testing 67 adjustable standing desks to create an in-depth guide for people searching for the perfect option.
Their top pick is Ergo Depot’s Jarvis, an incredibly sturdy and surprisingly elegant adjustable desk that looks more like furniture than an office fixture. It has great range — suitable for people up to 6 feet 7 inches — and you can customize it to your exact specifications. There are over 12 styles to choose from, along with add-on accessories like wheels, grommets, cable management, and more. Their only warning: those add-ons can add up quick, suddenly taking a $500 desk closer to the $1,000 range.
The Uplift Height Adjustable Sit Stand Desk was a close second (it’s just so similar to the Jarvis, how could it not be?). It’s wobblier than the Jarvis at its max height, so if you’re taller than average, they don’t recommend it. That said, its motor is a bit quieter, and comes with an equally expansive range of desktop options, customizations, and add-ons. At the end you’ll have a similar price tag to the Jarvis — but also get a free gel-foam standing mat as an added perk.
The UpDesk UpWrite was the biggest surprise. They wrote it off as too gimmicky at first — come on, a $1,130 white board for a desk? But in practice, they found it fun and inspiring to doodle, jot notes, and make lists right on the desktop. The fact that it was the absolute quietest desk out of all nine they tested didn’t hurt either.
If you’re interested in the idea of a standing desk, test the theory before you buy. Try using your kitchen counter, your washing machine, or any other surface that’s ergonomically correct for your body. Chances are, you may even have a friend who uses a standing desk; see if you can use it for a couple hours before shelling out a few hundred to invest in your own.
Remember to move. There are downsides to sitting too long, and also to standing too long. Purchasing a standing desk won’t solve these problems unless you remember to change your posture. In the words of Dr. Lucas Carr, an expert in physical activity promotion and sedentary behaviors, “Our bodies were designed to move periodically throughout the day. I advise people to stand up, stretch, and take a short walk (if possible) if you feel you’ve been sitting for too long.” Dr. Joan Vernikos, an expert in stress and healthy aging agrees: “It’s the interrupting of the sitting
that’s the most important factor, rather than how long you stand.”
The Right Way (and Wrong Way) to Use a Standing Desk
When using a standing desk, ergonomics are key. The top of your monitor should be at or just below eye level (make sure your head isn’t angled down!), and your eyes should be 20 to 28 inches from the screen. Keep your upper arms close to your body, your wrists straight, and your hands at or below wrist level. The table height of a standing desk should be at or slightly below elbow height — basically make a 90-degree angle with your elbow. Your head, neck, and torso should be in line, and your keyboard and mouse should be at the same level. Got that? If not, here’s a graphic that sums it all up.
The Bottom Line
It’s worth investing in a standing desk you love — and one that you’ll use. Usability matters as much as looks, which means that gorgeous bamboo top is only going to make you happy if the frame won’t wiggle and the motor is quiet.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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