I’ve been using standing desks for well over a year now.
But do I think they are overrated?
In my opinion some standing desk solutions aren’t really worth it. The health benefits of standing is highly debated and probably not that beneficial. And I strongly believe a good office chair is a better investment for your money.
But considering all of that, I would still buy another standing desk if I had to make the decision all over again. These are of thoughts and experiences with Standing Desks.
I really enjoy switching from sitting to standing whenever I’m feeling sore from sitting for too long. Even in the most expensive and fanciest of chairs, I’ll still get a little antsy fidgety. So switching between sitting and standing helps alleviates that problem for me. Sure if you don’t have a standing desk, just stretching or taking a water break regularly is going to be good enough. But if I’m deep in some work, standing at my desk lets me stretch my legs and pace around and still keep focused on my work. Even when I’m not working having a standing desk at home makes it a lot more convenient to jump on and off the computer to change a song, google something or respond to some email that can sporadically occur throughout the day.
But I’ll be honest, I still probably still sit for about 80% of my day. Since sitting at my desk is just as important as standing at my desk, I really don’t like permanent standing desks or any manual standing desks that require a lot of effort or time to adjust. Sure you could use a high chair with a permanent standing desk but getting good ergonomics out of a high chair can be quite challenging. Manual crank standing desks do allow you to switch between sitting and standing and are usually quite a bit cheaper. But I personally found the process of cranking, slow and a burden that resulted in me being lazy and not bothering to switch as much.
Tabletop risers are also an option and are probably the only solution for those stuck in cubicles where you can’t switch out to a new desk. But it’s definitely not my preferred option as they are bit clunky, take up lot of desk real estate, and don’t really allow you to do anything else standing up other than use your keyboard and mouse.
So I think for most people if you want to get a standing desk you should probably save up for a fully electric motorized standing desk. The good thing though is that budget electric standing desks are pretty widely available these days. Though there are some key things that I’d look out for before you go and just buy the cheapest thing available in the market. Like memory buttons. Definitely get a desk with a memory button if you can. One click to stand, One click to sit. Simple, no fuss. And completely worth it. 2 memory buttons is good enough for a single user but more is better especially if have multiple people using the same desk and need different heights.
Next, check height range for the desk.
I guess I’m on the shorter side at 5’7, so the standing height has never really been a problem for me, but I find the minimum heights, usually around 27 inches, is often are too tall for me, so I end up needing to use a footrest with a desk at this minimum height. But if I had to look for one again I’d try to find one that can go a little lower to accommodate my shorter legs. Checking the stability of the desk is a little more challenging. I think of the highest height most electric desks will have some sway over them if you try to shake them.
But honestly, I’ve never really had an issue with stability while just typing or using a mouse on a computer. If you’re sensitive to shaking, much taller than I am, or just doing more vigorous tasks that require the desk to be super stable. You could look for a desk that has a crossbar underneath but I tend to hit those with my knees or legs. Or you could find a four-legged version of a standing desk but those can get pretty pricey. So I think for most people you really won’t notice issues with stability on anything half decent during regular use. Standing on your feet will be tiring especially if you’re not used to it. Even standing on carpet gets pretty tiring on the soles of my feet.
Most people will recommend getting an anti-fatigue mat which is a good idea. But you will need to constantly move it in and out of place when switching from sitting to standing, which is pretty annoying for me, so I personally don’t use one. Instead, I’ll just use some supportive sandals or shoes when standing and while I could probably stand longer if I also had an anti-fatigue mat. I’m fine just sitting back down when my feet and legs are feeling a little tired.
Next let’s talk about noise.
Using a standing desk at home for personal use, noise for the motors really isn’t an issue for me unless someone happens to be sleeping while I’m working.
At the office on the other hand, in open concept, and a sea of employees raising and lowering their desks throughout the day.
I’ll probably feel a little different about the noise.
Maybe I would get used to it but I can imagine myself going a bit crazy hearing a bunch of noisy desks moving up and down all day long.
And finally the tabletop. A lot of companies will sell their motorized legs and tabletops separately. So if you find the tabletops ridiculously expensive or just not in the color you want, buying the legs on their own and then grabbing a tabletop from IKEA is my preferred option.
The IKEA Gerton is a really nice option: solid wood, good sized, and fairly affordable at only $90. Or IKEA Kitchen Countertops can also work really well and are available in pretty much any color and design you would want.
Considering all of this, for me at least the standing desk wasn’t a fad that I eventually got bored with, and I still very much continue to switch between sitting and standing regularly. While I could go back to a regular sitting desk, and I’d definitely recommend investing in a good chair first if you don’t already have one.
If I had to make the decision today I’d still definitely spend the extra cash to get another electric standing desk all over again.
But hope you guys enjoyed this one.
You know what to do.