We've all heard of standing desks, but many of us are pretty unnerved by them. Yet there's no need to be alarmed: they're probably not as scary as you think. We explain what standing desks are, how to use them, and how to choose the best model for your needs.
"Standing desks are weird, right? I mean, who wants to stand up all day? Surely work's hard enough already?"
These are some of the real-life objections to standing desks that you'll hear in the creative world. But generally, they come from people who've never even seen one, let alone used one. And they stem from a fundamental misunderstanding about standing desks and how to use them. So, in this article, we'll explain both of those things.
A standing desk, also known as a stand-up desk or a height-adjustable desk, allows a person to work comfortably while standing up rather than sitting down. It's designed to promote a healthier and more active work environment by allowing you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout your working day.
The idea is to reduce the negative health effects of prolonged sitting, such as increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and musculoskeletal issues. Standing while working, in contrast, can help improve posture, reduce the risk of certain health problems, and increase productivity and focus.
Many proponents of standing desks recommend using them with ergonomic accessories like anti-fatigue mats, monitor stands, and keyboard trays to create a more comfortable and supportive workspace.
You don't stand up all day!
It's important to stress that standing for long periods without proper ergonomic considerations can also lead to its own set of health issues, such as foot and leg discomfort or fatigue. So overall, for most people, finding a balance between sitting and standing, along with regular movement and breaks, is key to reaping the potential benefits of using a standing desk while avoiding any potential downsides.
We'll just reiterate that last point: few of us should be standing up all day. Instead, you should alternate between the two positions and move around (preferably exercising) in between.
How much you do one or the other will, inevitably, vary from person to person. Because, quite simply, our bodies are all different, and what works for one won't for another. If you have back problems, it's best to consult a doctor or osteopath first. But for most people, it'll be a case of trying out a standing desk and seeing what works.
In practice, we'd recommend starting with no more than 15-20 minutes of standing daily. If you find that gives good results, then maybe start upping that figure. If it gets too much, reduce the time you spend standing. It really is as simple as that.
How to choose a standing desk
The other thing to know is that not all standing desks are identical. They come in a wide range of designs, from simple platforms that can be placed on top of a regular desk to full-fledged adjustable desks that can be raised or lowered to accommodate both sitting and standing positions. Some standing desks are manually adjustable, while others are electrically powered and can be adjusted with the push of a button.
For this reason, standing desks vary hugely in price and quality, and you generally get what you pay for. However, a cheap standing desk should be as good for your spine and mobility as an expensive one. What you're paying for with the latter is more about overall build quality, sleek design, weight capacity and special features.
With all that in mind, read on to discover our top picks for standing desks today.
The Flexispot E7 Pro is a standing desk that seamlessly integrates modern design with ergonomic functionality. It boasts an all-matte look that helps make your workspace clean and minimal. Its electric height adjustment mechanism makes it easy to switch between sitting and standing positions quietly and efficiently. And there's even a child lock to stop your kids from playing with it unnecessarily.
This standing desk is sturdy, easy to assemble and offers a heavy-duty capacity of up to 160kg, capable of supporting the weightiest monitor or desktop computer. An embedded USB charging port helps keep your devices juiced up, and magnetic concealed cable management keeps things nice and tidy. It's an investment, but one that represents good value over time.
If you're seeking a harmonious workspace, the Humanscale Float offers a sophisticated, minimal design. Its Float feature, which adjusts the desk's height through a unique counterbalance mechanism, adds a touch of elegance to its functionality, too. (There's also an alternative electric version.)
Built from sustainable materials (recycled steel and minimal parts), this highly durable standing office desk promises years of efficient service. It's also ergonomic, seamlessly incorporating essentials such as keyboard systems, monitor arms and task lights and allowing unrestricted space for legs, knees and feet beneath the work surface. This desk supports weights up to 75kg.
If you're looking for a blend of affordability and quality, IKEA is normally the place to turn, and its Trotten standing desk fits right into that mould. Providing both aesthetics and practicality at a low price, its sit-stand functionality caters to your ergonomic needs, while its sleek Scandinavian design and neutral beige palette seamlessly merge with any home studio. The crank-handle mechanism is basic, for sure, and it only supports a weight capacity of 50kg... but at this price, who can complain?
The YoYo Desk Pro 2 features intuitive height adjustment and integrated cable management, helping to ensure your workspace remains clutter-free and allowing you to immerse yourself fully in your creative process.
The electronic motor allows you to raise or lower the desk's height at the press of a button. The extendable frame is made from reinforced steel, so there's no need for a central stability beam, and it can support up to 100kg.
Overall, its clean design and focus-enhancing features make this standing desk a tempting buy. Note, though, that it's designed for people up to 185cm (six feet one inch) in height. If you're taller than that, you'll prefer the YoYo Desk Pro 2+.
Those who view their workspace as an extension of their identity may be looking for the timeless elegance of Herman Miller. And indeed, this famed brand's Jarvis Bamboo Desk 1200 offers an unmatched level of sophistication.
This motorised desk takes you from sitting to standing at the push of a button. It offers a lift speed of 3.8mm per second and a capacity of 158 kg, including the weight of the top surface. You can also add a programmable or up/down handset and/or a pair of powered grommets for charging your devices.
Crafted with sustainable materials, this beautiful product is not only visually stunning but also reflects a commitment to eco-conscious creativity. Overall, it is a testament to the notion that a standing desk can be both an artistic statement and a functional necessity.
Creativity often thrives in small spaces, and this compact standing desk is tailored to meet this need. It maximises utility while minimising its physical footprint, making it an excellent choice for space-constrained studios or home offices. Boasting a twin motor lifting system and low energy consumption, this desk offers a weight capacity of up to 100kg.