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7 Reasons Why You DON’T Want a Standing Workstation

Homemade Standing Desk Workstations
Behold Frankendesks!
Sources: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shrimpdesign
http://www.flickr.com/photos/designerbrent

The popularity of the sit stand desk and stand up workstation is booming! In this article we’re going to be reviewing benefits of standing desks, precautions to consider, and time saving tips to help you to easily find the best standing desk for your needs.

If you’re sitting at your desk right now, chances are you’ve read an article or ten that has you thinking maybe you should try a standing workstation. I mean that guy across the hall has one, the internet is filled with people spouting incessantly about how much they love their new frankendesk creation, and how can you argue with all the purported benefits listed in study after study?

But what if I told you that you’re only getting half of the story?

What if stand up computer desks are nothing more than over-hyped and over-priced fads that actually cause more problems than they solve?

Death By Chair

There’s no question about it. The vast majority of us are killing ourselves slowly by eating far too much, and moving far too little. Did you know that if you’re like me, and most other desk jockeys out there, you spend more time sitting down in any given day then you do sleeping?

  • Unfortunately for us recent studies like the one mentioned in an article “Sitting Kills” have shown that sitting 6 + hours per day increases our risk of death within the next 15 years by 40%!
  • If you’re an entrepreneur who’s trying to turn your late night small business hustle fest of a dream into a full-time gig, you’re probably spending more like 12-15 hours hunched over at a desk every single day! Think about the affects this has on your body.
  • Recent studies have even indicated that even adapting a more active lifestyle outside of your work life is simply NOT effective enough to combat the multitude of increased health risks to which sitting for long periods of time contributes.

Checkout this pretty impressive infographic from Visual.ly, which offers some pretty eye-opening statistics on the sedentary lifestyle of the modern office dweller.

Health Affects of Sitting All Day

Our Guide To The Best Sit-Stand And Standing Desks Currently Available On Amazon

VariDesk Pro Plus 36 by Vari – Dual Monitor Standing Desk Converter – Work or Home Office Sit to Stand Desk – 11 Height Adjustable Settings with Spring Loaded Lift – No Assembly Required
  • 2 Spacious Tiers: Offers a large workspace with an upper tier (36” x 12.25”) for up to 2 monitors, a laptop, and a notebook and a lower tier for a standard keyboard, mouse, and a calculator or papers!
  • Ergonomic Movement: Our special rowing-lift raising mechanism with its up-and-back movement allows you to use the power from your lower half – leaving your back in a neutral state/healthy posture/straight and strong.
  • Quality: Built with a heavy, weighted base and high-quality materials so it remains sturdy and stable at any of its 11 height settings. The patented, spring-loaded lift was designed and tested for your safety and ease.
  • Simple: This desk ships fully assembled and ready to use right out of the box. You’ll be up and working more productively in no time.
  • Trustworthy: When you buy through Vari, you get our 30-day risk-free guarantee – which means you can be sure you’ll love your desk. And don’t forget our fantastic 5-year limited warranty!
VariDesk Pro Plus 48 – Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter – Sit Stand Riser for Dual Monitors – 11 Height Settings with Spring Assisted Lift – No Assembly Required (Black)
  • 2 Spacious Tiers: Enjoy ample space with Vari's largest desktop converter, with two 48" tiers that comfortably fit your monitors, keyboard, mouse, or laptop
  • Designed for Safety: Our patented, spring-assisted lift mechanism and rowing lift design makes the desktop easy to adjust with minimal impact on your back
  • 11 Height Settings: Use the dual-handles to raise or lower your desktop with ease to 11 different height settings up to 17.5" off your desk surface
  • Quality Materials: Vari converters are built-to-last with a heavy weighted base for stability, thicker gauge steel, and a durable 3D laminate finish
  • Trustworthy: Every time you buy a Vari product, you get quality, convenience, and a risk-free purchase you can feel good about. With 30-Day Free Returns and a fantastic 5-year warranty, you can be sure you’ll love your desk.
Ergotron - WorkFit-TL Standing Desk Converter - for Tabletops - 37.5 Inches, Black
  • Transform your existing desk into a sit-stand desk with large worksurface and keyboard tray, plus 15 inches (38 centimeters) of smooth vertical lift
  • Make your move for a better workday by sitting or standing with a comfortable, ergonomic fit that helps boost your productivity and focus
  • Wide footprint gives you more room to spread out, with 125 additional square inches (317.5 square centimeters) of surface area to hold a laptop, two monitors, phone charger, tablet and coffee; move up to 40 pounds (18.1 kg) straight up and down
  • Includes a tabletop desk converter with integrated keyboard tray; no assembly required – slide it out of the box onto a tabletop, and you’re ready to work
  • Sturdy, professional-grade design includes a 5-year warranty
Ergotron WorkFit-D, Sit-Stand Desk (Walnut)
  • This work style encourages healthy movement throughout the day.
  • Safe and easy to use
  • Designed to meet North American and European ergonomic standards
Seville Classics AIRLIFT Pro S3 54" Solid-Top Commercial-Grade Electric Adjustable Standing Desk (51.4" Max Height) Table - Black/Black
  • QUIET DUAL MOTORS - Rise higher and go lower with the AIRLIFT S3! Elevate to 51.4 inches high and descend as low as 25.6 inches at a quick and quiet 1.5 inches per second.
  • 54" x 28" SOLID SINGLE-PIECE TOP - Solid, single-piece, wood top for a smooth work surface. CARB Phase 2 complaint for safe use in homes and businesses. Pre-installed anchors make installation easy!
  • LED DISPLAY HEIGHT CONTROLLER - Features 4 memory settings and blue LED height display for easy, consistent adjustment throughout the day. Add functionality and high-end style to your workspace.
  • HIGH-END PROFESSIONAL GRADE DESIGN - Desk is tested compliant to the ANSI/BIFMA x5.5 safety standard, ETL certified and CARB Phase 2 compliant for superior safety, durability and performance in commercial office and institutional environments.
  • LIMITED 7-YEAR MANUFACTURER'S COVERAGE - Seville Classics AIRLIFT S3 electric standing desks feature 7-years of coverage against non-electronic defects and 2-years of coverage against electronic defects for the duration of the coverage period.
Stand Up Desk Store Crank Adjustable Two Tier Standing Desk with Heavy Duty Steel Frame (Black Frame/Black Top, 60" Wide)
  • Two-level design places monitors, keyboard, and mouse at ergonomic, comfortable heights, whether sitting or standing
  • Hand crank height adjustment is simple, strong, and durable; crank can be positioned on either side of desk
  • Features include lockable casters for mobility and built-in cable management to keep cords tidy
  • Overall dimensions are 59" W x 28.5" D x 33.5" to 47.25" H (with included 3" casters installed); max weight capacity is 154 lbs; BIFMA certified for safety and durability; easy assembly
  • Stand Up Desk Store is a US-based company and stands behind all items we sell; this item comes with a 5-year limited warranty against defects
PneuDesk 47x27" Movable Sit/Standing Desk, Pneumatic Height Adjustable from 29” to 48” (47x27" Black Top, Black Frame)
  • 𝐏𝐍𝐄𝐔𝐌𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐂 𝐋𝐈𝐅𝐓 𝐌𝐄𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐍𝐈𝐒𝐌 – Pneumatic height adjustment with dual gas cylinders. No power source is needed & no messy cables to deal with. Includes steel frame with crossbar for enhanced stability and two built-in casters in the rear for easy movement. Simply lift the desk slightly from the front and roll it anywhere with ease.
  • 𝐎𝐍𝐄-𝐏𝐈𝐄𝐂𝐄 𝐒𝐎𝐋𝐈𝐃 𝐓𝐎𝐏 – 47” x 27” ergonomically-shaped top is made of MDF with 3D laminate. The top has pre-installed metal anchors for easy installation and can be re-installed multiple times without damage.
  • 𝐄𝐀𝐒𝐘 𝐇𝐄𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐓 𝐀𝐃𝐉𝐔𝐒𝐓𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓 – Fast and quiet height adjustment to any point between 29” and 48”. Simply pull the hand lever when raising, and pull the lever and push the top with the other hand when lowering. Height adjustment is like that of an office chair.
  • 𝐌𝐈𝐍𝐈𝐌𝐔𝐌 𝐀𝐒𝐒𝐄𝐌𝐁𝐋𝐘 – The desk comes semi-assembled. Only 6 screws for top and 14 for base to be installed. Average assembly time is 30 minutes. This desk ships in 2 boxes from Los Angele and may arrive 1 to 2 days apart. The transit time is 2 to 8 days to 48 states.
Ergotron - WorkFit-S Dual Sit-Stand Workstation with Worksurface - for Tabletop, Black
  • Support a stronger, healthier you with this easy-to-install sit-stand converter; attaches to the front of most stable surfaces and works in tight spaces; personalize your fit with 23 total inches (58 centimeters) of smooth vertical lift
  • Make your move for a better workday by sitting or standing with a comfortable, ergonomic fit to boost your productivity and focus; attached worksurface stays with you no matter how you work—that means more room for papers and your morning caffeine boost
  • Advanced ergonomic design includes a back-tilt keyboard tray for comfortable typing; supports two monitors with individual, 360-degree adjustment to create the best views for each project
  • Includes a height-adjustable column, desk clamp, crossbar, two monitor pivots, worksurface and large keyboard tray
  • Sturdy, professional-grade design includes a 5-year warranty
AboveTEK Laptop Desk for Bed, Portable Laptop Table Tray with Foldable Legs, Height Adjustable Foldable Laptop Desk for Eating Reading Writing, Computer Tray for Bed on Couch Sofa Floor Birch
  • Ergonomic Design - AboveTEK laptop table enables healthy posture by raising your laptop for eye-level viewing; perfect for the person who sitting long hours in the workplace.
  • Adjustable Height - Extendable legs with smart latch lock on each side adjust to the proper height (9.5"-13") for both adults and children, adjustable height perfectly fits any angle from 0°, 10°, 20°, or 30°.
  • Lightweight & Portable - Clever folding makes the legs stay flat to easily carry around, to empower your productivity to work anywhere with its lightweight construction.
  • Sturdy & Anti-Slip - Our computer tray is made of high-quality wood surface that is eco-friendly, strong and durable while providing the best protection due to the anti-skid rubber.
  • Versatile Laptop Desk - AboveTEK laptop desk also can be used as a reading table, an office desk, a travel desk, a gaming desk, a kid's study desk, even a breakfast tray or an outdoor camping table and much more.
Flexpro Hero 37 Inch Standing Desk | 2 Level Standing Desk Converter with Keyboard Shelf and Monitor Riser | Large Dual Level Sit to Stand Workspace | Easily Sit or Stand in Seconds! (Black / 37")
  • EASY HEIGHT ADJUSTMENTS: Go from sitting to standing in seconds with the FlexPro Hero desk converter! The hydraulic pump lift lets you to smoothly and securely raise your desk converter to your perfect ergonomic height - up to 20.5” high!
  • TWO LARGE SURFACES: The FlexPro Hero features a spacious keyboard shelf and desktop to keep your screens at eye level. At 37” long, this desk provides plenty of room for your double monitor set-up, laptop, keyboard, desk accessories, and more!
  • SLEEK & STURDY DESIGN: With its black frame, matte desktop, and smooth rounded corners, the FlexPro Hero will add a high-end feel to any home or office space. The durable metal base can support up to 35 lbs, while the leveling feet ensure your new desk won’t wobble while you work.
  • RELIEVE NECK AND BACK PAIN: Take a stand for your health! Featuring a dual tier design, the FlexPro Hero is the perfect ergonomic solution that keeps your monitors at eye level and your spine aligned!
  • EASY ASSEMBLY: Let’s be honest, no one likes assembling furniture. That’s why we’ve made the process so simple. Just unpack your new desk, attach the keyboard tray, and your FlexPro Hero is ready to go in minutes!
Spark by Ergodriven | 26" Standing Desk in 3 Height Sizes | Sit Stand Converter - Desktop Riser - Platform for Monitor - Laptop Workstation - Medium
  • Choose your size by your height: | Under 5’4” = Small | 5’4”-5’11” = Medium | Over 5’11” = Large |
  • Feel better! Standing is a healthier position than sitting, and allows for more movement.
  • Spark is the perfect way to try standing. It’s ergonomic, robust (no typing wobble) and looks great.
  • Ergonomic two-level design works great with a laptop, monitor, or all-in-one PC like iMac up to 27”.
  • Easily get healthier while you work! Spark is the best health and fitness investment you can make.
North Bayou Sit Stand Desk Converter Height Adjustable Standing Desk for 22''-27'' Monitor (Two Screens) Support Load from 13.2 to 26.4 lbs with Keyboard Tray(Black)
  • Dual screen sit stand desk converter for most 22'' to 27'' monitor,support load from13.2 to 26.4 lbs and VESA compliant 75x75, 100x100 mm
  • Switch work position from sitting to standing in a matter of seconds with the help of the gas-spring arm featured on this mount
  • The simple construction of the workstation makes it fast and easy to install,both gromment and clamp basement are available
  • 18.9'' upright travelling distance, 360° swivel and display tilt angles +10° to -16° , easily adjust the arm to suit your viewing needs
  • Push the keyboard out of the way when not use to utilize more of your desk space
Adjustable Height Laptop Cart With Storage. Color: Woodgrain
  • Heavy-Duty MDF Panels with a Moisture Resistant PVC Laminate Vaneer in Woodgrain Finish
  • Main Table is Height Adjustable from 27 up to 43 inches
  • 4 Dual Non-Marking Nylon casters, 2 with locking mechanism
  • Storage Compartment as well as 2 shelves for accessories and media storage
  • 5 Year Limited Warranty, Ships in 1 Box
Stand Up Desk Store Rolling Adjustable Height Two Tier Standing Desk Computer Workstation (Silver Frame/Black Top, 40" Wide)
  • Tool adjustable height lets you raise and lower the desk in 1" increments to find the perfect fit
  • Two-level design enables comfortable, ergonomic placement of keyboard, mouse, and monitors
  • Includes a set of smooth-rolling, 3" locking casters; also features a storage shelf perfect for a printer, CPU, books, and more
  • Overall dimensions are 39.4" W x 28.8" D x 34.1" to 46.1" H; max weight capacity is 154 lbs; BIFMA certified for safety and durability; easy assembly
  • Stand Up Desk Store is a US-based company and stands behind all items we sell; this item comes with a 5-year limited warranty against defects
Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk/Stand/Table Vented w/CPU Fans Mouse Pad Side Mount-Notebook-MacBook-Light Weight Ergonomic TV Bed Lap Tray Stand Up/Sitting-Black
  • Light weight aluminum tray – makes carrying easy and holds your computer at virtually any position or angle
  • Fully adjustable legs – rotate 360 degrees and lock in place at various angles. Quickly collapse the stand to make it portable.
  • Multiple uses – table can also be used for a TV dinner tray, sound equipment, projector, standing desk, Book tray, writing desk, and tablet holder. Includes non-slip feet for use on tabletops and desktops.
  • Silent USB powered CPU cooling fans – connect USB cord (included) to your computer to power the quiet cooling fans.
  • Money back guarantee – If you do not like it or don't want it for any reason, we will happily accept the return and give you your money back. No questions asked.
Height Adjustable Standing Desk Converter, 25” Wide Desktop - Sit-Stand Converting Desks with Gas Spring for Home, Office - Stand-Up Computer Workstation Desktops
  • EASY HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT: Sit to stand in seconds with this standing desk converter. The gas spring mechanism allows for smooth up and down height adjustments from 6.25" to 17", allowing you to find the perfect height.
  • SPACIOUS DESIGN: This 36.5" wide standing desk allows enough room for a dual monitor setup or any monitor and laptop combo.
  • ERGONOMIC DESK: Sit and stand throughout your day with this height adjustable stand up desk converter. Improve your posture, boost productivity, and increase your energy level simply by standing and sitting during the day.
  • EASY SETUP: Start enjoying the benefits right away. Simple assembly steps will let you use your adjustable standing desk in minutes. That's all there is to it.
  • THE MOUNT-IT! PROMISE OF EXCELLENCE: We are confident you’ll not only love your sit to stand desktop riser, but you’ll get plenty of use out of it. However, if for some reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase or there is a defect, return it within 30 days and we promise a full refund or replacement.
Sale
Stand Steady Joy Standing Desk | Pretty Standing Desk with Shelf & Built-in Storage Cubbies | Modern Stand Up Workstation | Tall Desk & Reception Table for Home, Dorm, & Office (Maple / 48in x 42in)
  • BEAUTIFUL MODERN STYLE: Complete your home office with our simple and sophisticated Joy standing desk. Designed with a distressed maple wood grain finish and sleek metal legs, this stylish desk is sure to add a high-end feel to any room.
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Stand comfortably while you work! The Joy desktop stands at 41.5” so you can avoid the negative impacts of sitting at a desk all day. With a built-in monitor shelf, the Joy Desk keeps your computer screens at eye level, so there’s no need to strain your neck.
  • SPACIOUS STORAGE CUBBIES: Now you can keep all your office accessories organized with the Joy Desk’s spacious storage cubbies. From books, to knick-knacks, to mid-day snacks, these storage cubes can fit it all!
  • LARGE DESKTOP SURFACE: With over seven square feet of desktop surface space, (plus a bonus shelf!) the Joy Desk provides plenty of room for your computer, keyboard, books, decorations, and more!
  • DURABLE & STURDY: Don’t let its minimalistic design fool you, this high-end desk is also strong and durable, supporting up to 60 lbs! The sturdy metal legs combined with stabilizing crossbars ensure your Joy Desk stands steady for a wobble-free workday.
Topo Comfort Mat by Ergodriven | The Not-Flat Standing Desk Anti-Fatigue Mat with Calculated Terrain | Standing Desk Mat | Comfortable Standing Mat | Office Mat | Desk Accessories | Obsidian Black
  • THE BEST STANDING DESK MAT: Topo is the first anti-fatigue mat designed specifically for standing desks. It boasts premium comfort mat material and patented next-generation terrain features. That’s why it’s been The Wirecutter’s top pick since 2016.
  • SIT LESS AND STAND BETTER: Spend more time out of your chair and move more while you stand, with Topo’s meticulously designed ergonomic topography. Our infinite possible micro and macro movements provide a plethora of new and dynamic positions.
  • IMPROVE YOUR MOVEMENT WITHOUT EVEN THINKING: Topo’s cushioned terrain drives subconscious movement, stretching, and massage - unlike distracting balance boards and treadmills.
  • MAKE THE MOVE TO STANDING EASIER: You can reposition Topo with just one foot, unlike normal anti-fatigue mats designed for kitchens. Grab Topo’s unique indentation with your heel or toe to pull the mat out from under your desk. Then just push forward to slide it back.
  • GET THE TRUE BENEFIT OF STANDING: Topo will leave you feeling energized and productive, because the more you move, the better you feel. You’ll buy in confidence thanks to Topo’s 7-year manufacturer’s warranty and 100% full-refund satisfaction guarantee.

Behold a Crazy Desk Movement is Born!

In response to many of these studies, and perhaps due in part to some people’s need to feel “trendy”, the crazy desk movement is now in full swing! A movement created and maintained by office dwellers who are focused on living more active lives, no matter how insane they look the the rest of the world. What this translates into is a plethora of progressive desk configurations, everything from the increasingly popular standing work stations that are the rage across the inter web, to desk stair steppers, and even a desk treadmill for those who are feeling REALLY special

The Treadmill Desk

Undoubtedly standing computer workstations are gaining popularity as employers embrace them as a healthier option for their employees, and the desk jockeys of the Earth seek to improve the common archaic 1950s concept of what an office should be like. But are they really all the cracked up to be?

If I’m a manufacturer and I can build you a desk for $100.00, or I can build an electronic adjusting desk and get your trendy friend to cough up $1,500.00, then guess what desk I’m building.

Business man in suit has back pain from standing at his desk

Should you try a standing workstation?

That’s something that ultimately only you can answer for yourself, BUT here are 7 considerations you should read before you make that decision.

  1. Cost – Cost is definitely a concern for many people and businesses alike. The simple truth is that the cost of your stand up desk could be as little $20.00 to as much as $1,500.00 for one of the adjustable electric models. The geniuses over at Ikeahackers.net have a do it yourself plan that costs as right around $29, that is still quite sleek and professional in appearance. Another option that helps to reduce the cost for a company is one that my own employer actually adopted. They purchased one standing work station for each department. If an employee feels like standing up and working for awhile they simply walk over to an open station and log-in to the network for an hour or so.  For an employer this is a great way to introduce the concept to see how it’s received, while controlling costs.
  2. Long Days – Most people work at least 8 hours per day, and that’s a significant amount of time to be on your feet. As the son of a pharmacist, a profession that used stand up desk long before they were cool, I can assure you that long days on your feet can lead to socks that even the family dog runs away from. Spending 8 to 10 hours standing can do a number on your body, especially if you’re not used to physical activity, and that can cause new aches and pains.
  3. Foot Pain/Soreness – One of the top complaints of people who’ve tried a standing desk is that their feet were extremely sore the next day. A pair of shoes that are pleasantly comfortable for sitting all day can start feeling like evil little pin cushions when you give them some real use. My suggestion is that you combat this in two ways. First, be sure to at least bring a pair of comfortable shoes with you to work that you can use while you are in the standing position. Secondly, you may want to spring for a padded floor mat, which adds an additional layer of cushion.
  4. Back Pain – Oddly enough one of the reasons many give for adopting a standing workstation is because of back pain that they believe is caused by working seated at a computer for so long. The simple truth is that any workstation that is not set up properly can and often will cause you to experience pain of some sort. Many people who I’ve talked with have reported more back pain after switching to a standing desk configuration. Remaining stationary in either the sitting position or the standing position causes constant loading on the lower back. Research has shown that standing in the same position for longer than 30 minutes may cause back pain, a reduction circulation, and increased risk for cardiovascular disease (see #7 below).
  5. Lack of Privacy – One of the benefits of a standing workstation is that it allows you to converse and collaborate with coworkers more easily. Of course, this also means that you lose a certain element of privacy when more people are able to both see and hear you, and you’re also more likely be blasted by the phone calls and conversations of others.
  6. Less Focus – Any of the above concerns can lead to a reduced level of focus. In fact one of the concerns employers often have when it comes to standing desks is not whether or not the change will improve performance, but whether it will kill performance completely.
  7. You’re Still Inactive – Even if you adopt a standing work station and it works out wonderfully for you, you’re just an inactive standing desk jockey instead of a sitting one. One of the keys to feeling less aches and pains, as well as avoiding the increased risks that plague the sedentary worker, is to become more active throughout your workday.  Dr William Haskell of Stanford calculates that simply taking 2 minutes out of every hour to walk and fill your water bottle, or talking with a co-worker down the hall, or running an errand can help you avoid gaining the caloric equivalent of 11 pounds over a decade!

Don’t forget Fit Desk Jockey Rule #1 from our post Workplace Safety – Stretching:

Fit Desk Jockey Rule#1: Take a moment to stand up and move every 30 minutes! Relax, recharge, refocus.

My Favorite Solution – The Sit/Stand Desk

I’ve tried several standing desk setups, many of which were my own Frankendesk configurations, but the one that I ended up going with in the end that I absolutely LOVE is the Ergotron 33-349-200 WorkFit-S Dual with Worksurface+. It allows you to effortlessly transition from sitting to standing and vice versa. Chances are it clamps right to the desk you’re already using (exactly what I did), perfect for the renegade desk dweller who’s ready to take matters (and their health) into his/her own hands. Just be ready for a sudden boost in office popularity, as co-workers clamber to give it a whirl for themselves.

From their headquarters in my home state of Minnesota Erogtron has been promoting wellness and improving efficiency since 1984 when it released it’s patented MacTilt, one of the first monitor tilt bases. Their solution for the standing desk versus sitting desk dilemma was to create a lightweight, economical, and easy to use WorkFit series of Sit-Stand desks. You can see the model I use in an upcoming video that I’ll be sharing on the Fit Desk Jockey Youtube Channel.

Some of the benefits of the Ergotron WorkFit-S desks are that they allow you to move effortlessly between standing and sitting throughout your work day, they’re relatively inexpensive at about $400.00, and they’re likely compatible with the desk or workstation that you’re already using.


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