Choosing the Best Sit/Stand Desks: Factors to Consider

Selecting the right sit/stand desk is pivotal for a comfortable and productive workspace. With so many options available, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision. Let’s delve into the world of sit/stand desks, exploring quality considerations and essential tips for a well-suited choice.

Quality vs. Economy: Making the Right Investment

Before you rush into a purchase, pause to ponder the balance between quality and cost. While budget-friendly options might seem enticing, they can sometimes compromise comfort. Think twice before adding a desktop converter to an already
too-high desk, as it could lead to discomfort. Many affordable sit/stand desks on the market do not lower to an ideal height for seated work.

Does it really matter if the desk is a bit too high?

When the keyboard and mouse are too high:

– You will need your arm muscles to hold your arms up while you type, and eventually they will get tired

– When your arm muscles get tired, muscle tension also works its way up your neck

– You’ll probably rest your wrists on the hard edge of the desk, causing pressure on the soft tissues there, and increasing the risk of tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome

– You might push your keyboard and mouse further away, to create space to rest your arms. Reaching forward like this brings your back away from your backrest, increasing the risk of back pain. It also creates an awkward neck posture.

Similarly, a sit/stand desk that is too low for standing creates slouched, bent postures.

Corporate vs. Home Office Dynamics

In the corporate world, standard sit/stand desks that align with office aesthetics are the norm. However, for home offices, budget constraints often dictate choices. Striking the right balance between affordability and functionality is key.

Economical Excellence: The Ikea Bekant

For budget-conscious consumers with Allen-key skills, the Ikea Bekant emerges as a reliable option. Despite lacking memory
presets, it offers a pragmatic solution without breaking the bank. I replaced my circa 2004 crank-adjustable desk base with this device, keeping the desktop from my old desk. This works perfectly for me (shown above left).

Exploring the Range of Options

Let’s explore some other alternatives:

  • The Ergo-centric Up-centric product is the most commonly-chosen corporate standard amongst our clients, and it works well for home offices as well. We have a couple of these in our offices.
  • The Haworth Upside desk with the extended base type offers an excellent height range, and memory settings are available.
  • I bought the LEVO Rolling Laptop Workstation Stand from to use at the cottage. It boasts a sturdy base and an impressive height range of 22-40″, which works for me, but is too short for my taller family members to use while standing. It bounces a little bit, and doesn’t have space for an external mouse or screen, but it’s great for short periods of time with my laptop. (This means my neck must bend to view the screen if I adjust the laptop for comfortably typing.) The middle and right images above show me using this device on our porch. Do I occasionally use it in the hammock? You bet. But I learned today that it takes more than the 10 seconds allowed by my camera’s timer to get into the hammock. 🙂

Strategic Tips for Desk Selection

    1. Elevate comfort: Prioritize a desk with a height range that suits both seated and standing positions for all workers. A range from 22″ to 47″ accommodates about 95% of us in sitting and standing. You many not need this full range for yourself, so you can measure and select a product that will work for you. (An ergonomist can help you measure!)
    2. Go deeper: Consider desk depth, ensuring it allows you to place your monitor at your preferred viewing distance, and allows ample space for your legs and feet.
    3. Research the fine print: Thoroughly investigate desk specifications, focusing on the height range and adjustment mechanism. Many desks on the market have limitations that will disappoint you after installation.

Addressing Missteps: Remedial Measures

If you’ve bought a desk that’s too high, don’t fret. Elevating your chair and using a footrest can help, although it might not be the most comfortable solution forever. Consider upgrading to a more suitable desk for long-term comfort.

Investing Wisely for Height Adjustability

Opting for a sit/stand desk with appropriate height adjustability is an investment in your comfort and productivity. While the initial cost might be slightly higher, the long-term benefits make it a wise choice.

For assistance or expert guidance, reach out to Our services include virtual and in-person office ergo assessmentsin-person training for new sit/stand desk usersawareness materials for new sit/stand desk users, and more.

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