You are sitting too much! Here’s a solution.

And now a word from a sponsor…

I sit ALL THE TIME, y’all. Partly it’s because I work too much, but part of it is also that the things I enjoy doing most, like reading, are also totally sedentary.

So I’ve long been intrigued by the idea of a standing desk, which is why I was thrilled when the people who make the FlexiSpot standing desk reached out to me.

You probably already know some of the benefits of switching to a standing desk at work: they can relieve back and neck pain that builds up when you spend a long time sitting, they can improve your circulation, and they can even burn extra calories.

Here’s what’s cool about FlexiSpot in particular: Rather than being a full sit-stand desk, you just place it on top of your regular desk (which is a real benefit if your office is opposed to full-on replacement). It has a hydraulic lift and you can adjust it to 12 different heights. And it gives you the freedom to sit or stand just by lightly squeezing the hand bars (so you don’t have stand up the whole time if you don’t want to). It’s got a ton of room for your computer and keyboard (and actually, you can choose from four different sizes, so there’s one that’ll fit just about any desk).

The FlexiSpot desk riser has excellent reviews on Amazon (4.7 out of 5 stars there, with 220 reviews), and in fact is a bestseller there. Business Insider called it “one of the most elegant ways we’ve seen to turn a regular desk into a standing desk” and said it’s a must-try for those looking to upgrade to a professional standing-desk solution.”
Here’s a short video so you can see FlexiSpot in use:

FlexiSpot has launched two series of desk risers. The Classic Series of desk risers is their best-selling series, which is the right choice for most people:

Their newly launched Compact Series works well for limited space (and with the Compact Series, you can get a monitor mount free):

Go to Flexispot.com to learn more or to order.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by FlexiSpot. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

{ 115 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. The Tin Man

    I know this is an ad, but I am happy to see this here. I got my office to approve a Rocelco model that looks very similar to this one and I love it. I stand for some tasks and sometimes and other times I sit. I find it a good balance because otherwise with my job I would barely move all day long.

    Reply
  2. Karen K

    I’ve got a Varidesk, and love it. I’m standing right now.

    The best part is how good it feels to finally sit down!

    Reply
    1. Kaybee

      I also love my Varidesk! If I ever leave this job (which bought one for me), I think I’ll buy my own just to have, so I can use it at home or bring it to work if the next job isn’t so generous. I am up down up down up down all day long, so I love how easy it is to adjust. Although as someone pointed out below, it’d probably be hard for those with some types of disabilities to adjust.

      Reply
    2. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist

      Varidesk user here too. Though honestly, I could give a crap about sitting down, most days.

      Reply
    3. Persephone Mulberry

      I have a company-provided Varidesk and I don’t like it at all. :( There’s not enough height differential between the monitor level and the keyboard level and I’m hesitant to put additional risers under my dual monitors for fear of tipping, and I hate how much space it takes up.

      Reply
      1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist

        Actually, you’re right, I do have to put the monitor on a riser. So one demerit on that count.

        Honestly, I feel like a lot of the sit-stand models try to be all things to all people in all use cases.

        Reply
      2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

        This is probably the biggest weakness, although there are varidesk models that let you mount your monitor(s) to the device so you can get greater height range. When I’m standing, I have my desk at typing level and then fully extend my monitors, but I have had to use reams of paper as a riser, sometimes. If I were taller, it would probably bug me more. Otherwise I love my varidesk—it’s much better than my previous “standing desk” (read: wine crates & reams of paper) set up.

        Reply
        1. Windchime

          I have one of these. It’s a gadget that just clamps onto the desk. The monitors are mounted on it (no stands; they are screwed to crossbars)and there is a little shelf where my calendar and notepad sit. The keyboard tray is lower and has a tilt adjustment but you can’t adjust it up and down relative to the monitors. I love having the option to stand. I need to do it more often because my back hurts a ton during the day.

          Reply
  3. Amber Rose

    Although I know I would benefit, I’m not sure if I could figure out how to make the monitor cord reach from a standing height to my tower on the floor. It’s pulled taught as it it is. Never mind my keyboard and mouse. Doesn’t something like this just make the wire tangle management problem even worse?

    Reply
    1. JessaB

      There are pretty decent extension cords and what I’d probably do is use the kind of flexible cable ties that are made of velcro or a velcro analogue and extending the thing to it’s highest point, I’d fix the cable to the arms of the desk. Then when you let it down, it won’t pull weirdly. You want to make sure the cables are set up for the longest setting of the desk.

      Also if you’re worried about cables cracking due to being folded and unfolded, Sugru putty is your friend. Put some at the joints of the cord, you can even do wild colours to make it pretty. I use it on all my phone charger cords, cause those always start to get cracked right by the connector to the phone.

      It appears on at least one of them there’s some kind of hook (or the owner put a hook) under the platforms and coiled up the cables. I don’t know if these come with their own cable management included or someone put for instance one of those 3m hooks with the removeable glue tabs.

      Reply
    2. Kaybee

      I switched to a wireless keyboard and mouse for my standing desk. This made all the difference. My original monitor cable definitely would have been too short. I don’t know if you have this option, but I asked our IT folks if they had longer cables, and they did. They work with a lot of folks who are switching to standing desks, so it was a request they were used to by that point.

      Reply
    3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

      I think the easiest solution is to elevate your tower. Mine sits on a cinderblock (it used to sit on.a crate, but the crate eliminated to much under-desk space), which gives it just enough height for my monitor cord to have room. Or you could get an extension cord or longer monitor cord. But I’m inclined to try the cheapest thing, first.

      Reply
    1. Kj

      My office would never pay for it, but I got so tired of sitting, I just raised my adjustable table to full height. I’m short, so that is standing height for me. I’m not at it all day so the ergonomics being slightly off don’t bother me.

      Reply
    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

      Do you have a workplace safety person/group? You can often get your company to pay for it if it’s part of an ergonomic accommodation (e.g., bad back).

      That said, I bought mine because I fully intend to take it with me when I leave. I’ve only had one employer buy them for us, and that was the Feds, and I think they bought them for everyone because enough people asked that they received a massive discount for buying more (including for people who hadn’t asked for it but who were thrilled to have it).

      Reply
      1. AnotherAlison

        I bought mine, t00. Mine was $200, and that is a small investment considering I sit at my desk for 2000 hrs/year. It was worth it to buy it myself than to go through the red tape of the purchase options through work.

        Reply
    3. copy run start

      My old job did it, but I swear they found the smallest, cheapest standing desk thing they could. You had to manually crank the thing up and then stick a post under the front to keep it from tipping. It barely held a single monitor and keyboard, and the keyboard wasn’t on a separate tray. Super wobbly. Yet they happily threw down hundreds of dollars on higher-end Steelcase chairs.

      Reply
  4. Ann O'Nemity

    I don’t have a standing desk (yet) but I’ve noticed that some of the people who do spend an awful lot of time sitting on their (non-ergonomic) tall chair. I’m worried I’d end up doing that too.

    Reply
    1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist

      I’d recommend not getting a tall chair, honestly. If you’re in basically decent musculoskeletal shape, once you strengthen up your feet, legs, and core, you can stand all day pretty easily. The tall chair just delays acclimatizing to the task.

      Reply
      1. Kj

        Yep. I don’t have a chair and it is great. Husband has a balance stool for his standing desk, but then he is at this desk more than I am.

        Reply
      2. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist

        I should have clarified: I would recommend not keeping a tall chair around. When you’re building up the strength to stand, sometimes you do need to rest. But I’d ditch it ASAP.

        Reply
      3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

        I agree with TNMBOIS—don’t even keep a tall chair.

        I also swapped my normal chair for a yoga ball chair. It looks crunchy, but I’m ok with that.

        Reply
  5. JessaB

    I do know that standing is becoming popular and for some people it’s a really good idea, could those people who have offices that do these kinds of things try really hard to not develop a culture of standers vs sitters. I was literally just reading an article about how offices are subtly socially penalising persons who do not want to or who cannot stand.

    The thing I like about this particular configuration is it might actually work really well for someone in a wheelchair because you could raise the desk above the arms but still sit between it, whereas sometimes regular desks with knee holes are not really accessible at all. The “adapt everything” former special ed teacher in me could find a dozen ways to use this for persons who might not actually be able to stand at all.

    Reply
    1. Julie B.

      +1 I spent many of my early years in my industry standing at drafting tables and perching on awful tall stools. I associate all tall desks and standing-at-work with my early era and the pain in my back, feet, and knees. To me, standing equates to punishment. To me, it is a privilege to be able to SIT.

      Reply
      1. Venu

        Ditto. I’ve spent 10+ years working at retail and fast food jobs where I was on my feet 40 hours a week. My butt is in my chair and I am grateful to have a job where I get to sit.

        Reply
        1. PhillyPretzel

          Exactly. I did more than enough standing early in my career doing retail and cashier-type roles. I get that sitting all the time isn’t good for most people, but I just make sure to get up about once an hour, even if it’s just to walk to the bathroom or stretch and I work out plenty, so am pretty active when not at work. I think if I tried to work while standing I’d just be distracted by my constant desire to sit down.

          Reply
          1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist

            I’ve had plenty of standing and active jobs, and never felt this burning desire to sit down all the time. In general, I find sitting for longer than half an hour to be unpleasant – I feel sedentary, sleepy, and dull.

            Reply
            1. Venu

              And I find standing for longer than half an hour torturous, especially if I have to stand in one spot and pretty much not move, i.e. at a cash register or in front of a computer. Please let me sit so I’m not constantly shifting my weight from foot to foot looking like I need to go pee.

              Reply
      2. The IT Manager

        The epitome of the grass is always greener proverb. I could definitely use a standing desk for some of the day.

        Reply
      3. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist

        Standing at desks of the wrong height and tilt, or perching on a stool, I’m hardly surprised that you developed pain and resentment about it….but we’ve learned a bit about ergonomics since then, and standing desks are not what they once were.

        Reply
        1. Julie B.

          Oh yes, agree with you there! Multiple architects in our firm love the modern standing desks. They just aren’t for me!

          Reply
        2. Perse's Mom

          My back and knees are also not what they once were (which isn’t saying much, I’ve had back problems since I was 12). Standing desks are a no-go for me.

          Reply
    2. Tangerina Warbleworth

      @Jessa B, where is that article? I’m dealing with this at work right now. Everyone has jumped on to the standing desk/having two screens bandwagon, and you’re just Not As Good As Us if, like me, you don’t want those things. It’s exactly like middle school again, where if you’re not wearing Nikes and Izod and Forenza, then you’re sh!t from start to finish. I hate it.

      Reply
      1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist

        You must have some kind of weird-ass workplace culture, because I don’t think anybody notices or much cares who sits or stands around here.

        Reply
        1. Tangerina Warbleworth

          Private university. I would give anything to go back to the public university where I worked for nine years, as everybody there just accepted each other as-is. This place is Judgment Central.

          Reply
        2. MegaMoose, Esq

          Not to mention considering having two screens to be a bandwagon thing. Having two monitors isn’t a lifestyle choice, it’s just having the right resources to do your job efficiently. If you don’t need two, don’t use two, right?

          Reply
        3. JessaB

          It’s not always standing vs not. Any time there’s a new thing out, there’s an issue for the outliers, whether it’s because of disability or dislike. If your office culture decides to embrace x thing, it becomes an issue. It’s been seen around here on AAM a lot, whether it’s odd meeting trends, or teambuilding stuff, or whatever. Office culture can become very clique-ish if it’s not watched after by management at least a little.

          Reply
          1. AnotherAlison

            Design engineers and drafters. It’s the road to being paperless. . .you really do need to look at multiple docs or a few drawings + the 3D model + a calc file, etc. at one time. Back when I did real work, we were still allowed to print and use markers, lol.

            Reply
    3. NW Mossy

      That’s why I’m glad that my company decided to give everyone desk surfaces that adjust via touchpad controls. Everyone can tweak the desk height to their specs and you can easily flip back and forth between sitting and standing on a whim. It’s created a nice range of variability between who’s sitting and who’s standing at any given moment, so it becomes normalized to see desks at varying heights and there’s less stigma for those who sit (or stand) exclusively.

      Reply
    4. Kyrielle

      I have a sit-stand desk (not a desk modifier) and while I do use it standing and should use it standing more (not everyone should, but _I_ would benefit from it), my absolute favorite thing is that it’s now possible for me to have a true, ergonomically-correct setup when sitting, without needing a footstool. (Standard desks, if I’m properly positioned relative to the keyboard, _even with a keyboard tray_, have my feet dangling above the ground.)

      Reply
      1. Tau

        I’d appreciate one for that alone (standing isn’t an option for me – issues with my feet mean that I’d be in agony after an hour, if not less). I hate the footstools, and I’m too short for my feet to reach the ground at any one-size-fits-all desk.

        Reply
      2. Fellow Short Person

        Kyrielle, what is your sit-stand desk? I looked into them before (because I am also short) and didn’t see anything I liked, but it’s been a while.

        Reply
        1. Kyrielle

          I’m not sure! I took a quick look around it earlier and didn’t see the info – but I didn’t do an exhaustive search or anything. And now I’m not at work to do an exhaustive search. It’s whatever the company bought when they rolled out sit-stand desks to all employees in our office. :)

          Reply
        2. Drago cucina

          We have Stealcase air touch desks and they work equally well for the 6’4″ person and the 5’1″ person on staff.

          Reply
    5. Susan

      It annoys the crap out of me every time I read that “sitting is the new smoking.” I work at a job that requires me to spend a lot of time on my feet, and my feet hurt so much by the end of the day that I can barely make it to the parking lot, so damn it, I will sit down every chance I get, and I don’t need people judging me for it. I dare say there are a lot of people for whom standing for long periods of time is difficult and/or painful, and they don’t need evangelical standers shaming them for wanting to sit.

      That said, I think if I had a job where I had to be at a desk all day, I might like the ability to stand up once in a while just to help me stay awake.

      Reply
  6. The Wall of Creativity

    Those models in the photos look stiff as boards. Bet they can’t sit down. It’s no wonder they need one of these.

    Reply
  7. J.B.

    I really like my adjustable standing desk – but you really need to build strength to use it! If you’re sitting a ton and then get a standing desk it is easy to get into standing too much of the time, causing yourself more problems.

    Reply
  8. azvlr

    I would love to see the research on the benefits of standing to work (other than the anecdotal, “My legs are numb from sitting all day.”) Does standing have an impact on productivity? How long/often do people stand vs. sitting? Are there certain activities people typically stand and sit for (i.e am I more creative when standing, but need to sit when I need to concentrate?)

    I inquired about a standing desk, and the next thing I know it was submitted to my manager for approval. She was taken off-guard by the requests (I didn’t expect it to go through without me talking to her first). She approved it, but had reservations that it will be beneficial. I was very reluctant to ask because the lack of data and that fact that the unit purchased was $1100. I figure this year, I can kiss a raise or bonus goodbye, but if it helps, it will be worth it.

    Reply
    1. NW Mossy

      I’ve been using a standing desk for about 2 years, and I definitely notice that there are certain tasks that I don’t like to do standing – in-depth analysis is one that’s hard for me. On the other side, standing is great for when I’m answering emails or other short-burst activities.

      Reply
      1. Catherine from Canada

        Seconding this.
        I am standing right now, have just finished a lot of copy-paste.
        Will now lower desk to sit and create hierarchical diagram what I just copy-pasted.
        I find I can stand about 2 hours, then my feet hurt and I sit for about 2 hours until my hips hurt. Then I stand again. It takes a bit time management to arrange tasks to suit.

        Reply
    2. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist

      One benefit is metabolic, because it keeps your legs and core engaged. When sitting for long periods, your muscles enter a sort of screen-saver mode, and it’s absolutely terrible for your metabolism. I’ll look for the source and post it, but the effects persist even if you’re active outside work.

      I stand for everything, all day. I find that I concentrate and focus well. YMMV.

      Reply
      1. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist

        Oh, and also, it’s really helped with back pain. I used to suffer a lot of pain in my lower back (due to hunching and slouching) and right shoulder (from small, repetitive mouse movements and raising that shoulder) that have largely gone away since I started standing.

        Reply
    3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

      The core issue, for most folks, is that we need to move/fidget more. Standing engages more muscles than sitting, but standing with little movement (or at a maladjusted desk) has limited health benefits and is not substantially better than sitting (except for the muscle weakening issue, which is more acute if you sit for long periods). If you can get up and take a short walk every 1-2 hours, the net health benefits are fairly similar for sitting and standing. For people with certain back injuries, though, standing can be a lifesaver—it’s certainly made it possible for me to keep doing my job.

      That said, if I’m reading, I’m usually sitting, but if I’m typing, I stand. All my friends with standing desks do the opposite. I like to fidget/pace/bop around when I’m in “creating” mode, and none of that is easy to do while sitting. So in those contexts, standing makes me feel more energetic and alert once I’m past the muscle building stage (the first 2 weeks of acclimation can be achy and tiring). But I also have to wear sports shoes or use a mat and go shoeless when I do this, because standing all day, even in a low heel, can seriously jack you up.

      Reply
      1. NW Mossy

        I wear heels sometimes, and it’s not uncommon to find me standing in my bare feet because I’ve slipped them off under my desk. Toggling back and forth between wearing them and not is a good compromise for me, but I get away with it because my desk is part of a bay with only one other full-time occupant who couldn’t care less about my feet.

        Reply
      2. Venu

        I worked retail at a well-known bookstore chain where we had to wear dress shoes. The floors were concrete with a thin little carpet over them, and my feet hurt so much that I would cry at night. I managed to get away with wearing Doc Martens with super thick soles that weren’t “dress shoes” but didn’t look enough like sneakers to cause problems. During my five years there, several employees ended up getting foot surgery because of all the standing. If I’d stayed another year, it would have been me next. My feet are still jacked up and I left that job almost 10 years ago.

        Reply
      3. Tau

        I like to fidget/pace/bop around when I’m in “creating” mode, and none of that is easy to do while sitting.

        You’ve definitely never seen me on my office chair. (They spin for a reason, right??)

        More generally, thanks for the info! Standing isn’t an option for me unless everyone really wants to see me crying from pain, and with all the fuss that’s made about standing desks I’ve been worrying. I do try to make sure I get up and take a short walk regularly, and will continue to focus on that.

        Reply
      4. caryatis

        > If you can get up and take a short walk every 1-2 hours, the net health benefits are fairly similar for sitting and standing.

        How short of a walk? Because I would think most people get up that often to go to the bathroom, get some water, or whatever.

        Reply
        1. AnotherAlison

          I think the “get up and walk” recommendations are great from a health perspective, but kind of ridiculous from a work perspective. I read one the other day that said walk for 5 minutes every 30 minutes. WTF? That’s an hour and 20 minutes of walking and not working that you’re getting paid for. By the time you add in interruptions from people who drop in needing things, emails, phone calls, and scheduled meetings, I cannot add 16 more interruptions to my day. 5 minutes every 2 hrs is even hard. For a few weeks, I tried to extend my bathroom trips with a walk around the floor and up and down a few floors, and it took about 5 minutes to clear the move bar on my Garmin.

          Reply
        2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

          Honestly, probably longer than that. Something closer to going around the block (1/4–1/2 mile) or a 10-15 minute walk, or an NYT-style 7 minute workout. And you’d have to do it every 2-3 hours… aka, during your 15-min breaks and lunch. :( But don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good! Any movement, even if it’s a walk to the kitchen/restroom, is better than zero movement.

          Reply
    4. copy run start

      It helps me fight the afternoon sleepies to be able to stand, and it’s easier when I’m going back and forth between the computer and equipment. Everything in my work area is standing height, desks and tables, so I sit on a barstool height chair.

      Reply
  9. MegaMoose, Esq

    Our state appellate courts were in the progress of replacing all desks with adjustables like this right around when I was leaving – I’d have loved to give one of those a shot.

    Reply
  10. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)

    Alison, have you used this yourself? I’m curious about how study it feels.

    I am, apparently, a hard/heavy typer. My desk rattles when I type. I’m guessing a desk extender like this would exaggerate that even more.

    Reply
      1. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)

        Are you couch person or a dining room table person? (Those were the spots I alternated when I worked from home.)

        Reply
          1. Grits McGee

            I hope when science creates an office desk/chair combo that replicates the spine-soothing effect of being propped up on the couch, AAM is the first blog they promote it on.

            Reply
              1. JessaB

                Yeh they’re like 3/4 circles and they can recline and you can put like 3 monitors on them, they’re like crazy geek barcaloungers.

                Reply
        1. Parenthetically

          I am a couch person (with occasional folding tv tray usage) and my husband is a dining room table person, so this made me chuckle.

          Reply
    1. SL #2

      My standing desk at work (similar to the Compact shown in the 2nd photo) came with an adjustable-height support stand that you stick under the keyboard platform to give the whole thing more stability.

      Reply
    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

      Victoria, fwiw, my standing desk is designed to absorb stress, etc. from typing and doesn’t rattle when I type, and it doesn’t amplify rattling from the underlying desk (I.e., the furniture it rests upon).

      Reply
  11. Saturnalia

    I loved my mechanically assisted sit/stand desk from my last job. I will add that in addition to working up to longer stretches of standing, a standing mat is crucial to keep feet and other joints happy. I’m a huge fan of the imprint cumulus pro, and after standing on it all day at work for a month I got a couple for the kitchen too.

    With my meeting heavy schedule, I ended up standing all the time at my desk, since I knew the other half+ day I’d be sitting in various meetings. But, my body tends to do better standing than sitting in general due to some back issues. Not that I don’t spend all my free time sitting anyway lol (reading, gaming, watching stuff, being a lap for cats…)

    Reply
    1. NW Mossy

      I could have written this post – I have and endorse the same mat, and I also get a good mix by sitting in meetings and standing at my desk. I’ve found that it helps a lot with my bad shoulder (which gets aggravated by hunching to type when I’m sitting), and also keeps my hamstrings from tightening up as much.

      Reply
    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock

      Yes! A good mat is crucial, especially because most offices have concrete floors with thin carpet laid on top.

      Reply
  12. Purple Wombat

    I can’t speak for this specific brand of standing desk, as I use a standing desk that my husband built for me, but when set up properly, they can REALLY make a difference for your back! When I sit at my computer, I hunch over the screen, and by the end of the day, my back is killing me. With the standing desk, my back doesn’t hurt at the end of the day any more. :)

    Main caveats:
    1. Wear supportive shoes (or keep a set at your desk if you have to wear dress shoes around the office)
    2. Don’t start standing up all day all at once. It took me about a year to get to the point where I was standing the entire day (I started by alternating one hour sitting, one hour standing, and gradually increased)
    3. Make sure your setup is sturdy. It’s tough if your monitor or keyboard is wobbly!

    Reply
  13. Cautionary tail

    I just want a monitor that large. In the photos, the dual monitors appear to be almost two feet high x six feet wide. Try that same standup setup with a single monitor slightly larger than an iPad and see how well it works.

    Reply
  14. Lucky_l

    I just purchased FlexiSpot and have used it for one week!I like it very much. Comparing with Varidesk, it moves straight up and down that saves space. And it is $100 cheaper.

    Reply
    1. Gracie

      I have a varidesk and one of the things I dislike is how far out it goes. I’m practically in someone else’s cubicle. The straight up and down would be awesome.

      Reply
  15. Jules the First

    I have a fixed height standing desk at home (so at home I never sit at a computer) and I used to have a Varidesk at work. I loved my Varidesk and usually spent the morning standing and the afternoon sitting. In standing mode it was great for impromptu meetings at my desk (I didn’t have room for a guest chair but if we were both standing people were more likely to come up and discuss things). Some tasks aren’t well suited to standing – if I was writing text from scratch, I almost always sat, but graphic layouts, editing, filing, and research were all faster and easier while standing (ditto repetitive tasks and the post-lunch slump).

    My new job doesn’t go in for standing desks and I wish they did.

    Reply
  16. Lala

    I wish I could try a standing desk, but then we’d have to get much taller book carts otherwise I’d just end up bending/hunching down over them anyways. Standing while I work just isn’t really an option for what I do. At least my boss has zero issues with me getting up for walks as needed.

    Reply
  17. Kaybee

    Surprise benefit of my standing desk: When people come in to talk to me, they keep the conversation to the point. When I’m sitting and people come in and join me in my guest chairs, sometimes they settle in for a long meandering conversation. (Which is fine sometimes, but it’s hard to cut it off politely when I’m busy.) Never happens when I’m standing.

    Reply
    1. Saturnalia

      Ooh yes, and I also appreciated the different power dynamic of being eye level with those who dropped by with a request. Especially being a younger (but decently tall) female in a mostly older male office. No more men looming over my shoulder to point at my screen!

      Reply
      1. Kaybee

        So much this. It really changes the power dynamic. No one stands over my shoulder when I’m standing – I didn’t realize how much that bothered me until it stopped. And I have a very junior coworker who likes to mansplain my job to me, and something about being eye level with him almost eliminates that.

        Reply
  18. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist

    One downside to standing desks: unless you’re in an office where it’s the norm, people will bug the crap out of you, nonstop, until you’ve satisfied the collective curiosity and amazement. They’ll ask whether you’re busy or not, headphones in or not, and even in one case when I was on the phone, because apparently the burning curiosity about whether my feet hurt needed to be satisfied right that second. In my case, that took about two months.

    Reply
    1. Kaybee

      Oh gosh, I was the first person in my organization to get my particular brand of standing desk, so for awhile, my office was part of an unofficial tour of standing desk options for people who were interested. Unfortunately, I wasn’t informed of this in advance. I just came back from a meeting one day and there were a bunch of people in my office. Not even people from my own office (I work in a very small office,* so everyone’s curiosity was satisfied on day 1) but other branches of my organization – i.e. I walked in to a group of strangers all over my business. After that incident they learned to let me know in advance. Now that more people have my brand of standing desk I am no longer on the tour, but yeah, it did feel really intrusive for awhile.

      (*working for a very small office in a very large organization means I get both the small office dynamics/weirdness AND the large organization bureaucracy. Woo hoo.)

      Reply
    2. Gracie

      I was the first in my office and people would come to my desk all the time and some wanted pictures so they could show others at satellite offices. My desk stayed clean for a long time.

      Reply
  19. SL #2

    We all have the Kangaroo from Ergo Desktop at work, which is similar to the Compact version listed in the post. Love it! They’re not the most aesthetically pleasing thing in the world, but I love the option of being able to sit or stand at my desk as needed. My advice, though, is to get a comfortable standing mat. It really makes all the difference!

    Reply
  20. The Not Mad But Occasionally Irritable Scientist

    So, I use a Varidesk at work because it’s a cubicle with a fixed desk, but at home, I’ve mounted my iMac* to the wall using a flatscreen TV mount, and have my keyboard and trackpad on a wall-mounted table from IKEA. Since I was able to mount everything at the preferred height and distance for ergonomics, it’s a joy to use, and I’ve got a couple of shelves also mounted to the wall for phone chargers, printers tea mugs, and the like. It’s a pretty great setup, and cost under $75. I did do my own labor to install everything, including an outlet behind the computer so there’s no trailing cords.

    *I mention the iMac not because I care whether anybody knows that I prefer that ecosystem, but because it’s relevant that it’s an all in one system that can be mounted entirely on the wall, not a tower/monitor setup.

    Reply
  21. Gracie

    I have a varidesk at work and it really changed my productivity and helped physical issues. I had to slowly adjust to standing all the time so I’d stand for an hour and sit for an hour gradually increasing standing time. I also stop every hour and do some light stretches. My only issue with my desk is that I use a lot of paper files and don’t have a lot of space to keep stuff at level. I am saving to buy one at home after I move.

    Reply
    1. Cathy

      That is my issue with the Varidesk also! No room for all the patient files (in our paperless office, but that is another rant entirely LOL) I have a standing copyholder but it isn’t exactly what I need. I also spent quite a bit of time deciding exactly how to corral pens, Post-Its, etc. on the desktop portion within easy reach.
      It has helped tremendously with my back. I find if I have the radio on, I get more ‘exercise’ because I’m usually bopping to the music.

      Reply
  22. sitting too much, but still no good alternatives

    (/just ranting)
    I like this concept, but there is absolutely not enough workspace on the ‘desk’ portion for me. As a front desk person, my desk is always covered in other people’s work that I’m organizing somehow; right now I have four stacks of manila folders that need to be kept separated or I won’t remember wtf I was doing with them last Friday, and I’ve been too busy with Monday work to get to them this morning. Not to mention the plethora of office supplies that I need to tackle the paperwork – I don’t want to have to decide per task if I will need my stapler or my tape dispenser or my paperclips nearby; I want them all, in stationary positions I can count on.

    Alternatively, I would love to just use one of those ball-chairs, like several others in my office, but that doesn’t look professional enough for the lowly receptionist’s desk. >: P

    so next challenge –

    Make a flexidesk that looks good enough for a front desk and has plenty of space to work at while shifting/filing/organizing papers (or, maybe desk supplies add ons/extensions, like how you can clip a cupholder to things, that you could buy separately and arrange around the desk based on your needs?)
    or
    (rant to my company:) Let the receptionist be comfortable too. My chair is the only one that has a butt in it 8hrs/day, as even when I go to lunch, someone covers me. People who are never even in their chairs (*cough* executive team *cough*) have thrones from which they can rule the world. Why should I have to develop a medical problem before I get to sit comfortably in the seat I have to stay in for 8 hours? (don’t actually answer that question, I’m not arguing for executives having crappy chairs – just me having a decent one, too) I wish I could get my choice of chairs, but I’m still using my predecessor’s from a year and a half ago, with completely squashed butt padding. The carpet under my chair rollers is ruined, as well; gives a ‘mountain-bike’ experience when rolled around. A ball-chair would work so much better for me, and allow me to cross my legs/stretch under my desk.
    But, even if getting a new desk or chair was an option, I know I wouldn’t get to give an opinion, or pick what works best for my body type. Lower-tier personnel are often expected to make the most of what they’re given, and I realize that’s where I’m at in life now – but I can sure complain about it.
    (/end rant)

    Reply
    1. Kyrielle

      They make them! Getting a company to buy them might be another matter, but what sounds like the ideal for you would be a larger version of what I have – a sit/stand desk where the entire desk, not just a subset surface, raises and lowers. EvoDesk is one brand, but there are others. For bonus points, the way my monitor is mounted (and I’m not sure what brand I have), it’s actually occupying only a small space at the back edge of the desk – giving me more surface for other things. Not that I use that extra surface much, but it would be handy for you.

      Reply
      1. sitting too much, but still no good alternatives

        I read and reread your comment while hearing showcase music in my head : )
        that does sound great! one day..

        Reply
  23. Personal Best in Consecutive Days Lived

    I’m very curious about standing desks but I’m hesitant to get one because when I’m standing I get antsy. I can walk all day long but as soon as I stand still I get physically bored. (If I know I have time, I’ll wall to the next bus stop instead of standing and waiting, for example.)
    Is anyone with a standing desk like that? Do you find that working while you’re standing means you don’t get bored or is it a problem?

    Reply
    1. SL #2

      I’ve had mine for about 6 months now and I find that I focus better on certain tasks when I’m standing. For whatever reason, I prefer standing when I’m working with numbers in Excel or when I’m answering a chunk of emails. But if I’ve got a lot of things spread out over my desk and I need to reference all these papers, I much prefer sitting. But I also don’t tend to get restless when I stand, so ymmv on this, if restlessness while on your feet is a problem.

      Reply
  24. Elizabeth West

    I do sit a lot, but I also exercise. I’m probably not going to buy anything like this–I would try it, however, if I got a job where they encouraged us to use them. But if it didn’t work for me, then I would want my employer to let me sit.

    Reply
  25. Bartimaeus

    IKEA actually makes their own motorized standing desks, and they’re both durable and cheap. Search for BEKANT. I have one in my room now, and it’s great.

    Reply
  26. Winger

    My workplace is currently playing an absurd game of “how competent are we” with standing desks. Over the past year the number of requests for them has reached a new height and the ones they purchase keep having silly problems – they don’t fit on our desks, they force you to rearrange your office in awkward ways, they aren’t tall enough for anyone over 6’2 (which is many people here, including me!) It’s kind of obscene how much difficulty our operations staff has encountered getting appropriate standing-desk contraptions.

    Reply
  27. Anonyby

    I like the idea of a variable standing desk, but it won’t happen. I work at the front desk (of multiple offices), and all of our offices have the front desk as a built-in. It’s already too tall for me, so putting my equipment on another thing on top of the desk is just going to make the ergonomics worse when sitting. Plus then there’s the hassle of how it looks (it’s a very appearance-conscious company), and trying to get it to fit with the built-in desks… Way too much hassle.

    On the other hand, we have one group of contractors that share an office, and they have desks that are permanent standing desks. And other group of contractors in a recently-remodeled office got a custom standing-height table to work around, instead of individual desks. I don’t know how the member of that team that’s my height does it–it’s chest-height on me!

    Reply
  28. Jes

    I have one of these at work and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! It came in for my manger, but she didn’t like it, so I snagged it up before anyone else had a chance. I hardly ever sit for more than an hour at a time. I attend a lot of lengthy meetings at work and staff have gotten used to me standing up behind my chair in the middle of meetings. If your office is willing to purchase, I highly recommend it.

    Reply
  29. t

    I’ve been wanting one of these! I’m measuring my desk as soon as I get home so I can get the right one. :)

    Reply
  30. amy

    I’ve been using standing desks since my back went kablooie about 20 years ago. (Back is no longer kablooie.)

    They’re great — and if you’re short, you don’t need to shell out for anything expensive. The “desk” I’m using right now is actually a counter-height bar table, rather stylish, too. I’ve got a counter-height stool to go with it, because sitting is nice, too.

    The main thing though is just not working in places that expect you to *stay put* all day, which is and always has been baloney. I started saying no to that almost immediately after college, which was during the Cold War, because it was dumb. Being still for hours and hours is bad for you. And I found that employers would generally deal with however I wanted to work so long as the work got done. So — try pushing. I mean you can be polite about it. I’d have employers say, “But you have to — “and I’d say “No I don’t.” And voila, I didn’t.

    Reply

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