environmental

How to Choose a Standing Desk

You’ve been working from your home office for a while now, and you’ve started to feel the effects on your body after roughly 2 years of sitting. You don’t walk around during the day as much, now that your parking lot is your own hallway and the coworker you need to catch up with is your dog next to you.

So, are standing desks worth it?

Chances are you’ve already thought about investing in a standing desk to add some movement into your workday or to level-up your workstation, but it's important to know how to choose a standing desk that is worth it for you. We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about choosing the right standing desk. Keep these tips in mind as you read through all those online reviews! 

Electric Standing Desks

  • An electric standing desk is the most comprehensive option. Of course, you can use an upside-down laundry basket as a quick fix, get a desk converter at a lower price point, or even look into a manually adjustable desk, but an electric desk will give you the best ease of use overall. 
  • Material quality will impact how long a desk will last. For an electric standing desk, also consider the motor components; a dual-motor will power more up-and-down action over its lifespan, plus the increase to speed of height adjustability. This isn’t usually an issue for companies dedicated to making ergonomic furniture, but can be with budget models. (Impatient desk workers beware.) 
  • Often overlooked is the noise level. It’s a seemingly small thing that can be frustrating over time, so look for something below at least 60 dB. Under 40 dB is considered quiet. 

Height Adjustability Range

  • Your required range depends on your size! Check out this desk height calculator for the easiest way to find out what you need. The goal is to be able to keep your shoulders relaxed and your elbows close to the body at 90 degrees when typing. 
  • If your desk is too high, you can raise your chair and use a footrest. I prefer to keep my feet flat on the floor most of the time, so at a height of 5’7”, I looked for a desk that went below 26”.
    • Most standard desks are built around 28” – 30”, and this is one of the reasons I love my standing desk – for sitting!
  • Consider whether you’ll be sharing this desk with anyone else. (House pets N/A; your cat can sit and judge you from any height.)

Tabletop

  • It goes without saying that you should choose a tabletop size that fits your space and your gear, but a tabletop's thickness is also important. Make sure the thickness is only 1” – 2” toward the seating area. Anything thicker will prevent you from keeping a relaxed position with your legs and arms.  
  • If you choose a corner desk, plan to sit along a straight edge instead of the corner. You’re more likely to maintain neutral postures this way. 

Frame Stability

  • You'll find more stability in a frame that has square columns, reinforced material, and wider feet. Frame material and overall weight can also be a factor. In particular, look out for stability when positioned in standing range. A 3-stage frame will be your best bet if you’re above average height.  
  • The weight capacity of your desk must be more than all the stuff you plan on putting on top, so double check the weights of your monitor and accessories. Most basic standing desks easily handle over 100 lb.   

All the Extras

  • You might not need the extras, but you might want them. Programmable heights are convenient, and connective desks can pair with your smart devices, track your movement, and give reminders to stand up. An aesthetic desk will give you a bit of joy in your work from home space. An extra power plug or cable management options keep your workspace sleek. 
  • Accessories that play well with standing desks include: angle adjustable footrest, balance board, anti-fatigue mat, ring light, adjustable chair. Some companies will give you a deal on combos!  

Logistics

  • Price matters, as does the shipping method and cost. Keep in mind the setup required and the return policy. Free trials are ideal! 
  • Make sure the warranty period is one you’re comfortable with for the investment. A good manufacturer will stand by their product. 
  • Choosing a local company has so many benefits. If you’re in Canada, check out EFFYDESK. If you’re in the USA, look out for Fully.

Once you’ve got your standing desk, remember to use it in a way that’s comfortable for you. Get your setup right, build up to standing for longer periods over time, and alternate sitting and standing throughout the day.

Happy desk hunting! 

Blog, Ergonomics, Office Ergonomics