For several months now I’ve been working at my desk standing up. Actually, that’s not quite right as I haven’t been standing constantly for months, there are times when I lie down (at night for example in bed) and I do sit down in the evening… but you know what I mean!
I was first alerted to so-called “standing desks” a couple of years ago when they were featured on BBC Breakfast. With a history of back problems, it’s seemed like a good idea to pursue for some time so earlier this year I finally started looking in to it.
After much research, I was originally going to go for an item that would allow me to raise and lower my computer monitor and keyboard. The Varidesk came in two flavours: a standard model and and wider version. At the time I was about to order (back in March 2014), Varidesk had just launched a new model in their US store (the Varidesk Plus – pictured) that included a separate keyboard tray that would raise along with the main monitor stand meaning you wouldn’t have to manually lift the keyboard. That sounded good to me so I contacted their UK office to be told it was due here in a couple of months.
So I waited.
In the meantime, I had a bit of a re-think and decided that only being able to lift part of my desk was going to cause me problems – it would surely be far better to lift the whole desk, wouldn’t it?
I’d looked at this option during my research, however desks that lifted cost 4 times as much as the Varidesk which had put me off. The other important factor was my current desk, which was a nice, large desk with nothing wrong with it – why throw out a perfectly good desk? I wondered if I could just get some adjustable legs instead!
So out came the internet and off I went looking for some legs!
I quickly came across a company offering different legs sets for existing desks. The price for electric adjusting legs is about twice that of a Varidesk, however it seemed a reasonable extra to pay to have the extra desk space in either high or low position so I ordered one. I could’ve saved money by buying a manually adjusting version, but the electric version seemed a good option.
Putting it together was straightforward and attaching to my existing worktop simple. So since mid July 2014 I’ve been able to raise and lower my entire desk, and what a difference it’s made! I can’t recommend this method of working highly enough.
The top picture shows my desk in the lowered position. It looks as it did prior to the upgrade (in other words, adding the adjustable legs doesn’t prevent it lowering to a “usual” height). The second photo shows it in the raised position. This is adjustable to cope with just about any height – however tall or short you may be.
Each leg has its own motor and is very powerful so has no problem coping with very heavy weight on the desk. It also has a safety feature so that when the desk is being lowered, if it detects any resistance the lowering will stop and the desk will raise itself back up a few inches.
Below left is the button used to raise and lower the desk which can be mounted to the desktop itself if required.
Don’t quote me on it, but I read somewhere that standing for just 3 hours a day for a year when you would normally sit is equivalent to running several marathons.
I’m finding that I’m spending most of my working day standing, sometimes (but not always) lowering the desk for the final hour or so of the working day. It’s not unusual, however, for the desk to remain in the “standing” position for several days at a time. For example, I’m typing this on Monday 29 December 2014 and I think the last time the desk was lowered was around 19 December (although to be fair, I haven’t worked so much this week due to Christmas).
In summary, I can highly recommend standing to work at a computer. It’s healthier, aids concentration and is just overall a better option if you’re a keyboard monkey like myself.