Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking? It’s true – plenty of trials have shown that sitting all day leads to significant increases in health risks. Everything from obesity to certain cancers can be aggravated by sitting, and the average American sits for 11 hours out of their day. How can you alleviate the risk and keep your body healthy? One way that offices are combating the dangers of sitting is by introducing their employees to standing desks.
There are many types of standing desks, and all are designed to increase the ergonomics of your work space. These desks can either make it so that you must stand to work at the desk, or give you the option to sit or stand throughout the day. How do you know what type is best for the work that you do? Here are some things to consider about buying standing desks.
What Kind of Standing Desk Do You Want?
The first thing to consider is the type of desk you’ll want. The two most popular options include:
- Sit-stand desks. These are desks made specifically for standing during your working hours. They convert to sitting desks, usually with just a quick push of a button or tug at a locking mechanism. Being purposefully built as a standing desk, these desks often have more ergonomic designs for standing purposes.
- Standing desk converters. These are kits that turn your regular sitting desk into one that has the option to stand or sit. If you like your current desk, this may be a good option. These often look like shelves that stand on top of your sitting desk, but they are extremely sturdy and allow you to actually work on the higher surface as you stand.
You’ll definitely want to consider what you need to have on your desk when choosing. If your desk has a lot of equipment on it, such as multiple monitors and speakers, you may not be able to find a converter that will hold everything.
It’s also important to note that standing all day in the same position isn’t exactly good for you either. The key to reducing a sedentary lifestyle is movement, not necessarily just standing. So having a desk that it easy to convert is also a good idea.
How Does the Desk Fit You?
The next thing to consider about standing desks is how they suit you. If you are very tall or very short, average height sit-stand desks may cause you some back pain. The optimal range for a desk is usually between 22.6 inches at the sitting level, and 48.7 inches at the highest standing level – but a desk that offers even more options is always great.
Consider the depth of the desk, too. If you need more room to spread out your work, a desk with a deeper work top may be appropriate. However, it may make the desk take up too much space in the office.
Other Features of Standing Desks to Consider
There are a few other things to consider as you narrow down your options. Consider features such as:
- How fast the desk can be converted. You may want to be able to get into the sitting or standing position quickly so as not to interrupt the work flow.
- How noisy the conversion function is. Some desks can have a loud cranking noise when you convert them from one function to another. That is why stand up desks may be more appropriate in an office where you need quiet.
- Will you need the desk to be near an electrical outlet? Chances are if you have computer equipment on the desk, you are near an outlet already. But keep in mind that desks that convert between sitting and standing often need a source of power.
- Can the desk support the weight you need it to? If you have very heavy equipment on your desk, make sure the desktop can support it. Some standing desk converters may not be stable enough for very hefty equipment.
- Does it include any other features that improve ergonomics? Some desks offer even more features that decrease sedentary work, such as treadmill desks that encourage movement while you work.
- Automated or programmable conversion. Some desks may be used by multiple users. One great feature to have in this case is a desk that can be programmed with certain height settings, so users can easily get their workstation set up without having to fiddle with settings every day.
Budget for Standing Desks
The last thing to consider about buying standing desks is how they fit into your budget. There are standing desk options for almost any budget range, so this is not the best place to start. Once you have all the other features narrowed down to what you really need and want, and what wouldn’t work for you, then begin looking for the best desk for the price.
For example, you can find heavy-duty, sit-stand desk converters at Eureka Ergonomic for as little as $349, while there are fully automated and programmable standing desks for $899 and above. That’s a large range, meaning that anyone from the freelancer in a home office, to a multi-national corporation can find the right option for their budget.
The Lifespan of Standing Desks
Be sure to consider the durability of any office furnishings you choose. Most health professionals recommend switching between sitting and standing about every hour, so in an average work day, the desk may need to move between seven to nine times if it is an automatic desk. This is why fixed desk-top converters may be the better option for some offices – the lack of electronic parts may mean the desk is a little bit more long-lived.
Will Standing Desks Make You Healthier?
Without a doubt, yes! Moving throughout the day is the best way to help lower your chances of major health risks. This one change can save your life, so check out how to improve your office today.