So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge, completely shake up how you work and buy a standing desk - but now what?
As you find yourself browsing through a seemingly infinite number of designs that look pretty much the same, and promise roughly the same kind of working environment, but with vastly differing prices, it can suddenly feel a little overwhelming.
But fear not, we’re here to help. Before making your big purchase, here are seven factors to consider that will not only help you find exactly what you need but also help you get the most out of it when you find it.
What are you going to use it for?
Let’s start simple. Before making any purchase it’s important to be clear on why you need it - otherwise, you’re simply buying for buyings sake.
Standing desks can be used for a variety of different purposes, ranging from the traditional work desk to a child’s arts and crafts table and from a mini musical studio to a handy table that can be wheeled out when you have guests to put snacks on.
When you have a clear idea of exactly how you’re going to use the standing desk, other pieces of the jigsaw begin to fall into place, such as whether you need charging ports or drawers and how much desk space you will actually need.
How much time are you planning to use it?
Are you looking to completely replace a sitting desk, or simply have something extra that you can use from time? This question may well determine what kind of budget you have to play with. For a full-time desk replacement, it certainly makes sense to get the vest best on offer, but if you just want something you can use from time to time, a cheap alternative might be a good choice.
Do you have any medical issues?
There is now an overwhelming amount of evidence that says standing desks are significantly better for the human body than traditional sitting desks, even when they are used in conjunction with top-of-the-line office chairs.
Excessive sitting has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure and cancer and standing desks are now blazing a trail in the fight for better health. But that doesn’t automatically mean they are going to be the panacea for everybody’s issues.
Unfortunately, some will always struggle to stand for extended periods. This may be down to existing medical conditions, such as back, spine or muscle problems, but could also be linked to obesity. Even if there are long-term benefits, suddenly switching to a standing desk can have negative short-term consequences on the body that can actually make things worse. If you do have any medical issues, it’s always worth checking with your doctor before making any major changes.
How much weight capacity and space do you need?
Quite simply, standing desks are not yet at the same weight capacity as traditional desks and when you think about their design, you can understand why.
FlexiSpot standing desks tend to have a weight capacity of between 40kg and 125kg, which is a big difference, so it’s important to be clear on what exactly you’re planning on putting on the desk before buying anything. If you’re a two monitor and a mountain of hard drives kind of a person, you’ll want to find something at the upper weight capacity region.
Space is another area where standing desks do tend to suffer a little when compared to other desks, though there are options such as the Single Motor L-Shaped Standing Desk EG1-L, which is trapezoidal, and so provides more space than other models. If you’re used to a huge sitting desk where you can spread out to your heart’s content, you might be in for a shock with a standing desk, but on the plus side, it might make you a little tidier.
What is the maximum and minimum height?
The maximum and minimum height of a standing desk are two of the most important factors before making a purchase. If you are on the tall side, you’ll want to be sure that the standing desk you’re about to buy actually goes up to a comfortable height, otherwise you’ll find yourself needing to bend forward, which completely negates the benefit of having a standing desk.
A standing desk should be roughly at elbow height, with your elbows at a 90-degree angle from the floor. To give you a rough idea of desk height, a person who is 5'11'' (180 cm) would have their desk about (111 cm) high which is below most FlexiSpot maximum heights, but for those over 6’5” (195cm) you may have problems find desks that come up to the height you need.
Minimum height is another number to consider, especially if people of different heights are going to be using the desk while seated, but also if you want to find something that can be conveniently tucked away under something else when you aren’t using it.
The Bottom Line
There are several other factors to think about before making a purchase, such as whether you want an electric motor or hand crank and what kind of design and materials you’d like to have, but these often become personal preferences that don’t really change the overall impact of using a standing desk.
If you’re serious about a standing desk and see it as a long-term replacement for a traditional desk, then it’s certainly worth taking your time to get the right kind of model. Don’t rush out and make an impulse purchase, a more careful and considered approach will not only mean you get what’s best for you, but you’ll also be able to get the very best out of your new standing desk.