If time flies when you’re having fun, then working with a standing desk is a blast!
…Okay, it’s still work (although when you passionately enjoy what you do, the lines are often blurry!)
I started using a standing desk last Fall and shared my initial thoughts. My plan was to followup on my real-life experiences with another review during the holidays, but suddenly it’s nearly Spring.
The way to tell the difference between an intelligent tool for improving posture and one of the many dumb gizmos and gadgets being marketed is to see what happens after the novelty wears off and real life goes on. Varidesk is the market leader in stand up desk retrofits, and they asked me to try their standing desk (they also have a Height-Adjustable Laptop Varidesk. Even though I really like the theory of unfolding posture for desktop warriors, experience tells me it takes a bit of time doing real life to accurately assess usability, features and value.
My verdict: Good. Really good…but in some different ways than I anticipated. And some of my behaviors were not what I expected, with some lessons learned with experience. But first a caveat: Work requirements, personal posture issues, environments, habits and preferences vary…a lot. Mine is probably not yours- The goal here is giving you insight to help you design your posture environment to your body and work situation.
I work with a large 27” iMac all-in-one computer+monitor that’s connected to a separate 27” monitor, plus a mouse, as well as a trackpad. And my 13” Macbook Air laptop is often there as well. Add-on sundry pads, Post-its, notes, coffee cup, scanner, stereo, business cards, pens, etc, and you might get the idea I am not obsessively un-cluttered, and likely could consider me somewhat of a geek.
One of my initial concerns was the weight would be an issue for stability when the desktop was raised – I pictured the words on my monitor screen vibrating as I typed. Happy to report this is NOT an issue.
My initial perception: I’d move it up and down to vary the height during the day. After all, the first Posture Principle is Your Body Is Made to Move.
My experience: Turns out I move the desk up or down occasionally, but not a few times a day. It goes up to collaborate with someone on my team or a visiting colleague – really nice to stand side-by-side working on the same screens (although battling for cursor control can be vexing when one person has a mouse and the other can grab the trackpad). It goes down when I switch to sitting on my Thera-Band ball.
Lifting from the lowest position means lifting two monitors, so it can require a bit of bracing. It’s easier if you place the most inner edge of the Varidesk’s keyboard curve to be flush with the edge of the desk. The company recommended placing hips against this curve when lifting, but I use a slightly different strategy. The desk with about 40+ lbs of stuff lift fairly easily if I hold the desk’s lift handles while pressing my thighs to my desk and just lean backwards. (Let me know if you’d like to see a video about that)
Confession: I’m surprised at how the different levels incentivize me to a neater environment…And improved my awareness of desk environment (actually organized my rat’s nest of cables from the USB hubs!)
Initially I thought I’d use my standing desk to do standing balance exercises. Hasn’t worked out that way. Will stand on foam rollers or foam stability pad sometimes, but find doing exercises distracting (and anyway, one of the points of StrongPosture® exercise is training attentional focus).
One random idea I’ve yet to try: Putting furniture sliders under it to make it possible to slide backwards. If you try this, do so at your own risk…and let me know how it works out.
Bottom line: I’m a fan. A big fan. Thank you Varidesk!
Note: Here’s the standing desk I use from the Varidesk line. I have dual screens (iMac and a 2nd large monitor) so I needed a large desk. If you don’t have dual screens, or work primarily with a laptop – any of the smaller variable height desks will work for you.