Are standing desks worth it?

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Standing desks have become more common in recent years. They are worth considering, but the question that needs to be answered is: Are standing desks worth it? The answer depends on your preferences and setup, so let’s dive into the topic.

What is a standing desk?

A standing desk is a desk that allows you to not just sit in front of your computer but stand in front of it. This is still a relatively new phenomenon that has evolved over the last few years. For example, standing desks were not a thing early in my career. Nobody ever thought about standing in front of their computer and working. Sitting down was the status quo.

Automatic standup desk

Forget about walking on an office treadmill underneath your stand-up desk while working. But standing desks and even an under-desk office treadmill have become more and more common. It feels good to change your position while working every once in a while, and sometimes that involves standing, and sometimes that involves sitting. And at times it might involve a slow walk.

under standing desk treadmill

How to use standing desks?

It’s easy to overdo it with your standing desk. For example, when I stand for hours at a time, I end up not feeling too good. But if I sit all day, the benefits of a standing desk also go away. For me, the solution is to not stay in the same position all day and stand up while doing my daily work feels great for my lower back and body in general.

So I try to start the day or end the day standing for an hour or two and then continue that the following day. So, for example, if I end the day standing, I will also start the next day in the standing position. Then I will sit down for a bit and finish the day in the standing position.

Another strategy might be to sit for an hour, stand for an hour, and then keep repeating that cycle. This somewhat constant up and down can be easier on powered desks and harder on manual desks.

Read next: Podcast setup: Should I sit or stand?

The different types of standing desks

There are three main types of standing desks.

Powered desks

With the push of a button, these desks go up and down for you—no need to wind up a crank or push in handles and pull up.

Many options are available – including customizable colors, L-shaped and different sizes. So consider how you like to work, how much space you need, and your budget.

standing desk L shaped with motor

The ease of use that a motor brings to a standing desk answers the question, “is a standing desk worth it?” with yes for me.

Picking the right standing desk for you

Nonetheless, it’s not just about ease of use; budget might be more important to you. The last example currently costs close to $600, but standing desks for under $300 also exist. This manual standing desk, for example, currently sells at $180. 

manual standing desk

Standing desk that goes on top of other desks

VariDesk has these kinds of standing desks, called “converter” desks. You basically put them on top of your existing desk. They also are manual, and you have to use both hands to pull them up.

standing desk on top of desk

Picking the right standing desk for you

Overall, I’ve been happy with having a stand-up/sit-down desk. It gives me the flexibility to adjust my work environment, stretch out my back and maybe even be healthier.

Whichever works for you depends on your current setup, how much space you need, and what look you are after. But, at the end of the day, getting a standup desk is worth it – even if you use it just occasionally.

For example, currently I have two setups. I have one desk that is for sitting and standing and then one desk that is actually for walking. Having the under desk treadmill under one and having another desk to sit and stand, makes it easier to move between them without much adjustment of the desks.

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