“Sitting is the new smoking.“ Sitting is a central requirement of employment for most people these days. As a result, health workers are seeing an epidemic of problems related to sedentary lifestyles: cardiovascular issues, back pain, repetitive stress injuries. It’s a high tech epidemic with a low tech solution: standing desks.
There is a growing array of solutions to give workers more options for completing their daily tasks without sitting all day. As with many things, you get what you pay for.
On the lower end, you can find adjustable height stands that raise and lower your monitor and keyboard. Most of these are clunky to use. Because they can be challenging to adjust, workers often wind up giving up and sitting back down. They are out a little money and now have cumbersome monstrosities beneath their hardware.
It is easier to recommend electronic variable height desks that adjust at the press of a button. Some of them have preset heights. These are relatively easy to use. The motors make a little noise and take a short time to adjust to the desired height, but these are rarely deal breakers for workers. You can even find models like this at IKEA. The downside of reliance on these electronic solutions is that when they break, most users will not be able to repair them. They are essentially disposable.
The most durable solution is also the most expensive: the Humanscale adjustable height standing desk called “Float.” Height adjustments are easy, silent, and fast. It uses a counterbalanced weight mechanism that relies on physical engineering and gravity. There are no electronics to break on you.
Buyers can choose from a wide selection of tabletops or supply their own custom tops. The core mechanics built into the legs and frame are the most expensive parts. The structures are over-engineered for individual use and will last likely last a lifetime or two.
Whichever solution you select, start gradually, with brief periods of standing several times a day. Pay attention to which kinds of work you can successfully get done standing and which ones are better suited to sitting. Variety is the spice of life, and you will enjoy the pay off in good health.