This should come as no surprise, but sitting for long periods of time has a negative impact on your overall health: it can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, lower calorie expenditure throughout the day and increasing the likelihood you could gain weight, and cause musculoskeletal issues.
Those new to working from home have the added issue of losing their usual passive activity, whether they've stopped walking to and from public transport or have fewer steps to take towards your coffee refill station, chances are they've spending more time on their backside now that the office is temporarily closed.
One solution to combat these issues is the standing desk, a hybrid machine that gives us the best of both worlds with the touch of a button.
Studies have shown repeatedly that standing desks give real, perceivable benefits almost immediately when users alternate between sitting and standing every 30 minutes while on the job like reduced back pain, improved cognitive function and mental health, and maybe even an extended lifespan.
To sort through the options, we talked to one enthusiastic personal user and scoured reviews of others to see which standing desks seemed the best choice when considering value, function, and visual allure.
Below you’ll find four options at all different price points to handle whatever your needs may be, from an expansive, quiet selection, to a simple converter that takes your current desk into the ‘20s with little to no assembly required.
And while you'll be standing far more often now with one of these picks, make sure to improve your seated times as well with one of these fantastic desk chairs as well as these cushions that will take the pressure off your spine.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
If you want the advice of someone who spends a lot of time at their desk, look no further than a New York City lawyer. Abe Melamed of the Derek Smith Law Group researched thoroughly before deciding on his crown jewel, the SmartDesk. “As an attorney who spends a lot of time at a desk, both with clients and more importantly working on a computer,” he said of the Autonomous desk, “being able to alternate between sitting and standing every 30 minutes to an hour is so critical. So while there are certainly a lot of options on the market, this is my personal favorite, especially for any company looking to purchase in bulk and give one to all employees at an affordable rate.”
With the lofty claim that this beauty was “designed by perfectionists,” Jarvis immediately position themselves as the gold standard line of standing desks on confidence alone. The L-shaped construction of this particular standing desk contains three motors and noise-cancelling technology alongside a laundry list of other pros that proves they aren’t just spouting puffed-up lip service, either. Reviews titles like “A thing of beauty” and “Form & Function!” you can tell the sturdy engineering is complemented by attention to aesthetic detail. Pricer than the rest, but a worthwhile splurge for those who need more desk space or prefer the cozy nook of a corner setup.
We’ve shown you the top of the line, but what if you already have a desk and would rather spend less money while still giving yourself options? A standing desk converter is just the thing for you, and the VariDesk Basic 30 is among consumer favorites for doing just that at an affordable price and great quality. 90% of Amazon customers rated it five out of five stars, with another seven percent giving it a close four. One user extols: “In 2 minutes I placed the screen, laptop and keyboard with no problem. Easy to move up and down. VERY STURDY and VERY WELL-MADE.”
The Uplift V2 comes with a higher price point, but it’s also wildly customizable and has the widest range of heights available on the market (24.3" - 49.9"), making it the ideal choice for taller customers–an added crossbar in the “commercial” model gives proper strength and stability when the desk is maxed out at it’s tallest height as well, which could come in handy for those with literal heavier workload. A recent buyer raved in the reviews, “I needed to create a more comfortable work-from-home environment with me and my wife's companies going remote during the COVID-19 pandemic. Uplift was the perfect investment to turn a corner of our small apartment into a comfortable working environment.”
“This is a bare bones, simple, adjustable height desk which is exactly what I was looking for,” one standing desk convert says in a thorough review of this affordable and top-rated model on Amazo. They continue, “The design allows for optimal space underneath for my legs with no weird protrusions hitting my knees. The frame is well made and easy to put together with the provided instructions.” While there are no bells nor whistles to speak of here, the desk can hold up to 158 pounds while seamlessly transitioning from seated to standing modes, and warranties for the frame (five years) and electric parts (two years) are included in the purchase price.
The Luxor sets itself apart by suggesting right up front that this generously sized unit is perfect for a two-screen set up, as needed by many for work or gaming these days. A hand crank makes you work a little harder to adjust from standing to sitting and vice versa, but less mechanical parts means less chance for something to break down which is appealing for those not well versed in technical repairs. The price tag is attractive as well, coming in under $300, and the company promises the desk is “built to last.”