10 Best Standing Desks for the Hybrid Workplace

10 Best Standing Desks for the Hybrid Workplace
Research into standing desks is still in its infancy, but it’s becoming clear that they can have significant health benefits and help negate the adverse effects of sitting all day.

More people are working from home than ever before. 

These same people aren’t expending energy on the commute or moving around a large office environment like they used to.

Sedentary occupations have risen dramatically over the past 50-60 years. Increasingly, people are sitting for an average of 40+ hours each week. 

Despite the rewards that come with working from home, a hyper-sedentary work life can wreak havoc with our health, energy levels and overall sense of wellbeing. 

As such, home workers are exploring ways to customize and improve their workspaces. One of their key priorities is to improve the ergonomics of their work environment. 

The same goes for office managers, designers and other professionals who are all too aware of the negative impact sitting at a desk all day can have on employee health. 

Standing desks have emerged as one of the most popular choices for those who want to improve their workspace. Standing desks raise your computer high enough for you to work and stand at the same time, keeping you on your feet for more of the day.

Standing Desks 1

These days, most standing desks are adjustable, allowing you to split your time between sitting and standing according to your personal preference or the task at hand. 

These desks are also called “height adjustable desks” or sit-stand desks”. 

Research into standing desks is still in its infancy, but it’s becoming clear that they can have significant health benefits and help negate the adverse effects of sitting all day. 

Unsurprisingly, standing desk sales have skyrocketed over the last 12 months as people look for ways to work smarter and healthier. 

Yet with so many options out there, choosing a standing desk isn’t always easy. This guide should help you find the right one based on your specific needs.

Why get a standing desk anyway?

The main reason many people choose standing desks is due to the health benefits. Excessive sitting has been linked with higher diabetes and heart disease rates, for instance. 

Let’s take a closer look at the research around tasking desks and the following:

  • Longevity
  • Calories
  • Blood sugar
  • Back pain
  • Moods 
  • Productivity 

1. Longevity

Longevity

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2010 found that standing can have a positive impact on people’s life expectancy.

Women who reported sitting for more than six hours during their leisure time – versus less than three hours a day – had an approximately 40% higher all-cause death rate, and men had an approximately 20% higher death rate.

A separate study concluded that the estimated gains in life expectancy in the US population were two years for reducing excessive sitting to less than three hours a day.  

2. Calorie burning 

Calorie burning

Some experts also believe that sitting for long periods of time contributes to weight gain, because you inevitably burn fewer calories. 

While standing burns a handful more calories per hour than sitting, moving around is what really lowers your risk of weight gain and obesity.

3. Lower blood sugar levels

Some studies have linked the use of standing desks to lower blood sugar levels. 

One research paper found that following a meal, blood sugar levels returned to normal quicker on the days the participants spent more time standing. 

In a study of 10 office workers, standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the blood sugar spike by 43%, compared to sitting for the same amount of time. 

Both cohorts in the study took the same amount of steps, so the researchers could deduce that the smaller spike was due to standing as opposed to moving around more.

4. Back pain relief

Workers often state that using a standing desk leads to less back pain. 

One study concluded that “transitioning from a seated to a standing work posture every 30 minutes across the workday, relative to seated work, led to a significant reduction in fatigue levels and lower back discomfort in overweight/obese office workers.” 

Another study found that employees who used a sit-stand workstation experienced a “significant reduction” in existing low back pain. 

Standing Desks 2

5. Better moods

Aside from physical health reasons, there are other benefits associated with using a standing desk. In one 7-week study, participants using standing desks reported less stress and fatigue than those who sat down for the whole day. 

What’s more, 87% of standing desk users felt they had more energy throughout the day.

6. Increased productivity levels 

Studies have shown that standing desks can also boost productivity levels.

One study compared a group of call centre workers who had access to a “stand-capable” desk to a seated group. The experiment involved 167 employees across two departments. 

Those using the stand-capable desks were around 45% more productive day-to-day than their seated coworkers. 

The productivity of the stand-capable desk users also significantly increased over time, from around 23% in the first month to around 53% over the following six months.

Allwork.Space writer and flexible workspace founder, Jamie Orr, trialled a standing desk while working from home during the pandemic. 

She found that she needed to make “some big improvements” to her WFH setup, and “the changing work schedules and needs of my coworking space members has also made me reevaluate how the space can be better designed to help them be more productive.”

“While I still occasionally use the kitchen table for task work, the standing desk has made it much easier for me to be productive when I really need to spend time focusing on projects. 

“I have also found that I much prefer the ability to take video calls while standing, which has been an unexpected benefit to upgrading my workspace.”

Are standing desks overrated?

Standing desks are promoted by various health experts. However, most experts also agree that movement is the key to good health. 

Researchers publishing in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health provided 74 healthy people with masks measuring oxygen consumption. 

They used the data to work out how many calories they burned while working on the computer, watching TV, standing, or walking on a treadmill. 

Are standing desks overrated?

Of course, burning an extra few calories is better than nothing. However, walking is more than twice as beneficial as just standing. 

In the absence of walking to the bus stop or up and down the office stairs, perhaps it’s time to get to know your neighbourhood better on your lunch break…

Is standing for 8 hours bad?

Standing all day isn’t recommended. 

The Latest News
Delivered To Your Inbox

In fact, some research states that standing all day can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, mostly because it can result in blood pooling around the leg area. It’s all about achieving a balance by combining sitting with standing. 

While some of the benefits of standup desks are exaggerated, they can definitely help reduce back and shoulder pain associated with working while seated.

Standing Desks 3

The 10 Best Standing Desks for the Hybrid Workplace

The most basic standing desks are fixed at your standing height. Sit-stand desks, on the other hand, let you switch between seated and standing positions using a handle or lever. Power sit-stand desks go one step further by adjusting at the press of a button!

What are the best standup desks?

The best standup desks combine style with functionality and value. Of course, it also comes down to your preference and budget. Although standing desks can be quite expensive, more affordable ones are coming onto the market due to an increase in demand. 

How do you choose the right standing desk?

The most important thing is to find one that adjusts from the correct sitting height to the correct standing height for you. 

Perhaps you’re looking for a standing desk to complement your home office. Or maybe you run a workspace and want to provide your members with some standing desk options. 

Either way, be sure to check out the standing desk recommendations below. 

When figuring out which of these standing desks is the right choice for your workplace, (whether that’s your home or an office), consider the following four factors:

  • Functionality – does it adjust to different heights and what’s the height range?
  • Durability – is it well-constructed and made out of high quality materials?
  • Safety – is it quality/safety assured?
  • Style – does it look nice and suit your decor?

1. Uplift V2 Standing Desk

With a solid price and serious customization options, the V2 is quickly becoming one of the most popular standing desks on the market today. 

It features a control pad input and more than 20 desktop wood options, and can fit into virtually any workspace. The only downside is that it might not work if you’re shorter than 5’4. 

VIEW & BUY

2. Vari Electric Standing Desk

The Vari comes in at a close second place for a number of reasons. 

First of all, it’s notoriously sturdy. The desk doesn’t wobble at all, which is important for safety and durability reasons. S

Secondly, the desk is actually very affordable, which makes it one of the best standing desks for home offices. The only downside is its lack of customization options. 

VIEW & BUY

3. ApexDesk Elite

This desk is your go-to option if you need a lot of work space. If you’re doing some serious work with multiple monitors, the Apex can facilitate your needs. The build quality is also nice, making it one of the best standing desks in 2021. 

VIEW & BUY

4. Fully Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk

This very attractive desk is made out of bamboo wood. Bamboo is very sustainable, making this one a solid choice if you’re looking for an eco-friendly standing desk. 

It adjusts to a range of height so will, from an ergonomic point of view at least, suit most people. It isn’t overly large either, making it one of the best standing desks for apartments. 

VIEW & BUY

5. FlexiSpot EN1

Many people avoid motorized standing desks because of the price point. 

But with the FlexiSpot, you can get a motorized desk without breaking the bank. The only drawback is that it’s not massively stable when extended to full height. As of right now, its price makes it one of the best standing desks under $300. 

VIEW & BUY

6. FlexiSpot ClassicRiser

If you already love your desk but you wish that it could be somehow converted into a standing desk, then you probably need a standing desk converter. 

One of the best options is FlexiSpot’s ClassicRiser, which enables you to easily extend your desk and use it however you’d like. 

VIEW & BUY

7. NewHeights Elegante XT

If price isn’t really a problem for you, then you might want to consider New Height’s Elegante XT. This desk features a wide range of excellent features, including quality electronics, collision avoidance and overload detectors, German-built gears and motors, and much more. 

VIEW & BUY

8. Branch Standing Desk

This desk is a great “all-rounder” that does pretty much everything right. 

It’s motorized and is extremely durable. The only real downside is that its surface is melamine instead of hardwood, which might dissuade those concerned about style. 

VIEW & BUY

9. Ikea Adjustable Standing Desk

Chances are, there’s an Ikea near you. 

This means that you can go and check out their standing desk options in person and see how they work. While it’s not our top pick, there’s certainly nothing wrong with getting an adjustable desk from Ikea. It also comes with a 10 year warranty and a predictably low price. 

VIEW & BUY

10. Flomotion Standing Desk

If you’re not sure whether a standing desk is really the right choice for you and you live in the UK, the Flomotion Standing Desk could be a good call. 

Flomotion gives you the ability to try this desk out risk-free if you live in the UK. The desk itself is quite nice, with locally sourced, handmade wood options and durable construction. 

VIEW & BUY

Because we’re feeling generous, here’s one more…

11. Steelcase Ology

Another really cool option is the Steelcase Ology. 

This standing desk actually implements smart technology and comes with its own smartphone app. This means that you can adjust the desk with your touchscreen, get reminders on when it’s time to change your posture – and much more. 

(With all these extra features it’s a little on the expensive side, though.)

VIEW & BUY

Is it time to take a stand?

While standing desks are a great choice for a healthy work environment, it’s not a magical solution to all of your health problems. Experts agree that movement is the key. 

Throughout the day, you should be taking the time to walk around your home or office. 

You can improve your work environment with standing desks, but it’s also important to look at the bigger picture. Encourage yourself and any employees to schedule regular breaks, take the stairs rather than the elevator and get outside if possible. 

It’s also important to remember that not all tasks are suited to standing up. 

While speaking on the phone or video is relatively easy standing up, writing and drawing tends to be more comfortable and instinctive from a seated position. 

Experts seem to agree that the best way to use a standing desk is to stand for a while, sit, then stand again. Do this several times throughout the day. To start, stand for just 30 minutes at a time, a few times a day. 

Add an hour, then add two more when you feel comfortable.

It’s important to make sure your body is aligned properly when you use your standing desk. Your head, neck and spine should be in a straight line, your computer monitor at eye level and your elbows at a 90-degree angle with your wrists placed on the desk. 

Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and avoid high heels. If you require more support, you can always stand on a cushioned mat. 

But above all, be sure to integrate exercise into your day. 

Adults should reduce time spent sitting and aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week, according to the NHS. Movement is the key to a healthier, happier work life!

FAQ

  1. What’s the best way to improve health while working at a desk?
    • It’s important to avoid sitting for long periods. Consider investing in a standing desk for your home or office. This will enable you to alternate sitting down with standing up throughout the day, which studies show can lower your blood sugar, burn calories and boost energy. 
    • Other ways to stay healthy include keeping hydrated by drinking lots of water, going for a walk during meetings, stretching at your desk (see “desk yoga” options on YouTube), moving around your workspace, taking the stairs, cycling to work and eating a healthy lunch. 
  1. Why are standing desks so expensive?
    • Standing and adjustable desks are generally more expensive due to the solid wood motorized parts that make them pricier to manufacture than standard desks. (They need to be manufactured in a way that doesn’t cause the flat surface to wobble, for instance.)
    • Even though standing desks tend to be more expensive, there are some cheaper options out there today. The price of the desk will depend on the quality of materials used and its functionality. Remember to weigh up the health and productivity benefits when deciding whether or not to invest. If it makes you more productive at work, it could be worth it!
  1. Can an ergonomic chair be healthy?
    • An ergonomic chair promotes good health because it helps minimize discomfort and can keep long-term health problems at bay. Ergonomic chairs have a backrest that fits with the shape of the user and encourages good posture by providing sufficient lumbar support that matches the natural curve of the spine.
  1. How tall should a standing desk be?
    • To figure out the perfect height for your standing desk, place your arms at your sides and bend your elbows. Your forearms should be parallel with the floor and your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle with your wrists placed on the desk. Broadly speaking, a 5’11” (180 cm) person would have their standing desk about 44 inches (111 cm) high.
  1. Does my standing desk need to be adjustable?
    • Yes. It’s important to get an adjustable desk even if you’re the only one using it. This is because you may want to alter it for different tasks, and switch between seated and standing positions (which is what the experts recommend doing). 
    • Your standing desk will need to be adjustable if it’s going to be used by more than one person. The height range needs to be suitable for everyone using the desk. The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) recommends that the height range be 22.6 inches to 48.7 inches, but it really comes down to who’s using it.

Share this article

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Messenger