The Complete Guide to Standing Desks
So you’ve heard that sitting all day, every day is detrimental to your health, and you’d like to do something about that. Great! Deciding to get a standing desk for your office is easy, but choosing the right standing desk for your space and work style is another matter entirely. To help you make the right choice, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to standing desks thatincludes everything you should consider before taking the plunge.
What Size Standing Desk Should I Get?
Standing desks come in a huge range of sizes, from compact to executive, so be sure to determine what size desk you need before you begin shopping.
Measure the Office
Measure the size of your office to determine how large of a desk will be possible within the space. When measuring the square footage of the area where you’d like to put your desk, allow at least 2 feet of space around it.
Measure Doorways and Stairwells
In addition to the room where the desk will be going, you will also want to measure any doorways or stairwells that the desk must travel through on the way to your office. If there will be a lot of slender doorways or narrow stairwells to navigate on the way to your room of choice, you may want to consider getting a desk that isn’t too big or comes ready to assemble (RTA) just to make sure that it will make it into your office in the first place.
That’s right—you are one of the most important things to measure. Measure where you want your arms to fall when standing so that you know whether or not you’ll need a desk with a keyboard tray. You’ll also want to note a comfortable place for your eyes to land on your monitor or monitors to determine the height of the desk you should get and whether or not you will need a monitor stand for your computer.
Tip: The top of your monitor should be 2” to 3” higher than your eye level.
What Types of Standing Desks Are There?
Standing desks or stand-up desks come in a few different styles to satisfy the needs of a wide range of users. Depending on whether you have an existing desk and your budget, you may want to consider each option to select the one that's best for you.
Standing height desks have a work surface measuring around 42" tall. If you have a lot of space in your office, you may want to add a standing height desk to the space and alternate between using that and your regular desk. Remember that standing all day can be as detrimental to your health as sitting all day, so if you only have a standing height desk and no standard height desk, you will also want to get an ergonomic drafting stool so you can still alternate between sitting and standing.
Adjustable height desks have a work surface that moves up and down with you. If you only have space for 1 desk and want to make switching between sitting and standing as easy as possible, an adjustable height desk is the best option. With an adjustable height desk, you can do all your sitting and standing in 1 place. Adjustable height desks will have either a gas lift, a manual lift, or an electronic lift adjustment mechanism. In some collections, the adjustable height desk is made up of the bridge on a U-shaped desk or the return on an L-shaped desk.
Adjustable monitor risers are a fantastic aftermarket alternative for those who don't want to spend a ton on a stand-up workstation. If you want the benefits of an adjustable height desk but don’t want to get rid of your old desk, an adjustable height monitor stand is your ticket. These stands and mounts can be attached to your existing desk (or simply placed on top) to provide a low-cost alternative to a standing desk.
What Are Standing Desks Made of?
Laminate is the most affordable option. Although laminate can look like it has real wood grain, it is actually made from a form of particle board with or without a wood grain print. Desks with a laminate surface construction are ideal for high-traffic offices because laminate does not scratch or dent easily and is generally easier to maintain and keep clean. Laminate is also affordable, making it a great choice for businesses on a tight budget.
Wood veneer is a smart option for those who want a real wood look without the solid wood cost. Wood veneer desks have a similar base as laminate furniture (typically particle board) but feature a thin layer of real wood on top. Veneer desks can be trickier to clean and care for than laminate, but the veneer layer provides a much richer look that many offices prefer.
Solid wood desks are hard to find, but they are the best quality option available. As the name implies, solid wood desks are made of solid wood. These beautiful desks are of the highest quality, but they are very heavy and can be quite expensive. It’s more common to find adjustable height desks with a metal framework and solid wood top.
Metal desks are modern and durable. Although you can find all-metal desks, most come with a wood or glass top and have a metal framework for stability and industrial aesthetics. Metal desks are usually made of steel, though the gauge may vary. The desk may come in either a chrome or powder-coated finish.
Do I Need Standing Desk Accessories?
Anti-fatigue mats help soothe sore feet. We recommend you stand 15 minutes for every hour you sit at work. Because extended periods spent standing can be hard on your body, we also recommend that you add an anti-fatigue mat to your workspace. Anti-fatigue mats are thicker than the average mat, often with a padded construction that may include a foam insert. This allows you to stand for long periods without straining your legs. An ergonomic sit or stand chair mat takes it a step further by providing both a plush anti-fatigue mat and a smooth plastic chair mat in one handy unit. You may also want to consider keeping appropriate footwear at the office since standing in high heels or uncomfortable dress shoes will make standing difficult.
Keyboard trays keep wrists and fingers comfortable. Just as moving throughout the work day is important, so is positioning your wrists properly when typing. This is why measuring your body in relation to where your wrists fall naturally is so crucial. If you have your eye on a stand-up desk that does not come with a built-in keyboard tray, you may want to inquire about what types of add-on keyboard trays are available. Your wrists should remain at a 90-degree angle, not tilted too far up or down.
Wrist pads assist in ergonomic performance. A similar aide to a good keyboard tray, a wrist pad may also help you stay more comfortable while standing. A gel or foam wrist pad will help guide your arms, forcing them into the most comfortable and ergonomically appropriate position to encourage better blood flow and keep aches and pains at bay.
may be needed for additional neck support. If your standing desk isn’t quite tall enough to hold your computer monitor or laptop at a comfortable height, consider adding a monitor stand to your desk.