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Height-adjustable desks are becoming increasingly popular in the office. And rightly so: height-adjustable desks allow for an uncomplicated change of working posture, from sitting to standing and back again. The investment in height-adjustable desks pays off as it can avoid preventable back complaints, increases performance, concentration and motivation of employees, and minimizes downtime. The smow furnishing experts have assembled essentials to consider when selecting in a sit-stand desk, and why they are so enormously advantageous for employees and employers.
By nature, the human body functions best when it moves; however, especially in everyday office life, stationary sitting is the predominant position and this all too often leads to stiffening or joint wear and tear. It has long been established that well-adapted, ergonomic office chairs are essential in everyday office life; however, it is also important to regularly stand up in the course of the working day, including for prolonged periods. This does not mean that you should only stand, not only is that not necessarily healthy, but moreover it is not always possible. Much more, frequent changes of position is recommended, changes from which the body and brain profit. The occasional change of position and posture is essential for a lively mind. Some experts recommend sitting for 60 % of the working time, 30 % standing and actively moving during the remaining 10 % of the working day; others propose 5025. Regardless of your preferred option it is clear that a healthy combination of sitting, standing and active moving should be encouraged and undertaken.
The LASI (L?nderschutz für Arbeitsschutz und Sicherheitstechnik) manual “Ergonomic design of continuous standing work" (LASI (ed.), LV 50, March 2009) lists numerous design measures to make the workplace more ergonomic and health-promoting, including, for example, changing tasks, alternating between standing and sitting work, active break times, appropriate work postures, and therefore options not only in the employees control but which also underscore the responsibility of the employer. Standing-sitting desks have an extremely positive effect on workplace ergonomics - and that without the need for major alterations. Following a quick transition period, you and your employees will realise the many advantages a height-adjustable desk can bring in so many areas.
1. ... REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE
While it is understood that regular exercise can compensate for sitting during the working day, if you sit for many hours every day, over time sport alone will not be able to fully compensate. Physical activity in the workplace is essential. If you stand up while working you are doing your health a service: studies have shown that prolonged sitting has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system. In particular the so-called HDL level (high density lipoproteins) decreases when sitting, and the risk of heart attack consequently increases. The reason is that HDL transports excess cholesterol to the liver in order to keep the blood vessels free; however, if this function is restricted because the productivity of the HDL level has been reduced, it can lead to calcification of the arteries. In the worst case, this can lead to deadly diseases such as heart attacks or strokes, which are still among the most frequent causes of death in Europe. Height-adjustable desks and thus a healthy HDL level through sufficient movement during the day can thereby positively influence your health.
2. ... PROMOTES HEALTHY MUSCLES
Regular standing and exercise are important; however, standing up all day alone is not a solution. Much more it is essential that the regeneration capabilities of the spine remain activated. This is the case when the spine and muscles regularly move and thus stay supple. It is therefore important to regularly change position, and for all to stand, because when you are sitting, the muscle activity in your legs is virtually zero. Over prolonged periods this can result in muscle breakdown and negative consequences for the musculoskeletal system. In the worst case scenario this can result in bone degeneration, something that is very difficult to reverse. In addition, the back and neck muscles relax significantly when you regularly switch between a sitting and standing position.
3. ... PROTECTS SPINE, ANKLES, AND KNEES
As far as the spine, ankles, and knees are concerned, a height-adjustable desk is a contemporary and ergonomic solution: breaking the length of the sitting period not only keeps body and mind busy over the entire working day - and beyond - it also keeps you healthier in the long term, as the spine, ankles, and knees are significantly protected. Complications of the back, neck, and shoulder area as well as in the joints are quickly reduced with a height adjustable desk. Acute back problems, which are becoming increasingly common at ever younger ages, can be caused by stress, mental problems or, very often, the wrong posture. Stand-up working solutions can help!
4. ... PROMOTES UP TO 20 % MORE MENTAL ACTIVITY
In the working day there are regularly situations in which important decisions have to be made quickly. Ideally, the mind should be alert and focused to react quickly. According to experts, when standing up human brain activity increases by up to 20 % resulting in significantly faster, higher-quality decision-making processes, even at the end of a long, tiring working day. A stand-up desk is therefore of great advantage if you have to work in a very concentrated fashion for many hours. In addition, employees generally become fitter, more open-minded, and more flexible through a height-adjustable desk.
5. ... PREVENTS CHRONIC ILLNESS
Both in terms of preventing back problems and cardiovascular disease, height-adjustable desks can be very positive. In addition, they can also promote long-term health: studies have shown that regular long periods of sitting restrict the body's ability to break down glucose with the help of insulin: when muscles are not used regularly the muscle cells become insensitive to insulin, resulting in less sugar utilisation and thus less energy. Such a lack of exercise can therefore be a contributing factor in the development of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. If you switch to a sit-stand desk, you boost energy production and glucose breakdown.
6. ... PROTECTS AGAINST OBESITY
While sitting, the human body consumes only about 1 kcal per minute, while in parallel, leg activity decreases and the blood levels deteriorate temporarily. In contrast, a stroll during a lunch break consumes at least three times as many calories as when sitting, which is why occasional standing and exercise phases are strongly recommended. For this, stand-sit desks are perfect: they also make a valuable contribution to health beyond the break, and can prevent you from becoming overweight while at the same time working more efficiently.
7. ... CREATES TIME
Increased efficiency through highly productive work saves time in the long term. It has been estimated that height-adjustable desks increase efficiency by at least 10 %, resulting in a good deal of extra time in the year. In addition, absenteeism through visits to the doctor due to conditions caused by permanent sitting is reduced, resulting in renewed working hours. This means that investing in a stand-up desk is not only an investment in the health of the employee, but also in efficiency of the company!
8. ... SAVES MONEY
Where employees can fully concentrate on their work, and are not constantly distracted by fatigue, neck tension or back pain, they will work more efficiently. Both the employees and the company benefit from this: according to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering in Stuttgart, German companies incur an annual loss of 35 million Euros due to absenteeism and reduced productivity caused by back problems alone. Reduced absenteeism on account of better health thus also serves the profitability of a company. Therefore investing in height-adjustable desks saves money in the long term.
9. ... ENABLES MEANINGFUL DISCUSSIONS
A study by behavioural researchers at the University of Missouri indicates that people communicate significantly better when standing than when sitting. At standing meetings, the voice is fuller, more dynamic and thus more convincing, which significantly increases the overall performance of meetings or telephone calls. The impact of standing up, moving, and smiling - whether in a meeting with business partners, talking to customers or engaging with colleagues - should never be underestimated.
10. ... MOTIVATES
Fewer external complications leads to less stress, frustration and chronic pain, which in turn creates more motivation in the workplace. If an employee feels healthier and fitter, if work progresses quicker and they achieve what they set out to do, then they also enjoy working more and can create more ideas and concepts and implement them with increased motivation. More exercise through standing up regularly leads to more employee satisfaction and efficiency.
FOR WHICH TASKS IS A STANDING HEIGHT DESK APPROPRIATE?
At a standing workstation you can perform more tasks than you might expect: in fact, most of the work in the office is as easy to do at a high desk as it is at a low desk. However, it is advisable to get used to the change between sitting and standing while working. In the beginning activities such as telephone calls, research, mailing or brainstorming can be done while standing, so that gradually a change of habit can occur and the switch between standing and sitting work soon becomes habitual. Once you get used to working standing, it will soon be quite normal to complete all working tasks both seated and standing.
ELECTRONIC HEIGHT-ADJUSTABLE DESKS
Electronic height-adjustable desks are particularly suitable when quick and uncomplicated switching between a low and a high desk is required. On the one hand, manual cranking does not always prove to be ergonomic, on the other hand, manual adjustment is time consuming, especially when carried out several times a day. In addition, the motivation for a change decreases where this is associated with effort. The height adjustment of the desk height should proceed quietly, easily and as quickly as possible: in this respect, electric height adjustable desk is considered the most useful and ergonomic.
The Cost of Building a Quality Stand Up Desk—It’s All About That Base
Understandably, DIY’ers are always looking to find the lowest cost option for any components they need to buy versus make. In the case of electric height-adjustable bases, spending a little more is usually going to buy you a quieter, faster, heavier-lifting, more reliable standing desk frame, a longer warranty period, and a longer “stroke” (total distance between the lowest and highest desk setting, ideal for taller users).
Bottom-end standing desk legs will run you around $200 to $500, almost all of them made in China. (Note that tariffs and post-pandemic inflation have hit a lot of these models recently.)
Factory warranties among these units will run anywhere from zero (e.g. the FEZiBO standing desk base) to 15 years on top-quality American-made bases like iMovR’s Lander, Lander Lite and Freedom.
Some of the US-based e-commerce sellers that source their bases in China have decided to tack on extra-long warranty periods to try and be competitive with the higher-quality US-manufactured competitors, but they are basically self-insuring against claims by hoping to sell at a higher volume. For example, both UpLift and Fully—in a permanent state of brinkmanship with one another—have recently raised their warranty terms to 15 years. Yet both are based on a Chinese-made Jiecang base that doesn’t carry a 15-year warranty from the factory. This is one of those caveat emptor moments where we have to caution our readers to read these warranties very carefully. Or save yourself the trouble and just read our primer on How to Compare Warranties on Standing Desks.
The price pressure on Chinese-made frames brought on by tariffs, extraordinary increases in international shipping costs and other inflationary impacts of the pandemic has made a few American-made bases really competitive with them now. The UpLift V2 Desk Frame ($489) and Fully’s Jarvis Desk Frame ($494) have both gone up significantly in price with no improvement in the underlying technology.
This compares to American-made bases like iMovR’s Freedom ($399) and their lightweight iMovR Studio 470 base ($329) desk frames. Before the pandemic, you would not have seen American bases selling for less than commodity frames like the Jiecang.
More advanced models—typically made in the USA or Europe—feature higher transit speeds, tighter manufacturing tolerances, quieter motors, nicer handsets, better collision detection and tilt detection, and a greater range of height adjustability and desktop width accommodation. Some of them also allow you to expand into an L-shaped standing desk frame. These will typically run you anywhere from $650 for a 2-leg base to $1450 for a 3-leg base. Warranties on American-made bases tend to be 10 to 15 years, a reflection of how long they’re likely to work trouble-free compared to the cheaper Chinese frames.
American and European-made bases are also likely to be more stable and to stay more stable over time compared to their wobblier Chinese brethren. To better understand the many factors that enter into the stability equation, from the length and weight of the feet to the precision manufacturing of the “glides” separating the tubes of the lifting columns, see our primer on Why Some Standing Desks Shake More Than Others.
Planning to build a sit-to-stand desk or treadmill desk with your own desktop lumber? There are some great options available for standing desk legs. We’ll take you through the pluses and minuses of each model of electric standing desk frame.
A monitor stand is a work from home essential that serves two important purposes: Giving you extra space for your accessories, cleaning off your desk, and making your workspace more ergonomic. By elevating your monitor closer to eye-level you won’t have to crane your neck for hours at a time, which can strain it over time.
We’ve had hands-on testing time with a number of monitor stands, and collected the ones that are worth your time in this guide. All of these stands will work with any monitor, regardless of its size or who makes it. You can also use these stands to elevate a laptop — PC or Mac — or a monitor and computer if the stand is large enough.
If your neck is sore at the end of each work day, or you want a little extra storage space on your desks, these are the monitor stands we recommend.
The Best Dual Monitor Stand for Your Home Office
Computer monitors have come a long way toward being more space saving and less cumbersome. Unlike early monitors that weighed dozens of pounds and took up nearly an entire desk, today’s flat-screen monitors are relatively lightweight. Computers can host two or more monitors with dual monitor stands, allowing each screen to be used for a different purpose. A home office’s primary monitor might be dedicated to spreadsheets or data entry, while a second monitor can display online research or show closed-circuit security camera feeds.
Whatever a worker’s needs, the ability to connect a second monitor means not having to switch back and forth between applications on a single monitor. Plus, dual monitor stands help position multiple monitors at an optimal height for viewing while keeping the desk space less cluttered and more organized.
The best dual monitor stand varies depending on work habits, work space size, and monitor sizes. Keep reading to learn about some of the key features to consider when shopping for a dual monitor stand, and find out why the following stands are well suited to a variety of work tasks and home offices.