The following post has been sponsored by FlexiSpot and a workstation was provided to me at no cost for review. All opinions are my own.
Are you working with a sit-stand desk yet? If you spend a chunk of time every day sitting at your computer, it’s time to think about getting one.
A sit-stand desk is a desk that changes in height. You can adjust it to a comfortable height for when you’re sitting, and then change it to a good height for when you’re standing. The good ones make it easy to alternate between sitting and standing.
Sit-stand desks used to be incredibly expensive, especially the mechanized ones. They still aren’t exactly cheap, but now that their popularity is growing, the market has expanded. That means you can find a sit-stand desk that meets your needs no matter what they are.
The Benefits of a Sit-Stand Desk
While all the research on sit-stand desks is in the early stages, many signs indicate that mixing up your sitting with some standing is good for your health. No matter what, we know definitively that sitting all day is bad for your health, so while the research doesn’t necessarily exist yet to back this up, it makes practical sense that having — and using — a sit-stand desk will be better for your health.
The dangers of sitting all day are huge and well-documented. Sitting for long periods of time has been described as “the new smoking” and research indicates that prolonged sitting is connected to health concerns ranging from obesity to cancer. Studies show that sitting for 4 hours or more in a given day leads to significantly greater risk of heart disease, and that things like doing more exercise to compensate for all the sitting won’t make a big difference.
What makes the difference, instead, is to break up that sitting time and to do less sitting overall. And that’s exactly what a sit-stand desk lets you do!
Another plus hasn’t been researched, but it’s anecdotal. People who use a sit-stand desk say that they have more energy through the day, their concentration is higher, they’re moving around more rather than being sedentary, and they’re getting more done.
Features of Sit-Stand Desks
Generally speaking, there are two types of sit-stand desks. One type is cranked with a lever or handle of some sort, and the other kind is moved up and down at the touch of a button by a motorized component. But sit-stand desks, like most office furniture, come with a lot of options. No matter what type of desk you want to get, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, know what your ideal height is for both sitting and standing. You need a desk that can go as low as you need it, and as high as you need it. You also need to be sure that you can “stop” the desk at the standing and sitting heights you want, rather than being confined to just one low height and just one high height, either of which might not work for you. My FlexiSpot Sit-Stand Workstation has twelve adjustable heights and is available in two sizes. The 28″ desk is perfect for those up to 6'1″. The 31″ works for those up to 6'3″.
Second, know how big of a footprint you need for your desk. You want the desk you buy to fit in the space you’ve got for it. I personally like a large workstation that fits not only my computer but also my calendar, notebooks and phone, especially if it’s going to be moving, so keep in mind both your minimum and maximum dimensions.
Third, think about the mechanism the sit-stand desk uses. The motorized ones are convenient because they operate at the push of a button, but that also means there’s more that could go wrong with them. They need to be close to an outlet, which doesn’t work in some office spaces. They’re also pretty loud in many models, so if you’ve got a working environment that needs to be completely silent, they might not be the right choice for you.
On the other hand, sit-stand desks with a lever or crank generally have an extra part (the handle) sticking out, which can be inconvenient if it’s not designed well.
The in-between technology — less expensive than an electric desk but somewhat easier to operate than a crank desk — is the pneumatic sit-stand desk, which is manually operated (so you don’t need a plug) with a built-in feature that uses air pressure to move the desk up and down. The FlexiSpot Desktop Workstation has a gas spring system with a lever on each side of the desk that fit descretely under the desktop. Nothing is sticking out. And the transition is easy and smooth.
Also take into account the style of desks and desktops. Some are straight, some are L-shaped, and some have cutouts where you’d stand to promote even better ergonomics. If you have a small office, make sure you choose one with a small footprint that moves straight up and down as opposed to folding out.
Don’t Go All-In With the Standing
Some people think that trading their regular desks for a standing desk (one that only lets you stand) will burn extra calories. While it’s true that standing burns more than sitting, the amount is negligible and the benefits of a standing-only desk haven’t been established. Some doctors have even said that prolonged standing could be just as harmful as prolonged sitting. Don’t let anyone try to sucker you into building a working environment that’s uncomfortable for the sake of burning an extra few calories!
Is It Worth It?
Many people view the sit-stand desk as an investment in their health. The increased activity and reduced sitting may lead to more productive work days at least, and a longer, healthier life at best. You might not be able to cut down your working hours, but with a sit-stand desk you can cut down your overall sitting hours. You may experience greater energy and focus thanks to the increased circulation you’ll get from standing, and who knows what new inspiration you’ll find at your new elevation!
I have personally found my FlexiSpot Sit-Stand Desktop Workstation keeps me a little more mobile and allows me to relieve back pain that comes from prolonged sitting. And that's well worth the investment.
P.S. There will be a 48-hour 10% off flash sale on all FlexiSpot sit-stand desks for Black Friday and Cyber Monday only. If you pick one up, please come back and let me know how you like it.