To Sit, Stand, or Walk At Work?

Rebel-Desk-Teak-300pxI’ve been toying with standing while working in my home office. I say “toying” with it because I really haven’t made a substantial commitment to the idea. At least not until recently.

Back in December 2013 I purchased an adjustable laptop stand that’s capable of putting my laptop at the correct height for working while standing. It’s not great. It’s just not rigid enough to accommodate my typing. It’s adequate for reading but not good for writing. It renders my laptop about the same level of utility as my Nexus 7 tablet.

I also found that my laptop stand, purchased years ago from Frontgate, can just make it up to the right height for standing. In fact, I started writing this post in that manner. However, it too is less than ideal. I find that I don’t like looking down at the laptop display a long time. I also missed the dual-monitor setup that I have on my desk.

Switching between a laptop and desktop, in the process of switching from sitting to standing, is clearly less than optimal. Perhaps Dave Michel‘s solution of doubling up the keyboard mouse & monitor arrangement would be more satisfactory. That allows for two working locations, seated and standing, using the same desktop computer.

The alternative to two working locations is a height adjustable desk. The leader in that space seems to be UpDesk. However, their products start at around $1K, which is a considerable sum.

There are others in the space. In the spring I discovered a kickstarter project for an affordable automatic standing desk by Stand Desk Inc. Their offering started at around $400, and given some options went as high as $700. That’s a considerable savings over the UpDesk models. Unfortunately, as I contemplated what I wanted to do I missed the end of the Kickstarter program, and as of this date they’ve yet to begin delivering the product.

The cost of the various adjustable desks seemed high at first, but then I considered the cost of making by existing desktop workable from two positions. I’d need two additional monitors, a pair of HDMI splitters and some extras cables. I’d also need to switch to the Logitech 2x cordless keyboard+mouse arrangement that Dave Michels recommended. These costs add up quickly, and start to make a height-adjustable desk seem more practical.

On this basis I recently ordered a Rebel Desk Adjustable-Height Standing Desk with Teak Top. Unlike the UpDesk & Stand Desk offerings, Rebel Desk is a manually adjusted desktop. The desk is literally cranked up/down to the desired height. This is perhaps not as elegant as the motorized electronic models, but at $599, it’s much less costly. The company offers a 30 day money-back guarantee. This combined with my growing tendency to get restless while working seated all day made it worth a try.

I am confident that standing while working is something that will improve my working life. If that proves to be the case the next step will be to try a treadmill, making the standing desk into a walking desk.