Tall and looking for a standing desk converter? There are many standing desk converters on the market, but not many are designed for people who are tall. We’ve put together a list of the 5 best standing desk converters for tall people in Singapore and tips on what you should look for.
(Ps. we’ll define as tall any person who is above 180cm or 6 feet)
Unfortunately, being tall is a predictor of back pain
While there are many things going for tall people, the unfortunate fact is that the taller you are, the more likely you will suffer from back pain.
In fact, this is probably why you are looking for a sit stand desk converter.
This study shows that men above 182cm were 44% more likely to suffer from lower back pain compared to shorter men. For women who are 173cm and taller, it’s an increased risk of 22%. That’s a significant risk.
Why do taller people suffer from back pain?
If you are tall and noticed yourself suffering from more episodes of back pain compared to less vertically gifted friends, this is likely because:
1. Of your anatomy itself.
Because of your height, you may have a tendency to slouch. This causes back ligaments to get overstretched, which can lead to aches and pains.
2. The items you use daily are not designed for you.
Most items – your desk, chair, kitchen countertop, sinks and even your car seat, are designed for people of average height.
This means that as a tall person, you are constantly adapting your posture or movement to suit the height of items around you.
And every time you awkwardly bend over your desk or slide yourself into your car seat, it slightly increases your risk of back pain.
Here’s the ergonomic problem tall people face in the office
Most office furniture are designed as “one size fits all”.
This means that if you are much taller than average, you will find that your desk height, chair size and sitting height, do not suit your body proportions.
Take desks. Most are 72cm high. As a tall person sitting at such a desk, you will find it too low for comfortable and safe computer use. As a result, you will slouch forward and down to the desk, resulting in poor posture for your back.
If your chair is too short to support your legs, you will tend to sit too low, with your hips above the knee level.
That is why tall people are prone to developing improper posture and muscle imbalance in the workplace.
And constant poor posture will eventually lead to musculoskeletal aches and discomfort.
Given the amount of time that you spend in the office, it’s important that you make sure your work environment is right for you, without having to resort to straining or awkward postures.
How a standing desk converter can relieve back pain for tall people
A well-designed height adjustable desk converter can help you relieve your back pain through better posture and more activity:
1. A standing desk converter gets your desk to the correct height for you.
The average office desk stands at 72cm. But if you are tall, you will need a desk of 75 to 78 cm tall, or even higher.
A monitor riser (another name for standing desk converter) that is added onto your desk, adds another 2.5 cm or more to the tabletop height, and can be adjusted even higher.
This can help you get to your correct sitting height.
2. A standing desk converter improves your posture
A well designed standing desk converter will have dual adjustments for your worksurface and screens.
This means that you can adjust your work surface (eg. the surface on which you place your keyboard) and your screen, independently of each other, to your sitting or standing height, and always be at the correct level for your arms and your eyes.
This is important for your posture because even people of the same height can have different torso lengths. This means that you need to be able to make customised independent adjustments for your screen and your work surface.
And if your standing desk converter has preset heights, like the Altizen, you can set the height just once and have it always at the same height for yourself.
3. Standing relieves pressure off your back.
Sitting leads to 90% more pressure on your back compared to standing according to Cornell University Department of Ergonomics. This is why sitting with a poor posture is one of the most common reasons for lower back pain.
Being able to stand regularly throughout your day with a standing desk converter will relieve pressure off your back.
In fact, a comparative study in Australia studied office workers who were able to use a stand up desk converter every 30 minutes versus those who were seated only. They found that those who used the sit stand desk experienced a 31.8% reduction in lower back pain. That’s significant reduction.
4. Active working with a standing desk converter makes you feel less tired
The same study showed that people not only experienced a relieve in back pain, they also reduced their overall tiredness by 22%.
This may be due to the increased blood circulation you get when you’re able to stand and walk around.
4 design factors tall people should look for in their standing desk converter
If you are tall, we recommend that you look for these 4 design factors in your standing desk converter:
1. Sufficient travel range to bring the keyboard and screen up to your height
It goes without saying that if you are tall, you need a standing desk converter that can match your height.
You will want to look for one that can bring your worksurface (eg. the surface on which you’ll place your keyboard or laptop) up to at least 38cm.
Many smaller desk converters are unable to reach this height, so be sure to look at the specifications.
2. Independent adjustment for your screens.
As a taller person, you will likely also have a longer torso.
What this means is that if your standing desk converter lacks an integrated screen holder, and you have to rely on the stand that the monitor comes with, your screens will likely end up too low for comfort.
Do note that of the various types of standing desk converters, the X-Lifts and Z-Lifts do not come with integrated screen holders.
3. A large enough usable work surface area.
Tall people normally also have correspondingly wider shoulders.
A desk with narrow usable area could force you to contort your shoulders. This will eventually lead to shoulder strain and back pain.
4. An easy to use lifting mechanism
If a standing desk converter is not easy to use, most people will simply stop using it. So it’s essential to find one that makes it as easy for you to use as possible.
5 popular standing desk converters in Singapore
We’ve done the work here of comparing between 5 popular brands of standing desk converters, and how suitable they are for tall people based on the above factors.
These converters come from Varidesk, Ergotron, Humanscale as well as our own brand, Altizen.
1. Varidesk ProPlus 36
Varidesk is one of the better known standing desk converter brands on the market. In Singapore, it is available from Ergoworks.
For tall people, the Varidesk’s rather limited height adjustment of 33cm might come up short.
Also, given that it has no inbuilt independent adjustment for screens, you will have to purchase a separate monitor arm. A monitor arm from Varidesk will cost an additional $300.
2. Ergotron WorkFit TL and Ergotron WorkFit Z Mini
The WorkFit TL is popular among users who are looking for Z-Lift standing desk converters.
For tall people, the Workfit TL is the only Z-Lift type converter that can reach the height of 38cm.
However, it lacks an integrated independent adjustment for screens. Purchasing a separate monitor arm from Ergotron will set you back at least $300.
The Ergotron Workfit Z Mini is a recent introduction from Ergotron.
However, it’s not a model that we’ll recommend for tall people. It has the shortest height range of the 5 surveyed here and has a usable worksurface area that is the smallest of the lot.
In Singapore, you can purchase Ergotron from MWFS or Exsto Asia.
4. Humanscale Quickstand Eco
The Humanscale Quickstand Eco is a L-lift standing desk converter with almost 47.5cm of worksurface adjustment and an integrated independent adjustment for screen.
This makes it a good alternative for tall users who don’t mind manually lifting and lowering their converters to bring it from sitting to standing height.
In Singapore, the Quickstand Eco can be purchased from Datumstruct and Spacesense.
But if you are looking for a converter which is seamless to use, read on.
5. Altizen Active
The Altizen Active is the only electric L-lift standing desk converter in Singapore.
With 47.5cm of worksurface adjustment, an integrated adjustment for your screen and two one-touch preset height for its electric motor, the Active is the ideal ergonomic companion for tall users.