Are you looking to convert your regular desk to a standing desk? You are not alone.
Many people have started to realise the health benefits of standing at work.
And instead of waiting for their bosses to buy them standing desks, office workers are taking matters into their own hands, transforming their existing desks with standing desk converters.
4 situations to convert your regular desk into a standing desk
There are many instances when having a full sized adjustable standing desk is not possible. You may recognise some of these:
- Your company does not have a policy to equip their employees with standing desks;
- It is difficult or disruptive for you to get a standing desk installed due to systems furniture that cannot be easily moved;
- Your office is in a coworking space and you are looking for a portable standing desk that you can move along with you; or
- You have a home office where you already have an existing desk that you love.
In such cases, you will be looking for a way to turn your normal desk into a standing desk.
There are many solutions here in Singapore that will claim to help you do this. Many of them will claim to be “ergonomic” and good for your health.
However, it’s worth your time to find out which solutions are actually good for you. By good for you, we mean capable of improving your health and comfort through good, ergonomic design.
How about a DIY standing desk converter
A side note on DIY standing desk converters. It is natural many of us will start thinking whether we can save on the cost of a converter through DIY solutions.
There are many innovative solutions, and here’s one that stood out for us!
However, we’re going to attach a huge caveat to going the DIY route – it’s not a long term solution.
The reason? Most are static structures that are unable to adjust between sitting and standing easily.
The whole point of having a standing desk is to sit and stand at will, so as to increase your activity levels throughout the day.
DIY standing desks (and other fixed height standing desks) do not enable this and could end up more injurious to your health in the long run.
What is a standing desk converter
If you are serious about standing and working at your regular desk, there is only one way to do this – a purpose-built standing desk converter.
A standing desk converter rests on top of your table and raises your workstation up and down, so you can sit and stand to work.
A good standing desk converter ensures both flexibility and ergonomics for its user.
We can group standing desk converters into 3 varieties:
This simple converter is an affordable standing desk converter. It has a basic gas lift mechanism which raises and collapses when you press a lever.
This type of converter tends to be large and bulky, but makes up for this shortfall with its stability.
For simplicity, we’ll talk about the Altizen standing desk converter, which is a L-lift electric standing desk converter.
Also known as a post and base converter, L-lifts are unique because they have the largest flat work surface of all converters, and allows you to adjust the work surface and screen independently, ensuring proper ergonomics.
For more details on the different varieties, refer to our in-depth guide here.
Whichever standing desk converter you choose, it’s important not to compromise on ergonomics.
Think of it this way – you invest in a standing desk to improve your health and reduce back pain. It is worth spending a few extra minutes to find out which is the most suitable type of converter for you.
How to make sure your standing desk converter does not compromise on ergonomics
Your converter should be a well-loved device which you will use at least 4-8 hours a day.
Hence, it should at a minimum meet these ergonomic criteria:
- Be easy to raise and lift
The easier the converter is to lift and lower, the more likely you will be to use it. Do compare the merits of manual converters versus electric standing desk converters. Though slightly more expensive, the latter can be lifted at the press of a button.
- Have a large work surface area
Check that the converter you choose has a wide area for you to lay out your work tools. This could be a keyboard and mouse, or include your laptop and notepad. Anything smaller will force you to hunch your shoulders, leading to shoulder aches in the long term.
- Have the screen a suitable distance from your eyes
Your standing desk converter needs to be deep enough so that the screen is not too close to your eyes. Ball your fist and stretch it out from the spot you will be standing. The screen should be at least that far away.
- Have the screen independently adjustable from the work surface.
Place your screen too high or too low and you’ll be craning your neck awkwardly. You’ll need to make sure to adjust the height of your screen such that your eyes are at the top 1/3 of your screen.
- Have the work surface almost flush to the tabletop
Some converters are almost 2 inches above the table top in the seated position. Users who type or write often could be at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome when they constantly rest their wrists on the edge of the work surface.
Why consider Altizen standing desks
If you are looking for a standing desk converter that meets all the above ergonomic criteria, be sure to check out Altizen standing desks.
Altizen has been designed together with physiotherapists and is the only standing desk endorsed by a physiotherapy association.
Altizen standing desk converters are one of the best ways to convert your regular desk into a standing desk without compromising on ergonomics.