Most of us are still working from home due to COVID-19. And since many of us lack a proper work set up, back and neck aches have become a sad by-product of work-from-home life. If you have decided to invest in an ergonomic setup to relieve these pains, here is advice on how to pick one of the essentials – the best home office standing desk.
A standing desk is a good investment for a home office – it provides not just ergonomics but also encourages activity throughout an otherwise sedentary day.
And since they have become more affordable in recent years, they make a great addition to any home office.
3 reasons why a standing desk will be a valuable addition to your home office:
1. You tend to be more sedentary working from home
That long commute to work. Jostling with the lunch crowd to buy your meal. Walking over to Amy’s desk because she’s not picking up the phone.
There are some things we won’t miss from office life.
However, these are also opportunities for activity that we forgo when we work from home.
With remote work, we sit through endless Zoom meetings. And with fewer opportunities for in-person meetings, we sit more in front of our screens.
We also forgo the precious steps involved in travelling to work and going for lunch and afternoon breaks with colleagues.
This is precisely where a standing desk comes in.
The ability to sit and stand at will while we work provides immeasurable health benefits for users. Studies have shown how standing desks can reduce the risks of developing chronic diseases inherent in a sedentary lifestyle.
There’s also an unexpected side effect – users also report feeling more engaged, focused and productive with the extra activity generated from a standing desk.
2. People working from home tend to have worse posture
In the office, we are provided with proper desks and task chairs.
However, at home, many of us are work out of our pyjamas at our dining table, sofa or bed.
These informal work spaces provide very little in the way of ergonomics, and quickly, we start seeing the effects of bad posture through the corresponding aches and pains.
Getting a sit stand desk and a proper task chair, and some basic tips on how to use them properly, can help resolve this issue of poor posture immediately.
3. A dedicated desk space sets a clear boundary between work and family time
Working from home has blurred the boundaries between work and life.
Without a clear “office” vs “home” time, many remote home workers find themselves beginning work earlier, taking abbreviated lunch breaks and ending work later compared to when they were working in the office.
Creating a clear physical delineation between work and family space can help.
Even if we don’t have the luxury of a dedicated home office or study, and have to work in the bedroom or living room, a dedicated desk meant for work (and work only!) can help provide a clear separation.
You can use your dedicated desk space to zone into work mode and signal to others that you are not to be disturbed. Similarly, you can walk away from the desk at the end of the day and leave your work behind.
3 contenders for the best home office standing desk
Compared to offices which are mostly blank slates when you move in, most of us have to work around the pre-existing arrangements at home.
Here are some things you’ll have to think about when picking your home office standing desk:
1. How much space do you have at home
2. Do you have existing furniture that you have to work around
3. Do you have children or other vulnerable people at home who will be around the desk
We’ll talk about these factors in the 3 broad categories of sit stand desks:
A. Full sized electric standing desk
This is the type of standing desk we are all familiar.
A full sized electric standing desk starts from ground up, is motorised with up and down buttons and memory height.
This type of standing desk measures 1.2m in length onwards. So it’s only suitable when you have enough space to place it in your home, eg. a dedicated study or a large corner of your bedroom.
The benefits of this desk is that it provides a lot of space for your work and tends to have a very silent motor.
However, do look out for the following:
- This type of standing has become very common and quality varies a lot so it is important to source from a reliable seller who can provide support and warranty if there is anything going wrong;
- The desk provides only a flat surface and does not raise the screen up to your eyes. So it’s recommended that you also get an external monitor arm so your monitor height could be adjusted independently to provide you with better comfort and ergonomics.
- As the desk is motorised, look for those with a safety lock feature so you can avoid unexpected accidents if your children press any buttons.
B. Quality electric standing desk converters
This type of standing desk converter is ideal for homes with existing tables that you want to keep.
That’s because it does not require that you replace your existing desk – it fits directly on top of any ordinary table and transforms it into a standing desk.
The benefits of the converter is that it allows you to keep your desk while having the ability to sit and stand at the touch of a button.
Moreover, you retain the flexibility to move it around between home and office or different rooms in the house.
A good converter, such as the Altizen above, also comes integrated with monitor arms so your screen can be positioned correctly at your eye level having to purchase a separate monitor arm.
Do look out for the following when you are assessing motorised sit stand converters:
- Look for one that comes with independent monitor adjustment so they could be ergonomically positioned at your eye level.
- Ensure that the converter you choose is stable, particularly when you type on it. You won’t want to have a shaking screen each time you type!
- As the converters are motorised, safety is of utmost importance. Make sure the converter you get has been certified for electrical safety with a recognised certification agency.
C. Quality manual standing desk converters
Most manual standing desk converters operates via gas lift. When placed on top of an existing desk, it converts it into a standing desk.
The benefit of manual converters is its lower price range, making it suitable for users on a tight budget.
What you have to look out for are the following:
- The quality of manual converters varies tremendously and there are safety concerns regarding exploding gas lifts which resulted in a product recall in the US. So you should look for reputable brands like Varidesk and Ergotron which provide local warranty and support.
- Most manual converters some upper body strength to raise and lower the gas lift mechanism. Petite individuals or women might find it difficult to move desks up and down.
- Manual converters are not fully ergonomic. To achieve an ergonomic setup, you may need to add a monitor arm so you could adjust your screen height independently.
- If you have children around, avoid the type that comes with inherent pinch points and finger risks which then can cause accidents when operating around children.
Here are some popular converters in Singapore.
If you will like further advice on picking the best home office standing desk for, feel free to reach out to us.