Standing Desk Guide 2018

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Standing Desk Guide 2018

31st July 2018

Well done for finding the ultimate buying guide for standing desks. Here you will find all the information to make an informed decision about which standing desk to buy.

Contents Table

  1. What type of standing desk do you need?
  2. What are the benefits of standing at your desk?
  3. Desk Converters
  4. Electric Standing Desks
  5. Frame Only
  6. Manual Standing Desks
  7. FAQ
  8. Round Up


What type of standing desk do you need?

Not all standing desks are built the same, else I wouldn’t be writing this guide.

You might know about these standing desk options. If you want to stand at your desk you can use any of these:

1. Desk Converters

Desk converters are placed on your existing desktop and raise the working surface to a height that you can stand at.

Pros: Portable, easy to store, price, adjustable, multiple tiers

Cons: Looks, stability

Perfect for: Inaccessible office spaces, mobile workers

Desk converters on Amazon

2. Electric Adjustable Desks

These desks are full replacements for your existing desk and have an control panel to allow you to raise and lower your desk to the best height.

Pros: Adjustable by the press of a button, memory preset heights, allows multiple sit and stand periods during the day, fully integrated system

Cons: Most expensive option, may not match other office furniture, requires power, potential for electrical or mechanical fault

Perfect for: Those that want effortless height adjustment desk that just works.

3. Manually Adjustable Desks

Manually adjustable desks are desks where the height is manipulated by a crank handle rather than electrical motor.

Pros: Generally cheaper, fewer parts to go wrong, winding the desk to your preferred height is a great way to stay fit with a desk job.

Cons: Can be tiring if you want to change height many times a day, not necessarily suitable for those that struggle with physical impairment.

Perfect for: Entry-level adjustable desk for able bodied persons.

4. Frame Only ( no desktop surface ) Adjustable Desks

A frame only adjustable desk is a just the framework that does all the things an adjustable desk does, but with the desktop surface included in the price.

Pros: Cheaper than an electric/manual, all the same benefits as an electric adjustable desk with the bonus that you can have a matching worktop – by detaching your existing desktop and fitting it to the frame.

Cons: Some DIY required

Perfect for: Handy(wo)men, those that work in a stylish office with all matching furniture, or those that want to make a custom desktop.

5. DIY Options

There is always the option to prop your desk up however you see fit – use your imagination. Here’s some starter ideas:

  • Use existing furniture to stack drawers under the desk legs
  • Put a desk, on a desk
  • Recycle office waste to prop the desk feet up
  • Fix brackets to the wall

Pros: Cost effective, unique, good way to test if it’s for you.

Cons: Not always suitable for professional office spaces, will probably need DIY skills and tools, may not be set at the right height.

Perfect for: Those who want to experience of standing at work to see if they want to take the plunge with one of the other, more permanent options.

What are the benefits of standing at your desk?

It’s well documented that there are loads of good reasons why you should stand. This post on the benefits of standing by pretty much nails it.

If you don’t want to go through it yourself, here is the summary of the benefits:

  1. Improves your mood
  2. Better brain function
  3. Ups your metabolism
  4. Tones muscle
  5. Improves energy levels
  6. Makes you more focused
  7. Lowers cancer risk
  8. Forces better posture
  9. Good for your bones
  10. Can makes you live longer
  11. Lowers chance of heart disease
  12. Improves blood flow and circulation
  13. Lowers risk of diabetes
  14. Increases calories burned


How has standing benefited me?

I have been standing at work for a while now, in fact most of this guide was written while standing. Here are some anecdotal benefits of using a standing desk:

1. Stopped Hamstring Strains

If you run or play sport and hold down a desk job, I would bet you have had a problem with your hamstrings or calves.

That’s because when you are seated for a long time your hamstrings are contracted the entire time. If you get a standing desk your legs are in their natural caveman position.

After a while back standing at work your legs and back will get used to being straight again.

2. Reinvigorates Your Brain

Do you ever lose motivation at work? All the advice says you should go for a walk. That’s not always possible, so you can stand instead.

It’s amazing how much more active your brain is when you are standing. It’s a more natural body position to be in for “doing”.

3. Strengthened My Back

My posture definitely has improved since I started to regularly stand at work.

I found after I started a desk job, my back became weak. It wasn’t long before I started having back pain that I had never experienced before.

4. Regained Satisfaction from Sitting

After you have been standing at work , when you get back home and sit on the sofa – you get a sense of relief and a feeling that you have earned the rest.

5. Be a workspace trendsetter

Let’s just face it – you want to be different, a pioneer of healthy desk jobs – I get it. You are probably the definition of an early adopter.

Desk Converters

Electric Standing Desks

Frame Only Standing Desks

Manual Standing Desks

FAQ about Standing Desks

Q. How do I perform cable management for a standing desk?

Cable management for standing desks can be a problem.

A lot of the time a wireless mouse and wireless keyboard will be a great starting point, but you might also need the following:

Cable extensions
  • HDMI extension cable: for your monitors
  • Monitor power extensions
  • USB3 extension cable: for mice, keyboards and other peripherals
  • Audio extension cable: for desktop speakers

When your desk is at sitting level you will have cables everywhere.

Cable Management

Some of the best options for cable management on stanbing desks are:


Q. Why do my speakers buzz since getting a standing desk?

It is a common problem that if you run an audio cable parallel to a power cable, it can cause interference.

It is best to run your audio cable separately from the rest of the cable management.


Q. Should I get a tall chair for quick rests?

It depends on what type of standing desk you choose or have. If the desk is easily adjustable, like an electrically controlled one or a desk converter it probably isn’t needed.

If you have a standing-only desk or a manually controlled desk it might be worth looking into buying something called a “draftsman chair”.

It important for you to get a chair that goes high enough for you to not have to adjust from your desk from your natural standing height.

That is why I would recommend this draftsman office chair by Eliza Tinsley. It has a maximum height of 82cm which is one of the tallest chairs you can get.


Q. How long should I stand for?

It is recommended to stand for around 45mins at a time, followed by a period of sitting.

This is the benefit of having a sit-stand desk as it will make the transition times easier, and therefore more likely to happen.

Personally I let my body decide. I have found you become attuned to your body and you just know when you should swap.

Round Up

Standing desks really do change your life.

I have had mine for over 2 years and I genuinely feel better for it.

When you take into consideration the length of time you spend sitting at your desk per day and work it out on a cost per day basis – it is crazy you wouldn’t take the plunge.

Say the average standing desk costs you £350 and will last 10 years – that works out at around 10p a day.

If someone asked do you want to spend 10p a day to add years to your life, make you more productive and feel better? I needn’t say more.

If it was good enough for Winston Churchill, it’s good enough for me:


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