Over 70 percent of American workers hate sitting when they work, yet that’s what 86% of us do according to a 2013 study commissioned by furniture maker Ergotron. The boredom and discomfort that comes with sitting for eight hours or more a day is only part of the problem. Health issues are the main concern. Scientists have gone so far as to coin a term for the cluster of diseases that a sedentary lifestyle can create: sitting disease. Dozens of well-known studies have shed light on the dangers of frequent sitting. Risks include health conditions that are as serious as cancer. Heart disease and diabetes are just a few of the other well-known desk job perils.
The simplest way to avoid too much sitting is to do the exact opposite: stand. Standing while at work can not only help reduce the health risks associated with prolonged sitting, but also increase your productivity. In 2016, researchers from Texas A&M University found that call center workers that stand up on the job are 50% more productive than those that sit.
Adjustable standing desks provide a viable way to switch to a healthier working lifestyle. They are easy to use and come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes. In fact, some heavy duty standing desks are equipped with motors that can lift and lower much as 350 pounds of weight.
Here are the best standing desks you can buy:
- ApexDesk Elite is a motorized standing desk that comes in two different sizes: an extra large 71” version and 60” style that can fit into smaller spaces.
- If you’re working with a tight budget but you still want the convenience of a motorized standing desk, SHW’s Electric Adjustable Computer Desk could be worth a look.
- Jarvis’ Bamboo Standing Desk is equipped with an extra powerful motor that can raise and lower up to 350 pounds.
- UNICOO’s Crank Adjustable Height Standing Desk is very affordable, sturdy and comes with a removable hand crank.
- Inexpensive yet sturdy, Tangkula’s Sit Stand Desk is small enough to fit nearly anywhere, plus it has casters that add extra utility and mobility.
The best extra large-sized motorized standing desk
ApexDesk’s Elite standing desk is one of the largest motorized standing desks on the market. Its motor can support up to 225 pounds, which makes it more than strong enough to lift and lower a computer, monitor and all your other accessories that you use when you’re at work. In addition to the extra large 71 inch model, there’s also a smaller 60 inch version.
- Motorized steel frame. You can use the built-in controller to raise the desk to a height of 48 inches or lower it down to 29 inches.
- Supports up to 225 pounds. The motor is strong enough to raise and lower an adult male.
- Curved ergonomic shape. The curved part of the desk lets you sit closer to your computer when you work.
- Tough, sturdy wood surface. MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is stronger than plywood, plus it’s made from recycled materials.
- Extra legroom. This desk is supported by a one-piece center beam instead of a crossbar, which gives your legs more room.
- Many different colors and styles are available. There are two different sizes (60” or 71”) and several different colors, including light oak, walnut, red apple, black, moonlight white and more.
- Expert assembly option. If you don’t want to put this desk together yourself, you can hire Amazon’s professional product assemblers to do the work for you.
- Cord organizer sold separately. The ten-foot long cord may get in the way without the cord organizer, unless you secure it with zip ties or some other DIY solution.
In a nutshell
If you have heavy equipment on your desk, the ApexDesk Elite could be ideal. Most other motorized standing desks are smaller and their motors aren’t as strong. Since it comes in a wide variety of different styles, you can pick the version that best matches your office.
The most inexpensive motorized standing desk
SHW Electric Adjustable Computer Desk
If you like the idea of owning a desk that can go up and down on its own, SHW’s Electric Adjustable Computer Desk might be worth a look. It’s surprisingly affordable compared to other standing desks with similar features. Though it only supports 110 pounds, that’s still more than enough weight capacity to raise and lower most types of computer setups. The included leveling guide will help add stability. This extra accessory might come in handy if your floor surface is somewhat uneven.
- Electric lift system. This desk has a minimum height of 23.75 inches and can be raised to a maximum height of 45 inches.
- Four customizable height presets. The programmable presets add convenience and make the desk easier to use.
- Adjustable leveling guides for the legs. The included guides can prevent wobbling if you have to install the desk on an uneven floor.
- Comes with a wire management grommet. The grommet binds all your wires together so that they don’t take up extra space.
- Rounded corners. The rounded corners not only look nice, but also prevent injuries.
- Quick setup. This desk takes about 30 minutes to set up and you can hire Amazon’s installation service to do the job for you if you don’t want to install it yourself.
- Two available colors. The two available style options include oak and cherry.
- Two-piece design. There’s an annoying seam in the middle of the desk where the two pieces come together.
- Limited weight capacity. 110 pounds is this desk’s maximum capacity.
In a nutshell
This inexpensive motorized standing desk is surprisingly budget friendly compared to other desks with similar features. The two-piece design makes it easy to set up, but the seam that appears between the two pieces once assembled could be annoying.
The sturdiest standing desk with the highest weight capacity
Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk
Like its name suggests, Jarvis’ Bamboo Standing Desk features a 100% bamboo surface. This makes it not only a bit classier than many other standing desks, but may also contribute to its sturdiness and strength. It can lift and lower 350 pounds– that’s three times the weight of the average standing desk. Most standing desks offer a one year warranty on their products, but with Jarvis you get a seven-year warranty on the desk itself, the metal frame and the mechanical parts.
- Motorized height adjustment system. You can lift or lower it with the press of a button.
- Four programmable presets. Four different presets let you preselect a target height so that you don’t have to direct it to where you want it to be every single time.
- Supports 350 pounds. This surprisingly powerful desk can lift and lower hundreds of pounds with ease.
- High maximum height. It can go as high as 49.25 inches, which is tall enough for a 6’7” person to use comfortably while standing up.
- Industry-leading warranty. You get a seven year warranty on the desk, frame and all the electronic parts.
- Thick, sturdy desk surface. The bamboo desk surface is 3/4th of an inch thick and won’t break easily.
- Expert assembly option. You can hire Amazon’s professional installers to set it up for you if you like.
- Bamboo is the only desk color option. Silver and alloy are the only two choices for the frame.
- Pricey compared to standing desks with similar features. It’s expensive compared to other 42” by 27” motorized standing desks.
In a nutshell
The fact that this desk’s motors can efficiently lift up to 350 pounds makes it ideal for many different uses. Some industrial sewing machines weigh up to 250 pounds, for example. This desk is more than powerful enough to raise and lower tools like that as required.
The best value standing desk for the money
UNICOO Crank Adjustable Height Standing Desk
The most unique thing about UNICOO’s Crank Adjustable Height Standing Desk is that you have to operate a manual hand crank when you want to raise or lower it. The crank is easy to use and you can detach the crank and store it away when you reach your desired height. Another convenient thing about the crank is that you can use it in two different places. This gives you some added flexibility, since you can access either side of the desk anytime you want to take advantage of its height adjustment feature.
- No extra cords are needed. You can use the hand crank to raise the desk up to its 45.2 inch maximum height or lower it down to 29.5 inches.
- Excellent value. Since this desk doesn’t have any electrical or motorized parts, it’s cheaper than automatic adjustable desks.
- Durable steel frame. The powder coat provides a layer of protection and adds to the desk’s visual appeal.
- Removable hand crank. You can install the crank on whichever side of the desk you please.
- Five different available styles. Available table colors include black, gray oak, light maple, teak and white.
- Expert assembly service is available. You can hire Amazon’s assembly team to put it together for you if you like.
- Difficult to assemble. Since there are a large number of pieces to put together, plan on spending around an hour and a half on assembly.
- Only one desk size option. This 47.3 inch desk may be too small for some uses.
In a nutshell
This crank adjustable desk is ideal for people who don’t have room for extra cords in their office or don’t plan on changing their desk’s height very often. If you plan on changing your desk’s height more frequently, you may want to consider a motorized standing desk.
The best portable sit stand desk that comes with wheels
Tangkula Sit Stand Desk
Tangkula’s Sit Stand Desk is small compared to the competition, but that may be one of its biggest advantages– especially if you have a limited amount of space to work with. Its 37.5 inch desk and 66 pound weight limit is just enough capacity to accommodate a keyboard, a monitor and other common office appliances. The casters– which can be locked in place– add additional portability and convenience.
- Excellent mobility. The included wheels that attach to the desk’s legs let you push it around your office space as needed.
- The wheels lock in place. If you need it to be stationary, you can lock the casters in place.
- Supports up to 66 pounds. Other standing desks have higher weight limits, but sometimes 66 pounds is all the capacity you need.
- Convenient hand-crank. The fact that you don’t have to plug this desk in to raise it or lower it adds convenience.
- Ideal for crowded spaces. The small desk surface provides just enough room for a keyboard and a monitor.
- Curved ergonomic table design. The curved design adds convenience and encourages a good typing posture.
- Inexpensive price. This tiny yet effective desk is surprisingly affordable.
- Desk may be too small for some purposes. 37.5 inch desk just isn’t enough room to accomplish some types of office work.
- Not ideal for tall people. The 42 inch maximum height limitation may be a deal breaker for people who are taller than 6 feet.
In a nutshell
This tiny desk’s most attractive feature may also be its biggest limitation. People with limited office space will appreciate its small size, but it might not be right for people that have jobs that require more desk space.
Buying guide for standing desks
Mechanical vs. manual height adjustment mechanism
Mechanical standing desks are equipped with one or more motors that lift the desk surface up and down automatically. They are convenient because you don’t have to do any manual work to raise or lower the desk height– all you have to do is press a button. Most mechanical desks have configurable presets that you can adjust to make the process of raising and lowering the desk even easier. Manual standing desks are also convenient, but in a different way. Since they don’t require electricity, you don’t have to worry about power cord organization or locating a free power outlet. In addition, manual standing desks are easier to move around– especially ones that are equipped with casters.
The weight capacity of standing desks vary widely. Some can easily lift 300 pounds or more, while others can only support 60 pounds. If you intend to store books and other heavy objects on your standing desk, you may want to invest in one that can support at least 100 pounds. If all you’re going to do with your standing desk is computer work, you don’t need as much capacity. Most desktop computers weigh about 15 pounds. The average weight of a standard size laptop is 5 pounds.
Large sized standing desks measure up to 70 inches across, but some are 40 inches across or smaller. If you plan on ordering your standing desk online, you may want to consider measuring out the space you need first. If the desk you get isn’t the right size, you may not be able to send it back. Not all standing desk manufacturers offer an unconditional guarantee.
There are two main types of casters: soft casters and hard casters. Soft casters are designed for rugs and carpets, while hard casters work best with hardwood floors and tiled floors.
Ease of assembly
Some standing desks are easier to assemble than others. In general, electrical standing desks take longer to put together than manual standing desks. It may be a good idea to check the estimated assembly time before you buy. If you’re not mechanically inclined, you may want to consider hiring Amazon’s assembly team to install your standing desk for you.
The frames of most standing desks are made out of steel. Some standing desk manufacturers add a layer of powder coating to the frame, but others leave the steel bare. Common desk materials include wood, metal, plastic and MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard).
Hand crank accessibility
If you get a manual standing desk, check how its hand crank works first before you buy. Many manual standing desks come with a detachable crank. If you can detach your desk’s crank, you’ll be able to save space when you’re not using it.
Manual standing desks are the cheapest. They cost less because they don’t have any motors or electrical parts. You can find a good quality manual standing desk for about $150.
Basic electric standing desks sell for about $300. These tend to be a bit small and they don’t support as much weight as more expensive electric standing desks. However, if the main thing you want to do is stand while you use your computer, a mid-range standing desk could be all you need.
You can find heavy duty standing desks that are equipped with dual motors for around $550. These desks are larger than mid-range electric standing desks and they can support more weight.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Can a standing desk help me lose weight?
A: According to a study published by the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, a standing desk will only help you burn around 60 extra calories per workday. The researchers conducting the study asked some of the experiments participants to sit at a desk and work, while others stood up. The standers burned 88 calories per hour, while the sitters averaged 80 calories per hour.
Q: What can a standing desk do for my health, then?
A: Researchers from Tufts University say that the biggest benefit of standing desks is pain relief. Healthy people, obese people and people with pre-existing back pain all reported that standing desks helped them achieve higher levels of comfort while at work.
Q: How many hours per day should I work in the standing position?
A: For best results, set a 30 minute timer and switch between standing and sitting every half hour. The act of switching positions can not only help get your blood pumping, but also improves your sitting posture.
- You should measure the area of your home or office that you intend to use for your standing desk before you buy. This will help you avoid purchasing a desk that is too large. Likewise, be sure to measure out the amount of desk space you need so that you don’t wind up with a desk that’s too small.
- When in the standing position, your desk should be even with your elbows. Your computer monitor should be even with your eyes so that you don’t have to bend your neck up or down to look at it.
- You may want to consider purchasing an anti-fatigue mat to go with your standing desk. Anti-fatigue mats feature textured surfaces that stop you from standing in an unhealthy, flat-footed way. The added cushioning is good for your joints, as well.