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Height Adjustable Desks

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by Simon Hampel, 4th Sep, 2015.

  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    3rd Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,648
    Location:
    Sydney
    Following from my comments in this thread, I thought I would post about the height adjustable desk I've been using for nearly 18 months now.

    I spent quite a long time researching desks and investigating the differences between all the different models. I found that lifting capacity varies greatly, as does the smoothness and quietness of the lifting mechanism and the type of controller available.

    I think a height adjustable desk is more important than a fixed standing desk - since it gives you the flexibility of working standing or sitting, depending on the task and how you are feeling. After having the flu recently - I can assure you that working standing up is really difficult when you have no energy!

    Since I would be having up to 3 large monitors plus multiple laptops and other peripherals on my desk, I needed something with a large lifting capacity. It needed to be quick and quiet and I wanted a controller with memory settings so I could easily change to a preset height.

    I did look at importing a desk frame from overseas and sourcing a desktop for it locally, but this seemed like a lot of effort for not much saving overall, and I wasn't convinced that the desk frames I was looking at (GeekDesk, etc) were the best option.

    So I ended up buying local – I got the Ergomotion Motiondesk DL11.

    It was expensive, but I am very very happy with this purchase – the desk is excellent and is everything I was hoping for.

    Guy Topolansky from Ergomotion was excellent to deal with – very patiently and helpfully answered all of my questions about the desk and all of the extra bits that go with it.

    I ended up purchasing a 1800x900x25mm desktop with three cable-grommet holes, the Vertical CPU holder, the Linak DPF1C desk panel (desk height controller with memory and LCD display), and the Wireway 2-tier cable management basket (without power or data sockets - I just have three 6-outlet power boards in the bottom basket).

    All up, including assembly at the factory and delivery by removalist company to Sydney was around $2,400 ... which is very expensive, but given I spend well over 8 hours a day in front of this thing (sometimes up to 16 hours a day), I figured it was a worthwhile investment.

    I soon started feeling the benefits of being able to work part of the day standing up (and being able to quickly and easily swap between sitting and standing). I was getting pains in my legs and in my backside from sitting all day, but now that I can stand up for part of the day, it really helps. I also find that standing in the early afternoon really does help avoid the post-lunch sleepiness and keeps me more productive.

    Within 3 months, I was working most days alternating between sitting and standing every 2 hours or so.

    Within 12 months I found myself working standing up almost all day - most days I don't even realise I hadn't sat down at all except perhaps during breaks.

    The Linak actuators used in the desk are some of the best on the market and are quiet, smooth and fast, and the desk has a solid feel to it, with almost no wobble at sitting height and only a bit when extended to standing height. Indeed, I don't feel as though the desk is unstable at all when fully extended, and I can lean my elbows on it comfortably when standing. I've even tried gaming (BF4) when standing up and it works surprisingly well!

    As you can see from the photos below, I've got 3 external monitors on the desk (27" + 24" + 15"), plus a 15" laptop in a docking station. My workstation in the CPU holder is in an Antec P183 case, which is not exactly small either – the case with all components in it weighs around 18kg and is 50cm high. The desk has no problems lifting all this gear on my desk (there's usually a lot more junk on my desk than you can see in the photos!).

    Photos:

    Sitting position:
    40D_7565.jpg

    Standing position:
    40D_7592.jpg

    Cable management trays:
    40D_7585.jpg

    The anti-fatigue mat you can see is the NewLife Eco-Pro Floor Mat 24"x36", which cost about US$150 (including shipping) from Amazon. It has a matte surface on the top which is comfortable to stand on but doesn't make my feet sweat, even when standing on the mat in bare feet. I did a lot of research before deciding on this mat and am very happy with it. A good anti-fatigue mat has been critical to being able to work effectively – I work in bare feet (or with socks on during winter), and the mat lets me stand for long periods without too much foot, ankle and leg pain (I'm 6'2" and weigh well over 100kg, so that's a LOT of weight going through my feet and ankles all day!).

    In regards to the price of the desk, there are cheaper alternatives around, but there are also ways to make the cost of this desk cheaper (eg, have the frame shipped un-assembled and assemble it yourself, source your own desktop, forget the CPU holder if you only use a laptop, go for a cheaper cable-management system or none at all, replace the LCD display controller with a simpler model).

    Also, you don't need a desk so large if all you use is a laptop, or even with a single external monitor - there are smaller and cheaper options out there. If you are on a very tight budget, even a simple wind-up mechanism would do the job and there are some other on-top-of-an-existing-desk options on sale now which allow you to lift your laptop to a standing position or lower it to a seated position, although I'm not sure how ergonomic they are if you don't have the fine-control over the position of things when either sitting or standing.

    Either way, if you can afford it, I would highly recommend you get yourself a height-adjustable desk.

    The health benefits I've experienced have been numerous - I've lost weight, I have more energy, my blood pressure is the best it has been in many years, and unexpectedly, I found that my legs retain (indeed have increased) their muscle tone - even when not as physically active outside of work. I ride my bike for exercise but for various reasons I didn't ride for about 6 months last year. When I finally got back on my bike late last year, I expected to have to spend months building up my muscle definition to be able to ride for extended periods again, but discovered that not only were my muscles quite happy to go riding – they had actually improved!

    I have been able to ride further and at greater intensity than ever before – I'm regularly setting new PRs on Strava for rides I've struggled with for years – and this new momentum has allowed me to increase my overall fitness levels and lose weight. All from spending my day working standing up!

    While I'm sure that an already fit and generally healthy person wouldn't experience the same dramatic improvement as I have from swapping from sitting to standing – I still stand (see what I did there?) by my assertion that a height adjustable desk is probably one of the best investments you can make into your general health and well-being as an office worker.

    I'm very happy with my height adjustable desk and I would happily recommend them to anyone to spends their day sitting in front of a computer.
     
    trinity168, Touristy and thatbum like this.
  2. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    8,113
    Location:
    Brisbane
    They are pretty good, I have one that attaches to your existing desk at work. Not the whole desk, but it attaches to the front, and the monitor, keyboard tray can go up and down:
    ergo.jpg
     
    thatbum likes this.
  3. Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    1,516
    Location:
    Sydney
    I got and electric height adjustable sitting/standing desk about 6 months back, it's awesome.
    I don't actually adjust the height, as it stays at standing height and use and architect type chair when I want to sit.
    The best part was that it was only $200 delivered in 1 piece for a 1800mm x 1800mm corner desk, German made components/electrics/motor, so it's quality compared to the Chinese models on the market.
    Was a perfect find on eBay, 2nd hand but in as new condition.
     
  4. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    13th Jun, 2015
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    2,950
    Location:
    Perth
    We had these at work and they were great. We kept all the CPUs on the ground with good cable management that would allow the cables at the back of the CPUs to stay together and be at either height. That minimised the weight the desks needed to hold - they were capable of holding 3 x 24" monitors quite comfortably.

    http://www.jpofficeworkstations.com...-adjustable/?gclid=CNfc4Yan3McCFdh5vQod8a8PYg

    I was much comfier working barefoot or flat shoed when standing.

    It was a little annoying moving the mat in and out for when you used the chair but as you stood more the less that annoyance was.
     
  5. orangestreet

    orangestreet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    80
    Location:
    Australia
    I spoke to a reputed (one of the best apparently) orthopaedic surgeon recently about getting a standing desk at work and he told me “don’t complicate what is already a complicated life”. He was of the opinion that for most people, it causes more harm than good.

    Anyway, regardless, I requested one at my work place and was given a state of the art model. Works like a charm and I love it! Will never go back to a regular desk if I can help it.

    Would be on a standing desk all day if only @ Simon Hampel would let me have a print / archive view which would allow me to download the entire thread to be read offline!:D Don’t want to be standing up and broadcasting my time spent on PC to the entire office!;)
     
  6. Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Just looking after his business interests.....
     
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  7. Davothegreat

    Davothegreat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    253
    Location:
    Sydney
    I acquired an adjustable desk from work when I redid our home office. We never alter the height but it's great as the vertical sections of the legs are set well back so you never kick them even when sitting under the end and I also grabbed the gas strut dual monitor stands so our screens don't touch the desk and are easily adjustable. Simon, you should mount your monitors the same way, you'd have better options for adjusting screen angle etc as you transition between standing and sitting and the bonus is extra desk real estate for the inevitable pile of paperwork and junk.