I know I started “getting old” when a few years ago when I bent over to speak to my daughter and my lower back went out and has never been normal since then. Working out regularly, and doing daily stretches with core exercises is keeping me normalized, but sitting for a long time is not fun for my back.
Stand up desks seem to be the latest fear factor these days with many articles saying that sitting all day is killing us. For me, it was all about needing to stand more often to relieve my lower back strain. I already had a a good L type desk which I really liked and did not want to spend a ton of money to replace it. Besides, I never saw an L type desk that was also convertible to standing. That lead me to find a convertible desk option that would just work with my current desk. I also wanted something large enough to handle my laptop and extra monitor.
There are a lot of options all with different pluses and minuses depending on your needs, office/desk environment, and budget. Many of them were inexpensive, but those where either small or not convertible (Like the many Ikea hacks that seems to work great but then you no longer have a sitting desk – just do a web search for “ikea standing desk”). I opted for the Varidesk Pro Plus since it addressed all of my needs. It is large enough to handle my large LCD screen and laptop, I could still use my existing desk, I can use it while sitting or standing, it easily changes positions, and the cost was OK at $350.
I’ve used my new Varidesk for a few days now and so far it has been great. My back is definitely feeling better compared to sitting all day. The Varidesk is very sturdy so there is no problem typing or doing work while standing (I was a bit worried about having the thing bounce around while typing, but there is minimal bouncing – I’m writing this blog article now while standing!). Converting the desk from sitting/standing is super easy. There are two large grip type clamps below the desk surface on each side. Just put each palm on the top of the desk and then grip and squeeze the clamps on the underside and the desk will flow up or down depending on how you push it. It is spring loaded so there is very little effort needed to move and it locks into place wherever you want it. Pretty cool.
The only word of caution is that the keyboard while large is a bit small for a “regular” keyboard and mouse. The standard kind of keyboard with the number pad on the right. It works OK, but just a bit tight so I ordered a mini keyboard which is just a full sized keyboard but with no number pad so it is about 6 inches narrower so there is more room for the mouse. If you look closely at the pictures above again you will see that the keyboard is a mini one which is why it looks like there is plenty of room. Not a big deal since you can pick up a mini keyboard at Amazon for 12 bucks.
If you have been thinking about a stand up desk I’m telling you that you should get one. Your body will appreciate it.