Standing Desks - Why I Use One; Why You Should Too

CrackBerry Kevin's Favorite Mobile Health Accessory is his Standing Desk! Learn About Standing Desks, his Anthro Elevate Adjusta Standing Desk and More!

By Kevin Michaluk on 28 Feb 2012 11:10 pm EST

With Mobile Nations Fitness Month coming to an end, I just *had* to write a quick long post on the "mobile health accessory" I use the most every day. That honor goes to my standing desk. I know, I know... you probably don't think of a desk when thinking mobile health, but my Anthro Elevate Adjusta does roll on wheels and move up and down, so it passes the mobile test as far as I'm concerned (granted it won't fit into my pocket that well when I leave the office).

The concept of standing at a desk while working isn't new. Many famous people in history like Leonard Da Vinci, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill reportedly preferred working while standing to help get those creative and writing juices flowing. Over the past couple of years there has been a lot of buzz about the health benefits of standing desks, driven by research that concluded the longer you sit, the shorter your life is (all other things being equal). I don't pay too much attention to research as I know it can be argued and manipulated pretty much any and every which way you want, but as someone who's been working at a desk daily since graduating university in 2004, the notion of being a little more active and vertical during the work day intuitively made sense.

How I Went From Sitting to Standing... 

Sitting Sucks

Herman Miller
What I sit in when I'm not standing...

When I graduated university my parents asked me what I wanted for a graduation present. My older brothers both chose SLR cameras when they graduated (the non-digital kind back in their day). Instead of an SLR, I asked for a Herman Miller Aeron Chair (the famous dot com chair). I figured with a Business Management degree (specializing in Finance and Entrepreneurship in case you were wondering), I'd be spending a lot of my waking hours sitting by a computer. A more fitting gift than a camera would be the best chair my parents' money would buy! Over the years that followed my butt spent a lot of time glued to that Herman Miller. And my butt loved every minute of it and still does (it's pretty hard to stand all day long - I do still spend time sitting and would highly recommend that chair). As happy as my butt was, my scale did not enjoy all that luxurious sitting. Six years averaging 15+ hours a day in a chair takes a toll. I do work out a fair amount to keep the scale from tipping too far in the wrong direction, so overall managed to keep things in check, but I knew all that sitting wasn't helping the cause...

Demand to Stand

I continued to be a sitter, until May 16th, 2009, a day which forever changed the way I look at chairs. I was out for dinner with friends celebrating my 29th birthday. There were a bunch of us there, but down the table I heard two of my friends (Jared Cormier and Tom Kaminski to be precise) talking about some news report one had seen that said people who stand more during the day live longer. I missed the context of the conversation, didn't even know the original source, and didn't even care to follow up and ask for anymore details. But as I sat there eating my liver and onions, which were damn tasty, it clicked. Intuitively this idea made sense. I looked at my gut and it agreed (why do you think they call it a gut feeling?). That same night after dinner I went back home and re-jigged my computer desk into a poor man's standing desk using old glass tiling blocks and books that were lying around my basement, raising not only the desk but also the monitor and keyboard and mouse so everything was in relative alignment.

CrackBerry Kevin's Original Standing Desk
CrackBerry Kevin craftsmanship - the poor man's standing desk

It's not easy to go from sitting all day to trying to stand all day. I worked up the amount of time I stood slowly. My trick was to keep a regular height desk with a chair beside my homemade standing desk. It wasn't an efficient use of space, but it worked. I could stand and I could sit. I continued to use this dual desk setup for over a year while I began my research to find a professionally made standing desk.

Which Standing Desk Should I Buy?

Treadmill DeskGeek Desk
Treadmill Desk, Geek Desk... What to choose?!

It took me a while to decide which standing desk to buy. Googling and searching around I eventually found a few options to consider, including the Treadmill Desk and Geek Desk which seemed to have some buzz behind them.

I quickly dismissed the notion of a treadmill desk. I actually tried building my own in my home gym on top of my treadmill to give it a whirl, and while it worked it was just too distracting for everyday work/office use. If I had a bunch of weight to lose it might make sense, but I was looking more for daily motion and activity than to walk myself skinny. Typing and blogging and talking and doing conference calls and podcasts just wouldn't work for me while walking.

The Geek Desk had a quite a lot of positive quotes on their website and I was actually going to order one, but when I tried it turned out they were sold out and had a waiting list. With a price tag under $1,000, it's a fairly affordable way to get into a quality standing desk. Heck, two Geek desks will still cost you less than a Porsche Design BlackBerry. And remember, if you end up hating an adjustable standing desk you can always just lower it and sit at it. 

If there's one thing I hate, it's waiting when I've decided I want to buy something. Frustrated, I honestly thought about getting my own desk custom built to my specs. Having used my homemade desk for a year I had a lot of ideas for what I'd put into the ultimate standing desk.

In the end, I was glad I didn't buy the Geek Desk as I continued my research and discovered Anthro Standup Desks and their Elevate Adjusta desk.

My Anthro Elevate Adjusta Desk

Anthro Elevate Adjusta Desk

Browsing around Anthro's website, I immediately fell in love with the Elevate Adjusta. Digging into the company's about page, it was clear they had a long history building high tech furniture and that they catered to industrial and professional installations (healthcare, etc.) with heavy duty stuff that was built to last. Industrial quality carries a premium price tag of course -- the model I ended up ordering per my configuration rang in at over $3,000 -- but I looked at this a long-term investment in both my productivity and my health. The way this desk is built it should last for 25+ years. Amortize the cost and it's really not *that* bad.

Ordering the desk online turned out to be a royal pain the butt, but thankfully I'd be standing soon. With no Canadian distributor at the time I couldn't complete the order online. Anthro's live chat support ended up being very helpful though and they pointed me in the right direction to arrange shipping and a customs broker and I ended up getting my desk delivered in a relatively short period of time. Assembly does take some skill. And as it is a desk, you're going to need two people - it's a big unit. Luckily my older brother, who's a super smart mechanical engineer, dropped by one night and he helped me put it together. By help me, I mean he did all the work and I watched. :) 

Features That Matter

Be sure to watch my video at the top of this post to get a good look at the features of the Elevate Adjusta in action. Of course the big exciting feature are the motorized legs, which smoothly lower and raise the desk all the way from standing to seated positions.

While that's cool and useful, the feature I think is MOST IMPORTANT in a standing desk is the split level dual surface top. This is CRITICAL. If your desk only has a flat surface for both your monitor and keyboard/mouse to sit on, it can be VERY difficult to dial in the desk to achieve an ergomically proper work position. And trust me, if you don't get the position correct you'll find yourself in a state of pain (sore wrists, neck, back, etc.) before you know it. With the Elevate Adjusta I can change the height of the front desk surface (where my keyboard and mouse sit) along with the angle of this surface, while the back of the desk where the monitor is attached remains fixed. I can't overstate the importance of this feature. Looking back, this is the main reason I was glad I didn't get the original Geek Desk, which features a single flat surface.

Two other optional features I ordered with my Adjusta Elevate were a monitor stand and the power bar/strip. I recommend both. Being able to adjust your monitor and move it around really maximizes the use and effectiveness of your work space. And having a ton of available power outlets on the back of the desk is REALLY handy.

For 2012 I'd like to add two more big monitors to what I call "CrackBerry Command Central" but first I need Apple to hurry up and release their new Mac Pros (want a desktop). Feels like we've been waiting forever for those to get updated.

What's Missing on the Elevate Adjusta

While I still think there are a lot of little things that could be done to take ALL standing desks to a whole new level of awesomeness, the key basic feature I wish my desk had that's missing are memory settings for the sit and stand positions. When I first got my desk I asked Anthro about this, and they made the point that they find people often want to "re-dial" in their positions throughout the day, so relying on memory settings isn't that useful. In practice, I have found this to be true. Between wearing shoes or going bare foot, or being full of energy in the morning or a little tired by afternoon, I do find I'll want to tweak the settings a bit to make sure I have that 100% ergonomically correct feeling. That said, my lowered sitting position is always pretty much the same, so there's no reason that position shouldn't be locked in. And my upper position is almost always the same too. Why hold down the up/down buttons when I should be able tap once and let it do the work? Bottom line, I'm a gadget guy. The motorized action is a start, but there's a lot more room to put more circuitry on this bad boy.

10 Tips & Things You Should Know About Using a Standing Desk

CrackBerry Kevin on French TV... Standing
The TV crew from France who interviewed me in fall 2010 thought I was nuts to stand and blog

Over the last couple of years I've logged a LOT of standing hours. I've still logged a lot of sitting hours too. Look. Standing all day isn't easy. And it's not really my goal to actually stand all day. My goal wasn't to completely replace sitting with standing, but to simply make sure I wasn't sitting at the desk from 8am to midnight each day, which was often happening (when I get into the zone, I zone out and forget to eat, stand up, etc.). These days I'm at a pretty good balance and have really integrated the standing desk into my everyday work life. Here are some of the things I've learned that may help you:

  1. Start the Morning Standing - When you leave the office for the night, leave the desk in the standing position. If you start the morning sitting, you're screwed. You'll never raise the desk.
  2. Stand for Phone Calls - If I'm sitting and the phone or a Skype call rings through, I immediately start raising my desk as I answer and say hello. Make it a rule. If you're talking, you're standing. In a company where you have too many long boardroom meetings? Raise the board room table so everybody is forced to stand. Watch how much more productive and shorter board meetings become!
  3. Pretend you're on the Starship Enterprise - Seriously, when you start doing work while standing, you feel powerful. Simple tasks like sending an email somehow give you a feeling of a mission accomplished. At first I didn't realize why I felt so much more powerful while doing the same work I would do sitting. Then I realized, it's like you're on Starship Enterprise. You're not sitting at a desk. You're at a command console. Stand me up Scotty!
  4. Stand After Lunch - I usually find myself starting the mornings standing for a couple hours, but as 11am roles around I'm lowering the desk. When I leave for lunch I raise it again. Standing after eating helps beat that post-lunch drowsiness. Even if you eat a big meal, standing after eating will help you beat it and stay productive all afternoon.
  5. View Chairs As Thy Enemy - I used to love chairs. Now when I look at them I see pure evil. Well, not quite. But I definitely don't look at chairs the same way I used to. My subconcious is much more aware of the time I spend sitting now. I don't think about it, but I just can't sit like I used to. It's now a habit to want to stand up on a regular basis. If I sit too long I get antsy.
  6. Work Up to Standing Slowly - If you are used to sitting at a desk all day, ease into standing slowly. Your first few attempts at standing will result in crazy burning calves. Work up to longer periods of standing over time. Rome wasn't built in a day.
  7. Music Makes You Move - When you're starting out with standing desks, keep the music playing. Turning standing into desk dancing will trick you into forgetting you could be sitting, and you'll find yourself standing for longer periods of time. Need to really fight that urge to sit? Watch this Sexy & I Know It Workout Video.
  8. Get a Standing Mat or Balance Cushion - Depending what the floor you're standing on is made of, you're going to want to get a mat to stand on. Concrete floors and hardwoods are unforgiving. In the video above you'll see I have a fatigue mat and also a standing balance pad thing which is fun to stand on (I don't have a lot of co-workers in the office so get away with going bare feet).
  9. Figure Out Your Footwear - I could write another essay on footwear. If you're going to aim to stand a bunch during the day, you need to make sure the things strapped on your feet are going to aid you on that mission. This is going to be somewhat of an individual thing. The big thing to avoid are bad shoes. If you try to stand and your feet are killing you, try another pair. Or go barefoot, which I find is pretty good. If you don't care about looks and are going for something fit and healthy, I'm a big fan of Nike Free running shoes (which I wear barefoot). I have a couple pairs of those crazy Vibram finger shoes and have worn them too, but I personally find them too uncomfortable for long wear use indoors (I know there are a lot of Vibram fans out there, and I get that). Personally I'd rather go barefoot or go Nike Frees.
  10. It's STILL OK TO SIT! - I still sit for a good chunk of the day. I find when I'm taking care of short tasks or ones that are operational -- emails, phone calls, quick blog posts, quick editing videos like the one in this article, etc. -- I can do that all perfectly well while standing. But when it comes to a task that's going to take a lot of concentration and a lot of time, I often find I need to sit so I can just buckle my brain down and power it out. Overall I personally aim to be standing for 50% or more of my work day. When I beat that I feel good. When I don't, which does happen, I make sure I beat it the next day. Beware the slippery slope of wanting to sit!

If you worked through all ten standing desk tips and you're closer to thinking "I could do this" rather than "The guy writing this article is crazy" then you might be in the market for a standing desk yourself.

Which Standing Desk Should YOU Buy?

That's a good question. I haven't used every standing desk on the market. I used my homemade desk for a year and my rather expensive Anthro Elevate Adjusta for a year and half. I went from the cheapest standing desk (homemade for free!) to one of the most expensive. I skipped everything in between. Looking around Amazon and the internet today as I've been working on this article, it seems there are a LOT more standing desk solutions than there were, and there are options at quite a few price points. 

Heck, if you have a laptop and want to give standing a cheap try, the Sharper Image Laptop Cart will get you into the standing game for $70.  Looking on Amazon, I found a non-motorized version of the Anthro Adjusta for under $800. Not bad, though I do love having a motor. And as I said above, that Geek Desk is fairly compelling (and does offer saved presets!) but I *really* think having the dual desk surfaces is critical if you're looking for every day, all day use.

Another option that my friend Tom (the one who was at my birthday dinner, remember?) ended up getting is the WorkFit-S. This unit actually mounts on top of your existing desk and can be easily raised and lowered manually. The best part about the WorkFit is the cost - you can grab it for under $400.

There are a lot of options out there. If you know and you have used them, be sure to drop mention of others into the comments. Bottom line. Do some investigating. Do some research. Our SuperFunctional podcast did an awesome show on standing desks that's worth a listen if you're thinking about standing. You can always hit me up on twitter at @crackberrykevin too if you want to run your potential standing desk investment by me.

The Future of Standing Desks

I have no doubt that the buzz surrounding standing desks will continue and gain steam over the months and years ahead. For some it'll be a fad, but for others, myself included, it's an absolute lifestyle change. I wouldn't be surprised if down the road -- five or ten years out -- we see it become law that employers and governments have to offer employees the option of a standing desk. Like I said at the start of this article - on topics like this I'm sure you'll see research over time that says they're awesome, they do nothing, or they're bad for you. That's how this stuff tends to rollout. To me it's just intuitive, feels good and makes sense. I don't need more research than that. I just say give it a try. Once you start doing it you'll feel better standing and you'll want to keep standing.

Sitting Sucks. Demand to Stand.

The best standing desks today are still extremely low-tech in my opinion. I have a lot of ideas of where I think things will head, and I'm sure over the next few years we'll see standing desks evolve to be even more powerful. When you quit thinking of a desk as a desk and begin to think of it as command central, the thoughts of what you can do with a desk go wayyy beyond anything that's out there to date. I'm going to keep my lip shut tight for now on some of those ideas, as I want to **show** them to you all. Stay tuned for that!

Reader comments

Standing Desks - Why I Use One; Why You Should Too


Damn I'm a security officer and I work nights and sit at my desk for prolong hours!

Posted from my 9900 on Robbers (Rogers).

Kevin is right. EVERYONE needs a standing desk! You just gotta look at the research and see how bad sitting all day is for you.

I just ordered myself the Haworth Planes Adjustable standing desk. It has a couple features I prefer over the one Kevin has (programmable height settings, lots of options for customization), though Kevin's has a few nicer features too (keyboard portion of the desk, it's on wheels, and powerbar). Both the Haworth and the Anthro seem to have the best sit-to-stand range, which is a must for tall people (i'm 6'2), though the Anthro has the best range I've seen.

Can't wait to get mine!

Usually you can get these things cheaper than their list price.

Regardless, you might think that by not buying it you're saving $2849, but at what cost? Seriously, look at the studies that have come out that study how bad sitting all day is for you. If spending ~$3000 is going to increase my quality of life, then I'm all in!

because the walking you do doesn't undo the damage that prolonged sitting does to the structure of your body. Sure... it helps the belly... but it does not fix your back.

A little bulked up there eh Kevin? Nice hairstyle going.. what's going on? Something you need to tell us about?

Lol! Mobile Nations fitness month! Gotta represent. The first two weeks didn't go so well - got sick, then went to Amsterdam for DevCon Europe, then got sick again. Finally better and picked up the working out again for the last ten days. Back on the path to being in shape. Shirtless accessory reviews coming at you this summer! Lol.

As for the hair... After the years of scientific experimentation I discovered Miss CrackBerry likes it better that way. Plus less haircuts means more money to spend on electronics ;)

Kevin I say you extend the fitness month to the year. Can you imagine all the hype around blackberry if when bb10 came out and you have all these crackberrians walking around with six packs? I just started P90X and would love to see more blackberry fans not only addicted to their phones and tablets but commuting to being fit because of the awesome trip influence crackberry has.

I am going to download the disks to my playbook so no matter where I go I can work out. That's commitment...that's crackberry

Same here, the PlayBook is mobile so I just pick it up and take it to my workout space and prop it on my Otterbox Defender Stand. I'm on week 3!

"As for the hair... After the years of scientific experimentation I discovered Miss CrackBerry likes it better that way."

As heard on Kiss 92.5 this morning, you are what Roz & Mocha define as a 'Project Boyfriend' for Miss CrackBerry. She wants to change you...and you let her!

In unrelated news, Project X in theatres this Friday March 3rd, 2012. Off the shizzle.

That's a great way to stay in shape! The little things make a big difference. If you got the money might as well spend it.. maybe one day I will get one of these.. You are awesome Kevin!

The GeekDesk is very tempting. I'm moving in a couple of months and don't intend to bother transporting my big beat-up student desk, so maybe I could invest in one of those.

Lol. If it wasn't a leap year this would be the last post! But alas... there are 29 days to this February so you'll have to suffer through one or two more mobile fitness related posts. But come on.. it's really not so bad, is it? Just scroll down if you don't like :)

Haha this is awesome I'm getting me a poor man's desk after seeing this! Thx Crackberry Kevin I'm gonna make a effort to be more fit for now on too. This playbook is gonna be the death of me if I don't!

HaHahAaa.. Anybody else notice Kevin didn't do his trademarked hand slam on that desk?? C'mon Kevin it won't break

omg i never thought i'd want a desk as badly as i want that $3000 mac daddy (see what i did there?) of a beast...

I'm changing my crackberry birthday wish to that standing desk. That is sick. or do I want the tantalizing BB10 QWERTY Phone.

I'm surprised you didn't mention the Ergo Depot Summit desk. I'm 6'3" and it goes up to 52" for $950. I stand almost all day now.

Just checked it out. Looks good. As I wrote in the post... I haven't researched everything currently available today. I put in my research for myself two years ago. Like the Geek Desk though, it only has the one level on the surface. I'm all about the dual surface for that extra adjustability.

You do realize that Dwight Schrute tried this move a few week's ago on TV's "The Office"...and look how it turned out for him!

Also, you have way too much crApple in your workspace! I must be in the minority having never purchased an Apple product in my life although I have many friends hooked on their juice.

Piece and Happy Leap Day.

That's an awesome desk Kevin!

I think you should give us a tour if the CrackBerry office and see how you guys run the site! That would be great.

Awesome post Kevin. FWIW I also felt the need to do my utmost to stay healthy and in shape while sitting at my desks (home office & biz office) so what I picked about three years ago were a couple of free-standing low profile pedallers, they are basically a downsized version of a bicycle's main frame with pedals, but without any other parts, they fit fine under my desks and are great for maintaining muscle strength and proper blood circulation, the benefits of such endeavors are well documented in medical journals, I highly recommend them. Walgreens and its competitors sometimes have them in stock, however, I must mention that the model(s) made in China lack quality, the gear box tends to overheat and its ballbearings eventually cease-up, the model(s) made in Taiwan are of good quality, so looking up its manufacturing origin is a must.

Kevin's post mirrors my own journey to a standing desk almost exactly. I built my first prototype with books and random pieces of wood, then replaced it would with an Ikea model. Now at least four other people in my office are getting standing desks!

You really buffed up dude, must have been doing some serious work outs.
I like the collection of gadgets you have on the table, you never have to leave the desk except to get food and water.

I've been giving serious thought to a standing desk but I thought I was on my own. The truth is that I don't care about burning calories or toning my core but I think better standing and moving. It's a performance thing for me. My wife teases me about it but I always walk and pace when I'm on the phone or flushing out my many brilliant ideas. I think I'm going to mount a small table on one section of my U desk and possibly mount a keyboard tray underneath. Likely also a 2nd docking station and monitor for quick computer location changes. The idea of a standing workstation makes my brain smile :)

I have to admit that your setup is pretty sweet. Wish I could pull something like that off at work, being a Guidance Counselor I spend most of my days sitting at a desk which I know isn't good at all plus having something like that would open up more space in my office too. Not that I could ever see a school dropping that kind of money on a desk! A guy can dream tho!

I have been standing and working for about a year with my ergotron workstation s. Costs between $300-$400.

You know what's funny about Herman Miller (which I love...)... I got the whole "Sitting Sucks" things from them.

When they introduced one of their new chairs a while back, it might have been the Mirra or something like that, on their website they said "Sitting Sucks!" and they went through all the reasons of why sitting was bad for you. Of course in their case they were pitching their chair as being the solution to the sitting sucks problem, but I took the much more literal interpretation to mean all chairs suck... so stand! They should have had some awesome sit/stand desks on the market before they went with that campaign... I'd have bought a Herman Miller standing desk if it was similar to this Anthro in a heart beat. 

I liked the look of their new Envelop desk, but again... it just doesn't stack up against a desk like this.

My doctors have told me the same thing about sitting. Actually sat at a Herman Miller booth at a trade show in Toronto in October. Super comfortable. I have thought about a standing desk but it wouldn't work in our office environment... Yet.

And it stinks. We just ordered a desk for home. This article is 2 weeks to late. :)

Damn if I would have know I would have gotten a direct reply I would have mentioned that a Buddy snapped a picture of you at CES, of that Rick Nash and you could be related watch out the new Range Rover will be unveiled next week. :)

The set up is sick!!! I workout 2 hours a day so i'm fine with sitting at my desk all day. What i love is the monitors and stands for all your equipment. I need docks now for all my stuff. Soo jealous.

Thanks for the inspiration.

OMG thats what i wanted all my life!
my fiancee really is going to be mad at me for pushing the wedding so i can buy one of those..
jk lol
really i want one!!
although right now im using a bowflex without the leg extention to sit at my office lmao

Your totally missing one of the most important things of ergonomics. To NOT STRAIN YOUR NECK, you MUST have a FALLING angle of your eyes against the monitor. Having the monitor in a straight line or slightly to high, will put unnecessary tension on your necks back muscles. LOWER IT! you will feel so much "at ease".. The old screen on computer for your desktop is even to high..

You're absolutely right. That's actually how I have it set up a lot of the time. That's one of the huge reasons too why I'm so hell bent on having the dual desk surface as well as the monitor mounted on an arm so I can easily adjust the distance from the screen and the tilts indepedently. When I first got it I played with the settings a lot to figure out what was "best for me" in any given position.. sitting/standing/etc. 

Such a timely post!!! I have worked mostly standing for ~18 years now. I have had the office I am in adjusted for higher desk tops to make it easier to work. Standing is everything you say it is.
Now I want the setup you have!!! has a nice standing desk in its furniture & lighting section. It is not adjustable,but it is pretty! Click on this desk & scroll down past the ordering information for an article on standing desks and some ideas to convert your present office setup to a standing office. Those of us with a passion for fountain pens know the name Levenger. Some of their products are very pricey(circa line),but when it comes to quality, fountain pener's are a picky lot and Levenger's pens&inks get high marks. I assume the rest of their products are the same.

Nice looking desk, but not big enough for all my screens :-)

So I guess I'll have to stick with the desk on crates approach for a while. One thing I have found useful is getting a higher task chair that allows me to sit at the desk occasionally even though it is elevated.

So I was doing some on-line training at work yesterday, but what I really wanted to do was check out the day's info on CrackBerry. I told myself to focus, I have to get this training done! Then I remembered this article. I stood up while going through the training. Hey, this was a nice change. Then I thought, maybe I can do something besides just stand here, so I started doing squats. My legs hurt today so it must have worked! Need something besides business casual shoes though lol!

Kevin, I'm really intrigued by this - all that you say makes sense, but as a working journalist who spends most of the day hammering out stories (between lots of emails, online research etc) I'm wondering how compatible 'standing mode' is to my work..

Are you also wordsmithing all day (by which I mean actually writing content) or is a lot of your time spent in less intensive keyboard activities such as short emails, as well as phone calls, playing with gadgets for review etc..?

If the former – well, in either case – what effect does standing have on your intensive writing time? Is it nil compared to sitting, is it more difficult because sitting is more comfortable (and one needs to be comfortable to help get in the zone for writing) or somehow better because you're standing?

What size arm did you use for your Apple Display? Sweet setup! I have pretty much everything you have minus the desk!

Here's what I don't understand: most monitors allow you to adjust the height a bit. Why spend 3k on a desk with dual levels when you can spend 1k and just fiddle with the monitor for a few seconds?

Kevin, thanks for the post. Have you heard of the NextDesk? It is sort of like the Geek Desk that you mention, but I wanted to let you know about it because they just came out with a new product-- something I haven't seen on the market yet.
It is an adjustable height desk, but it is much smaller and only uses one, wall-mounted column to maximize your space. I think it's a good deal for apartments, small offices, children's rooms, etc.
Personally, I use the NextDesk Terra at work so I am pretty excited that I might be able to get something similar for my home soon.
Just thought you might like to check it out!
Take care, and thanks again for the post, Kevin!


Looks good, but it's lacking the split surface that I think is sooo important. Even in the photos, you can see how ergonomically bad it is... where they're showing an iMac sitting on the desk top, with the mouse and keyboard on the same surface. The guys elbows are too high, neck is hunched looking low. If he wasn't posing for a photo, he'd last ten minutes using that desk. Need to be able to adjust monitor height and keyboard height/angle indepedently.

We started making the Standee standing desk in California and from imported 100% renewable Bamboo. It costs slightly more than your run of the mill (pun intended) fiberboard setup, but is superior in strength and quality.

Hi Kevin! Thanks for this post and for sharing your research into standing desks. I'm in Vancouver and looking at an Anthro desk as well - can you share which broker you used and whether you had a good experience with them?


I've been toying with the idea of ordering something for myself at work... In a cube with an existing desk, and have read good things about the Kangaroo Pro. If my employer won't cover it, it's at least within range of getting it for myself ($500). Would love something like the Anthro, though.

Standing all day can also be problematic. That is why we went with a treadmill desk. Makes all the difference in the world! We do alternate with some time sitting - it is maybe 50/50. But it feels really good to walk slowly while we work instead of just stand or sit. We forget we are walking we get so engrossed into our work on our computers.

We got a new Multitable and we LOVE IT!!! We ordered the entire table from them, not just the base -- they customized it for us, too. We checked out almost every standup desk on the market before settling on this one. They have a plethora of types of desks - something for everyone.

Although they had models that fit over their own treadmills, we already had a high-end Precor treadmill at home. Note that most of the treadmills that come from the standup desk combos have no console in front to get in the way, but ours, just like a gym model, does. So we needed the table that goes up really high, plus we needed a more narrow table since we are further back on the treadmill due to the console. Plus, we just have small laptops so no need for a wider desk.

They took their table from the treadmill combo and created a customized top for us. Also they were able to adjust the width.

It fits perfectly! The inner width is 34" between the legs, the tabletop is 36" wide and 18" deep. The height goes up to 54 inches!!!! Yayyyh! Finally we found one that fit our needs over our treadmill! (good luck finding one that tall, and, if you do, good luck getting the rest of these dimensions.)

It was pretty easy to assemble, and putting things together is not my forte. We ordered the "left-handed" model, which is just having the crank on the left side, since our treadmill is up to the wall on the right side. We really appreciate a manual operation, although they certainly have electric models. I don't want another thing to have to plug in, and it takes so little effort to crank it, why bother with electric.

Their customer service is outstanding. Their prices are far, far better than any other desk of this quality, and especially compared to companies who are willing to customize for you.

One other thing I think is important is wheels..I've been looking for one of these w/ wheels and they're hard to find (or rather anything less than $1K)-:

The split height thing is less expensive if you have a good stable keyboard tray/arm. I usually like having a graphics tablet as well, but at the same level.

I am a little late to this conversation it would appear, but Anthro has a newer Elevate line out called Elevate II...they offer the single surface and the adjusta surface. These desks run for under $2k and I was told if you Google the part number you will see it come up with some of the resellers they work through that might get you a lower cost as well.

They just updated their MoveMore site so it might be worth checking out if you are looking for sit stand desk options...

This is a great post! I had never seriously considered working out at my desk, but I just got my own office and have been tempted to try it out. I do get sick of sitting for hours on end and am looking for the simplest way to integrate a bit of motion in my daily routine. I think the standing desk idea is great as well. Thanks for sharing your expertise and tips with us!