Remember that Seinfeld episode where George gets a chair for the security guard because George doesn’t want him to stand for so long? Well, in a Modern Seinfeld world, the plot would have been reversed, with George removing the chair from George Steinbrenner’s office to stop him from sitting all day.
Studies have shown that prolonged sitting can lead to a variety of ailments, from back pain to increased risk of cancer. Since you can’t just leave your computer (shudder to think) even though that may stave off obesity, the solution for an increasing number of workers is the standing desk. Standing for four hours during an 8-hour work day burns 130 more calories than sitting all day. Over the course of a week that adds up to the equivalent of running a 10K. Standing desks have also been shown to increase workplace productivity. Fitter and better at your job, what’s not to like?
The problem is that, depending on your work environment, using a standing desk can lead to you being “that guy” in the office. You don’t help your cause by spouting off a bunch of statistics about the benefits of standing versus sitting either. Until standing desks achieve more mainstream adoption, a better course of action is to have a really badass standing desk that makes your co-workers look at you with envy instead of derision.
We found seven standing desks that fit the bill.
1. ARTIFOX STANDING DESK 01
With its craftsman design, this desk is more like a fine piece of furniture than a place to fill out TPS reports. It is constructed from walnut, and the grain of the wood is remarkable to look at. Artifox took a very considered approach to all the features. Charging docks for a phone and tablet are integrated seamlessly into the desktop as is the dry erase board for taking notes. There is a hidden tray to store cables and clever magnetic bands to neatly arrange cords. The Artifox desk does not adjust, however, so this is for someone who is really committed to standing for the long haul.
2. JARVIS BAMBOO
With an elegant (and environmentally friendly) bamboo top and a motor that allows the desk to adjust to varying heights, Jarvis’s desk has received a lot of acclaim. The desk adjusts between 22.5 inches and 51 inches at the push of a button, meaning even NBA players could benefit from its ergonomic position. You can also program four preset heights. The desk can hold up to 350 pounds (although why you would ever have that much weight on your desk is beyond me) and is available in a variety of top widths depending on how much stuff you keep at your workstation.
3. CHAIRIGAMI STANDING DESK
A desk made out of cardboard may sound ghetto at first, but Chairigami figured out a way to make the material feel elevated. The desk, which originally launched on Kickstarter, has clean lines and is sturdy enough that you don’t have to worry about it crumpling under the weight of your MacBook Air. The Chairigami is the rare DIY project that you might actually complete. Of course, since it’s cardboard, the consequences of spilling coffee on your desk are magnified.
4. VARIDESK PRO PLUS
The Varidesk sits on top of an existing desk, which makes it a particularly great option for folks who work in an open office with long tables. There is no motor, but changing the height manually is really easy. You simply press the handles on either side and the desk glides seamlessly into one of 11 different positions. The two-tier design also ensures that your monitor is at the ideal ergonomic height.
From $489.99, standdesk.co
The StandDesk offers a motorized sit/stand desk at a palatable price point. First launched on Kickstarter, the standard model features simple up/down controls (presets are available on the more expensive deluxe model) that adjust the desk from 28 to 45 inches high. The simple laminate top features two grommets to feed cords through. Other options can boost the price considerably, but for a basic motorized desk that won’t break the bank, this is a great option.
6. ROCKET MISSION EVOLVE
The Rocket Mission Evolve sits on the same motorized adjustable Jarvis frame as the bamboo desk above, but the desktop is the creation of Indiana designer Vincent Leman and features—ta-da!—drawers. Because a big part of having a clean desk is having a place to stash your clutter, the desktop has three maple and birch plywood drawers built in to the walnut frame. The top is 60 inches wide and 27 inches deep so there is plenty of room to spread papers and notes around as well.
7. VARIDESK SOHO
If you’re looking for a super simple way to elevate your laptop or if you work in a cramped space, the Soho is an excellent solution. It’s another option that sits on top of an existing surface and the 30-inch deck easily accomodates a laptop, mouse, and cup of coffee. What else do you need? The desk is heavy enough to feel sturdy but light enough that it’s easy to move when you want to turn your kitchen table back into, you know, a kitchen table.