Knowing the exact measurements of your existing desk is crucial to knowing what standing desk is right for you. This seems obvious right? Well, there are a lot of standing desks that take up a much larger footprint than you would imagine. Consider the stand up desk below:
Dimensions Listed: 36in W x 22in D x 6.5in
to 16in H
Seems pretty straightforward right? Not quite.
What isn’t mentioned and what is hard to see in the picture above is
that this standing desk actually comes toward you almost a full foot as it
elevates, making the total depth about 32-34in at the highest height. What’s the big deal? Well, if you or your co-workers that you’re
purchasing for have a standard office / cubicle with limited amount of space then
there is only so much room to push your chair back out of the way when you rise
from sit to stand up. Another downside
to these desks is sturdiness, as discussed more in #4 below.
2.)Does the keyboard tray touch the desk surface?
When it is at its lowest position, the
keyboard tray should presumably rest right on the desk surface. The reason being, it will become VERY
uncomfortable (and “un”ergonomical) over time if you have to type with your
hands slightly above your elbows. Again,
look at the picture above: You will notice some space below the keyboard tray
when it is at the lowest height. This doesn’t
seem like a big deal but imagine typing with your hands elevated a couple of
inches above your elbows for an entire day.
This is a little trickier to notice if the images don’t clearly show
it. The seller or manufacturer of the
product should be able to answer this question for you if you ask them:
“Does the keyboard tray on your standing desk
touch the desk surface underneath it when it is at its lowest height?” If they can’t answer the question or if the
answer is “No” then we would recommend another desk.
3.)Is the Keyboard Tray retractable?
An ergonomic, adjustable height sit to stand
desk should ideally have a keyboard tray that slides in and out. If it is not retractable, then at the very
least there should be enough distance between the front edge of the desktop
surface and the front edge of the keyboard tray so that your face isn’t stuck
right in front of your monitor. A
sliding keyboard tray will allow you to sit or stand at a distance that is far
enough away from your monitor to avoid straining your eyes.
Does it rise straight up and down?
The angle at which the standing desk rises
is important for a variety of reasons.
First, as was mentioned above, if you have a smaller or even standard
workspace, a desk that rises up and toward you any more than a few inches could
cause a problem. Second, after having
tested over 50 different models of stand up desks before designing our own
models, the stand up desks that come too far forward have a higher tendency to
become unstable when elevated. During
our testing we have had several standing desks tip over toward us when we
either set up our dual monitors on the top shelf or when we laid our elbow on
it for a break. Take a look at this one
Any desk that comes up and out toward you
more than 6 inches like the ones shown above really are at an increased
likelihood of tipping over and will cause smaller workspaces to get cluttered
quickly. Think about these factors if
you’re ordering your desks for your office.
Not everyone’s office space works for these types of desks. While there are plenty of nice desks that
have these features, the downsides to these features are something to consider.
5.)What size is the desktop work surface?
Everyone’s work space needs are
different. Some people might only have
enough room for a smaller standing desk.
Some people might like the large 41” wide desks. Whatever your needs are, know the desktop
work surface dimensions. Measure them
out on your desk and visualize what it will look like with monitors on top of
them, a notepad, a pen, sticky notes, or whatever accessories you would like to
have. Grab a ruler and measure it
out. How wide are your two monitors if
you’re using a dual monitor setup? How
deep is it at the point where you would put a notepad?
Ideally, you will want to find a desk that
rises straight up/down or slightly toward you.
If you have a larger space then try to find one that is at least 30”
wide, that has a retractable keyboard tray, and that is compatible with monitor
arms if you use them. With those
features in mind, feel free to shop our list of
manual standing desks. We also
electric standing desks if you have a bad back or have difficulty lifting