Standing Desks vs. Converters: What You Should Know
More than just the latest crazy in healthy offices and more dynamic cubicles, standing desks are a great way to make work a little easier and better for you. Unlike many of the workplace fads of the last several years, standing desks have proven to last a little longer and have more noticeable benefits for a wider variety of people.
That means that, unlike yoga ball office chairs and many other healthy workspace innovations, standing desks are likely here to stay. In fact, standing desks are likely to become much more the norm, especially as workplaces realize they can save in employee healthcare costs by using them.
There’s a lot going on when you’re talking about standing desks. Here’s what you need to know.
What Are Standing Desks?
Standing desks are well-named, though not usually as simple as they sound. Standing desks are designed to meet your ergonomic needs while standing. They let you look at a computer screen, type on your keyboard, and use a mouse without having to spend all of your time sitting down.
While there are probably a few cheap models of standing desks that only let you stand, the vast majority of standing desks also recognize that you can’t just spend all of your time standing. To help you move back and forth, standing desks and converters both let you go back and forth between standing and seated positions.
The best standing desks make the whole process simple and usually let you raise or lower your desk with the push of a button.
There are several different styles of standing desks, and each basic design is geared toward a particular kind of workplace and a particular kind of worker. With such a wide variety, it can be a little overwhelming to try and pick a standing desk or even to decide whether you need one or not.
When to Choose a Standing Desk
Standing desks aren’t for everyone, but they can be a serious benefit for a lot of workers. For many self-employed people and business offices, the question is less whether they should use a standing desk and more when they should use a standing desk.
Standing desks are generally considered beneficial for any job that requires a lot of sitting in one place. Standing helps improve overall health, including strengthening the core and legs and even improving posture. So, making standing an option instead of sitting for 8 hours a day can help you feel better and stay healthier.
Having a standing desk can also make being a receptionist easier, especially in offices where guests interact with a standing-height counter. They can even be a helpful adaptation for some doctors and health care offices, giving care providers the option of standing as they enter information into the computer during appointments.
But, standing desks might be more distracting than helpful in some offices, particularly offices with an older cubicle design where standing desks can change the way sound moves through the office. Call centers are a good example of this. If the call center’s cubicle walls aren’t high enough or sound-dampening enough, standing desks might increase office volume too much.
To be clear, even in offices where standing desks aren’t ideal, they’ll still likely benefit worker health. If you have the option of making your office more suitable for standing desks, you should consider it.
But, if you can’t make those changes right away, it’s okay to wait until you have the budget to change more of your furniture.
Pros and Cons of Standing Desks
We’ve already mentioned that standing desks aren’t ideal for everyone, so here are some of the main pros and cons of standing desks vs. traditional desks.
Standing Desks Can Improve Health
Your body naturally burns more calories when you’re standing. There are more muscles engaged while you’re standing, which also helps to strengthen those muscles. It’s easier to stretch and move around while you’re working if you’re standing, not sitting.
All of those advantages add up to health improvements for many workers. The extra calorie burn can help you lose weight or keep extra pounds off. Freedom of movement and stretching can help prevent your muscles from getting overworked, tense, or strained.
Your circulation also improves while you’re standing, which can make it easier to concentrate and increase your energy levels.
You Can Add A Working Treadmill
Another potential benefit of standing desks is that they let you take advantage of other health innovations, like walking work treadmills that let you move even more while you’re working.
Even if you aren’t using a treadmill, the added movement of a standing desk can help you stay active and avoid common health problems.
Standing desks are definitely better than conversion kits in one major aspect: they let you keep your desk space more accessible. Many standing desk converters take up a ton of desk space without giving you any space in return.
Standing desks move your whole workspace with you, so no more reaching for a tool while you work.
Standing desks are usually very ergonomically friendly. They are designed with a standing position in mind, and often have plenty of space for monitor arms and other innovations that make your space more ergonomically friendly.
There are a few cons for standing desks, like all desk designs.
One of the things you get with a standing desk is a little bit of wasted time. That’s because it takes time to move a standing desk from seated to standing position. You’ll probably be making that change several times a day. Unless you can keep working while moving your desk, that time adds up.
It’s probably only a few minutes or less every day, especially once you get used to your standing desk. But a few minutes a day for a week or a month can create a noticeable loss of time.
There’s also an adjustment period while you (or your employees) are getting used to the new desk and will likely be switching back and forth more often. That adjustment period will eat more time than the desks will long term, but it’s worth noting.
Another common con of standing desks is that they often have less built-in storage, in the form of drawers and cabinets, than traditional desks. If you're already using a minimalist desk, you probably won't notice this problem as much. But, if you’re used to storing a lot of supplies in your desk, you’ll notice the lack.
Under desk, storage is also almost non-existent with most standing desks, since at least some of that space is used by the lift system in the desk.
How Are Standing Desk Converters Different?
Standing desk converters are designed to go on top of an existing desk while giving you the option of raising and lowering your workspace. Some will only raise and lower your monitor, while others provide some space for your keyboard, mouse, and other necessities.
Converters are also usually unstable, though not always less stable than standing desks as well as smaller. Many are also more difficult to use, though again, some converters are as effective as regular standing desks.
Some converters just sit on top of your desk while others clamp on or even screw into your existing desktop to work.
Is a Standing Desk Better Than a Converter?
Overall, if you’re looking to be able to stand while you’re working and to switch back and forth between standing and sitting, a true standing desk is likely to work better.
Standing desks almost always give you a more functional workspace than converter kits. They can also be a lot easier to set up since conversion kits often involve modifying your original desk. The last major benefit of standing desks is that they are significantly more stable, which results in less wiggling and jostling and a more secure workspace.
Still, if you like the storage in your traditional desk, inherited it from a beloved family member, or just aren’t sold on trading it out for a standing desk, there are some good conversion kits available.
Just be prepared that a good conversion kit is likely to cost almost as much as an affordable standing desk, so there isn’t a significant cost savings from sticking to a converter.
There are tons of benefits of switching over to a standing desk, and we work hard to try and make the switch as easy as possible. Our line up of desks and standing desk accessories are all designed to help minimize your stress and get you back to work as quickly as possible.
We also offer set up and installation services, which can be scheduled at the same time as your desk delivery. Contact us to get your new workspace today.
MotionGrey is a Canadian standing desk company that specializes in ergonomic furniture. We supply and install only the best quality standing desks and ergonomic chairs in the country.
Our products are designed with wellness as the focal point. From our electric standing desks to our office and gaming chairs, we deliver best value by putting your health, safety, and comfort as top priority. Boost your creativity and level up work performance. We want you to create great outcomes so we’re providing you only the best tools to make them possible.
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