Today we’re chatting all about standing desks – from what they are, to why you need one, to all of YOUR standing desk recommendations!

illustration of people working at desks - two sitting at desk and one at standing desk

Team Fed + Fit is office-bound! Our brand new office and studio kitchen is *almost* ready for move-in, and we’re making sure that the space is set up for productivity and efficiency, not only in the kitchen (where SO much magic will happen, you guys!), but also in our writing, editing, and general desk-requiring duties area. One of the biggest things that our fearless leader, Cassy, has had at the forefront of her mind through this journey is our comfort and how that’ll play out in an office setting, where we’ll spend large amounts of our time each week.

Sometimes, taking a load off and collapsing into a chair just feels right, and other times, standing up and stretching your legs feels like the most generous thing you can do for your body. Traditional office desks, though, are a sit-only situation (which can get old FAST)… ENTER, STANDING DESKS!

Why buy a standing desk?

Goodness, there are SO many benefits to stand desks (besides the fact that a change in position just FEELS good from time to time). Here are a few reasons that we chose to go with a stand-up desk, and why it may be something for you to consider also:

  • Standing at Your Desk Burns Calories – while we aren’t claiming that standing at your desk should replace exercise (wouldn’t that be nice?!), standing throughout the day certainly expends more energy than sitting all day, resulting in a few more calories burned. In these days of working from home, adding a standing desk to your home office can make a huge difference and help prevent a sedentary lifestyle!

  • Standing at Your Desk Can Lower the Risk of Heart Disease + Diabetes – in this 2013 study, sedentary time (i.e. sitting at your desk all day, 5 days a week) is linked to an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.

  • Standing at Your Desk Can Reduce Back Pain – in this 2011 study (the Take-a-Stand Project), it was found that reducing your sitting time by just 66 minutes each day can significantly reduce chronic back and neck pain.

  • Standing at Your Desk Can Improve Your Mood – this 2014 study shows the link between sedentary behaviors and mental health (specifically depression), and this one shows the possible association of sedentary behavior and anxiety.

  • Standing at Your Desk can Boost Productivity – with links to more energy and an overall positively boosted mood, it just makes sense that an increase in productivity would one potential result, right? Happier, more energetic people in the workplace = higher morale = more work done!

a black and wood standing desk with a vase of flowers on it

Types of Standing Desks

There are so many types of standing desks, so we say to pick whichever makes the most sense for your circumstances and fits into your budget! Below is a quick overview of the different types of standing desks.

  • Sit-to-Stand Adapters – sit-to-stand adapters sit right on top of your existing desk and essentially become your new desk surface. When you want to sit, you’ll simply lower the adapter so that it’s sitting flat on your desk, and when you want to stand, you’ll raise the adapter up. This is a great option for those who have already invested in a traditional desk but want the option of a standing desk.

  • Fixed Standing Desks – fixed standing desks are not adjustable and require you to stand anytime the desk is being used. These tend to be a little bit less expensive than adjustable standing desks, but again, don’t give the user the option to sit should they want to.

  • Manual (Hand-Cranked) Standing Desks – these standing desks accommodate both sitting and standing, and require the user to raise or lower the desk manually (using a hand crank – think: old fashioned car windows). Manual, or hand-cranked, standing desks are more affordable than powered standing desks, and still offer all of the versatility.

  • Powered Sit Stand Desks – powered standing desks are just like the manual variety, but actually have a small electric motor that allows the desk to lower or raise with the push of a button. Pretty awesome! Many of these desks even have a programmable option so that the user can customize and set their ‘stand’ and ‘sit’ height range.

Adjustable Standing Desks

Shopping for standing desks can be overwhelming…there’s a lot of information out there! What helps? GREAT recommendations…and we asked, and you all delivered just that! While we haven’t tested each of these out ourselves, these options came highly recommended by you all, and are definitely worth a try if you’re in the market for height-adjustable desks.

  • Fully – ultimately, we found the Fully Jarvis desk to be the best standing desk for our needs! It offers tons of customization options (from work surface color, to hand-cranked, to motor-powered, to programmable height options, etc.) and is made with earth-conscious materials!
  • Vari – Vari offers many customizations (like programmable height settings, power + manual lift, etc.) and sizes, and their desks have great reviews!
  • UPLIFT – UPLIFT also offers tons of standing desk customizations so that you can make your desk fill your space and fit your needs. They also have standing desk converters for existing traditional desks.
  • Watson – the Watson C9 Desk also came highly recommended by you all, and with a beautiful design, it’s easy to see why! Just like the others, these desks are highly customizable and super intuitive.
  • UpDesk – with options for existing desk adapters and full-on height adjustable standing desks, there’s a lot to choose from here. UpDesk has great reviews for high quality desks.
  • Steelcase – tons of options with Steelcase also! We like the two-tier design of their Active List Riser (for existing traditional desks).
  • AMQ Solutions – AMQ offers a wide variety of not only standing desks, but also storage solutions, privacy dividers, and seating so that you can build your entire office in one place!
  • Ergotron – Ergotron offers desk converters, full adjustable standing desks, mobile desks (attached chair + everything is on wheels!), and wall-mounted desks, so there’s something for everyone here.
  • iMovR – for the most active among us! iMovR offers standing desks, cushioned standing mats, and treadmill desks…if you want the option to be active while you work, this is a great site to browse!
  • Herman Miller – with many shapes, sizes, and configurations, Herman Miller standing desks have everything you need to build your picture-perfect home!
  • Humanscale eFloat – Humanscale’s eFloat boasts programmable digital height memory and noise-free height adjustment.

woman working at a standing desk against a blue wall

Budget-Friendly Standing Desk Options

Standing desks can be expensive, but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get all of the benefits. These options are budget-friendly and deliver the same health benefits as the pricier varieties:

  • IKEA – the Skarsta standing desk from IKEA is simple, clean, and offers a hidden hand-crank for your adjustment needs.
  • MultiTable – MultiTable carries adjustable standing desks, desk converters, L-shaped tables, and ergonomic office accessories. This is a one-stop-shop!
  • Autonomous – though they have lots of customizations (and wonderful reviews), these Autonomous standing desks run at a lower price than many!
  • Stand Steady – Stand Steady offers mobile workstations and standing desks (both manual and power-adjusted) at really affordable prices.
  • COSTCO – COSTCO carries tons of standing desks, ranging in price and capabilities.

We hope that this list helps you to find a standing desk that will fit your needs and preferences. We are so grateful for your recommendations!

About the Author

Brandi Schilhab

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  1. Can you share the link to the wood one featured in the photo (with the blue abstract wall mural)?

    1. I’m actually not sure where that specific one is from, Chelsea, but Fully has a similar “Jarvis” desk with drawers!

  2. Thank you for the informative article! I knew some of these benefits of a standing desk but now I know where to go to acquire one. Great content!