Ergonomic Standing Desks and Chairs

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Standing Desk Or Standing Desk Converter: Which One Should I Get?

29 March 2023

Switching from a standard office desk to a standing desk is a life-changing decision. It can help you improve your health and optimize your workflow. However, deciding whether to use a standing desk or a standing desk converter is more involved.

For one, there are many height-adjustable products with different configurations. Understanding these subtle differences can help you close in on the advantages of each type. For instance, a converter is ideal if all you need is to sit or stand at work.

On the other hand, a stand-alone height adjustable desk offers more support for daylong activities. It can help enhance mobility, and you can slot in some fitness equipment for a rewarding workout as you take care of business.

Let's look at the differences before we get ahead of ourselves. When you're done reading this, you'll be able to settle on what adds the most value to your workstation.



What Is a Standing Desk Converter?

A standing desk converter is an attachment that enables you to turn a traditional office desk into a height-adjustable desk. All you need to do is to fasten it to an existing desk to adjust your desktop to a comfortable height. So, they are ideal for people with limited office space and equipment budgets.

Commonly available sit or stand-desk converters are about the size of your laptop. But other options cover 24" to over 40". Depending on where you look, you can also find a converter that features storage compartments, electric ports, and other enhancements.

These products have many features that can confuse you as you shop. The most important features you should focus on include the following:

Look for a converter with a broad base that offers optimal stability and weight distribution.

Consider the size of your workspace. You'll want to ensure the converter will fit comfortably on your desk.

Think about how much height adjustability you need. Some converters only offer a few inches of adjustability, while others can be raised or lowered to accommodate different users.

Consider the weight capacity of the converter. You'll want to ensure it can support your monitor, keyboard, and other materials without tipping over.

Finally, take a look at the warranty and return policy. You want to be sure you can return the converter if it's not what you're looking for.

That said, let's take a glance at the advantages and disadvantages of settling on a standing desk converter:

Pros

You get to keep your old desk

Occupies less space compared to a stand-alone standing desk

Requires fewer workstation setup changes

Most don't require installation

Are way more affordable compared to standing desks

Cons

Cable management can be challenging.

Some converters offer limited space that you can work with

A converter only raises part of the table, not the whole surface.



What Is a Height-Adjustable Desk?

As the name suggests, a height-adjustable desk is a type of workstation that allows the user to adjust the height of the desk surface.

A height-adjustable desk consists of three main components: a base, a tabletop, and a mechanism for adjusting the height. The base is typically made from steel or aluminum, and it supports the weight of the tabletop and any objects that are placed on it. The table top is usually made from wood or another sturdy material, providing a flat surface for working. The height-adjustment mechanism allows users to raise or lower the tabletop to their desired height. Several different types of mechanisms are available, including crank, pneumatic, and electric motors.

Height-adjustable desks can also be fitted with accessories, such as monitor mounts or arms, keyboard trays, and cable and wire management systems to improve ergonomics further. Some height-adjustable desks even come with built-in drawers and shelves, making it easy to keep your work area tidy.

The ability to adjust the height of the desk surface is beneficial for ergonomic reasons, as it allows the user to find the optimal position for their individual needs. It also helps to promote movement throughout the day, which can reduce the risk of stiffness and discomfort.

Pros

Increases your desktop space

More ergonomically designed than converters

They offer more stability and safety features

Allows for more workstation customization

Accommodates under-the-desk cycles and other office workout equipment

Cons

Requires some assembly

Disposing of your old office desk can be a challenge.

Generally cost more than converters.



Why Are Standing Desks Better Than Traditional Desks?

Sitting for extended periods is not good for your body. In fact, a growing number of studies suggest that too much sitting can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and even early death. For this reason, many people are now opting for standing desks as a way to stay active while they work.

Switching from a traditional desk can improve your health and productivity. For one, height-adjustable desks allow you to take a break from sitting, which improves your blood circulation and can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart attacks, and other circulatory issues.

Some people also face various mental and physical health challenges that make sitting all day harder. Standing desks can help restless people get up and stretch without leaving their workstations. You can also use this office furniture to correct your body posture and ease chronic back and muscle aches.

However, make sure to give yourself breaks throughout the day by sitting down or walking around every so often–standing all day long can be tiring.



How to Choose Between a Standing Desk or Standing Desk Converter

Standing desks are packed with features that make them more versatile than desk converters. They offer more customization options. So it's easy to understand why stand-alone height adjustable desks are a clear choice if they are within your budget.

We've discussed some of the health benefits of using either product. Standing desks offer more relief for back pain and other sedentary office life-related issues due to their advanced features.

A standing desk converter offers some stripped-down features of a standing desk–Mainly allowing you to raise or lower your desktop. So, a converter can be a better option if price and office space are an issue.

Converters are more compact and require fewer installations. Therefore, you can take them with you on your travels without the logistical challenges of a stand-alone height adjustable desk. You can place it on top of an existing desk, which means you don't need to change how you work.

That said, it still doesn't make choosing between a standing desk and a standing desk converter easier. But, we have a checklist that helps streamline your individual needs, that way you can zero in further on what works best for you:

How much you'd like to spend on your office furniture budget

The space you have available for your workstation setup

The tasks performed on the desk, i.e., gaming, typing, etc.

The amount of time you wish to spend between sitting and standing as you work

How often will you use it standing?

Now, let's look at three main criteria for selecting the ideal standing desk option:

Ergonomics

What should you look for in an ergonomic workstation setup? Your main goal is to reduce occupational hazards and stress that may worsen health issues or lead to injuries as you work. The best way to do so is to enhance your comfort, whether sitting or standing for extended periods.

Some features of an ergonomic workstation setup include:

Your desk should have ample space for your keyboard and mouse. This prevents you from resting your wrist on the table edge, leading to pain in the wrist, shoulder, and back.

Your monitor's height and distance also matter. So pick a product that situates your screen at least 20 inches in front of you at all times.

An ergonomic setup allows you to comfortably slot your office chair under your desktop. This enhances your reach, so you don't have to bend your back or neck as you work.

It should have a stable design.

Stand-alone office desks wrap such ergonomics into a neat package. As mentioned, they support more accessories compared to the other options. To top it off, You can also use their programmable features to easily customize your sitting or standing experience.

Cost

Getting the best office furniture takes considerable investment. Fortunately, the market offers products of diverse qualities and prices. With some research, you can find a mini-converter (laptop stand), converter, or stand-alone option within your budget.

If price isn't an issue: Why not go for a fully loaded electric standing desk? The gift that keeps giving! Just think about how much more productive it will make you, and the money and time you'll save from avoiding ergonomic injuries.

We'll let you decide.

Available Office Space

Standing desks occupy a considerable footprint. Therefore, you must ensure there's enough office space to accommodate your new desk and related ergonomic accessories.

In contrast, a converter can be placed on top of an existing desk or table, making it a more compact option. As such, a converter may be the better choice if you have limited office space available.

Conclusion

So, what's the verdict? Standing desks or standing desk converters – which one should you get? The answer is that it depends. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it really comes down to what you need and wants in your workspace.

Standing desks are more expensive and take up more space, but they offer a larger working surface area, a wider range of features, and are more customizable. Conversely, converters are less expensive and take up less space, but they have fewer features and are perfect if you struggle with office space.

Of course, these are just general guidelines – everyone's needs vary. Be sure to do your research and talk to an expert before making any decisions about your workspace. And remember, even with the best equipment, adjusting to working on a standing desk takes time. So be patient and add some other ergonomic accessories to make yourself more comfortable, keep your desk neat and improve your posture.

Please check our catalog for the best footrest, portable storage, and under-the-desk fitness equipment. While at it, you can also read our expert blogs and lab-tested product review for more insights.