Standing Desks vs Standing Desk Converters (Which is Better?)
If you already have a desk you love, it can be hard to say goodbye. Even though you know it’s for the best in the long run, letting go of a beloved piece of furniture that’s seen you through thick and thin can be a wrench.
However you look at it though, the benefits of a standing desk are just too good to ignore. And the pitfalls and health implications of sitting for 8 hours of the day are too scary to overlook. So, should you just ditch your old desk for the benefit of your health? Or sacrifice your design scheme to ease your back pain?
There is in fact a way to retain your existing desk, whilst also adopting a more active work style. Enter, the standing desk converter. Promising all the functionality of a bespoke sit-stand desk, the idea is that you can simply add it to a desk of your choice and voila: a sit-stand desk (of sorts).
But can standing desk converters really cut the mustard? Or should you bite the bullet switch to a custom-built sit-stand desk? It’s time to decide: standing desks vs standing desk converters, who’ll be your winner?
What is a Standing Desk?
A standing desk (or more accurately sit-stand desk) allows the user to seamlessly change the height of the desktop. This means they can alter the height of the desk to suit when they are working sitting down, or standing up.
Most modern standing desks use powerful motors to extend telescopic legs up and down. This means that a standing desk can typically transition from sitting to standing position, or vice versa, in a matter of seconds.
Normally controlled by a handset, a good quality electric height adjustable desk will allow the user to program presets. This means you only need to set your optimum positions once, which will then be available at the press of a button whenever you wish to change position.
Standing desks are often paired with a monitor arm/s, especially for those who use multiple screens for work. A good standing desk will often come with cable management built-in too, which can be invaluable for keeping your wiring safe in transition.
What Is A Standing Desk Converter?
A standing desk converter aims to give you the benefits of a standing desk without the need to change your desk entirely. It is designed to sit free on the desktop, with your monitor and keyboard mounted on gas-spring powered platforms that can be raised at the touch of a lever.
Basically, standing desk converters allow you to effectively elevate your workstation without actually raising your desk. The computer monitor attaches to the back of the standing desk converter, and the keyboard tray extends out of the front, and both raise in tandem when the lever is activated.
This allows you to maintain optimum distance from the screen, and the best typing posture when standing. And they’re suprisingly powerful too: the Zero Standing Desk Converter has 13kg lift, which is enough to support large monitors and even some desktops.
Do Standing Desks Make Any Difference?
Standing desks have made a lot of difference to a lot of people’s lives. Varying your position between sitting and standing during the workday has huge productivity and health benefits, especially if considered relative to using a traditional sitting desk for 40 hours a week.
To understand why standing desks are so beneficial, we need to think a little about what the human body has evolved to do. We don’t need to go into this in much depth at all though: suffice to say, our ancient (and even quite modern) ancestors didn’t sit around anything like as much as we do.
Which is one way of saying that we’re simply not built to sit still all day – we need to be active to stay healthy and productive.
What Are The Benefits Of Standing Desks?
Varying our position during the day, and building in periods of movement or standing, can help to offset the negative effects of sedentary living. Here are some of the key benefits of using standing desks, for our health, wellbeing, and productivity.
Speeds Up The Metabolism
Sitting for prolonged periods, over time, can cause our metabolism to slow. This makes it harder for us to break down fat and burn calories: leading to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and a host of other lifestyle-related illnesses.
Luckily, avoiding these pitfalls is relatively simple: we just need to keep active. Building standing into our work routine can be an effective way of keeping our system firing.
A lot of Height Adjustable Desks are super quick in transition and easy to use, enabling and encouraging frequent position changes.
Aids Weight Loss
That’s correct: standing for part of the day can help us burn more fat. Standing burns more calories than sitting, and a quicker metabolism helps too.
Helps Relieve Back And Neck Pain
Sitting all day can be ruinous for the back and neck. And, although standing all day is probably not the answer, varying our position during the day helps us redistribute the strain between muscle groups.
A standing desk is a great way of forcing ourselves to change up our position during the day. This stops muscles and joints from seizing, helps relieve any strain that has built up, and helps to fight fatigue as the day wears on.
Optimises Your Position At Your Work Station
As always, getting your position relative to the desk and screen is crucial for this to work. Although we won’t go into detail here, a desk with sensitive motors and the ability to save preset positions will help you find and lock in your optimum heights.
Is A Standing Desk Converter Worth It?
If you’re shopping for your home office, there are a number of understandable reasons why you might feel a standing desk is a step too far. If you already love your existing desk, it’s understandable you might not want to put it in the skip.
Especially for those who only WFH part of the time, or perhaps are only in the office occasionally and need a once in a while solution, a standing desk can feel like an outsized financial burden.
Standing desk converters are a great choice if you want to retain your current desk, can’t quite afford a new desk, or perhaps only work from home once in a while so don’t feel like you can justify a bigger outlay.
They will allow you to enjoy the benefits of sit-stand working without changing your desk and even if you have very limited space. And when you consider the range of health benefits associated with a more active lifestyle, it’s a great investment.
Standing Desks Or Standing Desk Converter: How To Choose?
So, now we’ve covered the pluses (and minuses) of both, how do you actually make a choice? Should you be consigning your old desk to the scrap heap in favour of a sit-stand desk, or do you opt for a standing desk converter instead?
Below we’ve spelled out a few of the key considerations you’ll need to bear in mind.
How much money you are willing or able to spend will have a pretty big impact on your choice. If you only work from home occasionally, or perhaps only work at a desk occasionally, it’s understandable that you might scoff at the price for a dedicated standing desk.
Of course, standing desk converters are the cheaper option. However, if you are going to use it semi frequently, and you have the space available (see below), you might be surprised by how affordable some of our manual desks are.
With so many of us working from home, the need to share and/or repurpose space has grown exponentially. Which of course, presents real challenges as we try to make our new workplaces as healthy and productive as possible.
So of course, how much space you have available, and the nature of that space, will make a big impact on your decision making. For home workers with limited space, or perhaps those whose bedroom or dining room doubles as a workspace, standing desk converters can often be a great space-saving option for multi-use areas.
However, don’t think that just because you are short on space that you can’t find a dedicated standing desk to fit.
For even tighter spots and multi-use spaces, a Sit-Stand Pedestal Desk can even bring sit-stand working to the living room or bedroom. Which you decide to go for will depend on what exactly you need to achieve.
One of the challenges of sit-stand working is maintaining the correct working posture when both sitting and standing. How we sit, or stand, relative to our desk and screen is incredibly important if we are to stay free from aches, pains, strains, headaches, eye strain, repetitive strain injuries … the list goes on and on.
But of course, how we position ourselves at our desk does depend on the desk itself. Perhaps the biggest advantage standing desks have over converters is the degree of accuracy to which you can set your position, and the ability to move in closer to attain the perfect position.
Sit stand converters are by no means bad in an ergonomic sense – it’s just that standing desks are better. Sit Stand Desks for example, incorporate a beveled cutaway into the desktop itself, which allows the user to get in as close as possible to their keyboard.
In the battle of standing desks vs standing desk converters, the truth is that the winner is totally up to you. We hope this article has helped you make your choice. However, if you’ve still not decided, why not check out our complete standing desk range to see if there’s anything there that might sway you?
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