I was introduced to the concept of the standing desk at a Macwold Expo back when Macworld Expos were a thing. The “desk” was nothing more than a platform that attached to the back of your current desk, on which you’d place your monitor and keyboard. When you wanted to stand, you’d raise it. When you want to sit, you lowered it. Simple.
As the idea caught on, though, the abilities and the construction of standing desks has grown considerably. The entire desk moves with you now, of course, and I’ve even seen some that will take voice commands to order your coffee and schedule a cab. If your needs a bit more basic than that—say, the functionality and health benefits of not having to sit all day—the Uplift Desk could be exactly what you’re looking for, and within your price range.
Our Uplift Desk review unit came to us from The Human Solution, and honestly, the most difficult thing about the process was the delivery. Shipment to my residence was via 48′ flatbed, which couldn’t access my subdivision. This led to multiple delivery reschedulings and eventually involved me driving to the end of my road to unload the desk and its accessories from the truck trailer into the family van.
Setting the desk up was actually much easier. My review unit was a 30″ x 72″ bamboo Uplift 900, the heaviest part of which were the two metal legs. It took two of us to move the individually boxed parts to my office, and complete assembly took us less than hour. The Human Solution provides excellent written instructions (they also offer video instructions online), and all of the necessary holes were pre-drilled. I mention this because the instructions include details on how to drill on your own, so I’m not sure that’ll be the case with every purchase.
The basic units for contruction include your choice of tabletop (available in numerous types of wood and cuts), the legs, the motor, and the keypad. Numerous accessories are also available, including a keyboard/mouse holder attachment, a mount for your monitor, an attachable under-desk drawer, etc. You can even attach your CPU under the desk if you’re a PC type. These are important to consider as you determine how you’ll be using your desk, but I’ll suggest refraining from adding too many accessories to your initial order, as you’ll find a sit/stand desk may change the way you work entirely. More on that in a bit.
You can, of course, place the motor and the keypad on either side of the desk, depending upon where your outlet is (the unit only needs one outlet).
Should you move the desk, however, no worries; The Human Solution provides multiple accessories for managing your cables, allowing you to keep them neatly secured under the desk no matter how far they have to run. It’s a great, easy-to-manage system.
Once the desk is set up, you can raise it to anywhere from 24.5″ to 50.5″ (including thickness) by pressing the arrows on the keypad. You can also program four presets for easy memorization; I set one for a universal sitting height, then programmed three heights for the people who would need to access the computer while standing. The small motor is quieter than I expected, and adhesive pads attached to the legs during assembly help to soften the connection between the legs and the desk while moving, eliminating grinding or rattling. The movement is very smooth, so none of the items on my desk slid around as I raised and lowered it.
Now, regarding my comment earlier about how using an automated standing desk can change the way you work, I found that two things changed immediately in my routine. First, the loss of drawers and shelves after converting from my previous L-shaped desk immediately streamlined my computing process. Items I kept handy just in case I needed them were boxed and put away, and guess what? I haven’t needed them. I’m late to this minimalist approach, but I see now how it helps you stay focused on what you actually have to do.
I’ve also found that I prefer to keep the desk in the standing position, which I didn’t expect. I will sit for longer writing/gaming sessions, but walking right up to the desk and starting to work feels natural and quick, and getting pulled away seems like less of a bother. Yes, I know that the process of sitting down and standing up isn’t difficult or time consuming, but not having to do so makes it feel less like I’m being interrupted.
I haven’t been using the desk long enough to reap any health benefits. I do have back problems that flair up from time to time, but I can’t say yet if spending more of my day standing will help alleviate them. And honestly, I spend most of my time leaning on the desk, not standing upright. Has there been a study as to whether that’s good or bad?
I can say, however, that I’m happier walking into my office. This is largely because of what the Uplift Height Adjustable Desk is replacing, but by forcing me to keep a neater desktop in a clutter free environment, my workstation is now a more inviting place to be. And with the ability to stand or sit throughout the day, it’s also much more comfortable. I no longer need to leave my desk just to stretch my legs or wake myself up, meaning I get more done. That, combined with the knowledge that I’m not spending the bulk of day on my butt makes the Uplift an excellent purchase. Start basic, expand as you grow used to it, and never look back.
Buy the Uplift Adjustable Height Desk
Provides: Computer workstation in adjustable sitting and standing positions
Developer: The Human Solution
Price: Varies based on model and materials