Elevate to Stand with the InMovement Desk

If you’re a fan of this site, you probably are well acquainted with the many benefits of standing desks. If you’re not ready to commit to full-time standing, though, you need an adjustable height desk. There are plenty of all-in-one standing desks that will get you from sitting to standing, but those usually require a large investment and giving up your existing furniture.

Thankfully, the Elevate Desktop DT2 from InMovement offers a stylish and effective way to turn your current desk into a fully adjustable unit, giving you full sit-to-stand functionality for just $399.

InMovement Elevate DT2 Standing Desk Light Wood Review

The Elevate DT2 works by sitting on top of your current desk. It goes as high as 19″ and in its lowest position, it adds just under six inches of height.  We can all agree that the InMovement desk looks significantly more stylish than any of those DIY Ikea hacks you may have seen.

InMovement Elevate DT2 Standing Desk Light Wood Review

This is something you can be happy to showcase in your office.

Installation

First of all, InMovement says you’ll need a surface that’s at least 38″ wide by 26″ deep. (However it did just barely fit fine on my desk which is only 24″ deep).  Once you’ve cleared off your desk, the rest is too easy, as the Elevate DT2 comes entirely pre-assembled. Yup–unpack and place and it’s ready to go.  However, be aware that the unit is large and weighs a fairly hefty 58 pounds, you will definitely need some help getting it into place. Once it’s on top of your current workstation, though, your work is done. The installation couldn’t be much easier.

 

InMovement

Looks

InMovement sets itself apart from the herd with three unique finishes: white, light wood grain, or rich dark grain.   

InMovement Standing Desk Colors

The unique wood finish is uncommon among standing desks.

You’ll want to find one that matches your current workspace (or taste). Aside from the wooden top, the rest of the station is almost entirely various shades of gray to black steel, which should fit the aesthetics of most workspaces. There are also four rubber feet on the bottom which will protect your workstation from any scratches.

InMovement Elevate DT2 Standing Desk Light Wood Lowered

Key Features

  • Let’s start with the HUGE 41 x 26” workspace:  The Elevate DT2 is more than capable of accommodating two monitors with plenty of space left over for notepads, tablets, phones, and other wonderful gadgety or non-techy desktop items.  Or you could be minimal and appreciate the large clean and zen desktop.
  • Spring-assisted lift: Makes switching from sitting to standing incredibly easy. Adjusting it was slightly different than products from Ergotron and Varidesk in that you must first press down on the desktop before activating the handles.  Once you activate the lift mechanism, you may then release them when you reach your desired height. The lift mechanism can handle up to 35 lbs, which is enough for most but those with dual or triple monster-sized monitors may want to check their combined monitor weight specs (some 27-inchers can exceed 20lbs each!)

  • Height Options: 10 spring adjusted heights over a 14” lift: The 10 levels of height will fit 96% of the population, so you should have no trouble finding the proper height. Combined with the height of the unit, the 14” lift allows you to get a maximum of ~19 inches of added height.
  • Retractable keyboard tray:  The very spacious keyboard tray is ergonomically designed to sit at the proper height. It conveniently slides under the desk so you can easily get up close if you want to do some writing.

InMovement Elevate DT2 Standing Desk Specs

Final Thoughts

InMovement’s Elevate Standing Desk is a stylish and affordable option to achieve sit-to-stand functionality. It can raise your screen up by 19 inches, which should work for the vast majority of the population. With that being said, height is something to consider, because most is not all. If you’re especially tall (over 6’1″), you may need to instead go with something like this.

The pre-assembled fabrication makes setup a breeze and the desk is stylish enough for most setups. A black finish is definitely missing from their current offering, but I think the wood is definitely going to appeal to a very large consumer base that have wood accented offices.

Most importantly, adjusting Elevate’s height is simple and easy. The adjustable functionality also makes it an excellent option for people who share desks. All workstation users can be accommodated, which isn’t possible with a fixed solution.

InMovement Elevate DT2 Standing Desk Light Wood Review

All-in-all, the InMovement Elevate DT2 Standing Desk is a great fuss-free option to instantly add sit-to-stand functionality to your existing workspace.

 

Stand Up Desk Benefits Students, Study Says

We’ve said it so many times, it’s a wonder that it bears any more repeating. Sitting for hours is bad for you. Everyone agrees that there are significant health challenges that arise from being inactive. Obesity, heart attacks, stroke, muscle loss, and circulation problems are just a few examples of what can occur to your body from lack of activity. Even the morning jogger or lunch break gym warrior is not exempt. Research has shown that 30-60 minutes daily is still not enough to correct or counteract the toll that prolonged sitting takes on the human body. This means that those hours you spend driving, working, studying, and watching your favorite shows do slowly degrade your health.

We all know someone who spends too much time in front of the tube watching movies or playing video games or someone who commutes 2+ hours each way. But what about a group that’s practically forced to sit for hours each day? Not only to listen to lectures, but to study and research.

Student @ Computer
Photo by Tripu

Using a stand up desk benefits everyone, but students would be ideal candidates. That’s because they’re typically tied to a desk.
A recent meta-analysis of several studies has demonstrated that by using standing desks in school, student inactivity could easily be reduced by over an hour each day.

This hour could be enough to reduce some of the well-documented issues that can be affecting students.

Brain Function

In a first of it’s kind study from last year,  researchers examined the results of swapping standard desks for stand up desks in a high school class.  After evaluating students twice throughout the school year using computerized tests and brain-imaging devices, they reported that the use of standing desks was associated with boosting working memory and executive function.

Insomnia

By definition, insomnia is defined as difficulty maintaining sleep at least 3 nights a week.  Sufficient and restful sleep is a necessary for academic achievement.  Insomnia, when prolonged, can interfere with a student’s daytime function, classroom concentration, and memory.

One of the most well-documented lifestyle risk factors that causes insomnia is a sedentary lifestyle.  Overburdened students are already trading sleep for study time but prolonged sitting only makes matters worse.

Educators Looking Into Stand Up Desk Benefits

Today, educators everywhere are starting to embrace the idea behind the success of the standing desk: movement.  Movement can actually enhance learning.  A 2008 study revealed that kids with ADHD actually benefit from moving when focusing on a complicated mental task.  The children fidgeted more when a task required their brains to calculate and process, like doing math or reading comprehension tasks.  This explains why students seem more restless at these tasks compared to when they watch movies.

Allowing students to move and fidget helps burn calories.  Students also feel more in control.  They don’t have to feel confined to sitting perfectly still.

stand up desk benefits students

The AlphaBetter desk by Safco Products Has a patented footrest bar that lets students fidget and release energy. Image by Safco Products

The ultimate message here is that standing desks benefit everyone, especially those who’s obligations require prolonged hours of sitting such as students.   Students with standing desks remember more and are more engaged.

The Best Standing Desk Mat: Topo Mat Review

A good “anti-fatigue” mat is an essential part of any healthy standing desk ergonomic configuration.  Yes we’ve covered a few standing desk mats before, explained what to look for, and made a verdict.  However, it was before we tried this one so we’ll present you with our Topo mat review.

The Topo Mat Review Top View | Best Standing Desks

Ergodriven’s Topo Standing Desk Mat is part anti-fatigue mat and part mini-gym for your feet.  You typically buy an anti-fatigue mat as part of proper ergonomics to avoid foot and lower back pain while standing, and well, fatigue.  Why not spring for something that has unique standing desk benefits and can do more, for just as much as you would spend on a premium mat designed for standing desks?

Ergodriven, an ergonomics company based out of San Francisco,  is on a mission to eliminate flat surfaces, which is why they created a unique mat designed specifically for standing desks.

Topo Standing Desk Mat Blue Side View

Key benefits for standing desks users:

  • Unique ergonomic shapes that subconsciously encourage you to move
  • Comfortable, soft and polyurethane surface feels good for hours

With this mat, movement is natural and thought free

Topo Standing Desk Mat In Use

The first thing you’ll notice about Topo is its bumps and lumps. They may look a little strange, but I can assure you they’re not a manufacturing defect.

Topo is designed with “calculated terrain” to subconsciously encourage you to move. Some studies suggest that, while still better than sitting, standing for long periods of time on flat surfaces comes with its own set of potential problems.  Topo aims to eliminate those problems.

Both my wife and I agreed that the sessions at our standing desks felt improved and upgraded with the Topo.  The mat’s odd shapes actually encouraged us to move around and we often find ourselves stretching our calves and ankles.

Topo Standing Desk Anti-Fatigue Mat In Use

Topo doesn’t force you to move like a treadmill desk—it makes you subconsciously want to move. I think this distinction is one of the main reasons for the mat’s success—it doesn’t feel like work. You get the benefit of movement without any conscious thought.

Comfortable surface, especially for shoe-less standers

While Topo can be used with shoes, socks, or bare feet; but I suggest you take the shoes off, that’s where the mat really shines and you can expect the best experience.

Topo Standing Desk Mat Blue

The mat’s polyurethane surface feels great and somehow keeps cool even during periods of long use. It’s also got just enough cushion to be comfortable while still maintaining a solid surface. 

If I had to rack my brain to find a shortcoming about this product — I’d say that because of its size, the mat can be difficult to move, which might be an issue if you have an adjustable standing desk and like to switch between sitting and standing often. Ergodriven designed the mat so that you can move it with just your foot (if you’re not on carpet), but the mat is still large enough that moving it aside requires the space to store it. On the upside, this might encourage you to just stand more, which isn’t really a bad thing by any means.

Also, because of the mat’s odd lumps and shapes, there’s a small chance of it becoming a tripping hazard (ask me how know this). Not a major issue once you know it’s there, but something to consider, because I don’t think tripping into your monitor is the type of movement Ergodriven envisioned.

Final verdict

Yes, standing is way better than sitting.  But you do get the most benefit from using a standing desk when you’re actively stretching and moving around.  The Topo anti-fatigue mat separates itself from other standing desk mats with its unique calculated terrain. The shapes really do subconsciously encourage you to move around, making long standing sessions much more active, comfortable, and the surface feels better than any other mats I’ve tried.  

All things considered, Topo is unquestionably the most unique standing desk mat out there.  Seriously, get one now.

Topo Standing Desk Mat by Ergodriven Front View

Product Info & Specs:

Colors: Black, Grey, Blue, Purple, Green
Dimensions: 25.5″ x 28″
Weight: ~7 pounds

 

Crane Stands Reviewed: Classic & Elevate

Whether you’re a DJ, know a DJ, or have recently seen a popular DJ perform in person, there is a very good chance you’ve been in the vicinity of a Crane Stand.  Crane hardware is widely popular for their laptop stands in the DJ & Musician scene.   Their adjustable stands are used to elevate laptops to comfortable heights in booths around the globe.

Now they’re setting their sights on homes and offices to solve the widespread case of hunched over laptop syndrome.  We won’t beat a dead horse with all the negative side-effects you experience seated for hours curled over a laptop but the usual advice is to follow the practices adopted for desktops and elevate your laptop off the table to a more comfortable position.  We prefer you stand, and Crane stands give you that option.  It’s a product you should absolutely consider owning if you use your laptop for any extended period of time.

Crane hardware sent me two new models, the Classic and the Elevate.  Let’s explore them:

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The Crane Stand Classic

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Made of a powder-coated steel with welded base, this stand feels solid in every way.  There are silicone rings at the base that do a great job of adding traction and keeping it from sliding around.  The stands weighs about 3.5 lbs and folds flat to a 1″ thickness, so it can absolutely fit in a large laptop bag or backpack.

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The angle adjustments are made using a rotating barrel with a quick-release cam mechanism similar to what you would find on a bicycle wheel.   To adjust to pretty much any position of your liking: You unlock the cam lever, loosen the tension knobs, adjust the base or the tray and then re-tighten the knob and then lock off the cam lever.  When adjusted completely upright the maximum elevation is approx 13″.

The Classic comes with a nylon drawstring carry bag & there’s a 1 Year Limited Warranty.

My only minor gripe:  Quick release mechanism doesn’t lock at any position.  Weight is held up by friction and therefore some care & effort is needed to tighten it enough to support weight at certain angles or it can sink if it’s not tight enough.  Not a deal-breaker, just something that requires a bit of attention while setting up.


The Crane Stand Elevate

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This premium model is made of an ultra-lightweight forged 6061 aluminum and carbon fiber which makes it almost a pound lighter than the Classic and better suited for portability.  The Elevate’s hinge barrels have ‘teeth’ which means that less force is needed to lock the joints in place.  You twist to unlock, adjust and then twist the knobs again to lock into place.

crane-elevate-knob-800

Height adjustment knobs are unique to the Elevate model and they allow you to adjust the body height to a maximum of 15″.

Like the Classic, it also folds down to 1″ flat for travel but the Elevate comes with a nice fitted & zippered faux-leather carrying case.


Differences and Conclusion

The main differences that stand out between the models are the materials and the adjustment mechanisms.  While I couldn’t see much use in adjusting the height on the Elevate’s body,  it may serve someone else’s needs.  Both these stands can be used on their own as laptop risers for standing, or can be used along with an existing standing desk to elevate your laptop screen to eye level.

crane-stands-comparison-800

I’d say that if you travel around a lot, get the Elevate.  One pound may not seem like much but trust me every ounce counts when it’s hanging off your shoulder after a while.  If I had to choose one for myself, I’d actually go with the less expensive Classic.  It’s because I believe it’s an unbelievable value for the quality, I actually preferred the solid steel build & weight added slightly more stability.

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Either way you can’t really go wrong.  Both these stands are versatile and extremely well-built stands that will position your laptop at your will.  They’re also both fully self-contained, no loose parts, hardware or assembly required.  They’re quite possibly the best in their class due to the quality materials and attention to engineering details.

LEVITATOR: A Minimalist Desk Riser Inspired By Modern Art

The evolution of the now popular standing desk concept has led to a variety of different models to choose from.  We now have everything from mechanical, spring-loaded height changers to massive, electronic adjustable tables with embedded displays and alarms that pester you to stand up.

For those who crave some style (with fat wallets), there are also several beautiful full-sized designer desks made of a variety of quality materials (usually costing in the thousands).

However, where we may not have seen enough attention is to the aesthetics of the minimal, affordable models.

Enter scientist and inventor Lev Neymotin, Ph.D., who founded NY based company N5Digital, and is looking to solve this problem with colorful, stylish yet affordable standing desk risers.

His made-to-order and made-in-the-USA product is called the LEVITATOR.  The minimalist design adds enough color and streamlined symmetry to liven up any space.  And color is important, as studies have found that dull grey & white offices actually have a measurable depressant effect on employees.  Adding vibrant colors to your workspace may actually increase output and spark creativity.

levitate

The inspiration behind this design is the art of Piet Mondrian, a post-impressionist Dutch painter.

Made of a lightweight aluminum frame, the LEVITATOR is available in black or brushed silver and both the surface and storage shelf is made of colored plexiglass.

LEVITATOR-Rise-700

The design is minimal, absent of mechanical parts and hinges which contributes to both the style and makes for a lightweight accessory that can easily be carried from desk-to-desk or into meeting rooms.

The LEVITATOR comes in three pre-assembled models:

The Rise is the most compact model with a 12″ x 12″ surface that’s perfect for a laptop along with a storage shelf of the same size below it.

The Elevate has a work surface of 12″ x 24″, and an additional 12″ x 12″ storage surface.

The Professional has the largest work surface with 12″ x 32″ on its upper level and an additional 12″ x 24″ storage.

All of the models are available at heights of 8, 12 or 14 inches but according to their website they also take customization requests.

I opted for the rise model for the smaller footprint, which I tested out at both my workstation and in meetings.

The aesthetics of the tools I work with and environment I work in are important to me, and this product delivers in looking great on any platform.

meeting-700

The brushed silver with the bright colors look significantly more appropriate for the modern workplace than a stack of books or the cheap plastic stands I’ve used before.

levitator-desk-700

The obvious missing feature compared to other stands like this is the ability to adjust in height, or fold down for travel. While having a standing desk that adjusts or folds down is great for portability, I preferred the minimal design — absent of mechanical parts and hinges which contribute to both making it a stylish and lightweight accessory to keep at my desk or to quickly pick up and carry to meetings.

One thing to note is that plexiglass is not hard to scratch if you don’t care for it properly.  You’d want to treat this like you would treat a nice pair of sunglasses. Microfiber is your friend.

n5digital-700

N5Digital’s vision for the LEVITATOR is to help get people upright while working or studying, in a way that’s practical and fun.  If you’re like me and you spend most of your day staring at a cold grey, beige, or black desk — adding a splash of color and style while maintaining your healthy habit of standing makes this solution one well worth looking into.

 

The LEVITATOR is currently available through Etsy and at the N5Digital Store with an estimated delivery time of 3-4 weeks.

The Steppie Balance Board Is A Step Above Standing

Standing desks have gone from weird to commonplace in the offices around the globe.  But while simply avoiding the chair brings on a long list of benefits to the human body and brain, some say that standing still is not enough to maximize the benefits on a standing desk.  Movement is key and the next evolution in the standing culture may just be balance boards.

A balance board is a standing desk accessory that’s basically a platform which aims to promote all benefits of movement while remaining in place.

Enter The Steppie

steppie balance board

The Steppie balance board is an accessory to compliment your standing desk.  I was sent one from Victor Technology and I was excited to give this concept a try.

It has a simple design.  It seems to be made of a strong grey & dark grey plastic and doesn’t stand out — and I like that it’s not distracting.  The shades of grey blend in with the rest of my workstation.

Using it is simple: you put it on the floor, and then you put one foot down on it.  Acting like the lever that it is, the Steppie will lean to one side.  Then you put your other foot on it, and you’re up and balancing.  I tried various different stances until I found the foot positioning that felt the most comfortable.

The Steppie rocks side-to-side allowing you to easily shift weight from one side of your body to the other.  This subtle movement at your hips and knees can be used to reduce stress on your joints, or you can alternate legs at a faster pace to maximize muscle activity and increased circulation to get a metabolism boost going.   Although you’re not going to break a sweat like you would on a treadmill desk, The Steppie is smaller and much more reasonable in price.

steppie balance board

My first few days on The Steppie felt a little awkward at first.  After spending some time on it, I felt less fatigue at my hips and knees because I was able to shift my weight and get a slight stretch whenever I needed to.  I also felt more alert and I seemed to be standing with better posture.  Best of all, it’s fun and much less boring than standing still.

One observation: Standing on a balance board raises you up approximately 2 inches off the ground, which may require an adjustment to the height of your standing desk.  My VARIDESK was maxed out but I’m also very tall.

steppie

Using The Steppie is definitely “a step” above both sitting and standing still, and I feel like it had no negative effect on my typing or focus.  At $99 the price is a fantastic value for something that has the potential to maximize the health benefits of working at your standing desk.

 

Best Foldable Laptop Table for Travel

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We all know and admire laptops as wonderful little machines that combine monitor, computer, and keyboard in an efficient power-saving portable unit ready to go where you go. However, the major downside to using them is that the design of a laptop violates most basic ergonomic requirements. That is, with the keyboard and monitor in such close proximity, it can cause us to hunch and sacrifice neck, back, and wrist posture to use one. Consequently, laptops are simply excluded from all ergonomic recommendations for full-time computer usage.

But for the traveler — laptops are a necessity.  Those of us on the go need to pay special attention to minimize risk and still find healthy ways to use a laptop by using a foldable laptop table (while standing) and sacrificing some neck posture for proper wrist and back positioning.

While both the Varidesk Laptop 30 and Uptrak Sit Stand Desk mentioned on our conversion kits page are two of our favorite adjustable height laptop desks, they’re large, heavy and are not exactly designed with a traveler in mind. We seeked out and found two very different foldable laptop tables for standing that fit the bill combining the features that meet all our needs.

Here’s 3 most important features we looked for:

– Tough yet lightweight for travel
– Adjustable height
– Compact Design
– Ease of use


The iCraze

iCraze Folding Laptop Desk

The iCraze is the lightweight standing laptop table equivalent of a Transformers toy from the 1980s.   There legs bend and can be configured a huge number of different configurations.   To adjust the iCraze you hold the button that is located on each of the joints (There are 6 total), change the position, and release the button to lock it in place.

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You’ll notice around each spring loaded button there are degree markings that aid in helping you dial in the same angle on both the left and right joints.   There was a slight learning curve as to how to configure the legs to get it stable, but once you find your favorite configuration, you can simply write down the settings you used.

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The ability of the iCraze to transform (once mastered) should work great on the go, at home or at work.  At a mere 5 pounds it’s small & light enough to throw in your carry on.  Materials are solid and can support laptops up to 30 lbs but of course do not expect to lean on it AT ALL.  At full height it felt stable enough for the laptop but I wouldn’t be comfortable resting my wrists on it.

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It’s made of aluminum so it’s tough and durable. The dimensions are 16.5 W X 10.75 D, with a 1/2 inch lip so it can be angled. The table section is grooved and has enough of a ledge to keep the laptop from sliding off even when the desk part is on an angle BUT they have provided you with two slip on clips to accommodate thicker laptops.

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The vented model has two fans that are powered by the USB port on your laptop and they seem decent enough quality. They are extremely silent and will do a great job dispersing heat from the bottom of the laptop and will keep most laptops cool enough to potentially extend the lifespan of the internal components.

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The mouse pad stand is a nice addition.  It’s 5.75″ x 6.25″ and removable and can be slipped into a notch on either side and tightened down with the included hand screw.

 


Stand Steady Traveler Folding Stand Up Desk

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The top of Stand Steady’s Traveler Foldable Stand Up Desk is 19.7 inches x 11 inches and is made of aluminum.  It comes in a choice of three colors and has rounded corners. There’s a handy flap that extends out to prevent the laptop from sliding if you decide to angle it using the tilting mechanism by pressing buttons on the side.

The Traveler Weighs 2 pounds so it’s probably lightest standing desk riser, yet it feels strong and stable.

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It is very easy to collapse down flat, making it a breeze to store and will also easily fit into your carry-on luggage.

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The legs allow the height to adjust from 9.25 inches to 12.8 inches.  Height adjustment is made by undoing a latch (similar to the leg latches on camera tripods) and then you pull or push the leg to one of four height settings that click into place.

The only downsides I experienced personally with this mini standing desk is that at it’s maximum height it was too short for me (I’m 6’1″).  Otherwise the compact, simple and light weight design will appeal to those who try to keep their travel bags as light as possible.

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No Clear Winner

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Both are very different yet capable at what they’re meant for.  I’d say that if you’re about 5’9″ or taller, I’d suggest going with the iCraze to bring the laptop keyboard up to where your arms and wrists are in-line and are parallel to the floor.  Otherwise, the Stand Steady will offer quicker fold & go capability along with the lighter packing weight that frequent travelers usually desire.

 

Artifox Combines Dry-Erase Board & Standing Desk

Artifox, a company in St. Louis, the makers of compact and multi-purpose materials introduces a new product, the ARTIFOX STANDING DESK.  Made of walnut or maple with powdered coated steel, this standing desk is adjustable between 40-45 inches, has right-handed orientation and is about 100 lbs.  It has an erasable slate for drafting purposes and it also comes with tools for a five-piece set-up.

Artifox dry-erase feature

Why could the Artifox Standing Desk be the right choice for you?

1. Neat and Tidy Workspace

If your job requires the use of several tools or modern devices while you work, this table would keep them in the right places.

Artifox desk surface

Combining technology with handcrafted goods, this new product carries with it Artifox’s signature writable slate that allows users to write on the table itself. It also includes slots and compartments to organize and store cables, wires and devices in place.

artifox standing desk storage

Another accessory added to its feature list are the magnetic pegs in the front that may be used as bag or cable holders.

artifox standing desk in the office

2. Health Benefits combined with Productivity

Artifox aims to rethink home and office products and therefore came up with this smart design. This table allows you to stand while you work, hence, provides the benefits of standing that our body actually needs.

Studies show that the human body is designed to move all the time. It is not surprising that prolonged sitting results in a couple of negative effects.

When we sit for too long, our bodies stop burning calories and slows metabolism. That increases risk of getting cardiovascular diseases and slows metabolic functions that leads to conditions such lung, colon, ovaries and breast cancer and decreased blood sugar control. However, due to certain office tasks, we tend to sit longer than we should. Too much sitting is also linked to higher risk of getting old-age disabilities and is proven to reduce our lifespan.

Workers who move around and stand during work hours are likely to burn extra 1000 calories daily. It also reduces chance of getting Diabetes, obesity and heart disease. A study of 28 employees who were given standing desks and had reduced sitting time showed increased energy, enhanced mood and less fatigue. In fact, standing at work increases productivity by 10% — the reason Google and Facebook purchased standing desks for their employees.

One Possible Drawback

It should not be mistaken that workers should stand all day long.  Standing desk floor mats do help but as much as standing increases heart activity by increasing blood supply upwards, thus, alertness, it may also cause strains in the back and joints so it is still advisable to switch between standing and sitting.  This desk is not adjustable, so besides the standing desk mat, you would definitely need a adjustable-height standing desk chair (like this one) to be able to take breaks from standing.

So if you are looking for office equipment that will allow movement, increased productivity and organization through productivity tools built into the desk and are willing to give up height-adjustability, the Artifox Standing Desk is a beautiful choice.

 

Photos courtesy of http://www.theartifox.com/

Is Making Children Sit Still a Form of Child Abuse?

It’s not a secret that our sedentary lifestyle is destroying our health.   Motion and flow are a huge part of the human experience.  We have become accustomed to sitting, and from modern toilets to the La-Z-Boy it’s become a part of our culture.  But with research like this suggesting that sitting for more than 3 hours a day can reduce our life expectancy by two years, it doesn’t seem fair to force our children to follow in our footsteps if we’ve been wrong all along.

Kids are naturally active.  They love to dance, move, and fidget.  They need it.  But we force them to sit still confined to a desk for hours while attempting to excite them about information.

The latest research suggests that students that are provided with adjustable height standing desks burn more calories and focus better, and demonstrate more engagement with less distraction.  This study showed us that ADHD kids allowed to expend their energy were able to better remember information and work out complex cognitive tasks!

school kids at standing desks

Image from Stand2Learn.com

Thankfully there’s a fantastic organization raising money with the goal to educate and update every public school with standing desks by 2025.  It’s called StandUp Kids, and they strongly believe children’s sedentary behavior is a public health crisis.  Stand2learn makes standing desks for children that feature a generous activity surface with built in pencil groove, height adjustable legs to accommodate all ages and heights, and a dual height steel footrest to provide the appropriate ergonomic positioning while seated or standing.

Stand2Learn™ Desk

Stand2Learn™ Desk

Two schools in Montreal have already modernized their classes with standing desks and even stationary bikes.  Many students who have been using the standing desks say they prefer standing.  The class teacher said it’s improved their literacy levels and ability to memorize flash cards.

Even though we are accustomed to sitting, the research has made it crystal clear that humans were not meant to sit on chairs for extended periods.  An overweight, unhealthy and unhappy generation taking over for us is not in the best interest of humanity.  As a standing desk advocate, I cannot think of a better way to better future proof ourselves against this issue than by making standing desks available to children in schools.  I believe it’s recent efforts like these that have finally caused a downturn on childhood obesity.

There are plenty of interesting and innovative standing desk options and conversion kits available for adults, but now i’m also excited to check out the future of school desks.

Ergotron Workfit-T Review: A Solid VARIDESK Alternative

I’ve been alternating between sitting and standing at my desk for about a year now, my first standing desk was made of a cardboard box and a shelf.  DIY standing desks are popular, but far from a permanent solution.  You need something easily adjustable if you’re going to be honest with yourself about being consistent at sitting less.

While there are plenty of amazing electronic adjustable height desks available now, they can be expensive and require you to replace existing furniture.  That’s where an adjustable desktop converter comes in to save the day.

So far, the Varidesk has been highly regarded as one of the best in the desktop converter segment, and ever since the Pro Plus series, there has only been one question – Can anything beat it?

Ergotron, a Minnesota-based display mounting and mobility products company has responded, and the response is beautiful.

Say hello to the Ergotron Workfit-T, a very solid desktop converter that looks like it’s from the future.  It glides up and down to various heights quietly and with minimal effort.  Ergotron is globally known to offer high quality & elegant products for both consumer and industrial applications.  The Workfit-T is no exception.  This thing is built like a tank.  Right away, I was impressed with the quality, packing, and the fact that it was fully assembled and ready to go out of the box. It even came with a cable organization kit (mesh hose & zip ties).

Instructions are simple.  You unpack the Workfit-T out and set it on your table (I’d recommend having someone help lift it).   It does not require clamping or mounting onto the surface.  It was unpacked, on my desk and ready to use in under 10 minutes.

The first thing I noticed is the large work surface.  The surface is 35″ wide x 23″ deep and is large enough for dual monitors or a single monitor and laptop.  Ergotron says it can handle 35 lbs of weight, but it feels like it could handle more.  The platform is extremely stable —you can even lean on it without worrying about tipping it over.

Elevation Mechanism

Height adjustments on the Workfit-T are made using two levers under the work surface.

It takes very little hand pressure to silently engage the heavy spring mechanism embedded underneath to come to your aid in lifting up the work surface, substantially reducing the effort.

You’ll get up to 15 inches (38cm) of height — which is plenty for me and I’m 6’1″.  The same process lets you lower it down in mere seconds.

Keyboard Deck

The suspended keyboard deck is also about 4.5″ below the work surface to maintain a healthy ergonomic spacing between screen height and keyboard.  It measures 25″ x 9″ and is just large enough for a standard 18″ keyboard and mouse.  I personally had no trouble fitting a standard sized keyboard along with wrist rests, but note that this may be an issue for someone with a specialty gaming or a large ergonomic keyboard that is wider.

Varidesk vs Ergotron

While the Ergotron model is similar in design to the Varidesk while at it’s lowest (sitting) position, the primary advantage that the WorkFit-T has over the Varidesk is the height-adjustment mechanism.  When raising the Varidesk, it pivots up and away from the desk and towards you as it rises.  You actually have to take a step back as you raise it.  The Workfit-T work surface adjusts straight up and down, allowing for a space-saving and easier, healthier transition to standing setup.

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VARIDESK Pro Plus

The Varidesk protrudes over a foot from the edge of the desk.  This can be an issue if you have other items on the sides or above your desk you need to be able to reach, or if your office space is tight.

The only benefit I could see in using the Varidesk Pro Plus over the Workfit-T is the much larger keyboard tray.  Large ergonomic or gaming keyboard users will definitely need the extra space.

If I had to pick Varidesk vs Ergotron, I’d go with Ergotron for the up/down motion.

Optional Accessories

The attachment slot in the back allows you choose from a variety of monitor arm attachments, freeing up additional cubic inches of work space from the surface.

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Final Verdict

I have no hesitation recommending the Workfit-T.  While both the Workfit-T and the Varidesk offer converting your desk to having height adjustability, the WorkFit-T has the edge in usability and ergonomics, thanks to Ergotron’s linear elevation mechanism and design allowing for optional monitor arm attachments.  If you’re ready to get up off your seat more and aren’t quite ready to replace your desk, you won’t have any regrets going with this thing.