Choosing the Right Sit Stand Desk


Congratulations on your decision to embrace the concept of sitting and standing during your work day.  While sit/stand options are not for everyone, redefining the standard workplace is a hot topic these days!  And for good reason.  Sitting at your desk all day is taxing on your body, your mind and can hamper your productivity, your energy and your overall health.

But with so many options available, how do you know which Sit/Stand option is right for you?

Pro’s & Cons of Sit/Stand Desk Mounting Options

In the past few years, stand alone desk units (that mount on your existing desk) have hit the market which has been a complete game changer.

Pro’s Cons
  • Affordable
  • Easy to Install
  • Works with existing desk
  • Can easily move from one desk top to another



  • Limited worksurface (room for keyboard & mouse)
  • Some units do not go below your desk surface
  • Monitor may be too high or low
  • Keyboard surface can be bouncy



Pro’s & Cons of Height Adjustable Desks

Having a desk that can raise and lower can be a great way to vary your posture throughout the day.  This option can be a bit more expensive than mounting options, but there are numerous benefits.

Pros Cons
  • You retain your entire work area.
  • If you work at an office, you can retain the look & feel of the office design
  • You can retrofit your current desktop with a sit/stand base or legs
  • Stable work surface


  • More expensive than desk mounting  options.
  • Requires installation
  • May require monitor arm(s) and/or keyboard tray



No matter which style you choose, here are some additional questions to help you make your choice.

Why Do You Want To Go Sit/Stand?

This is a super important question.  Do you want to get a sit/stand desk, because your co-workers have one?  Are you wrestling with back or sciatica issues?  Do you think better standing?  Do you want to be more active during your work day?  Did you read an article saying that you’ll live longer if you stand during your day?

There’s no right or wrong answer here.  But asking yourself what your motivation is, can help determine if you will spend more time sitting vs. standing,  what the rest of your desk set up  needs are and what is ideal for your situation, which brings us to our next question:

What Type of Work Do You Do?

  • Do you currently work at your computer for the majority of your day?  (Little phone, paperwork, etc.)
  • Do you attend a lot of meetings away from your desk?  Do you have meetings at your desk?
  • Do you share a workspace?
  • Do you work with notebooks? Documents? Reference Materials?
  • Do you use multiple monitors?  Laptop?  Laptop and Desktop? Docking station?

Are You In Shape to Stand?

  • Do you currently have any back discomfort?
  • Any history of plantar fascitis?
  • Do you have sciatica or any other issues with your legs?
  • Do you stretch during your day?

Which Desk is Right for You?

Here are a few more questions to think about:

  • Are there any limiting factors in your work area?
  • How much space do you have (or don’t have).
  • Is there built in storage  or overheald shelving that can limit your height range?
  • Is there someone available to help you with installation?
  • Do you have a lot of  cables?  If so, will they be long enough to place your desk in a standing position?
  • What is your budget?

Measuring Up:

One of the first considerations  when choosing your sit/stand desk is to make sure that the height ranges will work for you when you sit and when you stand.   Your keyboard should be level with your elbow and the top area of your monitor should be a little lower than eye level.    Therefore, you want to make sure that your sti/stand desk will go low enough when you sit and high enough when you stand.

You will need to measure 4 things:

  1. Your elbow height when you sit (measuring from floor to elbow tip).
  2. Your elbow height when you stand (measuring from floor to elbow tip).
  3. Your eye height when you sit (measuring from floor to your eyes
  4. Your eye height when you sit (measuring from floor to your eyes).

Getting a Leg Up

No matter which desk style you choose, here are a few guidlines that will keep you in good standing:

Healthy Sitting

  • Keep your feet on the floor or footrest (avoid things like perching your feet on the castors or crossing your ankles)
  • Sit with a neutral pelvis (that means sitting directly on your sits bones)
  • If you use the backrest on your chair, make sure there is good lumbar support.  If you prefer to sit on the edge of your seat, then having a neutral pelvis and relaxed back (no overarching) is that much more important!
  • Keep your shoulders from rounding forward and keep your neck and head in a balanced and upright position over your spine.

Healthy Standing

  • Wear comfortable shoes!!!   Your feet, knees and back will thank you!
  • Consider standing on an anti fatigue mat.
  • Make use of either a foot bar or foot rest (even a small box will do) and alternate between standing on both feet, resting one foot on your support and then switching to the other.
  • Be mindful of your standing posture. It is just as easy to slouch, round your shoulders and crane your head and neck forward when standing!

For more information and specific sit/stand desk models, check out an earlier post  To Sit? Or Not to Sit? (How About Doing a Little of Both!)

Now it’s your turn.  Leave us a comment to let y iknow which desk style is best for you.

Until the next time!

Vivienne & Andrew



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