The Best Adjustable-Height Desk: Better and WAY Cheaper Than Those Motorized Ones
Adjustable-height or "sit-stand" desks are popular now, since studies show that sitting for 8 hours a day is linked to various health problems. Not to mention the fact that anyone who actually does spend all day sitting down knows it just gets uncomfortable after a while. It’s a good idea to get up and take a 5-minute walk every hour or so, but being able to actually stand up for some of the work day, instead of only sitting, is even better.
But have you seen the prices of these adjustable desks? They range from $800 or so up to several thousand dollars. Why are they so expensive? No good reason really, but part of the reason is that their design is kind of ridiculous: there’s literally a motor that you run to raise or lower the surface of the desk.
Despite the insane prices, I see people talking about these desks all the time. I can’t believe more people don’t do the obvious thing: just buy or make a desk that’s at standing height, and then buy a tall chair (like a drafting chair) for when you want to sit down.
This is way better than an adjustable-height desk because you don’t have to adjust it. Honestly, it’s hard for me to believe that there actually are people who, during the course of the day, just randomly get up and crank up their desk-motor and raise the desk... then an hour or two later, lower it back down... then raise it up again... come on! That’s ridiculous.
The standing-height desk with drafting chair design takes advantage of the fact that your friggin’ body is already adjustable. Just stand when you want to stand, and sit when you want to sit. Genius!
It’s way cheaper, too: drafting chairs start at about $100, and you can use an $80 Ivar for your desk -- just cut the legs to your standing height and remove all but the top shelf. I’ve been using Ivar as a desk for over 10 years now and he’s held up like a champ. So, total cost: under $200.
If you don’t like the natural wood look of Ivar, or you already have a desk that you like, it’d be trivial to make ~foot-tall risers to go under the legs of your desk, using two-by-fours, or metal, or whatever you want. Then your only real cost is the drafting chair.
I’ve been using my homemade sit-stand desk for almost two years now, and it’s great. The only problem I’ve found is that when I stand, someone else usually swoops in and takes my chair: