Standing desks have been a feature of progressive offices for years — even before 2020, American workers typically spent 70 to 80 percent of their workday being sedentary — but since the onset of the pandemic, standing desk convertors have come into their own. During a year in which our biggest commute is walking from the bedroom to the kitchen, and back again, we could all use a little less time sitting and a little more time on our feet.
Standing desks offer real benefits — from improved blood sugar levels to a reduction in neck and back pain — but no matter how good your intentions, it’s not necessarily a great idea to stand for eight hours straight either. Many tasks that require deep concentration just need to be done sitting. A standing desk converter offers the best of both worlds. They let you convert your desk from sitting to standing height with the click of a button, saving you space, frustration, and a ton of aches and pains.
The Benefits of Sitting Less and Standing More
Research from the WHO and others has linked sitting for prolonged periods to an increased risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. And while standing for a few hours each day isn’t a one-way ticket to weight loss (on average you burn only eight additional calories per hour when standing) it’s a healthier alternative to being hunkered down on the couch all day.
Personally, using a standing desk even just for a few minutes each hour of my workday has helped cure the persistent lower back pain that plagued me during months of hunching over my computer on a bench. And I’m not alone — a small CDC study found that using a standing desk converter for a month cut participants’ neck and back pain by half. (And participants only stood for a little over an hour a day.)
The Best Standing Desk Convertors for 2021
With five-star and over 6,000 reviews, this standing desk converter is the real deal. It holds a laptop and a monitor, if not more, and has a removable keyboard tray. It takes up a significant amount of space, but for good reason. This is the converter to use if you want to be able to lift your entire desk up — coffee, keyboard and all — without adjusting anything. Reviewers like that it moves straight up, unlike other convertors that fold out as they rise, making it easier to use in small spaces. A special sliding system means it lifts slowly and smoothly.
This converter isn't as easily adjusted, but it's significantly cheaper and easier on the eyes than comparable options. It features two shelves with six different height options ranging from 9 to 18 inches off the table. Since the shelves have to be manually moved from one level to another, you have to take everything off every time you adjust it, so it's less ideal for those who use a monitor and want to go from sitting to standing throughout the day.
This extra-large converter has the best of both worlds: It holds three monitors and requires no assembly. It has a 15-inch range, and can be used at any point in that range, as opposed to having preset locked-in levels. When not in use, the keyboard trey slides beneath the upper surface, saving space. It also rises straight up, minimizing the amount of space needed. Reviewers say its sturdy, smooth, and quiet.
This is one of the narrower standing desk converters out there, making it ideal for smaller spaces. Its height ranges from 4 to 19 inches, and it comes fully assembled. The only downside is reviewers warn that it doesn't have much support when lowering, so you have to be careful to lower it slowly to avoid crashing.
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