November 12, 2021 4 min read
As we continue to work from home, many of us are spending more time at our desks than ever before. Unfortunately, this may come with some health concerns. Sitting too much is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. According to experts, prolonged sitting can shorten your life span by two years .
Making in an investment in your home office by purchasing a ergonomic desk is an easy way to help break up the time you spend seated. “Even just standing for 15 minutes at your computer will give you benefits,” explains Mark Annis, owner of Lethbridge Electric in Alberta. You can also decrease the risks associated with spending too much time at your desk by improving your posture and generally improving blood-flow and circulation.
“You don’t want to stand for hours on end, either. A combination of standing and sitting is ideal,” says Rebecca Chambers, manager of the office ergonomics program at WorkSafeBC .
While one study from the University of Waterloo recommends that you sit anywhere from 15-30 minutes for every hour, standing to break up long periods of sitting should be repeated throughout the day to see the health benefits of a ergonomic desk.
“The most important thing is that you vary your position every 20 minutes,” says Tom Boyce, an ergonomist and president of Human Factors North . “You want to get up and down at least 10 times per day. If possible, more would be better.”
Although alternating between sitting and standing is not means for exercise, it does promote a healthier lifestyle.
“In practice, you end up moving around or doing little stretches while standing," says Joanne McGinnis, a professor at the University of Waterloo. "It does make a big difference in how people sit and stand.”
There are standing desks available in Canada that mass produce their desks and sell them on Amazon. These desks can be hit or miss depending on how much information is available about the desk that you are considering purchasing. Moreover, there are more than just a few factors in finding the right desk.
First, consider your height. Most 2 stage desk frames will accommodate anybody that is anywhere from 5'4" (160cm) to 6'7" (198cm) whether they are sitting or standing. Any individual taller or shorter than this range should be comfortable with a 3 stage desk frame.
Second, consider the weight load capacity of the desktop. Standing desks come with different weights rated for their tops/frames. Finding a desk with a minimum of 300lbs weight capacity is key. Although you most likely will not use all 300 pounds of capacity with your setup, a higher weight capacity will ensure that the transition of sitting to standing with the desk is always smooth and not prone to motor issues down the road. Desks with higher weight capacity will also be a signifier of stability and taller heights.
Standing desks should ideally have a sleek and simple setup, and many do. Standing desks that require power tools or an excessive number of people to assemble may be worth avoiding because you may not want another complicated step in your desk shopping experience.
However, a second hand is necessary as many desktops weight anywhere from 35+ lbs.
Although function may be similar between most desks, different price ranges will have their respective pros and cons:
$200-400: These standing desks will generally be analogue (requiring a knob for you to turn to increase/decrease the height). If it is electric, chances are that it will have a single motor which can lead to decrease stability and poor build quality. You may want to consider purchasing a desk converter instead.
$400-600: This is the ideal range that you want to be spending on an ergonomic desk that will give you the most utility for your dollar. Most desks at this price range will have dual motors which is stable and reliable with a 300lbs+ weight limit. Finding a high quality wood table top is key to finding the most value in your purchase as this is where most of the desks will vary.
$600-800: Most desks within this price range will be of solid quality construction. A lot of the desks at this price range will be manufactured by well-known standing desk brands.
$800+: Standing desks at this price range normally have a good design, sturdiness and can last you many years if not decades depending on how much usage it has been given. If you are willing to purchase a desk in this price range you would be paying more for aesthetics over function.
If you are planning on purchasing a standing desk in Canada, there are many factors to be considered. The obvious include: build quality, desktop size, and your budget. There are only a handful of Canadian standing desk companies that you can choose from that would allow for you to avoid import fees/taxes while getting free shipping.
Many have noted that the delivery time for your ergonomic desk could range anywhere from 1-4 weeks depending on external factors such as delays due to COVID-19, production and location.
If possible, it could be helpful to purchase your Standing Desk in person so you can inspect its build quality and construction.