How to choose a standing desk

In an era where we are spending more time than ever sitting down, discovering the negative the effects of a static posture on our health, it’s more important than ever now to try and change this habit. What better way to achieve this than by investing in a standing desk? Here, you’ll learn how to choose a standing desk.

While making this investment, and especially if you are new to this sit stand desk phenomenon, there are some considerations that could greatly affect how successful your standing desk investment could be.

Don’t make the mistake that thousands already have…

The biggest tragedy would be having spent money in an attempt to adopt a healthier, more mobile posture and then not even using the adjustable height function. Why? Because it either doesn’t fit the area or because it doesn’t suit your workspace, workflow or height. Worse still would be your new setup resulting in your posture or productivity declining.

Did you know? The average American spend an average of 6 to 8 hours a day sitting down!

Fortunately, I have collated the list of 9 essential criteria that you need to consider when investing in a standing desk. I even enclose some of my signature helpful tips to ensure that your purchase is the most successful, stress-free item that it can be.

As an added bonus, I share with you an investment that has radically and instantly improved my posture and reduced my back pain significantly.

If you want to know about this and more, then let’s get started…

How to choose a standing desk - Standing desks

How to choose a standing desk

1. Space available

2. Desk space requirements

3. Heights requirements

4. Weight capacity

5. Cost

6. Noise

7. Adjustment speed

8. Power

9. Programming set heights

Space available

The space available in your office or home office will probably dictate size of a desk that you can purchase. Sit stand desks generally tend to be wider and taller. Consequently, they require more space than a standard desk.

Measure the area available in terms of the size of a desk that could be accommodated and the footprint available. Additionally, height restraints may also impose restrictions. Equipment, sockets, shelving and cable lengths can all inhibit the height that the desk can reach. For instance, if you have cable trunking with sockets protruding from the wall and your desk is currently positioned underneath them or flush with the trunking, the desk would probably have to be pulled out a bit to ensure that it does not make contact with the sockets.

Additionally, if there is any shelving in the area, measure and compare the lowest part of the shelf with the height that you envisage yourself using the desk at. If there are items on the desk, such as the monitor that could make contact with the shelf, the height needs to be measured based on the tallest material on the desk being used at the highest height that you intend to raise the desk to.

If there is a risk that the equipment will come into contact with shelving or other materials, determine if the equipment on the desk can be moved to another section of the desk to avoid this. Alternatively, if the orientation of the desk or equipment could be relocated. Moving the location of shelving could be a much easier solution than trying to completely reorganize your desk.

I know I personally love my desk location, and the thought of moving it or the monitors even a few degrees would make me feel like I’m in a bus going backwards.

If you work in a cubicle and your desk is flush or relatively tight on space, then the option of a sit stand desk may not be feasible. If this is the case, all is not lost. A sit stand desk converter may be an avenue that you could investigate.

Tip: If you work in an open plan office, bear in mind that if you are the only one with the standing desk function, you may be slightly out of place compared with everyone else who is sitting down.

Don’t let that get to you though, as the famous saying goes…

Do your thing!

Who knows, your new sit stand desk may be the envy of everyone in the area. You could end up starting a revolution and convert the whole open plan to standing desks.

If space constraints are an issue for you, an option would be to fit a motor onto your existing desk, that is if you own a desk already.

How to choose a standing desk - Office cubicles

Desk space requirements

In my previous article about how to organize my office desk, I discussed how your workflow process can influence the amount of desk space that you require. Essentially, the amount and type of work that you perform will be influential in determining the size of a desk that you require. If you require a larger amount of surface space to perform your activities, a sit stand desk will probably offer sufficient space as the tend to be wider than conventional desks.

With standing desk converters, the space available on these can be more prohibitive as they tend to just hold the laptop, monitor, keyboard and mouse. This can be overcome as you can perform tasks such as reviewing documents in a seated position. Also, in many cases the desk converter can be moved out of the way when you don’t need it, thus creating additional space.

However, if you work off a monitor, it may be a bit more difficult to move. For these reasons, it would be wise to consider how you can work depending on the type of desk converter that you go for.

How to choose a standing desk - Laptop on table

Heights requirements

When investing in a sit stand workstation, one of the key criteria is that the desk height can be adjusted to meet your requirements. For this reason, it is essential that you measure the height accurately to ensure that the desk you purchase doesn’t lead to slouching or poor posture.

When measuring the height of the desk that you require, it is wise to perform this activity in footwear that you would normally wear. If you tend to alternate between high heels and flat shoes, it would be advisable to measure your desk height requirements using both types of footwear.  

Another consideration maybe if you plan to share your standing desk with another person. Their height requirements should also be considered. If it is a shared commodity, a larger height range may be advisable, particularly if there is a significant difference between your height and the height of the other person.

How to choose a standing desk - Man at standing desk converter

Weight capacity

All desks have weight capacities associated with them. This is dependent on factors including the material that the desk is made from, the size of the desk and the structure that the desk is stationed on. This needs to be considered when thinking about the items that your desk currently holds.

A desk monitor may be held in place by a monitor arm, and this generally requires a sturdy desk surface to support that weight. That, along with other pieces of equipment on the desk, e.g. storage files, books etc. all contribute to the total weight on the desk.

Generally, a desk is designed to hold typical desktop items. Weight capacity is almost always provided, but if you are unsure check with the manufacturer the sales rep. The last thing you want is for your desk to collapse with the weight.  

How to choose a standing desk - Monitor screens on table


The amount that you are willing to spend on a standing desk unit will probably depend on whether the cost is funded by your employer or if it is supported by your own pocket.

It could also be influenced by how motivated you are to sit or stand. For instance, if you are someone who has back pain or medical reasons to adjust your posture more often, you are probably more motivated and know that you will make frequent use of the sit and stand desk. Other people may just be trying out the concept of being able to adjust their posture. You may be unsure if you’ll even make use of the desk heights.

Many standing desks Involved the purchase of a brand-new desk and include the cost of the physical surface and sides of a desk along with the built-in motor to manoeuvre the desk into standing and sitting Heights.

If you already own a desk and you’re happy to hold on to it, a cheaper alternative to obtaining a sit-stand set up is to convert your existing desk by fitting a motor on to it.  

Alternatively, you could also invest in a standing desk converter. This is essentially a unit that sits on the top of your desk and raises the height of the monitor or laptop, keyboard and mouse.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from choosing the perfect standard office desk either!

Tip: Investing in the cheapest desk available could lead to negative implications if you don’t have the opportunity to try it out, or if it doesn’t come with a warranty.

This could include the desk being flimsy and incapable of taking the weight and pressure of equipment and your bodily forces while writing or typing. If possible, consider visiting a showroom to trial one out or read the reviews online for an informed decision.  

How to choose a standing desk - Laptop on laptop stand


Practically all sit stand desks operate using a small electric motor. The noise that is generated from this is generally minimal. However, any noise that is made in the early morning when people are trying to sleep or when you work in an open plan office generally feels amplified. It could in fact lead to you not even using the sit stand function for fear of disturbing people.

I know I certainly feel like an elephant walking through the house at the crack of dawn compared to in the afternoon.

If the desk is used at home or in your own office order very few people around, this may pose little concern.

However, you may work adjacent to a lot of people or Karen, who constantly whines about noise and practically claims that she can hear you think. Perhaps you plan to make noise during sensitive times (very early or late). If you intend to adjust your desk on regular basis, this may be something to consider as it could interrupt your colleagues, family or housemates.

How to choose a standing desk - Woman shush

Adjustment speed

The speed at which a standing desk can be lowered and raised is generally acceptable for most individuals. My height-adjustable desk can be altered in a matter of less than 5 seconds. However, bear in mind that the adjustment speeds can vary.

How to choose a standing desk - Hand holding stopwatch


Most height adjustable desks will require a power source for them to be operated. Ensure that you have access to a socket nearby where the desk can be plugged in.  

If the desk is operated by a manual hand crank, a power source is probably not necessary.

How to choose a standing desk - Wall socket

Programming set heights

Many adjustable sit stand discs can be programmed frequently used Heights. This is particularly useful to hear who raises and lowers the height of your desk on a regular basis. All you need to do is program the heights, push a button and voilá, the desk adjusts to the exact same height each time.  

How to choose a standing desk - Man at standing desk


I hope you enjoyed this article. Do you only sit stand desk are you planning to invest? I would love to hear your thoughts and reviews on your standing desk converters too.

If you’re interesting in buying this product or seeing the complete range of ergonomic products that I’d recommend to my family and friends, then check it out by following this link:

Ergotron Workfit Standing Desk Converters

Speaking of reviews…

For a long time, I spent my days at home either working off a kitchen table, hunched over a laptop and in some scenarios, even working off my bed or my couch.

After months of reviewing and searching for a sit stand converter that was sturdy, affordable and multi-functional, I eventually stumbled upon this Sit stand height adjustable desk – Newoer Ultra Large Adjustable Laptop Table Desk and it is without a doubt the best investment that I have made.  

How to choose a standing desk - 4 starts silver

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With years of both professional and first-hand experience in office equipment and work settings, I now want to help you avoid making mistakes that countless others do. Whether you're studying or working from home, this site will help you create the ultimate haven for working safely, comfortably and productively in!

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