A standing desk is going to change my life. Or at least, that's what I've now convinced myself after using a few over the last six months and experiencing all of the benefits that I'd previously dismissed because of my hefty skepticism.
Like many others, I started working from home permanently at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequences have had a disastrous impact on my health. With regional mandates to stay inside our homes, my previous routine of running 5K (3.1 miles) to the gym near my office every morning vanished overnight.
My morning commute was replaced by a short shuffle from my bedroom to a small table in another room, and lunchtime walks were less appealing without colleagues to chat to, with my only exercise coming in the form of walking my elderly dog.
This dramatic change in lifestyle has resulted in me gaining a whopping 42lbs / 19kg over the last 20 months, and the impact that's had on my joints and general health has left me feeling older than my years.
I'm not exactly blameless about my own situation, but as a permanent home worker, I need to find a flexible solution, which got me looking into ways I could improve my health and fitness levels incrementally without jumping straight back into my previously intense gym routine.
Several months ago I came across a video on a TikTok account called The Walking Worker where a woman revealed she managed to walk 20 miles a day thanks to buying a standing desk converter alongside an under desk walking treadmill, using the two in conjunction when in meetings and checking emails. I was completely floored, and immediately sold on the idea.
Meet Emma, a future colleague made of nightmares
The health benefits of using a standing desk if you work in an office-based role are well established. For instance, studies repeatedly show “an improvement in discomfort and pain as people use [standing] desks.” Though they’re just one step in the right direction – you should also take breaks and get your muscles moving and your blood pumping, not to mention stay active generally – on top of alternating between standing and sitting.
Even without the addition of walking, multiple studies show that people who use standing desks experience “an improvement in discomfort and pain [levels]”, and standing for long periods improves blood flow, posture and the health of your back.
Look a little closer, and it makes total sense. Humans are simply not designed to sit at desks all day, and the American Journal of Public Health has found that sitting for more than eight hours a day can increase the risk of chronic diseases by 10% to 20%.
In fact, a mock-up of the "office worker of the future" was created as part of a 2019 report commissioned by office equipment company Fellowes Brands, who partnered with behavioral futurist William Higham to see what effect lengthy hours of sitting down in front of a computer could have on humans in the coming years.
"Emma", as she's been dubbed, could be my future if I don't do something.
The problem is, standing desks can be a pretty hefty investment and not everyone has the luxury of dropping that much cash on a desk, which makes the Black Friday and Cyber Monday season the perfect time of year to hunt for a deal
This year’s Black Friday will fall on November 26th, and the weeks that surround the all-important day will be full of deals too. We’re going to keep our eyes out across the entire world of tech during Black Friday 2021, but I'm especially watching out for the Uplift V2 standing desk to go on sale.
The Uplift V2 electric standing desk
Uplift V2 is one of the best standing desks that benefits from top-notch build quality, and prides itself on stability, an important factor when you're placing a bunch of expensive tech onto it!
Dual-motors mean the desk can change heights quickly, with a smooth and quiet action, and anti-collision tech should help prevent any accidents. You also get a whole bunch of mounting points, including one for an entire hammock (presumably work lunchtime naps?), which is an additional credit to its build quality.
There are 24 options for desktop styles to suit your home office space, with options for a corner desk if the standard shape doesn't suit you. You also get five different sizes to choose from, and four different frame colors.
Prices start from $599 (around £430 / AU$800) which is on the pricey side for a desk, but given its features and the fact you can take a quick nap underneath it in a cozy hammock, we don't think it's unreasonable. Still, money is money, and saving a few pennies over black Friday is always preferable to paying full price.
What about other standing desks?
I'm hunting for the Uplift V2 as it currently tops our list of the best standing desks on the market, but there's no real guarantee that it will be discounted in the Black Friday sale. In the event it remains full price, there are other capable desks on the market that will suit my (and your own) needs.
It’s important to think about the environment around your desk, and what kind of standing desk would best suit your needs. There's no guarantee that a fully-equipped electric standing desk will be the best option for everyone, so consider things like a portable standing desk converter if you need something more flexible. They also have the benefit of typically being cheaper.
If you do have the space for a full desk then you'll need to consider its height. It’s no good buying a standing desk if its maximum height isn’t going to be tall enough for you to stand and work comfortably, though this will only be an issue if you're especially tall.
Standing desks also use either electric, manual or pneumatic adjustment systems. They'll all get the job done, but if you don't fancy cranking the height up of your desk each day, an electric motor that allows you to save different heights to buttons is a real blessing.