I Wanna New Sit Stand Desk (With Apologies to Huey Lewis and The News)

by Hugh Brownstone30 Comments

It's been less than 10 months since I thought I was being rather clever by buying an IKEA table for my “edit suite,” but sometimes you do get what you pay for — and I paid less than $70 for the Linnmon/Adils Table. Time to bite the bullet and get a real desk — and it might as well be a sit stand desk at that. In Part 1 of this series, I figure out – with your help – the contenders.  After all, what's the point of allocating budget to everything but our own ability to use it?

Once upon a time we had darkrooms with chemicals and enlargers. Anybody remember Gra-Lab timers or the Beseler 23C enlarger – or the Schneider Componon lens? Remember how we’d stand for hours, hunched over in the dark, dodging and burning and framing and focusing?

At least we were standing.

Now we sit hunched over at a desk, blood pooling in our legs as we sit for hours editing on the screen.

And guess what? It’s bad for us.

Click Image to View Full Size. Source: MindBodyGreen

Click Image to View Full Size. Source: MindBodyGreen

Which I would have missed if not for the fact that my current desk is about to collapse.

It shouldn’t have been a big deal: Apple 27” Thunderbolt display with keyboard and Magic Trackpad; a pile of LaCie and OWC drives; and my mid-2012 MacBook Pro 15” on stand, all resting atop a new IKEA table.

Plus, of course, the omnipresent cuppa Joe on omnipresent Orbit In coaster.

computer desk

Still, in little more than 10 months my brilliantly cost-effective and cool-vibe solution to holding my edit suite is being buttressed by a Gitzo monopod, ready to crumble at any moment like Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct. Even WITH the support, the center has bowed between ¼” and 3/8.”

Not good.

Gitzo holds up desk

Then again, it’s only after reading the specs for other IKEA products that the obvious has become obvious to me: when there’s no weight load specified, that’s about how much weight you should put on it (see, for comparison, IKEA’s new-but-mysteriously-never available Bekant electric sit-stand desk specs).

But while IKEA bookcases laid on their side are still OK, I think I’m done with IKEA for serious home office work.

Which leaves me looking for a new desk. [bctt tweet=”Edit suite weighing you down? Mine, too. Literally.”]


Many of the sit stand desk reviews out there are pretty lightweight. But with this written, here’s a first stab at a list of candidates with help from WorkWhileWalking.com, a site more helpful than most.  Among other things, I want to be sure that the desk will be stable at full extended height — and that the surface won't bow!

Sit stand desk choices

If you have experience with any of these desks and can recommend any one of them — or another — we’d love to read about them. PLEASE let us know in the comments section!


I Wanna New Desk (with apologies to Huey Lewis and The News)

(cover photo credit: snap from Hugh Brownstone)


  1. Perfect timing, I’m in the market for one of these as well and am having a heck of a time making a decision.

  2. ckrieg Right? You want something that is super stable; robust; quiet; fast; and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. What have you looked at, and how are you leaning (pun intended)?

  3. You must include Biomorph Desk in your list. They are the gold standard in ergo desks. I’ve had three in my studio and they’re fantastic. They get huge bonus points for futuristic design and always draw compliments from clients.

  4. DianaLundin My problem is that I don’t have a desk robust enough to put this on top of it!

  5. mtjoseph This is where I started, but they were out of stock both in the store and online. The more I read, the less I think it’s the right fit for me — which blows, because the price is right! YMMV!  Thanks for the tip!

  6. David Casteel They look pretty robust and quiet — thanks for the tip!  I’ve filled out a contact form, and they have a showroom within driving distance (kind of).

  7. Check out http://standdesk.co
    They ran a successful Kickstarter campaign this past year. I ordered the frame only and mounted a drafting table top.

  8. How do you like it? Is it quiet? Is it stable when extended to maximum height?

  9. Love my Updesk. 
    It will wobble a bit if you push it when it’s fully up, but under (my) normal use it feels perfectly stable.

  10. I do like it. There is a bit of a wobble when extended to the standing position but the frame can support quite a bit of weight.
    It is a bit noisy in operation but that’s only for a few seconds. Not an issue. I have a monitor that is height adjustable so that works out quite well. Previously my drafting table top was straddling some 2 drawer file cabinets. A big improvement!

  11. HughBrownstone keithmatz  You can definitely hear the motor noise when you raise or lower it, but I wouldn’t describe it as noisy – I actually kind of like it.
    As I said, when I try, I can make it wobble. But I can’t remember ever feeling like it was wobbly in normal use.
    I have 2 24-inch IPS monitors on a 2-inch riser (Ikea shelf), big speakers, keyboard, mouse, and Wacom tablet – so I’m nowhere near the 300 pound limit. But I’m a big guy and lean on it a fair amount and have never had a problem (and I’m doing fairly detailed work – 3d modeling and animation, photoshop, etc with a tablet).

  12. mtjoseph Do you have one yourself?  How do you like it?  Is it stable fully extended?  Quiet?

  13. No. Both of these were on my final list. I decided to go with a custom solution because of a pre-existing built-in desk installation, or said another way, my better half did not approve of the aesthetics of another desk. I opted to instead use an articulated dual monitor stand to allow me to sit/stand at my current desk. I learned of this unit while working with an ergonomics consultant. I followed up with the folks at ergoprise.com to discuss in detail, very helpful and knowledgeable. Give them a call.

  14. I’ve found a fairly cheap and flexible system that works well for me, since I often work at facilities & production companies where I can’t permanently alter the workspace. I use 2 cheap iCraze keyboard risers I got from Amazon, one for the edit system keyboard with a mouse platform, and another one for a laptop that is my email/web computer.

    I’m short so I adjust the monitors either by just tilting the monitors or putting a box under them, and I don’t notice any neck strain, even though I don’t achieve the “ideal” straight neck viewing angle – for a taller person that might be more of an issue.

    If I get a chance I’ll post a photo of my setup using the risers to alter the normal edit suite config when I need a break from sitting.

  15. Jim Chisholm VERY cool, Jim, thanks for sharing.  As my base desk is about to collapse, I need to replace the whole thing.  I’ve opted to buy an Ergoprise Uprise desk — and will do another post on what I learn.

  16. I Love my VariDesk Pro (uk.varidesk.com). It’s simple to use and I didn’t have to buy a whole new desk. There are so many “kit-bashed” solutions out there, but this one doesn’t even need to be put together. Although you REALLY need to get a standing mat for any standing height desk solution to avoid lower back fatigue.

    Switching to a standing height desk has changed my life. I feel so much more productive and healthy.

    Also, check out Zack Arnold’s Fitness In Post website.

  17. GreggMcNeill VariDesk looks great, Gregg – and I love that they have an app to remind you to keep moving (along with a calorie counter!).  My issue is that I have to replace my WHOLE desk!  Thanks for the tip — bet it would be great for others who don’t have my particular challenge!

  18. GreggMcNeill Thanks for the input Gregg. And we did talk with Zack in one of our planet5D podcasts – http://blog.planet5d.com/2014/08/zack-arnold-burn-notice-editor-the-best-podcast-weve-done-must-listen/

  19. planetMitch GreggMcNeill Zack is a great guy! Very interesting Podcast!

  20. Let us know what you think of the Ergoprise Uprise once you’ve had a chance to use it… 

    I did almost the same research you did–I looked at all the above but I didn’t build an excel sheet ;-)–and I came to the same conclusion. It looks like the best one overall. I’m also pretty tall at 6’3″ and want to find one that is stable at its max height. I’ll be using it with a treadmill. I’m about to pull the trigger on it unless I find any contradicting evidence.

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