Latish Sehgal's Blog

Standing Desk Review: Varidesk

For the last year or so I have started standing while working, and alternate between sitting and standing about 1-2 times a day. My colleagues/friends are sometimes curious to hear about it, so I am going to share my experience so far.

As a programmer, my job involves sitting on a chair and staring at a screen for most of the day. Over the last couple of years, there has been more awareness around how sitting for a long time is bad for us (some call it the new smoking), and how it can cause health issues, and even shorten our lives. I am pretty frugal, and If I am visiting clients with just my laptop, then I can use a cheap box to prop my laptop while I stand up and work. After developing carpal tunnel syndrome due to long working hours on a laptop a couple of years ago, I have made it a habit to use an ergonomic keyboard, trackball and external monitor as much as possible. This makes it harder to alternate between sitting and standing without using a standing desk. Since I do consulting and change work environments every couple of months, my standing desk solution has to be portable.

When I was researching standing desks, the Varidesk was the only solution that met all my needs. I went ahead and ordered their smallest offering that had a keyboard tray. It was called the Varidesk Single Plus at that point, though I think they have now renamed it to Pro Plus. It’s 30 inches wide, and while it’s technically supposed to hold only a single monitor, I have used it to prop a laptop and a 24 inch monitor without any issues. Right now I have a 34 inch monitor on it with a 15 inch MacBook Pro, and it’s a little crowded. Switching between standing and sitting positions takes about 5 seconds. Here’s a quick demo:

It’s portable enough if I need to move it around every couple of months. It’s stable, and even though I lean on the keyboard tray sometimes when I am standing and typing, it does not wobble. One thing to remember about a Varidesk versus other solutions is that it sits on top of an existing desk.

I’m skeptical of the health benefits people cite about standing and working. I haven’t noticed anything signifcant. That said, I don’t believe it’s detrimental to my health either, and I do feel more active if I am standing and working. An added bonus is that you get more opportunities to bust out dance moves when your favorite song comes on.

Overall, I would say that I have been pretty happy with my experience, and would recommend that you check it out if you are looking for a standing desk solution.