This review features the Varidesk ProPlus30, which was kindly gifted to me.
I’ve been curious about standing desks for a while. I’ve heard about some of the benefits of them, from reducing back pain to boosting energy levels. One thing I’ve become aware of in the last few years, is that I don’t need more time to work, I need more energy. The idea of making a small change to my office space to boost those levels was something I was happy to do. Especially as my professional workspace consisted of two pillows stacked on my lap on the sofa, as a makeshift desk (I have an actual desk, but…I love the sofa.)
I was excited. Would I, as a couch potato who gets far too many ‘stand up’ pings from her Apple Watch, suddenly become a super fit person with perfect posture and unending energy? Er, no, it’s a standing desk, not an entire personality and body replacement. But I was hoping for a little boost in productivity and energy levels. And maybe a slight improvement in my digital age slumped shoulders.
So, what’s it like? Well, on the productivity front, it works. Standing up and working means I spend less time faffing (read: browsing my Facebook feed), and more time getting sh*t done. I’m more purposeful because I want to treat myself to a sit down with a cuppa and a Pinterest slot of time after. I started using it with my Pomodoro timer to really ramp up the productivity.
I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed using it. I love using it for recording videos and Facebook Lives, where I can move a little and gesticulate more. It’s adjustable, so at 5ft 4in, I could get it to the perfect height. What I’m saying is, it’s great for getting that perfect ‘trim the chins’ angle.
Standing up and working made me feel more aware of how I was standing, particularly my shoulders and my centre of balance (I’m constantly shifting feet). I don’t tend to stay standing for longer than an hour at a time.
Let’s get into the meaty stuff:
- Converting it from a seated desk to a standing desk can be done in seconds (see video above). It’s simply a case of pressing the button on each side, and easing it up or down. Just don’t do what I did and press the buttons without holding on. My laptop nearly took its first flight through the office window.
- It doesn’t require building, I just pulled it out of the box and placed it on the desk.
- There’s loads of desk space, and space to pop your Bluetooth devices.
- It looks good. I mean, it’s big (a dinky IKEA desk isn’t going to hold this bad boy), but it looks great once it’s in place. There’s also a different version of the Varidesk if you have two monitors that you use regularly
- Varidesk offer a 30 day guarantee, so if standing isn’t for you, you can return and get a refund.
- It’s heavy. It was a two-person job to lift it onto the desk. We’ve got a pretty sturdy old wooden desk, so it was stable enough, but I would probably put down a thin foam mat or fabric underneath it if I put it on there again to protect the wood.
- The price is reasonably high at £275, and there are certainly cheaper ones on the market. But this one is high quality, easy to set up and gives the option of being a standing or sitting desk (whereas others are just standing desks).
- If your desk is a tangle of wires, this is a good time to update your desk to more Bluetooth/wireless devices so you can easily move the desk up and down without yanking anything out. If you use a laptop rather than a desktop, a wireless mouse and keyboard make it much easier to use the Varidesk easily.
- Have a think about footwear. This is not the time for stilettos (but hey, you’re working from home, why would you be even wearing them).
Yup. I’m a standing desk convert. I find it particularly good for those days when I really need to focus, but it’s great to have the option either way. It’s not an essential item, but I feel like the benefits really make it worth looking at if you’re spending a long time at your desk.