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Embrace healthy movement with a sit-stand height adjustable desk

Standing desks are also known as sit-stand desks or height-adjustable desks. These have been around for several years, but demand has surged in the work-from-home era. Modern variants come with motorized legs. These let operators switch between sitting and standing at the push of a button. ChairsFX reviews the best sit-stand desks for computer users, gamers, and kids.

MotionGrey sit-stand desks
Enhance your ergonomic chair with a desk that can switch between sitting and standing modes. (Image: MotionGrey)

Sitting for long periods is bad for your health. It slows metabolism, tightens hamstrings, raises blood pressure, and worse. Ergonomic chairs help to mitigate the dangers by supporting good posture and movement.

Ergonomic chair plus sit-stand desk
Pair a good ergonomic chair with a sit-stand desk for the ultimate ergonomic setup. (Images: VIVO)

Stacking your ergonomic chair with a sit-stand desk can help even more.

Sit stand desk fundamentals

To stay strong, flexible, and mobile, the body needs to move. Early standing desks sought to reverse the risks of sedentary behavior by forcing users to stand while working. The problem is that long periods of standing are also bad for you. Standing for long periods causes discomfort, muscle fatigue, and lower limb swelling. At the same time, reaction times and mental states deteriorate.

Motorized sit-stand desks provide a logical solution. Instead of sitting all day or standing all day, users can mix things up.

Sit stand desk health benefits

Early sit-stand desks manufacturers touted their products as an easy way to lose weight. That has been debunked. The truth is that standing for three hours only burns 24 more calories than sitting. That’s the equivalent of one carrot.

Sitting versus standing desk posture examples
Switching between sitting and standing can boost health, wellness and vitality.

Tangible health benefits are mild. Users can expect a small decrease in blood pressure, and reduced lower back pain.

The big benefit is that a sit stand desk lets you change positions often. Bodies crave movement.

The movement needed to transition from sitting to standing is a squat. For core strength and hip mobility, few exercises are more potent. It provides deep stimulation by forcing bones, muscles, and joints to work together.

Sit to stand transition exercise
The sit to stand transition keeps the hips flexible while working core muscles.

Thus, a sit-stand desk provides more opportunities to move. Keeping the body active improves both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular health. That pays off in mental benefits that improve productivity. Many studies show that active bodies yield improved learning, memory, and cognitive function.

How to use a sit-stand desk

Research into sit-stand desk benefits is ongoing. Some suggest a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 sitting versus standing.

A University of Waterloo study conflicts with that idea. It suggests the best ratio for standing-to-sitting time is between 1:1 and 3:1. That means you should stand for up to three hours for each hour that you sit.

Until there’s a clear consensus, the best approach is to experiment. Start small by switching to standing 30 minutes before your lunch break. When back from lunch, work standing until your body feels tried. With time, you should find a sweet spot that enhances comfort, energy levels, and productivity.

Optimal standing desk height

When standing, bend your elbows to 90° from the floor. Set the height of the desk to support your elbows.

Standing desk height guidelines
Standing desk height should support the elbows bent at a 90 angle. (Images: UBC)

Setting the desk too high will strain the neck and shoulders. Setting too low will strain the neck, back, and wrists.

Optimal sitting desk height

A standard desk is around 30″ high. That can’t serve a 5’2″ user as well as it can serve a 6’0″ user. For somebody 5’2″, an appropriate desk height would be around 24-inches.

Gaming chair user guide
Using the chair support a healthy posture means that your muscles don’t have to.

Add one inch of desk height for every three extra inches of user height. That means someone 6’0″ should set their desk height to around 27 inches. Once set, the sample principle applies as when standing. The elbows should bend at a 90° angle to receive support from the desktop. At the same time, the back should be straight, with the feet planted flat on the floor.

Check out our Gaming Chair User Guide for more about optimal sitting techniques.

Best sit stand height adjustable desks

Height-adjustable “sit stand” desks come with motorized components. With the push of a button, users can fluidly shift between sitting and standing.

In today’s work-from-home era, demand for adjustable desks has surged. At present, there are a handful of models from proven manufacturers that stand out.

Over the next year, we predict that a sit stand desk will become as essential in a home office as an ergonomic chair. Expect many new models to flood the market in the coming months. For now, here are our top sit stand motorized desk picks:

Motion Series Dual Motor Desk

Factory price: $474.99 CDN ($359.27 USD)
Rating: #1

MotionGrey is a furniture designer based in Richmond, British Columbia. They produce a range of office furniture but specialize in desks. The Motion Series Dual Motor Standing Desk comes in all black, all white, or a combination of the two colors. The height range is from 23.6″ to 49.2″. No other desks in this guide can go as low as this model.

MotionGrey sit stand desks
MotionGrey desks are available for consumers in Canada and America.

At its lowest setting, the desk is ideal for kids 6-12 years old. They usually need a desk set to a height between 22-26 inches. When raised to its full height, the Motion Series desk can also support standing users up to 6’2″ tall.

Making use of the versatile height range is easy. Using a digital keypad, you can program four preferred height settings. To activate, press your desired level. Then, dual motors will lift the desktop at a speed of 30mm per second.

Motion Series specs

  • Tabletop width and depth: standard is 47.2″ (W) x 27.9″ (D); large is 59″ (W) x 29.5″
  • Height range: 23.6″ to 49.2″
  • Weight capacity: 225 pounds
  • Warranty: three years

Motion Series desk advice

Motion Series standing desks rank #1 because they have the largest height-adjustable range. No other chair lowers to 23″. That makes this one of the few adult desks also suitable for children.

A proper desk height for a primary school child around 110 cm tall (average 5-year-old) should be around 19 inches. Kids 120-150cm tall (6 to 12-year-olds) should have a desk set at a height of 22-26 inches.

MotionGrey adjustable desks

Beyond the impressive adjustment range, MotionGrey desks come with a solid warranty and reasonable price. These desks come with free shipping in Canada and the United States. From the time of order, delivery takes 5-7 days.

Motion Series (black) from MotionGrey for $359.27 USD

VIVO Black Electric LED Gaming Desk

Amazon price: $329.99
Rating: #2

The VIVO Black LED gaming desk has a height range of 28.6″ to 46.6″. A 110V-240V powered electric motor lifts or lowers the desktop at a rate of 25mm per second. Blue LED lights adorn the sides and front of the desk.

VIVO sit stand desk chair
The VIVO sit stand desk comes with blue LED lighting a and motorized tabletop lift.

Transitioning between sitting and standing positions takes almost no effort. Set four preferred heights, then press a button to raise or lower to your preference.

VIVO Desk specs

  • Tabletop: 47.3″ x 23.8″ textured carbon fiber
  • Height range: 28.6″ to 46.6″
  • Weight capacity: 220 pounds
  • Extras: cable management, leveling feet for stability.
  • Warranty: three years

VIVO Black Advice

The VIVO Black is the only gaming-style desk on this list. The carbon-fiber desktop and blue LED lighting matches the slick looks of many other gaming desks. However, most gaming desks are fixed-height, with no ergonomic features.

Thus, the VIVO Black one of the very best gaming desks on the market. Other models may have flashier designs or larger work surfaces. However, the VIVO Black is one of the only height-adjustable sit stand options.

Office workers, PC gamers, and console gamers will all love this desk.

VIVO Black Electric on Amazon $329.99

Flexispot Electric Standing Desk

Amazon price: $247.99
Rating: #3

Flexispot standing desk

This desk has a height range of 28″ to 48″ with a lift speed of one inch per second. Controlling the lift or lowering is easy. The simple 2-button controls make it easy to raise or lower until you reach your desired height.

Flexispot Desk specs

  • Tabletop: 48″ x 30″ textured carbon fiber
  • Height range: 28″ to 48″
  • Weight capacity: 154 pounds
  • Warranty: 5-year frame warranty; 2-year warranty on parts.

Flexispot advice

The Flexispot desk ranks number three as the cheapest sit-stand desk in this review. Those on a budget will get the same features as the other desks, while spending less money. The easy height adjustment, large surface area, and low price make this a great option for those working from home.

VIVO Black Electric on Amazon $247.99

Seville Classics Airlift Pro

Amazon price: $512.07
Rating: #4

The Seville Classics Airlift Pro is the most expensive desk in this review. For a premium, users get a longer warranty and a big, heavy tabletop that feels as solid as a butcher’s block.

Airlift Pro sit stand adjustable desk

There are 14 styles to choose from, ranging from a wooden top with a black base to all-white models.

Airlift Pro specs

  • Tabletop width and depth: standard is 54″ (W) x 28″ (D)
  • Height range: 25.6″ to 51.4″
  • Weight capacity: 264 pounds
  • Extras: blue LED height display
  • Warranty: 7 years on non-electric parts; 2 years on electrical components.

Airlift Pro advice

Airlift Pro adjustable desk

The Airlift Pro is a luxurious but expensive sit stand ergonomic desk. For a premium price, you get a wider, super-solid tabletop. The crisp LED controller display is also more advanced than other controller displays. For those insistent on the most luxurious options, this model is worth considering.

Airlift Pro on Amazon $512.07

Standing desk conversion kits

Instead of buying a complete sit-stand desk, you can also choose a converter. These sit atop a traditional desk to provide sit-stand functionality. The downside of these models is that you can only raise the height of the desk, but not lower it.

FEZIBO 32 inches Stand Up Black Desk Converter
The FEZIBO is one of several standing desk converter kits available on Amazon.

For instance, the FEZIBO desk converter (Price not available) is the top-rated option on Amazon. It has a gas spring lift system with a height range of 5.3″ to 20.5″ When sitting, the design lets you use the keyboard as normal. At the same time, you can also customize the height of your monitor.

When standing, the keyboard tray sits lower than the monitor platform. Unfortunately, there’s no way to customize the height of the monitor independent of the keyboard tray.

There are several other models on Amazon to choose from with similar features. All models work, in the sense that they achieve sit-stand height-adjustment benchmarks. But compared to full-featured desks, they are uglier, more awkward, and not as user-friendly.

Browse standing desk converter kits on Amazon

Height-adjustable computer desks for kids

One way to assess the optimal desk height for kids is by starting with a well-fitting chair. A chair is at the right size when a child can sit with their knees at a 90° angle, with feet flat on the floor. Then, the ideal desk height would be eight inches above the height of the seat.

Ideal desk size for kids
The ideal desk height for kids should be 8″ higher than a well-fitting chair seat.

Another kids’ desk sizing method is to go by age. For toddlers up to 4 years old, the standard table height should be 20″ to 22″. A standard desk for kids aged 5-7 should be between 22″ to 25″. For 8 to 10-year-olds, the ideal range is between 24″ to 29″.

As kids grow, the perfect desk should be able to grow with them. Motorized sit stand desks for kids’ sizes don’t exist. Instead, there is a small choice of height-adjustable computer desks.

Motion Series Dual Motor Desk

Factory price: $474.99 CDN ($359.27 USD)
For kids rating: #1

Out top-ranked sit stand desk for adults is also our top-ranked sitting desk for kids. That is because the MotionGrey Motion Series has the largest sit stand range in the industry. At its lowest setting, this desk is 23″ high. That makes it suitable as a sitting desk for kids from five years and older.

MotionGrey desk for kids
This is a luxury sit stand desk with a height range low enough to suit five-year-olds.

This is a desk for adults, with a range that can fit little kids. At its lowest setting, kids can enjoy the same perfect computing benefits that adults do. That means full sit stand usability plus a large, luxurious, super-solid workspace. Among current options for kids, the Motion Series desk from MotionGrey reigns supreme — even though it’s meant for adults.

Motion Series specs

Kids 6-12 years old between 120-150 cm tall (3’9″ to 4’9″) need a desk set between 22-26 inches high. That is the perfect age to set your child up as a computing professional with ergonomic awareness.

MotionGrey desks for kids
The lowest 23″ setting is the ideal desk height for most seated 5-year-olds.

For kids aged six and up, use the control panel to raise and lower. When you find your sitting and standing sweet spots, set them in the control panel. After that, your kid can switch between sitting and standing at the push of a button.

  • Tabletop width and depth: standard is 47.2″ (W) x 27.9″ (D); large is 59″ (W) x 29.5″
  • Height range: 23.6″ to 49.2″
  • Weight capacity: 225 pounds
  • Warranty: three years

Motion Series desk advice for kids

Among current options, only the Motion Series has a height range that can accommodate five-year-olds. That will surely change as competing models flood the market in coming months.

Compared to other options for kids, the Motion Series will serve better and last longer. On the downside, the surface is so large and luxurious that letting a 5-year-old use it may seem absurd to the neighbors.

Motion Series (black) from MotionGrey for $359.27 USD

MOUNT-IT! adjustable desk for kids

Amazon price: Price not available
For kids rating: #2

Cheap sit-stand desk for kids
This model is cheap, solid, and sit-stand adjustable for kids.

The MOUNT-IT! adjustable desk is simple, affordable, and effective. It has a height range of 21.3″ to 30″, making it suitable for toddlers to adolescents. The desktop can tilt between 0° to 40°, making it ideal for reading, writing, and art projects. It also has a pneumatic spring height adjustment that makes raising the height a breeze.

MOUNT-IT! specs

This chair offers solid specs for the money.

  • Tabletop: 26″ (W) x 19.4″ (D)
  • Height range: 21.3″ to 30″
  • Weight capacity: 88 pounds
  • Warranty: n/a

MOUNT-IT! specs

MOUNT-IT! offers several height-adjustable models with different colors and similar features. These are solid desks for toddlers. By the time a child is ready for their own computer workstation, consider upgrading to something like a MotionGrey sit-stand desk.

MOUNT-IT! kids’ desk on Amazon Price not available

FCD Computer Station for kids

Amazon price: $399.99
For kids rating: #3

The FCD Computer Station for kids is a multifunction desk that can adjust from a height of 22″ to 31.5″. That makes this desk suitable for kids from around 5 years old to 12 years old.

FCD computer desk chair for kids
The FCD desk sets kids up with a private workstation from toddler to adolescent years.

This model has shelves, a drawer, and a tiltable desktop that can be angled for reading, writing, and drawing.

FCD Computer Station specs

Specs are threadbare. The company offers no information about the warranty or weight capacity of this desk.

  • Tabletop width and depth: standard is 31.5″ (W) x 15.7″ (D)
  • Height range: 22″ to 31.5″
  • Weight capacity: n/a
  • Warranty: n/a.

FCD Computer Station

The FCD Computer Station for Kids is a decent study-from-home chair for kids between 5 and 7 years old. The angled tabletop is ideal for writing, reading, or artwork. It’s passable as a computer workstation, but not ideal.

In fact, this desk is even more expensive than our top-rated sit stand model from MotionGrey. The Motiongrey model lowers to 23″. That also makes it a good fit for kids between 5 and 7 years old. It provides a larger workspace, sturdier build, and adjustable height suitable for both kids and adults.

FCD Computer Station for Kids on Amazon $399.99

Who can benefit from a sit-stand desk?

Short people

Most desks are around 30″ high. For short people, that results in a tabletop too high, which places strain on the shoulders. University of New Brunswick research yielded these guidelines:

  • For somebody 5’2″ tall, the ideal desk height should be around 24 inches. Add one inch of desk height for every three extras inches of user height.
  • A person 5’5″ should set their desk to around 25″.
  • Somebody 5’8″ should have a desk height of around 26″.
  • A person 5’11” tall should set their desktop to around 27″ high.
  • A 30″ desk height is suitable for someone around 6’7″ tall.

For short people, a sit-stand desk yields two benefits. First, it allows users to set a sitting desk height that fits their bodies. As is, most standard desks are too high for short people. The second benefit is the same for all sizes: the opportunity to move through a workday.

Kids

In their early school years, childrens’ spines are still developing. Luckily, many studies show that children respond well to ergonomic interventions.

By providing them the right tools and techniques, they adapt. A good ergonomic chair will help them to develop excellent sitting posture. Adding a sit-stand desk can also forge sit-stand computing habits that last a lifetime.

Console gamers

At the end of 2020, the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 will be released. Both will bring the power of a high-end gaming PC into living rooms around the world.

The problem is that living room seating isn’t designed for long periods of gaming. Long periods sitting on the couch is bad for your back. Sitting on the floor is even worse.

Gaming chairs help, but they are desk chairs. In living rooms, sitting in a gaming chair will position you higher than the TV.

Adding a standing desk can solve this problem. Place a 4K monitor on the desk. When watching movies or gaming with pals on the sofa, lower the desk.

For longer periods of intense gaming, raise the desk and use your gaming chair.

Conclusion

Even if you don’t use the standing option, a sit-stand desk is useful for everyone under 6’7″. Stock factory desks are usually set at 30″. That is too high for most average sizes. A height-adjustable sit-stand desk can solve that problem with the push of a button.

For long periods of desk work, an ergonomic chair reigns as the most vital tool. A good model will support a healthy posture and movement while sitting. Even so, experts suggest standing up and taking a walking break every thirty minutes. By adding a sit-stand desk, users can take physical breaks without leaving their workstation.

While not a necessity, a sit-stand desk can enhance your ergonomic workspace. First, you can set the height of your desk to the perfect level. Second, transitioning from sitting to standing works the hips and core muscles. That provides a nice boost of energy to freshen the mind and power through the workday.

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