Rocketing towards 40 the realities of my age have begun to manifest in spectacular fashion. In particular my back has decided it’s no longer what it used to be and a standing desk was suggested as a remedy by one of my many health practitioners.
There’s standing desks and then there’s standing desks though. I figured if I’m going to join the cult then I best do it properly. Ergolux’s 140x70cm Dual Motor Electric Sit Stand Desk fit the bill and thus began my latest romance in office space furniture.
Assembly & setup
Desks are generally one of the most basic pieces of furniture to assemble. That somewhat rings true with the Ergolux Electric Standing Desk, but is hampered with some Ikea-like instructional diagrams and relatively hefty pieces.
You’ll want an electric drill too, theoretically not necessary it will make your life a million times easier as you screw in no less than thirty odd screws to attach the desk’s frame.
Each leg contains an electric motor and with it comes a significant amount of weight. These are secured into frames attached to the underside of the desk and then connected to a control box via supplied RJ45 cables.
A small control panel is mounted on the front of the desk and protrude slightly beyond its top. This is then connected back to the same control box and can be positioned wherever you choose with ample lengths of cabling supplied.
A single power cable runs from the controller box and power is carried to each motor and control panel.
Operation & features
Not just a clever name the desk can operate at any height between 71cm and 1.16m. Meaning that you can “stand” or “sit” at it. Clever hey.
Height is controlled via the mounted control panel and is responsive enough moving up or down whilst holding down the appropriate button. With that said there’s a little bit of a delay though and often getting that exact height, which increments a centimetre at a time, can be tricky at first, often overshooting your goal.
Thankfully once you’ve found your ideal spots, in both sitting & standing positions, you can save them. The desk’s control panel has three buttons available to store specific heights that when pressed automatically adjust the desk.
The control panel also has a timer function or “sedentary alarm” as they refer to it. Given a specific time the desk will sound a small alarm tone to signal its expiry and that you should adjust your position from sitting to standing or vice versa.
Beyond its ability to grow the desk’s large surface area is conducive to those with ultrawide screen monitors or multiple monitor setups. Even with these larger display arrays there’s ample room for more to fit/clutter your desk top should you desire. The desk is well equipped to support it to, rated to carry a lofty 100kg, which is far more than any setup I could imagine being on it.
Cable management is key
One thing that you’ll come to learn very quickly when using a standing desk is how important cable management is.
If you’re someone that kind of just plugs stuff in and can deal with things looping down your wall and being “out of sight out of mind” then you might find day to day use a little hard going.
With a workstation on the floor every cable running up to my monitor as well as the power for the desk itself are required to lengthen to that height as well as fall gracefully when lowered. It’s a bit of a nightmare.
Before installing it I ended up ordering nearly five new cables at 3m lengths to replace shorter versions provided with most accessories I was using. On top of that I ordered an array of velcro cable ties, stick on cable management clamps and a large diameter spiral cable wrap to bundle all hanging cords in. This might seem a little extreme but it’s night and day with regular use of the desk and its regular change in height.
Are standing desks bullshit?
From what I’ve learnt and based on the medical team I have around me, standing desks are as good for you as you make them. If you’re using a standing desk in the same position all day long it’s really no different to sitting at a normal desk.
From what I understand (and I’m not a qualified medical practitioner in any fashion) having the body stationary or in the same static position is what does the most harm. Where a standing desk can be beneficial is in the movement from sitting to standing and back again on a regular basis.
This rotation of position is facilitated even more so with the Ergolux’s in-built timer, which alerts the user when it’s time to switch positions. It’s a simple feature but one that adds to its appeal and something I’m making regular use of.
A standing desk is only going to work for someone that’s committed to using it. If you don’t you’re left with an expensive $500 desk that has a lot of surface real estate and can hold up to 100kg.
That’s not to say it isn’t a good desk on its own. It’s extremely stable due to the hefty weight in its legs, is a great size for those with complicated setups and a simple tone of white that will suit most spaces.
As to whether or not it helps physiologically, that’s something I can only offer my personal experiences with. For the most part I believe it has. Standing, whilst awkward at first, has helped to break up my day and if nothing at least forced me to be more active and oddly, drink more water. Raising the desk only takes seconds but I’ve used it as a prompt to refill my glass and stay more hydrated which can only be a good thing.