+ Friday May 24th, 2019

If you’re like me (or many of us at Ausdroid), there’s a good chance your ass is growing fat sitting in an office chair for too long. Except for Scott, he could probably open jars with his ass, but that’s enough about that. This is a story about desks, and in particular, standing ones.

If you are an office dweller, the research has confirmed what many of us already know – sitting down for too long, too often is really bad for you. Standing desks try to combat this by making it easy for you to stand up and move around while still being able to work.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying a Varidesk ProPlus standing desk in my office, and while I’m not quite ready to give my final verdict, I am rather enjoying it.

If you’d like to enjoy your own, you could get into your own Varidesk ProPlus standing desk from just $450. The model I’m trying – the 36-inch wide variant – is $550, and there’s a bigger one still at 48-inches for $675.

The VariDesk ProPlus comes delivered completely assembled; literally all you have to do is remove it from the box, lift it onto your desk, and you’re ready to set it up the way you like it, though I would recommend getting two to lift for safety.

With the ProPlus standing desk you get some simple instructions on how to set things up, and a collection of different-sized velcro cable tidies which you can use to keep things organised when your desk is up and down.

How is the Varidesk ProPlus standing desk?

Be prepared to spend a bit of time (okay, quite a bit of time) getting things the way you like them. You need to do some planning about how you’ll get your cables to extend when you raise your desk, and how to get them out of the way when you lower the desk – you don’t want to go pinching 240V in the metal mechanism. Depending on how you’ve got your setup, it might take you just a few minutes to get everything in place. If you’re like me, it could take almost an hour …

In the couple of weeks I’ve had the standing desk, I’ve made good use of it virtually every day. I find myself sitting first thing in the morning while I have a coffee and get things started, and as I get stuck into the work of the day, I tend to stand more often than not.

In that time, I’ve noticed my back doesn’t hurt as much by the end of the day, and because I spend more of the day moving around, everything feels better come knock-off time. Probably the only downside is my wrist can get a little sore because I’m not used to using a mouse on a desk while standing – the difference in angle causes a bit of pain, due to a pre-existing RSI issue.

A vertical mouse – which Rachel reviewed a little while back – would be the perfect solution here.

These are some supplied images because I’ve not had a chance to photograph my setup yet, but I will for the review in a couple of weeks.

Is there anything not to like?

Probably my only gripe is that it doesn’t handle cable management the way I’d like it to. This means it takes a bit of planning to make sure you don’t pinch cables or stress them unnecessarily when standing/sitting. In a perfect world, beyond some velcro ties, the VariDesk ProPlus would incorporate some cable management strategies to not only make this safer, but also stop it looking so untidy.

The other thing to bear in mind – and this is more my fault – is that you need to make sure your desk is deep and wide enough to fit the ProPlus standing desk on top, otherwise it might overhang a bit and look a bit silly.

Fortunately, all the measurements are available on the Varidesk website, so you can measure up before you order. There are also a range of other desks available, including fully electronic stand-alone standing desks, in addition to the Pro Plus range of “add-on” desks discussed here.

Want one? Here’s how

If you want your own Varidesk ProPlus standing desk, you can order online today:

There are a number of addons available too, including a Varichair ($275), dual monitor arms ($275) and a damned fine mat to stand on (trust me, you will want one of these) for $85. If you are on your feet all day, standing on your typical office carpeted floor WILL hurt your feet. An anti-fatigue mat – you’ve probably seen door greeters at Kmart or Target standing on one – is an absolute godsend.

Varidesk offers online orders only, shipped within 24 hours and delivered fairly quickly after – 4-5 days for most areas (though you may get lucky and get it sooner). The beauty of this? You don’t have to squeeze it in your car, and it’d be a horribly tight fit anyway.

Stay tuned, we’ll have a more fulsome review soon, as well as some other tips on staying healthy in the office!

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Jeni Skunk
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Not much good to me, with my knees and ankles being in real lousy shape.

Phill Edwards
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Phill Edwards

Also check Office Works as you may find something similar for cheaper.

Bruce
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Bruce

Americans say ‘ass’ . . Australians say ‘arse’.

Bruce
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Bruce

Unless of course you are talking about sitting on a donkey variant !

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