Standing Desks vs. Sitting Desks

Standing Desks vs. Sitting Desks: Comparing the Features, Pricing & More

Following the work-from-home revolution, desks became a hot topic of discussion. The biggest subset of that debate is the standing desks vs. sitting desks discussion.

There’s no denying that standing desks are becoming more popular, but are they really more practical than the tried and true sitting desk setup?

Most of the hype surrounding the great desk debate lies in the potential health benefits. We spend so much of our lives sitting already, so many believe in a future filled with standing desks in workplaces or home offices. 

But, like many things, the most straightforward answer is this — the “best” option comes down to personal preference.

That being said, it’s still important to understand the pros and cons of each desk type. We’ll provide you with all the information you need to make a more informed decision. Read on to dive deeper into these two options so that you can choose the best desk for your needs and goals. 

Standing Desks vs. Sitting Desks: What’s the Difference?

Here’s a quick look at how a standing desk differs from a sitting desk. 

Standing DeskSitting Desk
Adjustable Electric or crank options allow you to switch between standing and sitting Not a common feature, typically fixed
AngledYou can often adjust the angleThere are angled sitting desks available, but they are generally fixed
HeightHeights range, but are often within the range of 25 to 50 inches when adjustable Standard heights are between 28 and 30 inches tall
SizeRange of sizes available — can be quite compact when loweredRange of sizes available depending on the style and material
MaterialsCommonly made from metal and fiberboardSitting desks allow for greater customization concerning materials, including custom hardwoods designs
DrawersLess common and, when included, smallThere are many drawer options, including large drawers for files and storage 

Standing Desks Basics 

As its name suggests, a standing desk is a desk that allows you to work or use it while standing. Several designs are available, including standalone units and standing desks that operate as converters (you place these atop standard desks to raise their height). In both instances, standing desks are typically adjustable so that you can make them the perfect height for you. 

If you prefer fixed-height standing desks vs. sitting desks, these also exist. This option is ideal if you want a quick, easy-to-install desk at a relatively budget-friendly price. 

Standing desks have been increasing in popularity in recent years because of their potential health benefits. The latest research shows that sitting for long periods is dangerous for your health. Some researchers have even said that sitting is the new smoking — making people rethink how they spend their workday. 

While standing desks are not the magical solution to obesity, scientists are optimistic. They’re also interested in learning more about the potential health benefits, including how standing desks influence blood pressure and back pain. 

Standing Desk Features

  • Adjustable height – One of the most significant features of standing desks vs. sitting desks is that you can adjust them to be at the ideal ergonomic height. 
  • Potential to sit and stand – Do you want to stand for four hours of your workday and sit for the other four? When you invest in standing desks, this is possible. 
  • More ergonomic – The design of standing desks can promote better posture compared to sitting desks. However, the chair you use for your sitting desk does make a difference. 
  • It can be motorized – Many standing desks feature quiet, smooth motors to adjust heights. 

Cons of Standing Desks 

  • Many people find that it takes time to adjust to standing desks. If you are not used to standing for long periods, you may need to ease into this new work environment. 
  • They are not as common or accessible as conventional sitting desks. This lack of accessibility means there are fewer options available. They can also be more expensive, depending on the model you purchase.
  • Standing desks may not be the best solution if you have knee joint or hip joint pain. 
  • Some models do not offer optimal stability, so they can be a bit wobbly.
  • Some people find sitting at work more comfortable. 

Standing Desk Brands & Models To Check Out  

  • UPLIFT Standing Desk (V2) | Amazon ($599) – Designed by a world-class engineering team, the V2 is known for its stability, durability, and convenient one-touch desk height adjustment. Choose from 200 stunning, sustainable desktop choices. With over 200,000 possible configurations, you can build the perfect desk for you. Styles range from walnut laminate to whiteboard laminate, allowing you to write directly on your desk. This desk starts at $599, and the price increases based on customization choices. 
  • FlexiSpot EC1 | Amazon ($309) – If you’re looking for a reliable standing desk that’s affordable and functional, the EC1 is a great option. The height can be adjusted using a single tap button and is fully customizable. Choose from one of four sizes, depending on your space and needs. You can get this desk for as little as $220 when on sale, although the regular price starts at $309. 
  • Fully Jarvis Bamboo  | Amazon ($599) – Looking for a sleek, eco-friendly standing desk? The Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk is designed and manufactured with sustainability in mind. Desk frames come in three heights to match your working style. Several upgrades are available, including the up/down toggle handset. This desk starts at $599.

Read moreThe 15 Best Standing Desks for Optimal Ergonomics

Sitting Desks Basics 

Sitting desks come in a wide range of designs and are the most common desk available. In recent years, standing desks have taken attention away from this longtime standby of office culture. But it’s still a viable option for most people. 

For example, if you want a desk that offers more than a work or gaming space, a sitting desk can be a better option. That is because sitting desks can be designed with cabinets, drawers, and shelving. These designs offer a complete piece of office furniture, a significant perk. 

There are also ways around potential health risks by adjusting your lifestyle and even your chair to address health-related concerns. For instance, you can also alter your workday schedule to include more breaks and physical activity. There are also plenty of ergonomic sitting chairs on the market that can improve your health and wellbeing. 

Sitting Desk Features

  • Unlike most standing desks, sitting desks offer plenty of storage options, including drawers and storage cabinets. This additional storage can house office supplies, gaming equipment, files, etc. 
  • Sitting desks come in a wide range of sizes and styles. You can choose basic desks that offer nothing more than a place to sit and work. Or, you can invest in customized desks that provide all you’d need concerning storage, adjustability, and surface area.

Cons of Sitting Desks

  • Sitting desks do not typically have adjustable height options.
  • If you do not invest in a good chair that supports your back, you could harm your posture or increase lower back pain when sitting for long periods. 

Sitting Desk Brands & Models To Check Out  

  • TOPSKY 46.5″ Computer Desk | Amazon ($129.99) – This sleek yet straightforward desk is in high demand. The desk features a keyboard tray, a sturdy table, and more. There is also a monitor stand and bookshelves. Users like the look of this desk and its price point. Pick up the rustic brown desk for just $129.99. 
  • Red Barrel Studio Hillsdale L-Shape Desk ($649) – If you want a sturdy L-shaped option, this desk offers plenty of surface and storage space. Get it for $649, including the desk and a fabric swivel office chair. This desk comes in several color options, including harvest cherry and espresso oak. 
  • Elle Décor Dani Writing Desk ($219) – If you have a small apartment or simply want a small desk, this is it. Made of wood and metal, it is stylish yet functional. Buy this desk for as little as $219.

Are Standing Desks and Sitting Desks Interchangeable?

The short answer is yes. There’s a lot of crossover between standing desks vs. sitting desks. You can also invest in a sit-stand desk to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Standing Desks vs. Sitting Desks FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the web’s frequently asked questions concerning standing desks vs. sitting desks.

1. Are standing desks healthier?

There is plenty of research showcasing the potential value of standing desks concerning blood circulation, chronic back pain, and even blood sugar. However, it’s essential to recognize that your desk is only one variable. Your overall lifestyle is what will influence your overall health. If you want to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle and become more active, a standing desk is certainly a step in the right direction. 

2. How do these desks differ in price?

Since standing desks are less accessible, they can be more expensive. However, sitting desks can also be costly. It all depends on what features you want. A simple sitting desk can be purchased for $100 and go up to over $1000. The more features, the more storage, and the greater the customization, the more you’ll pay. 

3. Which option is more versatile?

That depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a workspace that doubles as a storage unit, a sitting desk will be better. However, if you want to adjust the height of your desk to sit or stand, go for a standing desk. 

Standing Desks vs. Sitting Desks: Which One Should You Buy?

The best standing desks vs. sitting desks are the ones that best meet your needs. 

If you work long hours and want to stay more active throughout the day, go for a standing desk. If you want a desk with cabinets or shelving, you might want to try a sitting desk. 

A lot of it comes down to comfort as well. Can you imagine enjoying standing for several hours a day? Does the kind of work you do allow you to stand? These are all things to consider when looking for a new office setup. 

If you need more help, SitWorkPlay has you covered. Check out The 10 Best Computer Desks of 2021 and The 10 Best Adjustable Desks of 2021 for Custom Ergonomics.

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