Alternative office furniture to avoid sitting at a desk all day


Is it time for a standing desk?

To be honest, there is debate about whether a standing desk — in and of itself — can help reverse a sedentary lifestyle. But experts say it’s a step in the right direction.

At the very least, a standing desk can serve as a constant reminder to weave more activity into our everyday lives, said Dr. James Levine, an obesity expert at the Mayo Clinic who encourages businesses to embrace healthier workplaces.

Before you spend a penny, why not just find an empty box or milk crate and turn it upside down? Look for opportunities to use it as a perch to review notes, talk on the phone, sort mail, etc. Sit only when you need to focus on your computer screen. This experiment will help spark your own creative solutions to a more healthful workstation and help you decide whether one of the following might suit your needs:


1. Got a treadmill acting like a clothes hanger in your spare bedroom? Then you could be halfway to a walking desk. Yes, a walking desk — a desk that wraps around a treadmill — is the hot new corner office accessory. One model on the market is the TrekDesk, an adjustable-height U-shaped desk that curves across the front of your treadmill, leaving space for a laptop, an inbox, a phone and more. Yes, there are cup holders. Stroll along at a gentle pace — up to 2 miles an hour — while working. Or stand still when you need to focus. Price: $479.

2. In all likelihood, you’ll want a workstation that allows you to stand and sit. UpLift has an extensive line of desks in a variety of sizes, prices and designs that come with a motor that will allow you to easily switch back and forth. One we like is the UpLift 900, priced at $769.

3. Money is no object? Check out the Elliptical Machine Office Desk at Hammacher Schlemmer. It’s — gulp — $8,000. It’s spacious enough to include an area for just standing. Granted, this is probably more than you want to spend. But it could inspire you to supplement your home office with a piece of exercise equipment.

4. There’s always a DIY approach: If you’ve got the space, you could use a small coffee table or stool perched atop your existing work area. Or grab a reclaimed cabinet or armoire and set it alongside a traditional desk to give you the best of both worlds. Or just stick with your milk crate! (Just remember that if you are in earthquake country, you want to make sure your setup is secure.)

Do you have a standing desk? Care to share your experiences (and maybe even a picture?) Tweet me @renelynch and use the hashtag #LATFit.