Varidesk

Varidesk Single Plus with Keyboard Lift


The good people at Varidesk New Zealand recently provided us with the opportunity to trial a Varidesk single plus with keyboard lift.  What an experience! For those of you who haven’t tried standing to work yet, we’d say give it a go - it may just change your working life!
 
The black construction looked great on top of the desk and feels stable, even when loaded with a monitor or being leaned on while surfing the net. A local mechanic did comment that the bolts on the up/down mechanism were not built to last forever but that fits with the pricing of the Varidesk, in comparison to other sit/stand options.  At only $455 it’s an affordable way to join the revolution without shelling out for a whole new desk.  And hey, it does come completely assembled, with a 1 year manufacturer's warranty. From an ergonomic and bio-mechanical perspective the models with the separate keyboard panel fulfill the requirement to maintain the relative keying and viewing heights.  Being able to have the monitor at a different height than your keyboard is crucial for avoiding a sore neck and headaches that can occur from constantly dropping the head to look downwards.
 

Varidesk Pro Single
Another thing that would be important to consider, is the type of equipment you are using. We had the Varidesk setup with a Goldtouch keyboard, Logitech mouse (with pad), and Fellowes palm glide (which sits behind the mouse to support the wrist).  The amount of space that this took up on the keyboard panel meant that people with long hands found there wasn’t enough space to operate the mouse comfortably.  A standard keyboard would create the same issue, so it may be better used with one of the mini keyboard options that are available. Having the keyboard panel increased the overall desk height and thickness by 20mm when seated.  If you have a desk that isn’t adjustable it will result in some people sitting too high in order to achieve the correct keying height, and other solutions may be required.
 
In terms of usability the Varidesk performed well.  We had read in other reviews that it was difficult to push downwards to the seated position but found that it was merely technique – leaning in and using the stomach to push meant that even the smallest of us had no trouble as long as we remembered to bend at the knees and use the body weight in a lunge position.  If you have a sore back it would be useful to have a colleague carrying this task out for you. The Varidesk did require two people to lift it onto the desk top due to the weight involved – this is reassuring as to the stability of it on top of the desk.  As you can see in the picture we did use pieces of Dycem (anti-slip plastic sheet) to prevent the monitor raisers from moving with the up and down momentum.

The app which is downloaded and used in conjunction with the Varidesk was a good feature.  It does require interaction (not sensitive to the shifts in the desk position) but it was pleasant to see that you can burn over 100 calories an hour just from standing at work!  The app provides reminders to shift position at intervals that the user decides, however we found it better to shift based on the task being carried out – sitting when there was requirement to reference hard copy materials and standing for all PC based tasks.  By the end of the trial the main user was happier to be standing for most of the day (with the right shoes).  It was strange to get used to the constant moving or shifting of positions and fidgeting in general after being seated for years, but that is what our bodies were designed for – not being static on our largest muscle group all the working day.

We have now made the choice to purchase a Varidesk for our office.  If you think it could be the right solution for you, go for it – the risk is low and the rewards are high.  And if you would like help with transition in terms of equipment, posture and work organisation - you know where to find us.
 

 

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