4 standing desk converters to get you up and moving

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by Christina X. Wood

According to studies, sitting for at least six hours per day could pose a serious health risk. Prolonged sedentary behavior has been linked to chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease. But that's where the best standing desk converters can help. To work at a standard desk for hours on end, you have to sit, which — when done to excess — can raise your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. To mitigate these issues, it's recommended to leave your desk every thirty minutes. My work doesn't permit that much interruption, but at least standing up is a great start.

I know people who are in love with their standing desk. But I've tried that. And for me, standing all day just won't work. I need to focus on the written word. I type like a maniac. Standing is terrific for talking on the phone or light keyboarding, but not for the focused work I do.

A standing desk converter would allow me to sit down while doing focused work and stand up — just for a few minutes — any time I want without completely disrupting my flow. But I'm picky. I want a desk converter that moves easily from sitting to standing so I can get up in one simple movement. And it needs to help with the lifting because my monitor is big (and I'm not the Hulk). A keyboard tray — or a way to attach one — is essential, too. Because typing all day at the wrong height or angle is also uncomfortable.

Here are the best standing desk converters I found.

1. The Overall Best Desk Converter, All Things Considered

The easiest way to take the desk you love and turn it into one that goes quickly from sitting to standing is to set this popular converter down on it. Put your keyboard and mouse on the lower tray. Put your monitor or laptop on the higher one. Set a reminder. Then stand up every 30 minutes and keep working until you want to sit down again.

It rises easily from 5 to 20 inches tall, making it comfortable for people of various heights. It also moves smoothly and easily from the sitting position to standing, using a gas spring so you don't have to struggle or lift all that weight yourself. And it rises straight up so you don't have to move anything off your desk to make the shift to standing. At 32 inches wide, the work surface is roomy enough for your laptop and an extra monitor. Plus, its dark finish will surely match your decor.

2. The Space-Saving Option That Mounts To Your Desk

If you aren't willing to give up a big patch of desk to this undertaking (and are willing to do some minor installation), this adjustable monitor and keyboard stand is a slick solution. It mounts to your desk and uses a hydraulic arm to hold your monitor and keyboard aloft. You can push it completely out of the way to use your desk. Lift it to stand. Pull it back down to sit. It moves wherever you want it to.

Even with all that flexibility, the keyboard tray is a generous 26 inches wide, which is big enough to hold a full-size keyboard and mouse. It even has a cord management system with two USB chargers so your cables are inside the arm rather than spewed all over the desk.

Oh, and don't miss the slick double phone holder just above the keyboard. These Vivo people have thought of everything, and Amazon customers agree. One person wrote, "This unit is very adaptable to your choice of working position."

3. An Even Wider Riser That Can Easily Fit 2 Monitors

If you have a couple of monitors or want to be able to use your laptop and a monitor at the same time, this 36-inch converter has plenty of room. And everything about it is adjustable. Set the keyboard tray just where you want it. The keyboard's angle is customizable, which is important for preventing keyboarding strain to your wrists. Move the entire surface fluidly; it has a gas-spring lift that picks up 33 pounds, and it stops exactly where you want it to.

One customer who uses the desk wrote, "It actually raises and lowers much easier than a lot of others I have tried. I thought it would make my desk look more cluttered, but it actually did the opposite."

4. This Budget Option That Has A Built-In Cup Holder

If your entire work rig consists of a laptop, this might be all you need to stand up and keep right on working. It's a highly adjustable stand that's big enough for a laptop or a full-sized keyboard. Plus, it has a built-in cup holder within the upper righthand corner.

Even while sitting, this will lift your laptop to a height that's better for your posture. You can set it at the spot that puts the screen at eye level and ease a lot of your neck pain. When you want to stand, the manual lift raises it up to standing height so you can get out of your chair and keep right on working.

This is also a good solution if you already have your monitor on an adjustable mount (like I do), and only want to lift the mouse and keyboard up to stand. Or, if you like to move around the house to work, you can easily pick this up and bring it with you. It only weighs a little over 5 pounds.

Bonus: A Height-Adjustable Desk That Acts Like A Converter

No desk? Ready to get one? Take everything that I mentioned into consideration when you buy that desk, and you won't need an add-on converter later. This desk goes from a sitting-height desk to a standing desk at the push of a button. It has four presets so you don't have to fiddle with the height every time you stand up or sit down again. Just pick the one you already set. It's big enough to hold everything you do on your desk — so when you go from sitting to standing, everything you're working on will come with you. It's also sturdy and worth the price. There are a lot of motorized sit-to-stand desks on the market, but most of them cost hundreds of dollars more than this one.

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