Pain Free Working

A Complete Guide to Desk Converters & Risers

Flexispot Desk Riser 3
IMAGE: FLEXISPOT

As a desk worker, you’re probably looking into ergonomic solutions to make sure your health isn’t suffering for the sake of a paycheck. A desk riser seems to be a viable option, but a lot needs to be covered before you go out and purchase one.

Here is everything you need to know before you shop for a desk riser.

What is a Desk Converter/Riser?

A desk riser is a product you place on top of a desk or table to convert your seated workstation into a standing one. Thus, it’s essentially a foldable laptop stand with the added benefit of a workspace so that you can place more than a laptop and mouse on it.

This product differs from your average laptop stand, being for mobility and easy storage. It’s also adjustable so you can switch between sitting and standing at your desk. On the other hand, a laptop stand only improves your posture at a static workstation. Therefore, it lacks the versatility in terms of ability to change from seated to standing positions.

The term “desk riser” is used interchangeably with “standing desk converter,” but should not be confused with a standing desk. As the name implies, a standing desk is its own piece of furniture that may or may not adjust to different heights.

What are the Benefits of a Desk Converter?

A standing desk converter has plenty of upsides, which can be summarized into these benefits:

It’s better for your health

  • You activate more muscles while standing, which improves bone and muscle health
  • It reduces common aches and pains from sitting, since it improves posture
  • It increases blood flow and boosts cardiovascular health
  • Better blood and oxygen flow boost brain function and energy
  • It decreases blood sugar levels, less chances of becoming diabetic
  • It decreases risk of cancer (colon, breast and endometrial)
  • Less body compression means better digestion and increased lung capacity
  • It reduces the risk of hemorrhoids

It doesn’t cost as much as a standing desk

  • A standing desk may be out of your budget
  • A desk riser offers all the perks of a standing desk but for cheaper

It’s convenient to use

  • You can use your existing desk, whether that’s at home or the office
  • There’s no need to rearrange or get rid of furniture to make room for a desk riser
  • You can flatten a desk riser so you can bring it to and from the office, coffee shop or co-working space
  • You don’t need a traditional office desk to use the product β€” a desk riser works on tables and any stable flat surfaces
  • It’s easier to assemble than a standing desk

How to Use a Desk Riser

Using a desk riser seems straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind to make the most out of the product:

1. Adjust your chair

A standing desk converter won’t get rid of all your back pain if you’re not seated properly on your chair. The right chair lets you to lean back while maintaining a straight spine and feet planted flat on the ground, so adjust your chair accordingly for lower back support.

2. Don’t stand for your entire shift

First time users need to avoid standing for extended periods of time. Instead, start by sitting for 40 minutes then standing for 20 minutes. Once you’re comfortable or used to being on your feet for 20 minutes at a time, switch positions every 30 minutes. Eventually you want to build up to standing for 40 minutes out of the hour.

Although a desk riser encourages you to stand, standing for too long also has its downfalls. Thus, it’s best to strike a balance between sitting and standing.

3. Wear comfortable shoes

Because you’ll be standing for longer periods of time, it’s important that you wear shoes with the proper support. Without the right shoes, aching feet will discourage you from standing as you work.

If you have your own office or work from home, you can place a mat underneath for extra cushion and comfort for your bare feet.

Additionally, you can invest in a standing mat to keep you on your feet for longer.

4. Feel free to move as you stand

Just because you’re standing, it doesn’t mean you have to stay still. Rather, use your standing time to stretch, tip toe, basically activate more movement in your feet and legs every 10 minutes or so. Moving around like so will increase blood circulation and keep you mentally focused.

To help keep your body moving, you may also want to add background music.

5. Adjust the desk riser so you’re looking forward at your screen, not down

Whether you’re standing or sitting, your laptop screen or monitor should be slightly below eye level, thus preventing neck strain, eye strain and slouching. Furthermore, you should angle your screen a little lower so that your neck is in a more natural position.

6. When sitting, your arms should form an “L” shape

Having good posture is not just about adjusting your back and legs. In fact, the position of your wrists and arms are just as important in preventing strain injuries, so make sure your wrists and forearms are straight while your elbows are at your sides, regardless if you’re sitting or standing.

What to Look for in a Desk Riser

There are certain questions you should ask yourself when buying a desk riser:

  • What height range do you need? Is the desk riser suited for taller or shorter users?
  • What is your ideal work surface size? Do you need more space for multiple monitors, note-taking, etc.? Will you need a separate tray for your keyboard and mouse?
  • How much weight can the desk riser take? Is your laptop heavy? Or will you need a desk riser sturdy enough for a computer monitor?
  • How important is mobility? Do you have different workstations or offices? How heavy is the desk riser?
  • Is the product durable? Is it waterproof or scratch-proof?
  • What do the reviews say about the desk riser? What are the pros and cons?