Over the past few years both height adjustable desks and workstations have been popping up everywhere, which is fantastic, because it means more and more companies are realizing the benefits of a healthy workforce is a productive workforce.
I write this review more for the end-user than the corporate accountant. There are many height adjustable workstations to choose from including well know name brands as Ergotron, Humanscale, Innovative Office Products, Varidesk, Kangaroo and some newer solutions from ESI Ergo & Ergoprise.
I want to begin with one of most popular brands that we have seen in the marketplace, the Varidesk Pro Plus 36.
On a positive note, the Varidesk organization has done a marvelous job marketing. I have read more reviews by major publications raving about how amazing the Varidesk is as well as some of the largest organizations standardizing on the Varidesk. STOP! IT’s not ergonomic for a large population of end-users and can cause more issues than it is intended to alleviate.
Example 1: I am a 6 foot male that sits at a 28″ high desk. When I’m seated I should be typing at 28.5″ which is the perfect height. Once I add the Varidesk Pro Plus 36 on my desk, my new seated typing height is 29.5″ (it’s okay not too noticeable when typing in my seated position) and my 24″ monitor is in a decent position. The issue begins when I stand up to work: First, I have an anti-fatigue mat that adds an inch to my standing height. When I stand my eye height is 68.5″ high, my ideal typing height is 45.5.”
The top 2″ of my monitor (ideal height to position your monitor). The highest point the Varidesk can bring my 24″ monitor on a standard stand is 60″ (8.5″ too low). A monitor that is too low causes head and neck flexion (for every inch you tilt your head down you add 10 lbs of additional pressure to your neck). My ideal ergonomic standing typing height is 45.4″ and I am typing at 43″ using the Varidesk Pro Plus 36. I can live with this typing height. I cannot deal the monitor being too low. I fan feel the stress.
Now, we have a young lady that works with us and she’s 5’4″ tall, so I had her spend the day sitting and standing using the Varidesk. Her ideal seated typing height is 23″ and she currently uses a keyboard from Workrite which allows her to type comfortably at 23″ high. Now, with the Varidesk she’s typing at 29.5″ high, which is 6.5″ too high, which she complained was very uncomfortable. Her ideal ergonomic standing typing height is 38.5″ tall and her ideal eye height is 59.5″ tall. When she set the Varidesk to her typing height her monitors top 2″ were 55.5″ which is 4″ too low. Her biggest issue using the Varidesk was when she was seated.
I only really wanted to review the major issues today with this product. You can read the other reviews on it’s sturdiness etc. My biggest issue is that it can cause more issues that it helps, that the most important, and LEAST talked about in most reviews.
Any company that wants to standardize on this better buy a couple and test them for a week with your shorter as well as your taller employees. Rule of them when looking to standardize, make sure the product meets the HFES 100-2007 standard.