I Bought An Electric Height-adjustable Desk …and I love it.

I do not want to sit at a desk all day. Sometimes I want to stand. But for a long time, I was too cheap to buy an electric standing desk. Well, I finally bought one for around $200. I have used it for almost 9 months. And I love it. It has become one of the reasons that I look forward to going to the office: working at an electric height-adjustable desk is just really, really enjoyable. In this post, I will explain what I bought and why I like it.

1. The Electric Height-adjustable Standing Desk

My last desk setup allowed me to work on a computer while standing or sitting. That is, it allowed me to raise and lower my laptop and its external display. That allowed me to stand while doing computer-related tasks, but not while doing other tasks. After all, the desktop itself couldn’t be raised or lowered. For context, here’s the old desk setup.

Nick Byrd's sit-stand desk.
My (previous) fixed-height desk with a height-adjustable laptop tray and monitor arm from VIVO.

Eventually I grew tired of doing all of my non-computer tasks while sitting. So I started shopping for a height-adjustable desk. I quickly found that I could buy just the desk-frame. That was appealing because my desk already had a desktop. And I would save some time/money if were to migrate that desktop from its fixed-height legs to a height-adjustable desk frame (as opposed to buying a new desktop).

After waffling over the purchase decision for a couple months — “Is a new desk really worth a couple hundred bucks?” — I ended up buying the VIVO Black Electric Stand Up Desk Frame.

Picture of the VIVO Black Electric Stand Up Desk Frame
VIVO Black Electric Stand Up Desk Frame Workstation, Single Motor Ergonomic Standing Height Adjustable Base (DESK-V102E)

I have no regrets. In fact, I think I underestimated the value of making my entire desktop height-adjustable — more on that in a sec. Here’s why I bought this one over the alternatives.

  • It’s the most competitively priced electric height-adjustable desk that I’ve found. (I’m not about to use $500+ of my $17k stipend to get whatever the more expensive adjustable desks are offering.)
  • It’s electric! (This is important because I’m lazy. So lazy that even if I want to stand while working, I probably won’t stand if it required me to crank my desk to a new height.)
  • It’s one of only a handful of electric standing desk frames that can accommodate a narrow, 41″ wide desktop like mine. (Given the options on the market, companies seem to think that their target market wants huge desks.)

After assembling the new desk frame, I transferred my existing desktop. That was painless — full disclosure: I used a drill (to make pilot holes for screws that attach the desktop to the desk frame).

2.  Why I Like The Electric Standing Desk

There’s a lot to like about the new electric sit-stand desk setup. Here are the four main items that come to mind.

A. Easy Assembly

Assembling the desk was easy. Like IKEA-furniture-easy. I did it in less than an hour by myself.

B. The whole desktop moves with me

In the past, only my laptop and monitor would move up and down. Now my entire desktop moves up and down. So now, no matter what I am doing on my desktop, I can do it either sitting or standing. And the transition is convenient!

C. Convenient sit-stand transitions

When I make the sit-stand transition, I don’t have to move anything, plug/unplug anything. I just press a button, take a sip of coffee, and get back to work. The transition takes — hold on let me time it — only 13.35 seconds!

A picture of Nick Byrd's height-adjustable desk in at both the sitting and standing height.
Left: standing height. Right: sitting height.

At first, the ease of the sit-stand transition felt like a mere convenience. But now that I have become accustomed to it, working elsewhere is outright frustrating. If/when I want to stand, I have to pack-up, move to a standing height work surface (if I can find one), and setup again. (It’s amazing how much productivity momentum I can lose in that process — so many opportunities to get distracted!)

D. I can keep my adjustable computer workstation

My desk-mounted sit-stand height adjustable computer workstation has a lot of benefits above and beyond the benefits of the electric standing desk. And since this desk frame allowed me to keep the workstation, I can keep these added benefits.

  • Less desktop clutter. When I need to work with a hardcopy of something, I can put it in the laptop tray to the left of my monitor rather than on the desk. So, for example, I can keep a grading rubric on the tray, keep my computer on the table, and still have enough room to grade papers — all on a mere 41″ wide desktop.
  • Less cable clutter. The pillar and arms of the workstation have cable management attachments that keep cables either hidden or else organized.
  • More configurations for my monitor. My external monitor can still be moved around and rotated as needed — e.g., I can turn the monitor to portrait mode when I am reading or writing in only one window. (I used the Pivot app, to rotate my display’s image with a keyboard shortcut).


After 6 months, I have no remorse about buying an electric height-adjustable desk frame. I have only praise. Scratch that, I also have dissatisfaction: I have newfound dissatisfaction with all work surfaces that are not easily height-adjustable.

Related Posts

Published by

Nick Byrd

Nick is a cognitive scientist at Florida State University studying reasoning, wellbeing, and willpower. Check out his blog at byrdnick.com/blog