The Varidesk Pro Plus 36, $999, is available at ergoworks.com.sg and Ergoworks showrooms.
The Varidesk Pro Plus 36 is an adjustable workstation that sits on top of your office desk, which you can use seated or standing. It’s an easy way to reduce sitting time in the office, and a good standing posture can be kinder to your neck, shoulders and back.
Setting it up
• There is nothing to assemble. I just had to clear my work desk to make space for the Varidesk, and hoist it up with a colleague’s help. There’s ample space between the top and bottom tiers (for the monitor, keyboard and mouse) so I didn’t even have to unplug my computer.
• There are 11 height adjustments, so it wasn’t difficult to find m y sweet spot. Just tightly grip the two handles at the sides to raise or lower the Varidesk, then push slightly to “lock” the position – it takes mere seconds. The spring-assisted mechanism made it smooth and lightweight.
• I was surprised that I had plenty of space on the Varidesk to place my office phone, stationery, calendar, and notepad within easy reach. The bonus: Now that there were two decks instead of one, the space around my computer felt less cluttered.
• On the first day, I was the office curiosity, with colleagues coming by to ask me what I was doing. My now-raised screen was in plain sight and that made me a little self-conscious and distracted; I had trouble even replying to routine e-mails.
• I had prepped myself to stand by wearing flats to work. Still, my lower back was aching after two hours and I had to stretch out the kinks often. A colleague suggested I wear sports shoes for their padding and arch support – it seemed too troublesome, so I made do with rubber slippers instead, which were more comfy.
• In the spirit of tuning my body to the Varidesk, I tried to stand for three hours straight. Absorbed in my work, I didn’t realise I was standing up. But whenever I noticed I was leaning to one side , I’d lower the Varidesk and sit for about 30 minutes to an hour.
• It took four days for my back to stop protesting. I would still feel tired after standing for too long but the aches mostly went away.
• My neck and shoulders benefited the most. I wasn’t hunched over my desk as much, so my shoulders were less tense. My neck also felt considerably lighter. What could be better
• When seated, I found the Varidesk higher than was comfortable for me. I raised my chair to make up for the height difference but found my feet dangling off the ground. Ergoworks, the distributor, suggested I get a small stool to rest my feet on.
It’s worth the investment if you suffer the effects of prolonged sitting; plus, it works with your existing desk.
This story was first published in Simply Her March 2016.