Most Essential Standing Desk Accessories
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Additions to Improve Your Standing Desk
So you finally have your perfect standing desk, and you are going up and down and up all day long. You love how it keeps you moving as you work and how your body feels. Did you know you can make your standing desk even better with all kinds of standing desk accessories?
Some standing desk accessories are so synonymous with workplace ergonomics that people look to buy them at the same time, such as monitor arms, standing mats, or ergonomic keyboards and trays. But there are other standing desk accessories you may not even think of which can help make the experience even better. Here are some of the favorite ones we have encountered over the years.
- Balance boards help keep your body moving and muscles working as you use your standing desk. Jump below
- Leaning stools and balance chairs help make sure that the time you spend sitting at your desk is not so harmful to your body. Jump below
- Quality ergonomic office chairs make sure that you can keep as good a posture as possible while you give your feet a rest. Jump below
- Good cable management kits help provide a clean and safe working environment. Jump below
- Proper office space storage helps you keep your office and standing desk clear of clutter. Jump below
- File cabinets can be convenient and mobile units for storing a variety of office equipment. Jump below
Top Balance Boards for Standing Desks
What people consider balance boards, could be split into several categories depending on their use. Rocker boards have forward and backward movement normally while standing on a flat surface. Wobble boards increase movement to all directions, raising the difficulty with the increased movement. Balance trainers or roller boards are usually a flat piece that the user stands on and balances atop a balancing device, like a cylinder, making them the most difficult to use.
Then there are ergonomic balance boards, which are specially designed for use at a standing desk. The movement in an ergonomic balance board is created by the user, and not by instability that will take concentration away from their work. This is the primary thing to look for in a balance board meant for working at a standing desk. In essence, how easy is it to hold in a neutral position while providing a larger range of movement when desired? Other things to consider are the material and whether it will damage the floor where it will be used. Also, what is the surface made of, and will it be comfortable or safe if the user is in bare feet or socks? Some even come with massaging balls that can be used on the feet while working to address conditions like plantar fasciitis or cramping feet.
The Gymba is the category winner for balance boards for standing desk users, hands down. It is the veritable Swiss Army Knife of motion boards, combining features that would cost many times more and take up a lot more floor space to replicate with individual purchases, and thus making its $199 price a great bargain.
We come to this assessment after many man-months of testing, adding up the many different ways that you can use the Gymba to improve your flexibility and general fitness and health while continuing to maintain maximum typing proficiency and overall productivity at your active workstation.
The Plane Cloud is The Level balance board’s little brother. Priced at $60 less, this fully recycled and recyclable product seems like the brand’s best attempt at a more affordable design. Just like the other products in the FluidStance collection, The Plane Cloud comes with a convex base, which creates a pivot point that allows for omnidirectional movement. Unlike other boards, this one comes in a more utilitarian package that is equally stylish and environmentally friendly. It only falls behind our favorites in the category because of its standard functionality.
The FluidStance Plane is the same as the Plane Cloud other than a cheaper price and different top surface. And that harder top surface is a deal-breaker for us. To cut to the chase, we see almost no reason to pick the Plane over the Plane Cloud.
The Level by FluidStance has fluid 360-degree motion, stylish deck, eco-friendly high-quality design, and a bunch of certifications, (including Mayo Clinic’s NEAT certification). It neatly beats out most would-be competitors and only falls behind those that have more innovative movement. It is definitely worth the price if you appreciate aesthetic appeal, good quality, and believe caring for the environment is a good cause. It’s best for those who will use the board in shoes since the hard wood surface will be slippery in socks and hurt your feet overtime if you don’t wear shoes.
Fitter First Active Office Board is one of the best balance boards that we’ve reviewed this year. Its sturdy construction, adjustable design, and affordable price put it in line with the top ranked decks out there.
Pono Board is a great balance board for beginners. You don’t have to worry about extreme rocking or wobbling at all. And if you plan on using your board with socks or dress shoes, a grip sand version will keep your feet safely planted on the platform. You can change the level of bounce by deflating the PVC ball legs on the board, but don’t expect any challenge if you’re proficient with your balance.
The Floatdeck from Fully offers a stylish option for getting some good movement at your standing desk while taking a break from typing. While it is very similar in design to The Level from Fluidstance (with their OG patented base design), customer complaints about a creaking noise make us question whether the quality of construction is as high. The bamboo surface is also concerning from an environmental standpoint. It definitely does what Fully claims, but like the Fluidstance, it’s not really an “ergonomic” balance board that will let you continue to type while you’re using it.
Vew-Do is a great balance training system that doubles as a stand up desk balance board. Replaceable bases lend it more versatility than any other product in its category. If you want to improve your balance, this board is definitely the best one for the task, but it may prove a bit too challenging for prolonged use at a standing desk.
The Swedish designers behind the innovative BackApp Chair have expanded their collection to include the BackApp 360 Balance Board. This ergonomic accessory is fully adjustable and encourages movement in all directions – just take care not to unscrew the ‘magic ball’ too far!
The Skill Board’s progression from Wobble Cushion to the ball with varying levels of PSI to increase difficulty is great. Unfortunately, the assets that make it great for a user to improve their balance and fitness make it unsuitable for most people while working since typing, focus and mouse precision all declined while using it.
Danish designers Gitte Toft and Henrik Andersen were among the first to come up with a balance solution for office ‘sedentarism’ in a form of Steppie balance board. It will give you the stability of a standing mat and a bit of controlled low impact movement, which can be seen as either a drawback or an advantage, depending on what you’re looking for in a board.
Unlike many other office balance boards, the Indo Board Standing Desk Balance Board comes in a wide array of designs and colors. You can also choose between deck shapes, but the cushion is not the most elegant solution design-wise (it has to be removed from under the board when not in use; you risk voiding your warranty if you fail to do so).
The UpLift E7 Motion Board is nothing special, but it does prevent some common problems we see with less imaginative balance boards. The surfaces are conducive to using without shoes and its motion is not so aggressive that it hampers your ability to work. However, it’s visually mundane and doesn’t really have any features that distinguish it from the lot of other balance boards already out there. It works better on solid wood floors than on carpeting, at least as far as twisting motion goes.
Balance boards can be a fantastic add-on accessory for standing desk users because they add dynamic movement to your static standing posture, but many are just not well designed to use while actually working at your desk, as you can see with the UpLift Motion-X Balance Board. There’s nothing particularly special about this board and it requires multiple additional accessory add-ons of its own to avoid some common issues. When adding in those costs you might as well upgrade to a true ergonomic balance board designed specifically for use at a standing desk.
Made from PU, PVC, and TPR, it features an ergonomic shape that keeps the ankles neutral, a non-slip surface, and a generously sized 27″ deck that could accommodate the taller users. As much as Gaiam’s ideas seem to be in a more or less correct direction, their execution, to put it generously, has not been flawless.
Leaning Stools and Balance Chairs
Standing as you work at your desk will certainly help your body be happy, but you can’t do it all day. Your legs and back need periodic rests throughout the day, but you can still do that in a way that will be better for your body than just sitting in a regular chair. There are three major types of ergonomic seating options. Standing chairs – also known as leaning stools – which can help you keep better posture even when you aren’t standing fully upright. They also minimize compression on the lower spine as compared to sitting in a regular chair.
Another approach is to use a balance chair, which can keep your core and other muscles more engaged even while sitting, maximizing oxygenation of the spinal joints and keeping your torso and sit muscles from getting stiff.
At $159, the Birdi is a well-priced, lab-tested perching stool great for active workstations. The thick, high-resilient foam also makes the Birdi noticeably more comfortable than many of its leaning stool competitors. While a no-back perching stool-style may not be for everyone, the benefits are particularly noteworthy for those seeking to reduce back pain, increase circulation, and promote core muscle activation throughout the day.
iMovR’s two Tempo TreadTop™ seating solutions address a huge problem that many treadmill desk users contend with—how to take a break from walking or standing when your treadmill desk isn’t wide enough to accommodate a good chair alongside the treadmill. Compared to the Tempo TreadTop Office Chair, the Tempo Sit-Stand Stool is the less costly, and more versatile—in fact, we’d unconditionally recommend it as a “perching stool” for standing desk users who don’t have a treadmill. With similar ergonomic adjustability as the TreadTop Chair (only lacking a full-sized back rest), the Stool offers surprisingly good comfort—whether used as a seat, or as a standing “perch”—and is ideal for office workers looking for a portable seat they can move from the cubicle to the conference room. Boasting a lifetime warranty, the construction quality and durability of this American-made chair is exceptional.
A handy, well-designed little seat. Mogos can plunk down on any surface to act as a leaning seat. A correctly used Mogo active chair also encourages small, beneficial correcting movements from a sitter’s legs, preventing the user from becoming truly sedentary – always a bonus for those concerned about sitting disease.
Another winner from Focal. Investing in a Mobis stool is an easy way to get up on your feet without risking the aches and pains of a standing workday. While it takes some time to get used to a new way of working, the leaning position encouraged by the Mobis is ergonomic and relatively intuitive. Accessibility, combined with portability and a slick, modern aesthetic, make the Mobis the ideal entry-level seat for an upright office.
Expect to see more and more Muvman lookalikes, and soon. This German made leaning stool has set the bar in terms of functionality, ergonomics, and appearance. Designed as a companion to adjustable-height desks, the Muvman is a logical addition to any ergonomic office. It’s never easy to adapt to a completely new way to work, but sometimes it’s worth it – Muvman chairs help extend time spent on your feet, while still allowing you to settle back down when you need a rest.
The Fin’s a gorgeous product with a fatal flaw. The black-and-silver body looks lovely, and would do any office proud. We’re also major fans of leaning stools, as they inject a little activity into a seated workday. However, Biofit’s inexplicable decision to equip the Fin with a non-contoured, edged seat negates their otherwise excellent design, and we currently cannot recommend it as a long-term seating option.
An ergonomist’s dream realized by a craftsman. Focal owe themselves a pat on the back – the Locus really is an impressive piece of work. We’ve seen leaning chairs before, but most follow a somewhat Spartan mold. Not so with the Locus; the pairing of desk and chair makes this the first integrated leaning workstation we’ve tested. Well-designed, well-built, and supported by a friendly, dedicated company – the Locus should be the first port of call for anyone interested in a leaning workday.
Price: $ 1,106
In a rare case of the sequel being better than the original, Back App 2.0 raises the ergonomic and aesthetic bar set by the original while still retaining the unique, active imbalance feature that made the first chair such a hit. The new Back App now has impressive customization options equal to the original, and it earns our Experts’ Choice award with ease.
“Active Sitting” is yet another means of fighting the sedentary lifestyle. A healthy work routine involves moving during the day—alternating between sitting, standing, and of course, walking. The CoreChair promises to make your sitting time less sedentary. How well does it perform? Our team of testers tried it out over the last several weeks. Here’s our verdict below.
The Varier Move stops just short of being a leaning chair. While it does encourage active movement, it’s far easier to sit on top of the Move than it is to use it in a leaning position. As always, you’re looking at a trade off – the Move won’t keep you as active as a Mogo or Muvman, but it’s more comfortable than most of its tilt-happy brethren. It’s also made some recent waves as an attention-boosting accessory for the classroom. Attractive and portable, the Move is a fine choice of seat for anyone after an ergonomic task stool.
Ergonomic Office Chairs
Aside from the more active style of seats, a good ergonomic office chair will help relieve pressure on your legs and back when you take a break from standing to sit. They vary greatly in the number of adjustments they offer to accommodate all the different anthropometries of users.
Whichever seating option you choose, make sure that it will work with the adjustable height desk you have. For example, if your seat is too low for the lowest setting on your desk, that would require some awkward adjustments to work comfortably.
Usually when we say “you get what you pay for,” it’s meant as a negative point against a cheap product. But with the iMovR McHale, you get what you pay for—in a good way. This chair is superb. Comfort, assembly, all the ergonomic adjustments you need and great quality set it apart from the competition. It comes with an excellent 12-year warranty matching the much more expensive Herman Miller equivalent. Unlike most ergonomic chairs you can buy these days it is built in North America, not China.
The Neemo feels great to sit in and comes with an excellent 12-year warranty matching the much more expensive Herman Miller equivalent. Unlike most ergonomic chairs you can buy these days it is built in North America, not China. While it may not fit the very largest or very smallest users because it only has one seat pan size, it has excellent ergonomic adjustability for 95% of the population.
The OM5 represents a major departure from classic office chair design. Two years of work with a forward-thinking design team resulted in an elegant solution to the adjustable chair. The rollers in the OM5 allows “body-activated movement” as the chair shifts to conform to a seated worker’s body position. The result is almost completely lever-free, but still supremely adjustable. A great choice for those tired of carefully fine-tuning a chair to the right spot.
One of the most practical ergonomic chairs we’ve seen, the Officemaster Paramount is affordable, comfortable, and very, very adjustable. Those levers aren’t just for decoration – the Paramount is among the most customizable thrones our rears have ever graced. Once past the learning curve (three or four accidental reclinings are normal) users will find they have an unprecedented degree of control over their working posture. Always a good thing, if you ask us.
Odd-looking, but there’s wisdom behind the weirdness. The Discovery’s unique shape helps workers avoid the insidious computer hunch position, and many here at the office have fallen in love with the scapular range of motion these chairs offer. Besides that, they have the strong adjustability, comfort, and quality we’ve come to expect from Officemaster. It’s not for everyone, but chairbound workers may find it a welcome break from the norm.
Anyone interested in an ergonomic upgrade to their sitting situation should consider an Officemaster chair. Anyone put off by the exotic curves of the Discovery, or the passive adjustment of the OM5 should turn to the Yes Executive chair. While it lacks some of the more interesting features of other Officemaster creations, the Yes is still a well-made and comfortable option for anyone after an ergonomic chair.
Cable Management for Standing Desks
Moving away from accessories that would help with ergonomics at a standing desk, other accessories are meant to help improve the environment in an office, especially when using a standing desk. Cable management systems have been around a long time to help clean up the mess of wires underneath office desks and help avoid trips or snags, but getting a kit or system that will work well with a standing desk is a bit more difficult. You have to consider the movement of the desk, taking into consideration whether adhesives will stay stuck with multiple cycles of rising or lowering, whether your cables are secured too tightly at the extreme ends of desk heights, and more. Cable ties, mounts, sleeves, cable chains, trays, and power strips come in a wide variety of qualities, and different kits may fit different user needs. Read our reviews carefully to ensure that the system you choose will meet your needs.
Cable management on a standing desk workstation is key for both sanity and safety. And it can be challenging to hide the “cord spaghetti” due to the amount of slack required in cables as the desk moves up and down. The three iMovR Tucker Cable Management kits we review here (Basic, Advanced and Pro) have progressively more advanced components. They get it right by providing high-quality, well-thought-out components that are not only much stronger than the weakly adhering components of most cable management kits, most of them are also reusable—so you can easily add or change out equipment without starting over. The innovative, patented cable management spine in the Pro Kit is easier to use and leaves a tidier desk appearance than any other vertebrae chain we’ve tested.
The UpLift kits (Basic, Advanced and Ultimate) have hits and misses, but the real issue is a lack of differentiation. UpLift made kits that aren’t nearly as good as category leaders but aren’t much cheaper. There are also some of the common mistakes we see from companies that aren’t considering the user, like necessitating a special tool for the cable sleeve or providing weak adhesive mounts that will fail under the load of a desk that moves up and down several times a day.
The Fully Cable Management Kit doesn’t have tiers targeted at users with different needs. It doesn’t have a cable sleeve, cable chain, accessory hooks, etc. It uses single-use zip ties instead of reusable cable ties. The power strip doesn’t have enough surge protection. The cable tray is the shortest we’ve seen, so you’ll likely need two or three of them to accomplish the job. With all these shortcomings you’d expect it to be cheaper than the competition, but it isn’t. We don’t see any reason to pick this kit over better ones we’ve reviewed.
This kit features a patented cable chain and addresses the need for cable management for standing desk converters, which is the first attempt we’ve seen and a great idea. Cable management on a standing desk converter is key for both sanity and safety. And it can be challenging to hide the “cord spaghetti” due to the amount of slack required in cables as the work surface moves up and down. iMovR gets it right by providing high-quality, well-thought-out components that are not only much stronger than the weakly adhering components of most cable management kits, most of them are also reusable—so you can easily add or change out equipment without starting over.
Standing Desks Attached Storage
Ensuring you have proper storage for everything you need to keep close at hand at your workstation can be a tricky problem. If you want everything in easy reach, your primary options are an add-on drawer for a standing desk you have or buying a standing desk that has built-in drawers. Installed drawers are limited in size and capacity but are very convenient when they work. Some built-in drawers also negate the use of many other ergonomic accessories (e.g. if you’re considering a keyboard tray and a center drawer you can have one but not both), but they are already there and you don’t have to worry about installation.
The UpLift Locking Under Desk Drawer is a solid drawer. We don’t love the design that pushes it down so far into the user’s leg space, but some people might. It also comes in four colors. If not for a competitor with a similar design that’s much cheaper, the UpLift drawer would rank even higher.
The iMovR Hide-Away drawer is a cheaper alternative to the company’s premium Lander drawer. The Hide-Away is a simple product and it delivers on what’s promised with a small storage addition to your standing desk.
It’s cheap and there’s a 15-year warranty, but the Fully Desk Drawer loses some appeal because it doesn’t pull out all the way. That means you lose quite a bit of the already-limited space. You also need to be very careful to make sure it will actually fit your desk.
The Stand Up Desk Store Sliding Under-Desk Drawer has the same downsides of most add-on drawers of this type, but it is cheap, offers two colors and a locking option to help set it apart.
Fully missed the mark on the Jarvis Bamboo Desk Drawer by failing to include a hardware pull and drawer slides.
The Lander is clearly more future-proof than any other standing desk we’ve had the pleasure of testing. There have been some gimmicky predecessors that had an iPod built into the desktop (e.g. the Stir Desk) or a smartphone app (e.g. the Autonomous SmartDesk 3, from a bottom-bracket Chinese manufacturer with extraordinarily bad reliability and customer service record). And there have been multiple attempts at building in standing reminder notifications, but the results have been clunky, at best. The Lander is the first desk we’ve seen to put it all together in a clean way, with true ease-of-use, and on a top-tier mechanical platform.
All this comes at somewhat of a premium price, naturally. While the Lander isn’t the cheapest desk on the market, given its premium components, the value is clearly there. Desks built this well tend to last longer and easily justify their higher price by promising lower cost of ownership (purchase price divided by years of use) than cheaper models from China.
If you’re tired of the typical “two legs and a slab of wood” standing desk design, the Captain’s Desk is a breath of fresh air. Packaging that design with the technological features of the Lander Lite base makes for an exceptional desk. You get the warranty, assembly, stability, height range and quality you would expect from a premium, American-made iMovR desk, plus a stunning design and the strong Baltic or Red River birch desktop.
Another entrant in the category of standing desks with drawers, the FlexiSpot Esben distinguishes itself from the similarly priced and similarly featured FlexiSpot Theodore with an extra drawer and more utilitarian looks.
The FlexiSpot Theodore is very specifically designed for the person who wants a drawer in their standing desk, and doesn’t intend to install any ergonomic accessories like a keyboard tray or monitor arm. It’s minimalist in performance specs, easy to assemble, and if it matches your traditional office decor, it may be one of the best values out there.
The minimal design of the Albright solid wood standing desk is certainly attractive. But when you really look at it, Fully could have thought it through a bit more. With two drawers top-side, not attached underneath the desktop, you need to clear the space in front of them if you want them to open up. Another issue is compatibility with monitor arms because they would have to mount on the shelf, which creates some ergonomic problems. The solid wood quality of the woodwork is on par with UpLift’s, but nowhere near the quality of American solid wood tops like iMovR’s. At the end of the day, it’s a decent handcrafted solid wood product on a cheap Chinese-made Jiecang lifting base with an annoying assembly. So, unlike other designer desks that marry high-quality American constructed tops with reliable American-made bases (and better warranties all around), we don’t get the reasoning for this mish-mash.
This desk is made for a laptop user who doesn’t have specific ergonomic needs like a keyboard tray or monitor arm. Options and weight capacity are minimal, and it, unfortunately, comes with a crossbar running between the legs right where your feet want to be. It’s a good value for those who don’t mind the drawbacks because of its price, easy assembly and built-in drawer and USB ports.
The IKEA Knotten is great at what it is: A piece of furniture designed for storage in a foyer. The issue is when IKEA calls it a standing desk. It comes in one size and can’t handle either monitor arm or keyboard tray installation, so it’s in an ergonomic barren space. The desktop surface is very small. It is still an IKEA product, so installation is going to be a chore.
File Cabinet Storage
If the things that in-desk storage limits are too important to you, a more classic filing cabinet type storage might be better for you. These can be placed on the floor wherever it is convenient for your workspace, many come on caster wheels so they can move wherever needed at any time. Some file pedestals can even double as a roll-out seat for impromptu visitors, making them a very practical way to go for many.
At first glance, a filing cabinet unit that has been custom built as a standing desk storage solution may not look radically different from a classic one. But as we continue with this review, you’ll soon know why they’re indispensable to complete an ergonomic workstation built around a standing desk. And why we have awarded 5 stars to the iMovR cabinet for unique attributes that set it in an entirely different class from other units on the market.
UpLift mostly worries about three competitors, Fully with their Sidekick 3-drawer mobile pedestal, Vari with their 4+ models of mobile pedestals, and Autonomous with their ultra-cheap rolling file cabinet. The three models that UpLift has created are, like the others, a) made-in-China with thin steel and relatively cheap components, b) designed to go with their own desks, with paint color options matching all four of the colors they offer on UpLift standing desks, c) lightweight and thus a bit of a tipping risk, even with the “prosthetic” 5th wheel under the bottom drawer, and d) very competitively priced between all of them. If you’re wanting to stick in the economy price range of a steel cabinet that matches the legs of your UpLift desk rather than a wood cabinet that might match your desk surface, there’s no need to look further than these matching cabinets from the same factory.
Vari (f.k.a. Varidesk) now offers more file cabinet models than any other seller of standing desks, though only in black for the most part (others offer as many as 58 different finishes). So like the Ford Model-T, you can match any of the Vari standing desks, so long as it’s “slate” black. As for the general quality of the cabinet, which—like other Vari products—is mass-produced with low-quality materials and components, it is relatively high-priced for what you get, to cover all the television advertising cost and high rate of product returns. We like the many variations on the theme of a basic file cabinet, but the low-quality drawer slides are aggravatingly “sticky” so that cabinet moves whenever you open or close a drawer. This is despite being advertised as “soft close.” While advertised as a matte paint finish, the rough surfaces of the cabinet smudge easily and do not clean up very easily. We can’t recommend these over other cabinets in a similar price range unless you’re really just trying to match the slate decor of your other Vari furniture.
A handsome standing desk outfit should have a matching file cabinet to go with it; otherwise what’s the point of selecting nice desktop finishes and other accessories to match? In all but black, the Sidekick doesn’t actually match paint colors very well with their Jarvis standing desks, so we’re left unimpressed by that. Despite a 10-year warranty we were surprised by the lack of quality in the construction and components of this $249 file cabinet. The seat cushion is a real nice feature, though, that gives it a second purpose as a desk-side seat for office visitors.
Many Other Accessories
Modern-day monitors like 49″ panoramic displays and other large and heavy screens are awesome, but when it comes to mounting them ergonomically on a sit-stand workstation (much less a treadmill desk workstation), continuous vibrations and accidental bumps into the desk can weaken the desktop itself over time and result in a nasty crash as the edge clamp of your heavy duty monitor arm snaps the back edge of your desktop off like a KitKat bar. While iMovR uses extremely strong desktops in their own standing desks, they also make an assortment of heavy duty monitor arms that they know customers will be installing on non-iMovR desks with cheaper MDF or particleboard desktops that could at least flex quite a bit under the load of a heavy monitor array, if not break altogether after the prolonged stress. So, they designed this seemingly simple 1/4″-thick steel reinforcement plate that can be installed underneath the desktop where the monitor arm edge clamps to the desk. And the verdict? The iMovR Under-Desk Steel Reinforcement Plate works as advertised.
It Doesn’t End There
There are a plethora of products on the market that can help improve the use of your adjustable height desk, whether you are sitting or standing. Foot rests can help circulation in the legs and avoid some injuries to the ankles or hips. An ergonomic keyboard or mouse will help avoid injuries from awkward positioning in the wrists and fingers as you work. Adding these kinds of accessories to your standing desk setup can help create the most comfortable and ideal work environment you could ask for.
And For the Treadmill Deskers…
Of course at WorkWhileWalking.com we’re always thinking about all the standing desk users out there that also have an office treadmill under their feet, and there are some essential ergonomic accessories for them, too. From treadtop seating to treadtop anti-fatigue mats, and of course a variety of SteadyType keyboard tray options.