I Can’t Stand It!

There’s an old joke about how went humans went into space for the first time they discovered that their pens didn’t work. So the Americans spent millions of dollars developing a pen that could not only write in space, but upside down and underwater as well. The Soviets just brought pencils.

It’s completely false, of course (and plays into the idea that the space program is a waste of time). But the point of the story stands, sometimes the simplest solution is also the most elegant. Which gets me to standing desks (hold on, this will become obvious in a moment). In case you’ve forgotten, sitting kills! So many people have taken to using standing desks. Say you’re like me — the kind of person who thinks this could be an interesting thing to adapt to, but the major obstacle is that all of your desks and chairs are at regular sitting height.

To combat this problem, many companies have developed adjustable standing desks that can be raised to standing height or lowered to sitting level. Ikea has just launched its new competitor in this department, the Bekant. Here’s the promotional video of it in action:

Exciting, right? It’s like if you worked in the future! And it starts at only $48

The problem is, for me at least, that desk is awful. It’s just a slab of wood on some kind of pneumatic pipes. The most useful desks I’ve ever had have served as some manner of organizing device for me; you know, a space to keep my files and work materials in. And maybe this is some kind of ongoing design trend, but it seems like virtually every adjustable desk works this way. They fail at being a functional desk and instead function more as an adjustable slab.

I think the more elegant solution is this: completely ignore the adjustable aspect of these designs. Instead, just buy (or build) a desk that permanently stands. And then get a tall chair (or a stool). Want to stand? Hop out of the chair. Want to sit? Jump on the chair. Simple, practical and it fulfills all the needs of a standing desk. The slab-lovers can keep their slabs. Those of us who want actual pieces of furniture can have that.

If you’re going to spend upwards of $500 on a new desk, you might as well consider it.

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