With a distinct sit-stand design, the Varidesk Pro Plus 36 is the most popular version for most users. Even it comes in smaller and larger sizes, the standing desk is indeed very popular. It can offer one of the most intuitive and practical solutions to alternate sitting and standing.
Varidesk Pro Plus 36 Review – is the two-tier converter right for standing?
First of all, why would anyone alternate sitting and standing? Why would anyone choose the Varidesk Pro Plus 36 for this? Sitting for long periods of time has been proven to be hurtful to the human body. It has been shown by research that this is a serious problem. But standing for long hours can impact the body as well. So most research in this area has shown that alternating sitting and standing is the best way forward. Then the Varidesk Pro Plus 36 comes in sight offering a minimalistic design which replaces entire classic standing desks with what is called a converter. But it can also be called a smaller standing desk.
Varidesk Pro Plus 36 – why most love and some don’t
The standing desk is indeed an original design. Why bother purchasing an entire desk for standing when this small alternative is at least as useful for most users? Made with quality materials, the Pro Plus 36 is ready to be used for hours at a time.
Reasons to buy the Varidesk Pro Plus 36
- Based on the choice of sizes from standard 36in to shorter 30in or longer 48in
- Unique two-tier design – one for the keyboard and another for the monitor
- Based on an ergonomic design which converts any desk into a standing desk
- Uncomplicated to use as it eve ships fully assembled
- Based on a weighted base so that it doesn’t fly off the desk
- Easy to lift based on its spring-assisted design
- Handles one or two monitors as long as they do not exceed 35lbs
- Offers 11 height settings which are suitable for better posture at the desk
- Comes in a few finishes which include black, white, dark wood and butcher block
- Has a theoretical potential to improve productivity
- Sturdy while typing, even when fully extended
- Has a maximum weight capacity of 45lbs with its 40in version
Reasons not to buy the Varidesk Pro Plus 36
- Requires a lot of desk space
- May not fit some laptops perfectly (MacBook Pro hangs-off the U-shape top tier in the front)
All the great features of the Varidesk Pro Plus 36
The Varidesk Pro Plus 36 can look complicated for some users. But in fact, it offers a simple solution to a complicated problem. It lifts the monitor and the keyboard which makes the user stand as well. The standing desk breaks the norms of what has been previously seen in this category, offering a solution for practically any location.
Two-tier design system and why it works – 11 heights to choose from
One of the first benefits of the standing desk converter comes with its two-tier design. As one of the two-tier designs, the converter might seem a bit complex. But in fact, it just uses a spring system to assist the lifting, as its top is not actually lifted at all times. Most importantly, users can enjoy different heights. There are 11 height positions which can be locked by the user.
This height adjustability comes with a low point of 4 1/2” (11.5cm) and a high point of 17 1/2” (44.5cm). As seen in user reviews, this is actually OK for most users. It allows a natural position at the screen, with the hands in a normal position on the keyboard tray. While there is a fear the highest position would somehow limit the stability of the desk, this is far from the truth as it does a good job at keeping the two tiers level, even when typing on the keyboard.
Ergonomic aspects of the Varidesk Pro Plus
Is the desk ergonomic? Judging by its design, it looks like an ergonomic desk as it accommodates the body’s position in a natural way. Of course, the ergonomics of the standing desk are not necessarily a guarantee that it will do a good job for the posture of all users.
As it comes with front cutouts, it allows more space for the hands-on its sides, which should take some weight off the shoulders. But at the same time, as with all height adjustable desks, it is actually advisable to find the right posture for the monitor, as it will dictate the position of the body, of the shoulders and the position of the hands.
Varidesk calls the cut-outs posture curves and indeed, they theoretically allow the user to come closer to the desk. But in reality, many other variables matter. For example, the size of the monitor or monitors matters as well. If used with a laptop, it automatically allows a different height level or different adjustability for its display so that it would allow typing form proper posture.
The benefits of the standing desk on posture
Standing has been increasingly considered as a better alternative to sitting for long hours. But the way users stand in front of the desk is different. For example, a number of users are not even standing all the time as they can use a various stool. They are not sitting either, but they are leaning against a stool. This type of help can be useful when it comes to taking a break from standing without actually minimizing its benefits too much, as stability core muscles are still activated when using a height adjustable stool.
On the other hand, the best benefits are seen in the sitting and standing alternations. Users can simply stand for a period of time, sit and then repeat as many times as they want, through the day. This puts the emphasis on the posture and it makes them actively think about how they sit. Furthermore, users also have the capacity of relaxing their muscles as they get sore through the day. Of course, the number of posture alternations actually varies from person to person.
In the beginning, most people do not have the strength to stand for too long. But as stability muscles get better, users get closer to the true benefits of the Varidesk Pro Plus 36. In fact, in some cases, users even report feeling uncomfortable during the first few weeks with the desk, partly due to this learning curve where the body adapts to a different type of working after years of sitting. On the other hand, users who come from other standing desks will find the converter as easy to use as possible.
Maximum weight and monitors
The weight capacity of the standing desk is 45lbs. This means that there is not too much space for extras on it. Apart from holding a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse, there is not too much room or too much extra capacity for other objects. Since it is mainly made for office work, this weight capacity should cover the needs of most users.
But at the same time, the standing desk can also work with monitor arms, which lift the display even higher. Of course, this weight capacity is in the apanage of the largest converter. The maximum weight is starting to become lower when users go for one of the smaller converters.
There is a lot of discussion around the idea of proper weight distribution. Most converters actually suffer in this compartment. Even if the weight on it is not actually above its maximum capacity, it is still enough to reduce its stability when not evenly distributed.
This is why all Varidesl marketing materials actually have the monitors as far back as possible on the desk, to keep it in balance when the hands reach the keyboard on the lower tier, which is closer to the user than the upper tier.
Black, white and everything in-between – the colors of the Varidesk Pro Plus 36
But the standing desk is not simply utilitarian. Users can find different solutions to their problems simply by adjusting the way the space they work in or the space they live looks better.
This psychological shift has already been proven numerous times. While the desk is available in multiple colors, the options are limited to 4. If the standard option is the all black converter, there is space for alternatives with an all-white alternative and a couple of natural wood looks which can liven it up. One trick is to simply match the color of the converter with the color of the desk it sits on, this way it will not feel like an accessory as much.
No handyman needed and why the standing desk can be used out-of-the-box
A unique advantage to the standing desk converter comes with its pre-installed approach. All users can benefit from this efficient design as there are no parts to be installed and no screws to deal with. As it is ready to use out-of-the-box, the converter can be shipped straight to the office or at home and used as soon as it arrives.
Many other converters still require users to go through the installation process themselves. But one of the distinct advantages of such compact designs is that they can be assembled in the factory.
Features which still hold the Varidesk Pro Plus 36 from its full potential
While there are other benefits for the users to consider, they should also be aware of the potential drawbacks of the chair. In most cases, these drawbacks are somewhat limited and not full drawbacks as it depends on how the user sets up the converter. But still, the manufacturer should be more transparent with claims on posture improvement as follows.
Still needs a stool and chair
Simply imagining a workplace where the converter is all that’s needed is unrealistic. In fact, standing for long hours is just as bad as sitting for long hours. There is anecdotal evidence to show that most users can actually benefit from this sitting and standing variation.
So what is missing from the picture? A chair is missing, at the very least. The chair should also be an ergonomic design made for proper posture. Alternatively, an added height-adjustable stool can be useful as well. Users can simply find the best posture by allowing themselves to be in an in-between position. In so many cases, this is all that’s needed.
Limited space on the fixed desk
Another possible issue comes with the actual space on the fixed desk. Since the converter is quite large, there is not too much space to use on most desks. This is why some users will have to find another spot for their pot plants, they extra monitors, notebooks, files, etc.
It is also one of the main reasons why so many users can’t decide if the converter is a permanent solution or a temporary solution. But with the right storage space, it could be used to its maximum potential. Yet again, there are not tips and trick on how to do this properly.
Is the Varidesk Pro Plus right for home and office use?
The Varidesk Pro Plus 36 is a versatile design. It can be used in any location and it allows users a level of freedom which they would only hope for when it comes to standing at work. It is now seen across offices in the world and this is proof it actually works.
However, more than any other standing desk, this compact converter requires users to have a bit of creativity with their space to see its maximum benefits. What are your tips for the Varidesk Pro Plus 36? Do you use a stool? How long do you stand for without feeling tired? Let us know in the comment section below.