Reviewed by David Savage
This year has so far been a horrible year for the entire world with Coronavirus (COVID-19) severely disrupting all our lives, everything from going to work to leisure activities and even just visiting friends and family members. While the situation is slightly improving, the situation is still fluid with local outbreaks and the looming threat of a second wave. This means that we all have had to adapt our approach to everything with simple things like shopping much more difficult and going to work a complete nightmare.
One of the ways we have adapted to this unprecedented situation is working differently. Lots of employers have found ways to continue their business by changing the way they work – limiting the number of customers in their shop, switching to online ordering only, and even allowing staff (where possible) to work from home.
Working from home isn’t for everybody, no matter how good it sounds. You need space, very good discipline and the right equipment – it isn’t just a case of grabbing a phone, a laptop and you’re good to go. Yes, you need a phone and a computer, but you also need a good desk and a good chair. But even with a good desk and chair sitting down all day long isn’t good for you (that applies to working from home or in an office).
When setting up a home office getting a good desk is very important. You need something that has the space for all your needs and something that promotes good posture and will be better for your overall health. A desk that alternatives between a desk to sit at and a desk to stand at is a perfect way to promote better working, it is better for our health to not sit all day and nobody wants to stand for 8 hours a day (you should try and take a small break from sitting every 30 minutes). FlexiSpot have the answer with their standing desk frames and kindly sent us one to try out in exchange for our honest opinion.
We received the FlexiSpot Electric Standing Desk Frame 3-Stage Premium Option E5 in white (black and silver options are also available). The frame is sold without a desktop and this can be purchased separately, or you can use an existing one if you already have one. We also received the 120x60cm Desktop in white (can also be purchased in black, maple or mahogany), which is made from a solid and heavy chipboard.
The FlexiSpot Electric Standing Desk is an electric, height adjustable desk that you can sit at or with the push of a button covert it into a standing desk with different height levels. An easy way to transition from sitting to standing without moving desks or adding a desk convertor.
The E5 frame features:
- Dual-motor lift system (one on each leg)
- Lift speed of 3.8cm/s
- Quiet motor under 50 dBs
- Smooth operation
- Double steel tubing
- 3-stage frame is adjustable for different sized desktops (43.3″ to 70.9″ / 110-180cm)
- Height range from 62-125cm / 24.4″ to 49.2″ (accommodates 99% of the population)
- Cable tidy within the frame
- Support heavier weight up to 125kg
- 7-button digital display handset
- 3 programmable presets (displayed on LED screen)
- Sit/Stand reminders alerting you to when it is time to change from sitting to standing (0-99 minutes customised reminder settings, can be turned on/off to suit workflows).
- Powder-coated seamless surface resists scratches, water, and stains
The Desktop is available in 3 options:
- Rectangular 120x60cm (black, white, maple or mahogany)
- Rectangular 140x70cm (black, white, maple or mahogany)
- Curved 140x70cm (black)
The frame and desktop arrived in two desperate (heavy) deliveries. Assembly is required so you do need to be somewhat competent with DIY, but it isn’t difficult at all to assemble. The instructions are clear, concise and easy to follow. Working by myself it took approx. 30-35 minutes to assemble (I would recommend having some help though).
Assembly is very straightforward and the assembly booklet, as already mentioned, is clear, concise and easy to follow. The frame is supplied with everything you need to assemble the desk, including tools (2x Hex Keys – one with a crosshead screwdriver on the other end). All the screws, bolts and tools are supplied in a compartmented bag labelled A-E, making it easier and faster to get the bits you need. The frame can be adjusted laterally for different sized desktops, from 43.3″ to 70.9″ (110-180cm) – purchased from FlexiSpot or you can use your own (FlexiSpot versions will have pre-drilled holes for screws, if using your own desktop you will have to make new screw holes). It even has a cable system to keep as much of the cabling for the desk, as well as your laptop or desktop PC, out of the way as possible.
After a quick assembly I was really impressed with the desk, there is a lot of weight to the desk and it feels really good quality, solid, very robust and aesthetically pleasing. The double steel tubing construction with powder-coated seamless surface resists scratches, water, and stains. Now we had a good quality, nice looking desk with lots of space of the desktop. But now for the really cool part.
The frame has to be plugged into a wall power socket and has two motors (one on each leg). With the push and hold of the up arrow on the 7 button control box on the underneath of the desk you can raise the height of the desk so that you can stand at it. In about 10 seconds it reaches the full height of 49.2″ (125cm). It has a lift speed of 1.5” per second (3.8cm/s), and what is even better is that it is virtually silent whilst doing so. When you get to the desired height level (height displayed on the LED display) you can save the setting into one of the 3 memory positions so that you then only have to press 1, 2 or 3 to adjust to your ideal height (to save desired setting, set the table at the height you want, press M followed by 1, 2 or 3 and that setting is saved in that memory position).
The desk also features an alert system to remind you when it is time to stop sitting and change the desk into its standing position. This is really useful, if like me when you sit down to work you get caught up in it and don’t notice the time flying past then you can set an alarm that when it goes off reminds you to stand. You can stop the alarm by adjusting the desk (ignore it and it goes off 5 minutes later).
Overall, the FlexiSpot Electric Standing Desk is something that every home office should have. I have used desk convertors before that are good but can be cumbersome and require things moved off the desk to put it on. The E5 standing desk means that you can leave all your stuff on the desk and 10 seconds later you are working from standing position – it couldn’t be simpler; I really can’t recommend it enough. The build quality and nearly noiseless smooth operation along with the presets and alarm are excellent and there is very little noticeable wobble with this desk, even at its full height where I would have expected more.
Switching regularly between sitting and standing is taking the pressure off my back and I am not suffering with a stiff back or back/leg/hip pain by the end of the day – a much more comfortable way to work over constantly sitting or standing. I am thinking about one of the anti-fatigue standing mats to go along with it, to further reduce stress and fatigue on my back and legs when standing as I have weakened calf muscles and feel this may help more.
And for those of you that want to stay active and continue to read or work, FlexiSpot also do a Cycle Desk Bike so that you can get some exercise whilst still continue to do other things, it looks really good.
To sum it up, the E5 standing frame and desktop is expensive but it is of high quality, very stable, constructed extremely well, works fast and is virtually noiseless. It is an excellent way to help reduce stress on the back, reducing back pain so is a good piece of equipment to work from home whilst promoting a healthier way of working if used correctly (as already mentioned, sitting for an extended period of time is no good for our health).
The FlexiSpot E5 standing desk is definitely an essential piece of equipment for anyone having to work at a desk all day, whether working from home or from an office. And with more of us working from home it is definitely a worthwhile investment as it can help with productivity as you won’t need constant breaks to reduce the pain in your back and shoulders.
RRP: E5 Standing Desk Frame is £359.99 / Desktop from £79.99
For more information or to buy, visit flexispot.co.uk.