Review of a stand up desk converter

Movement is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.  Sadly, many of my low back pain patients are suffering with adisc injury because they sit for long periods of time. For these patients I often recommend they move more, get out of their seat more, going for walks, performing back bends, etc.  To keep them productive at work, I may suggest a stand up desk.

For most companies and patients, the cost of purchasing an adjustable desk is too costly.  An alternative to an adjustable desk is having a high desk and then using a stool to quickly go from sitting to standing. But again this can be costly too.  Another alternative is to use a regular desk and have a standing desk converter placed on the desk.

I was recently asked by AnthroDesk to review one of their products; the AnthroDesk: Sliding Standing Desk Converter (Black.

** Please note that this is not an affiliate link. The product was given to me so I could do a review.  I told them that despite receiving the product for free my comments on their product would not be biased. *

Anthrodesk Standing Desk Converter Review

I would like to note that I have only had the converter for approximately 3 weeks but here are my thoughts:

Pro:

  1. It was quick and easy to assemble the converter. An Allen key is provided and no added tools are necessary. It took me 10 minutes to assemble it.  The website said it could take up to 15 minutes.
  2. Once assembled, the converter feels sturdy.  In my video you can see the monitor shake but the converter felt solid.
  3. The latches have a safety mechanism to prevent accidental unlatching.  Though this might be difficult to unlatch when needed i’d rather have difficulty unlatching than having my monitor fall.
  4. With the monitor as far back as it can and the front end of the bottom shelf right at the edge of the desk the monitor is an arms length from the user.  A general rule of thumb for monitor distance is one arm’s length from the screen
  5. At the current price (February 3, 2019), the converter is $99.99 CAD.  This is a lot cheaper than an adjustable table.

Cons:

  1. It is loud when changing the heights of the shelves. In an open office setting this might not be desirable but in an home office room this might not bother you.  
  2. At the lowest position of the lower shelf it can be difficult to get the shelf up.
  3. When moving the shelves there are moments of sticking.
  4. The support post height is limited to the heights that it can support.  For shorter individuals this will be of no use.

Other Thoughts

At its lowest position the bottom shelf will stand 1.25 inches off the desk.  If your desk is currently at the right height for your keyboard this may alter your ergonomics.

It takes approximately 15 to 20 seconds, for me, to adjust the converter up or down. This may be considered long when comparing to a fixed height desk with a tall stool which takes seconds to adjust. I also don’t know how long it takes for an adjustable desk to change heights.  I would think that if it feels even remotely inconvenient you may end up not using it at all.

I’m curious to see if the noise from my converter is just a flaw in the converter given to me or if it is experienced on others. If this is what happens on all of the devices this might not be a product that would be desirable in an open office setting or a reception area.

Conclusion

 For the price, this product is a cheap alternative, and if you don’t mind the time it takes to change the heights of the shelves or the sound then this could be a good option for a stand up desk.

Effects of Long Standing

Remember movement is the most important part.  If you think that just switching to standing all day is going to fix all your problems, long standing can have its own negative effects.

  1. Lower back fatigue and discomfort.
  2. Carotid arteriosclerosis, leg edema, orthostatic symptoms (light headedness or dizziness), heart rate, blood pressure, and venous diseases (varicose veins, chronic venous disease and chronic venous insufficiency).
  3. A number of studies have shown that exposure to prolonged standing tasks can increase the physical fatigue and discomfort reported by workers.

Knee circles for healthier knees

Dr Notley, Winnipeg Chiropractor and athletic therapist, demonstrates open chain knee circles to emphasis the rotational mobility of the knee.

The knee has the ability to rotate. A lack of range of motion in rotation can alter the movements around the ankle and hip. This may be a cause of pain in the knee, ankles, hips and even the lower back.  Those who have pain with squatting may be having a problem with rotation around the knee

Open Chain Knee Circles

The reason these are called open chain is that the chain of joints (toes, foot, ankles, knees, hips, are not in contact with the ground.  You can see in this other knee circles/cars exercise that my feet stay on the ground. This is a closed chain exercise.

To perform this exercise begin by holding your thigh so your movement is coming from your knee rather than from your hip. Turn your foot to the out side and pull the heel up as close to your buttocks as you can.  Make sure you are keeping your foot point out the entire time

Once you have reached as far up as you can turn the foot inwards and straighten your leg out.  As you near complete straightening of the knee your foot will naturally end up loosing the inward rotation of the foot so don’t worry about that.

You can also perform this exercise in the opposite direction by first turning the foot in and then pulling up towards your buttocks.  

Don’t rush through these movements. Take your time.  Going too fast allows your body to skip through problem areas.

If you experience pain while performing this exercise consider making an appointment to be examined by a professional.

Dr Notley’s practice is an evidence informed, multi-modal treatment method which combines spinal manipulation/mobilization, exercises, acupuncture and other modes of care, along with patient education.

Dr Notley is available, by appointment, through the following link http://bit.ly/Drnotley-Contact

Quadruped Hip Circles (CARS)

This is another one my exercises that I give to my athletes/patients in the controlled articular rotations (CARs) category. The training method and acronym is popularized by Dr Andreo Spina. It was taught to me at a Functional Range Conditioning course in Winnipeg.  I call them “circles” to my patients because it’s easier for them to understand.  What I like about CARs is that they are easy, yet challenging, and expose to my athletes areas of mobility that they may be lacking in.

The intent of this exercise is to challenge the hip at its end ranges. The end range of motion is commonly the weakest area. This helps us to strengthen this region and also helps to keep our hips joint healthy through all ranges of motion.

Unlike stretching, which passively improves the  range of motion, this movement makes the muscles work at the end range of motion.

Hip Circles in Quadruped (CARS)


Hip Circles can be performed on their own or, ideally, at the end of a stretching session.

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start in a quadruped position, on all fours, lift the knee up to your chest limiting the amount of rounding of the lower back.
  2. Keep the knee up and move the knee to the outside as far as possible, keeping the pelvis horizontal.
  3. Keep the knee there and rotate the hip inwards attempting to lift the foot higher than the knee. Try not to hike the pelvis up during this point in the exercise
  4. keep the leg up and bring it back behind you. Try not to over arch the back at this point in the exercise.
  5. Return to the start.
  6. This can also be performed in the reverse order

To really challenge yourself perform one repetition for 30 to 60 seconds

Dr Notley

If you are having pain or you are not moving well and want to move better make an appointment

 

Standing hip circles (CARS)

This exercise is part of a type of exercise called controlled articular rotations (CARs). The training method and acronym is popularized by Dr Andreo Spina. It was taught to me at a Functional Range Conditioning course in Winnipeg.  I call them “circles” to my patients because it’s easier for them to understand.  What I like about CARs is that they are easy, yet challenging, and my athletes/patients like to do them.

The intent of this exercise is to challenge the hip at its end ranges. The end range of motion is commonly the weakest area. This helps us to strengthen this region and also helps to keep our hips joint healthy through all ranges of motion.

Unlike stretching, which passively improves the  range of motion, this movement makes the muscles work at the end range of motion.

Standing hip Circles (CARS)

Standing hip CARs can be performed on their own or, ideally, at the end of a stretching session.

This exercise can be performed with a pole, stick, or just balancing on one leg. Using a pole helps you if you have balance issues.  If you can stand on one leg but with movement you struggle a bit, the stick will add a little bit of support to help you perform the exercise. As you get better, you can work at balancing on one leg while performing the exercise.

  1. Lift the knee up as high as you can without rounding the lower back.
  2. Keep the knee up and move the knee to the outside.
  3. Keep the knee there and rotate the hip inwards. The foot comes up to be inline with the knee. Try not to hike the pelvis up during this point in the exercise
  4. keep the leg up and bring it back behind you. Try not to over arch the back at this point in the exercise.
  5. Return to the start.
  6. This can also be performed in the reverse order

To really challenge yourself perform one repetition for 30 to 60 seconds

Dr Notley

If you are having pain or you are not moving well and want to move better make an appointment