People + Process = Performance

Product Review: VARIDESK –a sit-stand computer workstation device

With the fairly recent identification of “sitting disease” and the focus on improving employee performance, health and wellness there has been a number of sit-stand computer workstation devices to hit the market.  Recently I had the opportunity to see, experience and evaluate a relatively new computer workstation sit-stand device called the VARIDESK.  I’ve seen the VARIDESK online before but never in person until now.  The VARIDESK website describes it as an “adjustable height stand-up desk that allows you to transform your workspace by switching from a sitting position to a standing position”.   I put the VARIDESK Pro version through the motions and here are my impressions sorted as pros and cons:

raised position

VARIDESK in raised position



  • No change in workstation needed as the device sits on top of an existing desk surface
  • Comes ready to use; no assembly required
  • Height adjustment up or down is very easy; simply squeeze the side handles and lift or lower; requires very little force or effort
  • Cost friendly; the Pro version that fits 2 monitors is under $300 (no including shipping and tax)
  • 15 ½” height range of the top surface which will accommodate nearly all tall users
    • (other marketed “sit-stand” devices such as keyboard trays or scissor lifts only have a height range of 9” which doesn’t accommodate the great majority of users in the standing position)
  • Stable and sturdy; no bounce or give noted in the work surface regardless the height setting; the weight and build of unit contributes to this
  • Bottom keyboard/mouse tray and top surface are easily wide enough to support all keyboards and mice


  • Pro version weighs 48.6 lbs so two people are needed (highly recommended) lift unto desk surface (only a Con for lifting/moving; the weight is a Pro for stability as noted above)
  • Sitting desk surface height needs to fit user, i.e. if the desk surface is too high to begin with this would only add to the problem as it raises the keyboard/mouse surface height by another ½”
    • Recommend Sitting desk height adjusted to fit user prior to using
  • Monitor height may be too high in the sitting (lowest position).  The top surface is a fixed 5” above desk surface.  For bifocal users this fixed sitting height may be too high even with monitors on height adjustable stands or monitor arms
  • Need to move/place keyboard and mouse from “tray” surface in sitting to top surface when standing (this is a minor Con in and of itself)
  • Corded keyboards and mice are problematic as the cords get in the way when moving between to surfaces
  • Minimal desk surface for paper work or document holder, especially in the standing position when the keyboard and mouse are added to the top surface
  • Forward bent posture is required to squeeze side handles (Forward bending as seen in the photo is the instinctive posture people would assume.  This can be avoided if users use proper body mechanics, i.e. have one foot in front of the other, flex knees slightly and keep back straight, while lifting/lowering) (see picture)


    poor posture raising

    Flexed posture when adjusting height

  • Fixed distance between monitors and user’s eyes (VARIDESK Pro depth is 27”) which may be an issue for some users depending on their eye health, vision and use of large size monitor(s)
    • This is a minor Con as the depth of the VARIDESK is similar to or exceeds ‘regular’ desk surface depth, i.e.  27” vs. 22-36” depending on the desk)

Overall, based upon the functionality, adjustability, usability and cost, the VARIDESK is a very good sit-stand device.  Like most sit-stand devices that fit on the existing desk surface, it isn’t perfect but compared to its competitors, it appears to have an edge over them.  The ultimate, optimal sit-stand option is still having the entire desk surface raise and lower by having electric or spring loaded bases but the cost is often prohibitive.  The VARIDESK certainly fills a need in the sit-stand computer workstation arena and should become one of the “tools in the sit-stand toolbox” that employers use to address the sit-stand desires or needs of their employees.


Kelby Ergo Design, LLC does not endorse or receive payment for any of the products or companies reviewed by us. All images were taken by KED and used for illustrative reference only.