Paul Godbold tries the Varidesk in an effort to find ways to introduce more physical activity into his working day
I like to think of myself as a man with many skills, one of them is sitting on my backside at my desk, engrossed in my work and barely moving. It wasn’t until my wife on multiple occasions, highlighted that this really wasn’t doing my body any good that I felt something needed to change. You’ve heard the phrase being “chained to a desk”, in my case this is very close to the truth. Owning a global media brand like Luxurious Magazine is a 12-14 hour a day 7 day a week job and as we are so prominent on the internet, a lot of what needs to be done forces me to sit behind a desk fronted by a mass of technology hour after hour.
The obvious option was to go to the gym, but for many reasons this just wasn’t going to work. Admittedly, some of my work can be done remotely, but trying to conduct a breathless conversation with someone over the phone would not be the ideal way to represent my brand. Being someone who is regarded as a bit of an expert online, I did do some internet surfing but couldn’t find anything that fitted the bill so I just gave up looking.
Whether it was fate or just coincidence, I was contacted a few weeks later by a man named Keiran Elsby who was handling the UK public relations for Varidesk.
Keiran wanted to know if Luxurious Magazine would be interested in writing about Varidesk, a product that literally raises your ability to work. That probably sounded a little confusing, so, to be more accurate, Varidesk is a desktop addition which sits upon your desk or work space and elevates everything up to a standing height.
I said to Keiran that this sounded like a fantastic idea and I would be happy to get something published. Without me making any suggestion, Keiran offered to get one shipped to me so I could personally try it and feedback my thoughts.
One week later, a Varidesk Pro Plus 36™ arrived at my office. Before I get into the ‘ins and outs’ of the product, I want to mention how efficient the whole process was. Between my conversation with Keiran and the Varidesk Pro Plus 36™ arriving, I was kept updated on the progress of the order and delivery dates via detailed emails up to the day it arrived. The product packaging was among the best I had encountered. You would imagine that a mechanical non-technology based product would be shipped in basic and functional packaging but this definitely wasn’t the case. The Varidesk Pro Plus 36™ had better packaging than the top of the range Sony Bravia TV I had purchased just a few months earlier. Much to my wife’s obvious boredom, I insisted on highlighting in great detail the excellent way the Varidesk was packaged and how I wished other manufacturers would adopt the same standards.
Once out of the packaging, the Varidesk is a little larger and certainly heavier than it looks in the images weighing in at a hefty 53 lbs, this makes sense as you certainly wouldn’t want it flimsy enough to topple over and damage thousands of pounds worth of hi-tech equipment. The model I had, arrived in black, complementing the equipment I have on my desk. The Varidesk Pro Plus 36 had two distinct levels, the higher of the two where your screen should be situated and the lower for the keyboard and mouse etc.
The height adjustable of the Varidesk is done via two press levers located either side, once you push these in, it is a simple matter of raising the whole assembly to your preferred height with minimal fuss or effort. Once in place, the Varidesk feels sturdy and more than capable of holding a lot more weight than I was subjecting it to.
Getting accustomed to working while standing after spending many years sat down, does feel odd at first, but this is no bad thing. When I am sat down, I often found myself doing things that are less important or filling gaps between work by general browsing of the internet from the comfort of my chair. Standing up, this happened far less, I just wanted to get the important work done.
In all honesty, working while standing took me way out of my comfort zone and did make me more productive. I’m not at the stage yet where I’ll work standing for more than an hour at a time, the ease at which I can raise and lower the Varidesk is too tempting. Another positive about the Varidesk is it provides a some much-needed flexibility to my desk while working seated. I can raise the Varidesk to create the perfect height for my screen and keyboard.
Having done some research I understand the benefits of working while standing and given time, I will do it more and more. According to the manufacturers, using a standing desk can even burn off up to 50 additional calories per hour, that’s around 200 per day and an amazing 1,000 per week.
The Varidesk is a sensible and useful addition to the way I work, and I now understand why Denmark has made it mandatory for employers to offer their staff standing desks.
Varidesk – Where and how
Web UK: uk.varidesk.com
Web International: www.varidesk.com
Product tested: Varidesk Pro Plus 36
Tiered keyboard/mouse deck
35 lb. weight limit
Footprint: 36 X 30 (91.4 CM X 76.2 CM)