All of you people who have been trying to convince me for the last few years that I need a standing desk because sitting will slowly kill me: fine. You win. My daily commute is close to two hours, my reporting job requires lots of time at a desk, and let's not even talk about binge TV watching. A standing desk it is. But which one?
At South by Southwest Gaming, I was delighted by Uplift Desk, an Austin company that sells customizable desks and tables that are easily height-adjustable. They start at $499 for a two-legged model, which doesn't seem outrageous.
But what if I want to upgrade for next to no cost at all? At work, I have the option of upgrading to an ergonomic desk, but at home, I'm loath to replace my spacious corner desk for something new. What if I wanted to stand up to work for, say $30 or less?
Now hear me out: I'm not saying that cardboard is the solution to everything. But it's not not the solution to some things, like having access to virtual reality very cheaply.
So when I received an email about a Kickstarter for a product called Switch Stance, I was intrigued, then completely skeptical when I saw the actual project page, then intrigued again.
Switch Stance is a cardboard contraption that sits on a regular desk, adding two levels for a keyboard and monitor or laptop, giving potential backers the height needed for standing in a foldable, cheap form.
It even has a slot, really just a cut-out, to hold a smart phone:
Yes, it's not exactly sleek stainless steel and oak, but why not? For a $22 early-bird pledge (the units are expected to ship in May), why not?
Then I started showing it around to other people, including my wife and several of my co-workers. "Ugh." "What?" "That's dumb." Those were the nicer reactions. Mostly it was complete skepticism and disinterest. The chief concerns, apart from that it's just not very attractive, was that no matter how sturdy the cardboard might be, it probably wasn't sturdy enough to hold up a monitor, let alone multiple monitors or a computer like an iMac.
Wait, not so fast:
OK, well played, Switch Stance, but I cannot tell you how nervous and stressed that photo makes me. Doesn't it already look like that cardboard is bowing a bit and that if you just breathed on the iMac the wrong way it would flip backward, ninja-style, and crash to the floor?
The most surprising thing about Switch Stance isn't that in just a few days it easily reached its modest $4,300 Kickstarter goal. What's surprising is that this is not the first cardboard standing desk that has successfully been crowdfunded.
In 2014, Refold proposed an entire standing desk made of cardboard (no regular desk necessary) and raised more than $70,000. It now sells for $250, plus $90 if you tend to spill things and want a waterproof top.
But Switch Stance reminds me most of Oristand, an already existing $25 cardboard riser that has a similar shape and a less cardboard-y color (specifically: black).
Then there's always the DIY route: want to make your own cardboard standing desk? The Internet has instructions.
So, as of now, I'm undecided on whether I'll succumb to the allure of a Kickstarter campaign or just save my money and purchase a real option for home and ask my work overlords for a switch.
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