Standing Desk Buyers Guide Part 4 - Portable Standing Desks


Female office-worker enjoying her portable standing desk

Not every standing desk is large and stationary. Some workers need or enjoy the flexibility of using a smaller standing desk in different areas of their workplace or home. A portable standing desk makes it possible to work in different locations with the benefits of alternating between standing and sitting.  

Portable standing desks provide you with the opportunity for a change of scenery in the office and allow you to move to wherever your work is. They’re suitable for all kinds of workers in a range of settings. A nurse may use a portable standing desk to move equipment from room to room; an office worker may want to type alongside a colleague or present in the boardroom. Whatever your equipment or type of work, a portable standing desk can assist.

Different Types of Standing Desks

Standing desks are available in four main types - manual sit-stand desks, electric sit-stand desks, standing desk converters and portable standing desks. A portable standing desk or cart is the only one with caster wheels that allows it to move around the workplace without being carried.  

For more information about Standing Desks, you can read our previous buyers guides. 

Standing Desk Buyers Guide Part 1 – What Type of Desk Do you Need?

Standing Desk Buyers Guide Part 2 – Comparing Electric Sit Stand Desks

Standing Desk Buyers Guide Part 3 – Standing Desk Converters

Types of Portable Standing Desks

There’s a range of different portable standing desks – all with different specifications. Here’s what to look for when doing your research:

Height Range – check the desktop extends to a height that suits you

Weight Capacity – the maximum weight of the equipment

Work Surface Dimensions – check you can fit your laptop, monitor, equipment etc

Tilt – being able to tilt the work surface can provide a more comfortable set-up

Ease of Lift – check you can lift the desk up and down without too much effort

Lockable Wheel Brakes – being able to lock the unit in place, so there’s no annoying movement while you work

Device Locking Facility – some units can secure your laptop to the desk surface to ensure it can’t be knocked and fall off

Separate Desktop Surfaces – some desks have one surface while others have multiple surfaces for the laptop, keyboard and mouse

Wheel to Wheel Base – check the dimensions between opposite wheels to ensure the unit has good stability but can fit through door frames. 

Portable Desks Aren’t Suitable for Everybody or Situation

While portable desks and carts offer the most flexibility of all standing desks, they aren’t the most suitable for some people or work set-ups.

Tall Workers

If you’re taller than 185cm, a portable desk might not extend high enough for you to work ergonomically. Tall workers are best suited to electric sit-stand desks as they can extend the highest. Most standing desk converters and manual sit stand desks are designed for the average height worker.

If you like to lean your elbows on the edge of your desk while you’re talking or reading, the extra weight may cause a portable cart to tip.   

Work Set-up

For those people who use multiple monitors, smaller portable desks may not handle the weight and only have enough space for a laptop and mouse. Be sure to check the weight rating and dimensions of the desktop before purchasing a portable desk.    

If your home or workplace has limited space between desks, aisles and doorways, be sure to check the wheel to wheelbase dimensions. This way you’ll know you can manoeuvre the unit wherever you need to go.   

FAQs about Standing Desks

Read the responses to some of the most common questions about standing desks.

Are standing desks really beneficial?

Research shows that alternating between the standing and sitting position throughout the workday is best. A ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 sitting versus standing time appears to be optimal for comfort and energy levels. A sit stand desk allows you to move between the two positions several times a day.

How long should you stand at a standing desk?

While the research is still in its early stages, it shows that you should spend one hour standing for every one to two hours sitting. Stand for as long as it’s comfortable as long periods of standing can cause lower back pain and problems with leg muscles, tendons and varicose veins. If you feel any pain, change the desk to the seated position and sit down for a while.

How do I choose a standing desk?

Choose your standing desk based on the equipment you use. The heavier your workstation setup, the more heavy-duty your desk will need to be. If you are short or don’t have a lot of upper body strength, you may struggle to use a poor quality gas-lift table and are best suited to an electric desk, so it rises with the push of a button. If you’re tall, you may need an electric standing desk because they raise the highest.

What size standing desk do I need? 

You will need to choose a standing desk with a work surface that’s large enough to handle all of your computer equipment. Standing desks have a weight rating, so ensure your equipment is within the weight range.

See our range of Portable Standing Desks and Carts. If you have any queries about the best standing desk for your situation, visit our showroom, call us on (08) 9240 7066 or contact us online.

If you’re looking for ergonomic equipment to assist with working from home, call Ergolink on (08) 9240 7066 or contact us online.