back to article Are you ready to take a stand? Flexispot E7 motorised desk should handle whatever you dump on it – but it's not cheap

Sitting, we're told, is the new smoking. The catastrophic health consequences of hours spent hunched behind a desk are said to include heart disease, colon cancer, and muscle weaknesses. Your dreary 9-to-5 IT job might as well be a 20-pack of Gauloises, for all the good it's doing you. Or you could get a standing desk. …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "Disgusting cable management"

    Do you want me to send a pic of my cable management ?

    Yours is positively sparse in comparison.

    Don't ask my wife about it, though.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: "Disgusting cable management"

      Decent cable management is a simple job.

      One cable trunk with open slots fitted at the wall side underneath the work surface (two if you have sensitive audio), and one leading down to whatever power source you have (I have a UPS) and cables are out of sight because the eye overlooks straight lines.

      How effective is this? Well, I have a glass, see-through desk (hence my use of Logitech Anywhere MX mice, they work on glass), and you don't see any cables. Yes, you have to spend some time lying on your back underneath the desk looping it all in and then put the lid on it, but once done it's good for a long time, and it's not that hard to add or remove things later either.

      This idea works near miracles behind a stereo and TV set, and it makes it far easier to keep it clean, very helpful with an allergy sufferer in the house (until she becomes allergic to cable trays, of course).

      I used to use black Betaduct 50x50mm for it which came in 2m lengths, but it appears it's no longer made now so I'll now have to find an alternative..

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: "Disgusting cable management"

        It's a simple job if you're starting from scratch, all the cables are easily long enough to thread exactly where you want, your ducts are large enough, and ideally you don't have too many systems.

        50x50mm wouldn't cope with 16 separate PCs in this room including chunky PS/2 and HD15 KVM cables.

        If you've got one system and a monitor cabling is easy. In a small room with many systems the planning takes somewhat longer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Disgusting cable management"

          Having entertained myself with various online catalogues I can confirm that it is VERY easy to obtain other dimensions too, and you can run a few in parallel if so required (I tend to use a smaller one for situations where you want to keep the audio separate).

          As for starting from scratch, I have been doing this for almost two decades now and in my experience there is value to remove the whole shooting match and wire everything up again every so often. I typically do this when I refresh a major device like a computer or a screen, so that's every two or three years.

          1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

            Re: "Disgusting cable management"

            I'm sure that it is easy to get different sizes of trunking, and yes there is value in wiring up everything from scratch.

            However it's not a simple five minute job. You can't just hand wave away the cost of getting cables of the necessary length, or finding extensions to them which may degrade the quality of shielded cables.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Disgusting cable management"

              I haz no camera so your assumption of me handwaving is just that, an assumption :).

              OK, if you want ALL the details:

              1 - I always make sure cables are long enough. If needed, I either make them or buy them because I'm generally not a big fan of extension cables - I share your concern of possible signal degradation.

              2 - cables that are too long are simply rolled up inside the trunking where this is physically, electrically and signalwise acceptable. Not a good idea with anything optical like fibre or optical audio, but I don't have that on my desk, and rolled up mains is acceptable for low current applications (enforced by fused power blocks, in the UK also by fuses in the plugs). In short, use your brain. Life's become easier with USB-C connected screens, that's a lot easier to route than the old analog VGA cables.

              3 - I never stated it's a 5 minute job because it most definitely is not. I always make sure I have enough light and enough time when I do this, the time investment pays off in having cables least subject to change sitting deep (usually power/light) while anything I might change more often (like USB, and network) closer to the lid. That investment in time pays back because small changes ARE then just a 5 minute job, and the end result is again tidy.

  2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Dabbsie came up with a cheaper alternative

  3. Steve Kerr

    Ikea standing desks

    The Ikea one I have looks to be more sturdy than the one here and seems to be more stylish than this one reviewed

    The instructions for it are good and put together without any issues, though it is damn heavy and says to get it upright you should use 2 people, I done it by myself though probably shouldn't have.

    Price range for the top of the range electric one is in the same price bracket as this and also has a 10 year warranty.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ikea standing desks

      I actually repair all types of these desks and *if* you can get the legs from Ikea, then just buy those and add a hard Maple top (or whatever cheaper/nicer) and be done with it (although during assembly you might want to see if the lead screws are ABS plastic/Nylon and replace them both with metal ones if possible).

      The legs _ARE_ the magic. It's a threaded rod running on a worm drive with typically a ~18-24v motor driving the legs. I would _NOT_ suggest that you try to make your own legs unless you're good at welding or have access to a machinist who is because, lining up the bar with the permanently attached lead screw is... touchy and may cause wobbliness if attached askew. That said, you can use floating lead screw styles that are found on CoreXY 3D printer beds and *maybe* pull off a leg design you're happy with (but might cost more than just buying the legs in the end :-/).

      "LINAK" makes a tranformer+controller box (various model CBD4xxxx series) that is easy to repair and uses standard RJ-45 headers for the physical button control leads. I mentioned that because this makes it dead simple for just about anyone to connect an Arduino style device underneath the desk in addition to the manual controller thus enabling "fancy" programmable control schemes WITHOUT the additional logic board that LINAK (or whoever) can up sell you on (it's a ridiculous price). Used, you can find these CBD4xxxx boxes often for ~50usd and another bonus for this particular series is that the power is "passively" output to the legs. ie. no additional transformers/circuits in the legs are required (some brands trap you by also adding circuitry crap to the legs).

    2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: Ikea standing desks

      I'd not really looked at these desks before, so I went looking at the specs.

      The top of the range Ikea one that I can find (BEKANT) tops out at 70kg distributed evenly across the surface. This one, if the specs are accurate, has a limit of 125kg (presumably also evenly applied).

      That's thirty quid extra for a large increase in capability.

  4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Ah, think how this would have struggled with CRT monitors

    I think that many people forget how light modern flat panel monitors actually are.

    I would not be surprised if some motorized standing desks are troubled with an original IBM model M keyboard!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, think how this would have struggled with CRT monitors

      I have a 43" LG monster which is still a tad on the heavy side. But hey, it's also biiiig, which is why I bought it :).

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Ah, think how this would have struggled with CRT monitors

        I have a 42" 4K TV which I use as a monitor on occasion (it actually works pretty well, even at 4K used with a Raspberry Pi 4), and that is very light, easily light enough to be picked up with my bad arm.

        I guess it depends on the monitors age, and newer is mostly lighter.

        I'm reminded of the 16" IBM 5081 monitor that I had that contained a block of concrete to keep it balanced. That was so heavy it was as much as one person could do to lift it!

    2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Re: Ah, think how this would have struggled with CRT monitors

      I had the same thought, as I still have a CRT monitor on my desk, but the answer is : not at all.

      The maximum weight capacity is 125Kg, so even with the desk itself, two CRT monitors at 30kg apiece and a load of other items it'll be absolutely fine.

  5. AnotherName

    Another option

    After a recent house move, I decided to buy a standing desk. I'd been looking at the Tresanti model available from Costco for a while and decided it was time to make the move from a 20-odd year old John Lewis fixed desk. The Tresanti desk is glass-topped with touch controls in the top and a 3-port USB charger and a shallow drawer built-in. Available in white or black, it didn't take too long to assemble, with reasonably good instructions. Plenty of room for all the usual peripherals and no problem for the motor to raise/lower all the kit onboard. There are four memory settings to make changing heights easier and a lock button to avoid accidental activation as well as a height display by the touch area that only normally shows when movement is in progress. Solid and not too bad value. Cost can vary according to what offers Costco has on, but is currently £310 delivered for members. It would have been nice to have an under-desk shelf at the back and a cable tray, but very happy so far.

  6. Commswonk


    From the article: ...and you can mitigate against the pains in your calves by investing in a decent anti-fatigue mat.

    Is that what we would normally call "a bed"?

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: Eh?

      Working from bed is a slightly different career path.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        Getting F@%ked by PHB/Manglement for not much reward - is there much of a difference?

        1. Aladdin Sane

          Re: Eh?

          Yes. Sex work is valid work, whereas IT...

  7. jmch Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    better sitting

    I used to have something similair to this at my work office. Very comfortable, works very well, but most often I would be too involved in what I was doing to remember to change position every so often.

    My home office doesn't really have a space for anything like this, but I have found a better way in the meantime - inflatable gym ball. The great thing about it is that you are forced to maintain a correct position with straight back. Basically, if your posture isn't good, you'll fall off. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to but I wouldn't go back to an office chair again. As a bonus it can also be used for exercising as intended (really great for those boring online meetings - camera off and get a workout in while someone drones on about uninteresting stuff they invited you to unnecessarily)

    The disadvantage is that the height isn't variable so it can only be reused by anyone else of the same height, and you can't move around much with it. For me that's not a problem but if you tend to want to roll around here and there while sitting, it's not the best option. It's also quite practical to store since while quite bulky, it can be rolled right under the desk and out of the way. Oh, and it costs about a tenth a high-end office chair / a twentieth of a high-end motorised standing desk.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: better sitting

      Inflatable gym ball??? Not likely, I would prefer to use one of these instead -

      Just need to nip down to the kitchen for a cuppa.

      Bouncy, bouncy!!

    2. the Jim bloke

      Re: better sitting

      After a while, I managed to develop a technique where I could slouch while sitting on a gym ball.

      I may not be my own worst enemy, but I am definitely a member of the anti-me alliance

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When the desk costs more than the PC

    A friend's solution was a good deal more direct. He connected a second monitor and keyboard and had them fixed at the standing height. Then he could instantly get up or sit down at will without worrying about controls or cranks or anything over engineered.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: When the desk costs more than the PC

      I was thinking the same. Whether one should buy a motorised desk or simpky switch between monitors depends is a question that maths can answer:

      Does your monitor (s) cost more than a motorised desk? If yes, buy a desk. Also, buy a motorised desk if you might buy new monitors in the near future.

      (This is based upon not buying doubles of your mouse and keyboard since it's no great trouble to pickup said items manually. That said, having a duplicate mouse and keyboard immediately at hand is surely a good thing - as backups, if nothing else).

  9. Chris G


    Considering the opening of the article is about the health risks of sedentary sitting, I would think the last thing you would want is a motor.

    A crank a few times a day will add to daily cardio vascular exercise and benefit the worker.

    Although frequent cranking in a busy office environment may irritate colleagues.

    I built a scissor lift bench for my workshop using a scaffold jack it is easy to use even with a hundred kilo load on it.

    1. Emir Al Weeq

      Re: Motor?

      "Although frequent cranking in a busy office environment may irritate colleagues."

      Quite. Nothing worse than an office full of crankers.

      1. Chris G

        Re: Motor?

        Nothing worse?

        A boardroom?

  10. Gordon 10

    Am I the only one

    Whose OCD is twitching because of the mismatched monitors?

    1. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Am I the only one

      Noop, not the only one.

      I used to have mismatched monitors on my office desk until I bought a dual monitor stand.

      I don't know why that should have made such a difference but it did, it was so blooming annoying I had to buy two absolutely identical monitors.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I the only one

      Not me. Two same size monitors...but you might be triggered by one landscape, one portrait orientation...brilliant for coding on landscape, multiple programs or one long web page on portrait. Occasional popup use of the laptop screen for meetings.

      I liked a standing desk in the office, but we had double monitor arms with one monitor! And in a hot desking office forget any chance of doubling up the screen real estate. Sub-optimal for my useage case. WFHFTW.

  11. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Trigger warning please

    Owing to an unsavoury incident at a past place of employment, when the firing of an incompetent employee led to a significant gruntle outage, a trigger warning whenever the words "dump" and "desk" occur in the same sentence would be appreciated.

  12. Blackjack Silver badge

    Do not use if you have kids or pets that may destroy the thing.

    So the only use is for those who either work from home alone, are the Boss in their job, or whose kids are too old to mess with the thing or even better finally live in their own home. But wait... grandchildren!

    Good luck explaining to your grandchildren you didn't buy them anything this time because you bought a souped out desk.

  13. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Add in a desktop surface"

    By the look of the edges of the desk top, horrible paper thin veneer (on what? MDF maybe - for over £180?). But quite apart from that ...

    I have a solid desk with a massive frame dating from some time in the '60s or earlier and it works fine. OK, it doesn't rise and fall, but I get up occasionally and move around, taking a break from work. The motorised desk suggests you should keep on working, which breaches established VDU working rules.

    As usual, it looks like someone has thought up trendy a way to take money without considering unintended consequences.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it I can hang an entire day around my computer on an Ikea chair. I really don't like standing around to long.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Standing around gets easier with practice, is the point the article is based upon. Much like running for six miles - that's not fun at all if you don't do it regularly.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        If God had meant us to run for six miles he wouldn't have given us the Austin Healey 3000 MkIII.

  15. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    It looks better than I expected

    I expected that it wouldn't be able to deal with my CRT, three other monitors, and a certain amount of other computing gear sitting on the very solid pine table I use as my desktop. However, the specs and table options show that with the largest table size it could cope. Its 125kg weight might even cope with all the things on the table plus myself standing on it to move things around!

    I'm not sure I'm really interested in a standing desk, but easy height adjustment sounds interesting, not to mention the ability to raise the desk when a cat wants to sit on your knee.

  16. Tracer Hand

    Birch ply

    4 pieces of thick birch ply work very well for one-monitor set-ups. There's this thing, which is lovely, and fully adjustable:

    or you could make your own if you're handy with a jigsaw.

  17. ecofeco Silver badge

    LOL! Standing?!

    I worked 20 years on my feet. I didn't move into IT after those twenty years so I could stand more. Screw that.

    I also chose my specialty just so I could both walk and sit. So maybe, walk around more? It's certainly cheaper.

  18. TeeCee Gold badge


    Look. I know it's teh internets and every perversion is on here, but desk porn?

  19. Big_Boomer

    I've got a Huge one!! <LOL>

    I bought an AIMEZO motorised base and a Duronic desktop from Amazon for a total of £300. The desktop is 180cm wide and 70cm deep and the base goes from 71cm to 112cm high, which works fine for me standing at 6'4" (192cm) tall. I have two 32" Samsung curved monitors as well as a docking station, laptop, and various sundry junk on it and the motor handles it just fine. No memories on the desk (they do memory versions for more money), but then I fiddle with the height throughout the day to vary my posture so memories wouldn't be that useful for me. My desktop PC sits under one end of the desk and I just have longer cables so they can loop when the desk is down. For cable management I used SOULWIT Cable Organisers stuck to the underside of the desk, once again from Amazon, as I find trunking is only useful to get cables from one end to the other and I need cables coming out all across the back of the desk.

    1. D@v3

      Re: Cable management

      We had an office refurb not too long ago. Had a load of nice new desks put in, with monitor arms, PCs mounted under desks, built in cable trays for the made to measure power cables. Very nice.

      It was later decided that for one office worker who has 'special workplace requirements' that their desk would be replaced with a standing desk. Being a desk, and nothing to do with computers, IT were not consulted.

      The desks were switched over, and on the first test of raising it up, the desk promptly pulled the made to measure power cables out of their very carefully measured sockets.


  20. J. Cook Silver badge

    At work, I have a varidesk that sits on the cubicle. it's decent enough, and for sit/stand it works well enough despite not *quite* fitting the cubicle's desk surface depth.

    At home? I have a 50's vintage (read: Korean war surplus pedestal desk, on which is camped a 50" 4K TV. Sitting next to it is a half-cabinet housing the computer, the dock for the work laptop, one of the two PiHoles (and the plex microserver), an HDMI KVM, and a shadowbox housing a bare 21" LCD panel salvaged from a dead iMac.

    Oh, and a 5.1 speaker system that can rattle the windows on the other side of the house. :)

    I'm actually building a rig to turn a 'lifting top' coffee table into one that lifts the top straight up instead of up and to one side. It's been an... interesting project, with at least one scrapped prototype.

  21. Bradwalk

    I completely agree with you, spending a lot of time sitting at a computer desk is very harmful, so it is very important the workplace to be comfortable and soft. You also need to warm up your body and eyes every two hours.

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