NewHeights Electric Standing Desk Is Good For Your Health, Hard On Your Wallet [Review]

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Several months ago I decided that I needed to change the way I work. Like most bloggers, I spend the majority of the day at my desk. I’m 6’2’ and over the years I’ve developed not-so-great posture by hunching over my computer screen. The back and neck pain eventually got so bad that I realized I needed to change up my workspace.

NewHeights by Beyond The Office Door
Category: Standing desk
Price: starts at $1378

I’d heard a lot about standing desks, so I decided to look into getting one. After researching, I zeroed in on the NewHeights electric desk. I’ve been using it for the past several months, and now I can never go back.

Sitting Is Killing You

The standing desk trend has become pretty mainstream over the past couple years due to a surge in scientific research comparing the health benefits of standing vs. sitting.  A quick Google search will send you down the rabbit trail easily enough, but the general consensus is that the perils of sitting are a slowed metabolism, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even greater chances of getting cancer.

The human body is not designed to sit for extended periods of time

The human body is not designed to sit for extended periods of time. “The health hazards of sitting for long stretches are significant even for people who are quite active when they’re not sitting down,” according to The New York Times.

As mentioned above, posture was also a reason I decided to make the switch. Standing straight is better on your back and neck, providing you are working at the right angles.

But oddly enough, the biggest motivator for me to start standing more had nothing to do with health at all; I was just too tired. Standing naturally keeps your body and mind more active, and when you’re at your desk all day like I am, staying alert can be easier said than done. I was sick of getting drowsy at my desk in the afternoon.

Becoming A Believer

Before I get to the NewHeights desk itself, it’s important to explain how to appropriately use a standing desk. You must have the right ergonomics when using a standing desk or there is no point to doing it in the first place.

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The above infographic explains the appropriate angles. Make sure to not have the keyboard and monitor on the same plane. Extend your arms from your side at a 90 degree angle and your keyboard should rest on the imaginary line that goes towards the wall.

A habit you need to develop is knowing when to take breaks from standing. It’s not good to only stand. After figuring out what my body needed, I now alternate 3 hours of standing with an hour of sitting throughout the day. There’s no proven formula that works for everyone, so your process should be whatever suits you.

I like an adjustable desk because I can alternate positions

Don’t just stand still either. Shift your weight, walk around, or even get a treadmill. Many order standing desks and put treadmills under them to stay active, but I find that to be a little overkill.

You can buy fixed or adjustable standing desks, but the adjustable ones will typically cost more. I like an adjustable desk because I can alternate positions when need be. For example, it’s easy to sit down after I get back from a workout and my legs are tired. There are benefits to both, but adjustable is obviously going to be more versatile.

It’s easy to spend thousands of dollars on a custom standing desk setup. So if you’re skeptical, start out cheap. A lot of people swear by the $22 DYI Ikea desk, and if that works for you, then great. Over time, you’ll probably want to eventually drop some real cash when you see the health benefits of standing. Then it’s time to look at something like NewHeights.

The Good

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In it’s standing desk roundup, The Wirecutter thinks NewHeights “looks the cheapest of them all,” but I couldn’t disagree more. I love the design and have been extremely impressed with the desk’s build quality.

The fit and finish is top notch

You can choose from 9 different work tops when ordering. I went with mahogany wood. The fit and finish is top notch. I’ve never used a desk that feels this solid. You realize how well-made it is when you set it up and see how few moving parts there are. The electric box just gets screwed onto the base, and the mechanism for each leg is hidden inside chrome shells.

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I’ve found no faults with the build quality, and I happen to really like the way it looks supporting my equipment. The standard button for raising and lowering the desk is two arrows, but I got the programmable button for finer control. There are four customizable presets for saving specific heights. The lowest level is 32 inches off the ground, and the highest is 47 inches. It takes about 13 seconds to go from the lowest to highest points.

After you order, the NewHeights gets mailed to you (all shipping is free) in giant boxes to assemble. For someone like myself with hardly any toolbox knowledge, setup wasn’t too bad. It took me around two hours form start to finish.

The Bad

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I wish the documentation that came with the desk’s parts would have been a little clearer, but the steps were still straightforward enough to figure out. The power system requires no setup besides plugging in cords and drilling it into the base. But after I installed it, the programmable button started flashing a manufacturing defect warning that kept the motor from working. I had to unplug and re-plug the power supply in a few times to get it to work.

Better cable management would be nice, but I didn’t get the $50 wire management add-on to test. If you plan on ordering a custom NewHeights for yourself, I recommend getting the add-on or having some alternative in place for wrangling cords.

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The mouse pad in the RightAngle Myriad MC19 Keyboard System I ordered with the desk doesn’t work well with Apple’s Magic Trackpad, as it’s designed for a traditional mouse with a wire. I just ended taking the mouse extension off of the keyboard tray, which worked fine.

I wasn’t completely pleased with the keyboard system as a whole. The arm rest didn’t make resting my hands on my keyboard feel more comfortable. If you can raise your screen high enough, I recommend not buying the keyboard tray add-on and just leaving your keyboard on the desk surface.

Conclusion

I completely recommend that you invest in a standing desk of some kind, but the NewHeights isn’t going to be for everyone. My 30 x 48 desk with a mahogany top, black base, rounded corners, programmable button, and RightAngle MC19 Keyboard System costs a total of $1,597. That’s a huge purchase. Unless money isn’t an issue, it’s probably smart to start with a makeshift setup and work your way up to something nicer.

All NewHeights desks are made in the United States, and you can read more about the warranty info here.

My colleague Buster reviewed the NextDesk Terra, which is another pricey standing desk worth checking out.

I’ve been very happy with my NewHeights desk, and if you’re in the market for an electric standing desk of your own, this is one to consider. It’s definitely made me more productive and less sore.

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Product Name: : NewHeights

The Good: Exception build quality and sturdiness.

The Bad: Add-ons required to get a truly premium experience.

The Verdict Should be at the top of your list when considering a standing desk.

Buy from: Beyond The Office Door



Cult of Mac rating: Excellent

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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