5 Influential People with Standing Desks

5 Influential People with Standing Desks

by Lauren Sauer July 16, 2018

It's a common misconception that standing desks are a new phenomenon. While it's true that desk converters designed to hold computer monitors are relatively new on the market, some of the brightest, most influential minds in history developed some of their ideas with the help of ergonomic desks that let them work while standing up.

5 Influential People Who Used Standing Desks

1) Thomas Jefferson

History buffs and Hamilton fans rejoice; this one is for you. Thomas Jefferson used a tall desk for reading and drawing, with standing legs and a hinged top that could be adjusted to drafting height. This desk was expertly crafted to stand the test of time, which means he didn't fall into the trap of trying to make a DIY standing desk. If you're within driving distance to Monticello, you can even see for yourself; Jefferson's stand up desk is on display in the visitor center!

2) Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway's ergonomic workspace is given a shoutout in an interview published in Issue 18 of the Paris Review (circa 1958). Journalist George Plimpton notes

"A working habit he has had from the beginning, Hemingway stands when he writes. He stands...on the worn skin of a lesser kudu—the typewriter and the reading board chest-high opposite him."

 

To save you a trip to your search engine of choice, I'll tell you that a "lesser kudu" is a species of East African antelope, and also quite an odd choice for an anti-fatigue mat. If Hemingway was still around, he'd be happy to know that there are better standing desk accessories available nowadays, and standing at work is more popular than ever.

3) Marie Antoinette

You know how the famous saying goes: "Let them eat cake...and stand at work." What? That's not how it goes? Well, blame the translation I guess. Point is, Marie Antoinette was an early adopter of the standing desk trend, having a multipurpose makeup table and writing desk custom-made by furniture craftsman Jean Henri Riesener. Riesener's pieces were no strangers to the palace of Versailles; this one in particular was commissioned in the later month's of Antoinette's pregnancy so she could stand comfortably while dressing, reading, and writing. With an oak veneer and gilded details, it's a stand up desk fit for a queen. However, we should really be giving our kudos to mécanicien (mechanic) Jean-Gotfritt Mercklein, who fashioned the detachable crank mechanism that allowed the desk to raise and lower. Now 240 years later, we offer the same technology in our Tranzendesk 55" full sized standing desk. For New Yorkers, Antoinette's desk is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

4) Winston Churchill

Ever have a case of writer's block? Stand up! It sure helped Churchill out. The former Prime Minister wrote some of his most famous wartime speeches while standing. There's several photos of Churchill using a static standing desk situated at drafting height; nowadays you can achieve the same stature with our Stand Steady Series, available in three sizes! It's unclear if he also suffered from back pain, but nonetheless standing surely kept his aches at bay.

5) Virginia Woolf

A pioneer in the modernist literary movement of the 20th century, Woolf took care in both the words she wrote and the position in which she wrote them. Woolf's nephew, biographer Quentin Bell, noted that she "had a desk standing about three feet six inches high with a sloping top; it was so high that she had to stand to her work." For someone who's 5'7", which Woolf was, this is actually just about the perfect standing desk height. Coincidentally, it's also just about the exact height of our Joy Desk if you're looking to outfit your Room of One's Own (aka your home office).




Lauren Sauer
Lauren Sauer

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Stand Steady Product Comparison Chart
We pride ourselves on our wide array of standing desks and standing desk converters.
We're confident that we can offer a solution for your workspace; please refer to the chart below to find your perfect fit!

Full Sized Standing Desks

Product name

Tranzendesk Standing Desk - 55 inch

Tranzendesk Dual Level  - 47 inch

Joy Desk - 47 inch

Joy Desk - Large Glass - 43 inch

Joy Desk - Compact Glass - 31 inch

How it Works Crank Crank Electric Electric Static (No adjustments needed!)
Static (No adjustments needed!)
Static (No adjustments needed!)

 Color

Black desktop

Silver legs OR black legs

(Black desktop regardless of leg color)

Black

Black desktop

Black legs with chrome detailing

Black desktop

Black legs

Maple veneer desktop

Cream legs

Glass top with wood print design

White legs

Glass top with rainbow wood print design

Black legs

Desktop Size

55" x 23.5"
47" x 27"
55" x 27.75" 47.25" x 23.75" 47.25" x 23.75" 43.25" x 23.5" 31.25" x 18.5"

Footprint 

55" x 24"
36.5"x 27"
57" x 23"
35.75" x 23" 46" x 23" 43" x 23" 31" x 15.5"

 Levels

1
2
1 + drop-down keyboard tray 1 2 1 1

 Monitor Capacity

2 monitors + laptop
2 monitors + laptop
2 monitors + laptop
2 monitors + laptop
2 monitors + laptop
2 monitors + laptop
1 monitor or laptop

 Weight Limit

85 lbs max load
85 lbs max load
80 lbs max load
75 lbs max load 60 lbs max load 60 lbs max load 60 lbs max load
 

Standing Desk Converters: Sit/Stand

One Level: X-Elite Series

Product name

X-Elite Pro Standing Desk Converter

X-Elite Pro XL 36" Standing Desk Converter

X-Elite Pro Glide

X-Elite Pro Corner

How it Works Air cylinder lift
Air cylinder lift
Air cylinder lift
Air cylinder lift

 Color

Choose from Black, Cherry, Maple, or White
Black
Black Black

Desktop Size

28" x 20"
36" x 24"
31" x 21" 39.25" x 18"

Footprint 

16.8" x 24.5"
24.25" x 16.5"
24" x 19" 23.5" x 16.25"

 Levels

1
1
1 1

 Monitor Capacity

1 monitor + laptop
2 monitors or 1 monitor + laptop
1 monitor + laptop 2 monitors or 1 monitors + laptop

 Weight Limit

20 lbs max load
20 lbs max load
20 lbs max load
20 lbs max load
 

Two Level: FlexPro Series

 Product Name
How it Works
Air cylinder lift
Air cylinder lift
Pump lift with locking levers
Electric lift
Air cylinder lift
Electric lift
Tension-controlled gas spring lift
Color
Black
Black
Black
Black
Black
Black
Black
Desktop Size
2 sizes! Choose from 32" & 37"

32" x  16"
37" x 16"

3 7.5" x 17.5"
31.5" x 24.5"

 

3 sizes! Choose from 32", 36", & 40"

32" x 25.5"
36" x 25.5"
40" x 25.5"

2 sizes! Choose from 32" & 36"

32" x 25.5"
36" x 25.5"

37" x 15.75" 

32" x 25.5" 

Footprint
30" x 16"
(both models)
30" x 16"
27.5" x 24.5"
32" x 23.5"
36" x 23.5"
40" x 23.5"
32" x 23.5"
36" x 23.5"
30" x 16"
23.5" x 19.5"
Levels
2
2 2 2 2
2
2
Monitor Capacity
32": 1 monitor + laptop
37": 2 monitors
2 monitors or 1 monitor + laptop
1 monitor + laptop
32": 1 monitor + laptop
36": 2 monitors
40": 2 monitors + laptop
32": 1 monitor + laptop
36": 2 monitors
2 monitors or 1 monitor + laptop
2 monitors or 1 monitor + laptop
Weight Limit
35 lbs max load
35 lbs max
30 lbs max load
25 lbs max load
25 lbs max load
44 lbs max load
40 lbs max load

Monitor Mount Converters: Techtonic Series

 Product Name

Techtonic Electric Dual Monitor Mount

Techtonic Electric Triple Monitor Mount

How it Works
Electric lift
Electric lift
Color
Black
Black
Desktop Size
TABLETOP DIMENSIONS: 33" x 14"
KEYBOARD TRAY DIMENSIONS: 34" x 18"
TABLETOP DIMENSIONS: 33" x 14"
KEYBOARD TRAY DIMENSIONS: 34" x 18"
Footprint
31.25" x 20"
31.25" x 20"
Levels
3 3
Max Monitor Size
31.5" widescreen 19" widescreen
Weight Limit
60 lbs
60 lbs

Space Savers: UpTrak Series

Product Name

UpTrak Standing Desk / Adjustable Stand Up Desk

UpTrak Metro Standing Desk & Bonus Keyboard Tray

How it Works Easy-to-use locking levers Spring-assisted lift
Color
Choose from Black or Cherry
Choose from Black, Cherry, or Shimmer
Desktop Size
24" x 20"

Keyboard level: 18.6" x 7.75"

Monitor level: 23.74" x 16"

Footprint

18" x 15"

15.75" x 14.1"
Levels 1 2
Monitor Capacity 1 1
Weight Limit 25 lbs max load
25 lbs max load

 

Standing Desk Converters: Stand Only

Stand Steady Series 

Product
Name
 

Original Stand Steady
Standing Desk (MEDIUM)

Original Folding Desk Converter

Executive Folding Desk Converter

Magic Shelf Multifunctional Desk Converter

Color Black Black Black Blue Black Black White

Desktop Size

24" x 20"
32" x 22" 48" x 24" 19.75" x 11" 23.5" x 20" 31.5" x 23.5"

LARGER TABLE: 24.25" x 11.75"

SMALLER TABLE: 24" x 11.75"

Footprint 18" x 15" 28" x 19" 42 x 21" 20" x 10.5" 18.5" x 13" 26" x 16.5"

LARGER TABLE: 24.25" x 11.75"

SMALLER TABLE: 24" x 11.75"

(Footprint of combined pieces varies based on setup)
Levels 1 1 1 1 1 1 2
Monitor Capacity 1 2 1 monitor + laptop Laptop 1 2 Laptop
Weight Limit 75 lbs max load
75 lbs max load
75 lbs max load
16.5 lbs max load
75 lbs max load
75 lbs max load
25 lbs max load