A Usable Stand-Up Desk for $25? Yes!

Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves
Episode #166


There’s no shortage of controversy in the debate over whether sitting or standing at your desk is healthier. There’s research to support that standing while you work is healthier, but there’s also research that seems to indicate standing still isn’t any healthier than sitting.

I have chronic back pain (big surprise), so I’ve followed this discussion for years. First, I’ll weigh in with 13 years of personal experience with an adjustable-height desk. Then, I’ll give you a look at an innovative and super-inexpensive new option for standing while you work.

My desk is a height-adjustable model from Bretford Manufacturing, which I’ve been using since 2003. It goes from 24.5 inches (sitting height) to 43 inches (standing height) in just a few seconds by turning a recessed aluminum crank.

I’ve found that alternating between sitting and standing while I work reduces my back pain, but with prices starting in the hundreds and rising into the stratosphere, I find it hard to recommend standing to someone who might not find it as beneficial as I do.

Which is why I was so excited to hear about Oristand, a new kind of stand-up desk made entirely from industrial-grade cardboard that sells for just $25. Unfold it, set it upon your desk (or a table), and put your laptop and keyboard on it, and in a few seconds, you’re standing up and working. It takes only a few seconds to unfold and requires no tools, screws, or other hardware. It’s so easy to set up that there are no instructions.

I tried it for a few days and it works as promised.

Oristand folded.

Oristand set up.

Though it lacks some of the bells and whistles found in higher-end adjustable desks, bear in mind that it only costs $25. Compare that to my Bretford desk (now discontinued), which cost a whopping $1,199 way back in 2003. The Oristand lacks any type of height-adjustment, and won’t support a second display. And the shelf for your keyboard and mouse is a little smaller than I’d like. But don’t let that discourage you from trying Oristand. If you discover you love working on your feet, you can upgrade to a fully adjustable desk, which start at around $300. 

One last thing: Oristand is designed for users from 5 feet to 6 feet tall using an average table height of 29 inches. If you’re significantly shorter or taller than that, you may need to use a table that’s shorter or taller than 29 inches. That being said, I’m 6' 1" and it was just right for me on my 30-inch high (I measured) dining table.

Me, using Oristand on my 30-inch high dining room table.

I can think of no better way to dip your toe into the stand-up desk waters than the $25 Oristand.   

Oristand. $25 each; 5 for $100.

And that's all he wrote...