We tested a “sit-stand” desk for the first time, the Flexispot ED5. Here is our opinion on this way of working as on the product itself.
In 2005, in his show “ The other is me », Gad Elmaleh admitted not understanding the meaning of the position “ sitting up » to adopt when taking a chairlift. Nearly 20 years later (and several accusations of plagiarism), the comedian has disappeared from the French media landscape, but we find his expression in a completely different setting: the offices “ sitting up “.
In this area, one name comes up regularly: Flexispot. Market leader, the brand offers many desks of this type, so we wanted the Flexispot ED5, a mid-range model sold at 400 euros (without top, sold separately). We opted for the smallest model and without accessories (apart from the “ maple “).
An assembly without much complication
The Flexispot ED5 weighs around thirty kilos, which makes it a large package to receive at home. Especially since each element of the desk is particularly well packaged in a riot of plastic in order to cushion any shocks that could occur during delivery.
Upon receipt, assembly begins, requiring an Allen key (included) and a Phillips screwdriver (not included). Let’s go for a short hour of Swedish-style assembly, following relatively precise instructions. Relatively, because if the pieces are well detailed, certain steps could have benefited from being broken down to make reading simpler.
Without much hassle, it took me approximately an hour to find myself in front of a fully assembled desk, tray included. However, it is possible to be faster by avoiding doing it in a open space full of teasing colleagues. Note that although the assembly does not necessarily require a very large space, it will clearly be an additional comfort if you can fit the desk approximately twice in the room (in particular to turn it over or install the table top).
Design and finishes: years of experience
Without taking any additional option for cable management (rather dedicated to powering the peripherals on your desk), the Flexispot ED5 is supplied with self-adhesive cable clips to facilitate the organization of the various cables useful for office itself. We can thus easily run all these unsightly elements along the central frame of the desk, or one of the feet as far as the main power supply is concerned. In just a few minutes, a discreet (rather long) black wire comes out of the base of the Flexispot ED5 to reach your nearest power outlet.
Source: Chloé Pertuis – CssTricks
Source: Chloé Pertuis – CssTricks
The design for its part is rather basic with two inverted T legs connected by a reinforced double crossbar structure adjustable in length depending on the top. This means that the corners of the desk are supported at the end of the support, which necessarily makes it less stable than a four-legged model like the E7Q (offered at more than double its price). However, the wide feet of the width of the desk ensure a very good balance of the desk at ground level and even medium-sized unfortunate shocks do not cause it to wobble, only the table top shakes.
The lifting columns are not only stable, but also strong. They can support a weight of 100 kg, which we tested. Despite the set and my equipment (a laptop, a screen and various accessories), I was able to sit down on the ED5 and start lifting the desk. Its two engines barely indicated their displeasure by slowing down the movement, but accompanied me to 1.15 m from the ground without any further grumbling.
Concerning the finishes, a month of use has left no mark on the legs or the desk top. The ED5 therefore seems rather solid, even if certain places (notably on the lifting columns) could be a little more aesthetically speaking. Furthermore, Flexispot provides a 5-year warranty on this model, which is rather reassuring, even if a 10-year warranty as on the most high-end devices in the catalog would have been appreciable.
Functions and usage
On the right edge of the desk is a small control panel with an LED screen, seven touch keys and a USB port to easily charge a device on your desk (phone, headphones, etc.). Don’t expect to power your PC through this, however, or even take advantage of fast charging, the power is not sufficient.
It is possible to adjust the height of the desk to the nearest centimeter, or to preset positions in advance. You therefore have four programs: sitting, standing, and two other heights. This can be handy for content creators who might need multiple setups different for their shoots or if the desk is used by two people of different heights.
The indicated speed is 3.8 cm per second. In our case, going from standing (115 cm) to sitting (73 cm) takes approximately 12 seconds, or 3.5 cm/s. This is close enough to consider that the difference is within the margin of error of our measurements. The noise disturbance is also very reduced: Flexispot announces “ less than 50 dB », which our measurements confirmed in a open space rather quiet (45 to 52 dB, office in action).
The lowest position is 64.5 cm, compared to 130 cm for the highest position. A range wide enough to accommodate almost all sizes.
Note also that the customization button can be held for a few seconds to lock the control panel. Although this is a child lock originally, you may need it on other occasions. It happened several times that I accidentally pressed the buttons, and therefore caused the desk to rise while I was looking for a cable behind my screen for example.
Finally, Flexispot has once again integrated its anti-collision system here. If your little one passes under the desk when it goes down, for example, the movement will stop and start a few centimeters in the opposite direction. Rather practical safety to avoid accidents. On the other hand, there is no alarm to encourage you to use the high position regularly.
The concept ” sitting up “, a good idea ?
The big question we ask ourselves when turning to this type of desk is above all: is there any interest in a sit-stand desk or should I rather turn to an Ikea desk at half the price ? I won’t be able to give you an answer that suits YOU, you’ll have to test it to find out, but I can already give you my opinion after a month of use.
First of all, what is the point of this type of office? The advantages announced are multiple.
Some ergonomists argue that this allows you to adopt a better position for your back, but this of course depends on you. Nothing stops you from slouching over your keyboard even while standing. Then, this would improve blood circulation and prevent loss of muscle mass. Coherent arguments based on the principle that you will move more while standing. You will find a summary of multiple studies on the subject carried out by ScienceDaily in 2019.
Finally, standing prevents fatigue and falling asleep caused by pressure points when you sit. Working while standing would therefore lead to better concentration.
Rather skeptical at first, I wanted to try the experience by really getting into the game. I did not impose a fixed program on myself, but rather a regular alternation within the day according to my desires.
The first days, attracted by the novelty, I obviously spent a large part of my days on my feet. I quickly became disillusioned. Having not ordered the padded mat offered by Flexispot, I ended some days with slight pain in my heels. Nothing too embarrassing, I didn’t end up limping like Keyser Söze, but imagine spending several hours in a queue to imagine the type of inconvenience that this can cause. On the other hand, my seat appreciated the experience.
Subsequently, I adopted a more alternating rhythm, sometimes changing the height of my ED5, when I wanted. That’s when you realize that 12 seconds can seem like a very long time when you’re waiting for your desk to change position in front of everyone.open space. So I instead decided to change stations when I left my office, during my breaks or my meetings for example.
But that still doesn’t tell you if working while standing is enjoyable. “ Pleasant » is clearly not the right word and it is also no surprise that a large number of people I was able to question on the subject told me that they stopped changing position once the effect of novelty past. I have been told on several occasions the case of meetings, where standing provides more freedom of movement and greater stimulation, but the time spent standing is significantly reduced over time.
Another use that we don’t necessarily think about: being able to adjust the height of the desk to adopt a perfectly ergonomic position, whatever your size. If you work many hours sitting, this is an important point.
As for concentration, I must admit that I didn’t believe it at all when I received the ED5, but I surprised myself by being more productive when working standing up. The semi-discomfort of the posture makes daydreaming less natural and therefore allows you to focus on a specific task.
Flexispot ED5 price
The Flexispot ED5 is available for 399.99 euros on the brand’s website (without tray). Allow a minimum of 99.99 euros additional for the tray if you buy it simultaneously.