By now, we all know the best way to live beyond 100 years old is to use a standing desk. But isn’t one of those powered desks that heft your 15-pound iMac to eye-level a little too much for an extremely light laptop laptop? That’s the thinking behind InMovement’s Elevate Desktop, a pose-able arm that clamps to your desk and raises your notebook computer up to any height you like.
Just standing isn’t the key to ultimate fitness, otherwise mall security guards would all be toned, and free of donut bellies. The trick is to move around, sitting when you’re tired, standing when you fancy, not locking yourself into one position.
"Laptops encourage mobility which is great," InMovement general manager Dan Wille told Co.Exist, "but because of their design they can be used in an endless number of positions and not all of them are ergonomic."
The Elevate lets you swivel and lift your computer to the height and spot you want. It will support up to ten pounds in weight, but there’s no spot to park your coffee cup. This, though, is in keeping with the way laptop users work. "Laptop users are more mobile than regular desktop users," says Wille, "often adjusting their workspaces to meet different requirements and varying locations, such as the office, a co-working space or home."
I’ve tested a similar product designed for a desktop, and while shifting a 30-pound computer up and down is a little more involved (possibly saving you the cost of a gym membership) than moving a laptop, the principle is the same. After a while, you forget about the stand and just move it to wherever you feel like working.
The Elevate Desktop has a clamp that grabs the edge of your existing desk. The jointed arm raises and lowers the shelf while keeping it level, and you can swivel the whole stand around its base, or just swing the top surface from side to side. This range of movement lets you set it at any height, through a full 360˚ range. It won’t replace regular exercise or obviate frequent breaks, but the key is to do the best you can. Willes agrees.
"If you use a laptop in one place for an extended amount of time, the gold standard for posture is to hook it up to an external monitor and keyboard, place it on a sit-to-stand desktop and ensure your body is in a comfortable and natural position," he told us. "However, we know that isn’t an option for everyone."
Every little bit helps, as they say. And while at $300, the Elevate isn’t cheap, it’s a lot cheaper than a full-on standing desk. And who knows? If you live to 100 because you haven’t spent your slovenly life in a chair, maybe you’ll manage to earn that extra $300 along the way.