Standing desk converters have become a fantastic option to get people standing while they work, without having to get a whole new desk. They continue to gain popularity and new designs are being released very frequently. Even with all of these options, many standing desk converters will pose considerable problems for short people. It is important to understand what to look for if you are short and shopping for a desktop converter. I have put together a list of what I believe to be five of the best converters for short people. Some of these products will be better than others and I will point out any potential downsides to be aware of. My goal is to give you some good product choices and help you get a better idea of what to look for.
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Top 5 Standing Desk Converters for Short People in 2022
- Ergotron WorkFit-S
- Ergotron WorkFit-A
- Humanscale QuickStand
- HeathPostures TaskMate Go
- FlexiSpot CompactRiser M5
- 5 Things You Must Consider Before Buying Converters
- Final Thoughts
1. Ergotron WorkFit-S
Reason for Inclusion
The first product on my list is the WorkFit-S by Ergotron. The reason that the WorkFit-S grabbed the top spot is because it checks all of the boxes for short people. For starters, the keyboard tray has a range that allows it to go 4” below your existing desk. This is a rare feature to find on a standing desk converter and can be very useful for short people. Having such a low minimum keyboard tray height makes it much easier to work in an ergonomic position when seated.
The WorkFit-S also features dual ergonomics with a separate, adjustable monitor mount. Being able to adjust the monitor height is very useful for sitting and standing. Many converters will have platforms that sit at 5”-6” above your desk. This may force an upward viewing angle when you are sitting. Having an independently adjustable monitor allows you to lower your monitor and close the gap between your monitor and keyboard. You might find that you prefer a different amount of spacing between the monitor and keyboard when you move to standing height. The adjustable monitor allows you to choose between a large range of distances.
The counterbalance adjustment system on the WorkFit-S makes the process very easy to perform. There are no buttons or levers to press. You do not need to reach awkwardly and the height adjustment can be performed with one hand. Simply grab the handle on the platform or the sides of the monitor and move them up or down. The counterbalance system will hold the items firmly in their new position.
The WorkFit-S provides a good amount of task space within your neutral reach zone when going with the auxiliary platform. All items, including your monitor, will be within arm’s reach for the majority of people.
2. Ergotron WorkFit-A
Reason for Inclusion
The next item on my list is another product by Ergotron, the WorkFit-A. Similar to the WorkFit-S, the WorkFit-A also has a keyboard tray that goes below your desk. Lower the keyboard tray as much as 3.5” below the desk surface to make it easier to achieve an ergonomic keyboard tray height.
The monitor height is independently adjustable from the keyboard tray so the WorkFit-A is dual ergonomic. The WorkFit-A was able to get my monitors low enough for the bottoms to be a couple inches off my desk. This is fantastic for short people in the seated position. This will allow you to get your monitors low enough to have the proper viewing angle. Being able to keep the distance between your keyboard and monitors limited will also be helpful when going to standing height.
The WorkFit-A uses the same counterbalance adjustment system discussed with the WorkFit-S. Once you find the right tension setting, you can easily adjust the WorkFit-A. Simply grab the item you want to adjust, move it and it will hold its new position. The adjustments are easy to reach and don’t cause awkward reaching or bending.
The biggest downside to the WorkFit-A is that there is a limited amount of task space within your neutral reach zone on the basic model. Accessing the space on your desk will be awkward when sitting or standing. You can add the optional work surface to help with this situation.
3. Humanscale QuickStand
Reason for Inclusion
The QuickStand by Humanscale is another nice option for short people. The keyboard tray does not go below your desk like a few other items on this list. But, it does have the lowest profile available at .25” above your existing desk. This will have very little effect on your normal typing posture, if you do not use your keyboard below your desk level normally.
The monitor on the QuickStand is independently adjustable so the unit is dual ergonomic. The separate monitor adjustment will allow you to get your monitor much closer to your desk than the majority of converters will allow. This is a nice feature for shorter people that need smaller spacing between their monitor and keyboard when seated. This is also very helpful when moving to standing to make sure that you can stay in an ergonomic position.
The QuickStand uses the same counterbalance adjustment system as the WorkFit-S. Once you find the right setting, you can easily move the platform or monitor up and down without pressing any buttons or levers. The movement process requires very little physical effort and the handles provided are easy to reach. The platform and monitor are held tightly in place once you’ve reached your desired height.
The QuickStand is also a good product for keeping everything within your neutral reach zone. The platform and monitor are both within arm’s reach. When seated you will easily be able to use the desk space within your neutral reach zone and upgrading to the large platform will give you usable task space when standing.
One possible downside for short people considering the QuickStand is the minimum keyboard tray height. It does have the lowest profile but that doesn’t help people that prefer to use their keyboard below their desk with a keyboard tray or drawer.
4. HeathPostures TaskMate Go
Reason for Inclusion
The third item on my list is the TaskMate Go by HealthPostures. The TaskMate Go is very similar to the WorkFit-S but less polished. It features a keyboard tray that is capable of going below the desk it is attached to by 3.5”. This is one of the few products that allow the keyboard tray to be used at such a low height which makes it a great option for short people when sitting.
The monitor is independently adjustable from the keyboard tray, making it dual ergonomic. The minimum monitor height of 10” to the center of the mount is smaller than most standing desk converters. This allows short people to have the correct ergonomic monitor viewing angle when seated. You will also be able to change the distance when going to standing if you need be.
The overall height adjustment process is very easy. Simply press a lever and the unit will automatically raise with the help of drawer slides and a gas cylinder. Releasing the lever will lock the unit in place. Lowering the unit will require you to press the lever and push the unit downward. The force required is very minimal and it is easy to reach the platform to get leverage.
The vertical column and single platform allow you to have the task space within your neutral reach zone when you are sitting or standing.
The biggest downside to the TaskMate Go is that it does not feature infinite position lock on the keyboard tray or monitor mount. Instead, it features incremental positions that are 2” apart. This creates a situation where the majority of people using this product will find that their optimal height is in between two of the allowable positions. This will force you to choose to work with your keyboard and/or monitor slightly higher or lower than you would prefer.
Another potential downside is the monitor adjustment system. The monitor is mounted to a bracket and then adjusted using a basic screw and notch system. There are two screw heads positioned vertically that stick out from the monitor bracket. There are also several upside-down tear drops cut into the front of the vertical mounting column. The screw heads go into the top portion of the cut-out and then fall into the narrower teardrop, which locks the monitor in place.
To make adjustments, you need to physically take the monitor and bracket off the column and re-attach it to a different combination of teardrop holes. The best way to do this adjustment is to use two hands and grab the bracket at the point that it attached to the column. This may be difficult to reach and hard to gain leverage for short people.
5. FlexiSpot CompactRiser M5
Reason for Inclusion
The final item on my list is going to be another low priced option. The FlexiSpot F3M is similar to the Uplift Adapt in that the keyboard tray is capable of lowering to be flush with the desk it is sitting on. Unfortunately, there is not an option to have the keyboard tray lowered below the desk surface but getting to the same height as your desk is better than the vast majority of converters.
The FlexiSpot F3M is very easy to adjust. The height is controlled with a single handle found underneath the right side of the monitor platform. Pressing and holding the handle will allow you to move the unit up and down freely. Releasing the handle will lock the unit in place. The F3M moves smoothly and requires very little physical effort. You also do not need to bend or reach to make the adjustment.
The F3M also pushes you about a foot from your desk when in the seated position, like the Uplift Adapt. Unlike the Adapt, the F3M has quite a bit of usable task space on its platform, after adding your monitor stand. This allows you to keep most of your accessories within your neutral reach zone when you are seated or standing.
One major downside to the F3M is that it does not have dual ergonomics and features the highest minimum monitor platform height I have seen on a converter. This will put the center of most monitors at around 16” off your desk when in the lowest position. This will create an upward viewing angle for a lot of people when they are seated. The lack of dual ergonomics also creates problems when moving to standing height because you will not be able to ensure that both your monitor height and keyboard are in an ergonomic position. You will probably have to sacrifice the ergonomics on one of them.
Another minor downside is that the keyboard cannot go below your existing desk. This may not be the best option for people that use their keyboard in a position below their desk. This is usually accomplished with a keyboard tray or drawer.
5 Things You Must Consider
There are several things that you will want to consider. I will highlight four of them throughout this article: monitor viewing angle, keyboard tray height, neutral reach zone and adjustment process. Unfortunately, there are very few products available that excel in all of these categories, when it applies to short people. You may have to decide which factors are most important and what you are willing to give up.
1. Monitor Viewing Angle
The first thing to consider is your monitor viewing angle. The proper ergonomic viewing angle is to have your eyes even with the top third of your monitor. This is the recommended viewing angle because it allows your eyes to view the screen with a natural downward cast. There is less strain on the eyes when they are looking straight forward or down than when they are looking up. This eye positioning also keeps the neck and shoulder muscles more relaxed because your head is not tilted up. One easy way to find the correct angle is to line your eyes up with the top of your monitor screen. You can then move the screen up slightly if it feels more comfortable but you will still be in the correct range.
2. Keyboard Tray Position
The next thing to consider is the keyboard position. Proper ergonomics for a keyboard will place your elbows at a 90° angle when your arms are relaxed. It is also recommended to use your keyboard in a negative tilt position. This means that the back of the keyboard is tilted downward. This allows your hands to lay flat with a neutral wrist position. This helps to reduce the chance of things like repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel syndrome. The best way to find your ergonomic keyboard position is to let your arms hang with your shoulders fully relaxed. Next, lift your forearms to about a 90° angle with your wrists relaxed. This is where you want your hands, arms and shoulders to be.
3. Adjustment Process
It is important to know which converters are difficult to adjust because many adjustments are made harder when you are short. Some products, like the VertDesk Converter, have lifting patterns that make them more difficult to adjust as they get higher. Other products, like the Kangaroo and Winston, are more difficult to adjust because of friction in their columns. This is not as concerning for taller people because they can naturally get more leverage to move the converter, but it is not always as easy if you are short.
Another thing to consider is whether a converter will make you reach an uncomfortable distance to make an adjustment. The Kangaroo and Duke are examples of this. The Kangaroo forces you to reach to the back of the platform to adjust it downward, which may be difficult if you are short. The Duke requires you to reach around the monitor to make height adjustments so you need to have long enough arms to be able to perform the adjustment.
4. Neutral Reach Zone
Your neutral reach zone is the area in front of you that can be accessed without awkward bending or reaching. You want to make sure that the task space on your standing desk converter is within your neutral reach zone. A bad example of this is the TaskMate Executive. One of the main reasons why the TaskMate Executive did not make this list is because the task space is about an arm’s length away for me and I am 5’8”. I was forced to bend forward to grab items or read documents. Shorter people will have an even more difficult time.
5. Add a Footrest
A footrest can greatly improve your work experience. A footrest will allow you to use your chair at a taller height, while keeping your knees at a 90° angle. Using your chair at a taller height makes it a lot easier to get into an ergonomic position because you will not be reaching up to the keyboard. A footrest is not only useful with standing desk converters or short people, but also for average height people, traditional standing desks and normal sitting desks. I have used a footrest for several years and I think it helps quite a bit.
There is a limited selection of well-rounded standing desk converters for short people. Most converters increase your keyboard height when sitting and lack independent monitor adjustment. Others can be difficult to adjust or awkward to task with. Knowing what to look for will make it much easier to find the converter you need. Look for products that offer keyboard trays that go below the desk. Products that are dual ergonomic and easily adjustable are also good features to look for. And, try a footrest!
This is a situation where it may be worth considering a full sit to stand desk. Most people focus on the standing aspect of a sit stand desk but they are also useful for changing your sitting position. They allow you to bring your desk below the standard 29”-30” that most desks are set at. Products like the Autonomous, VertDesk v3 and Uplift are priced similarly to the items on this list but they have lower minimum heights. I hope this list provides some good options and is helpful in showing you what to look for when shopping for a standing desk converter.