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Setup build series: New motorized desk

Top Setup Magazine
October 16th, 2021 · 3 min read

I’m sure you heard it at this point:

Sitting is the New Smoking

Sitting is bad for your health. Some studies link sitting for a long time daily to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Standing on the other hand has many benefits, several studies show that standing can dramatically decrease chronic back pain caused by prolonged sitting, burn more calories and appear to have a positive influence on overall well-being. Also in my experience working while standing has a lot of benefits when it comes to focus and productivity as well.

Extended standing has downsides as well, it can cause hip pain or low back pain due to prolonged pressure on certain areas of your feet. Some link it also with muscle fatigue in knees and legs and increased risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia.

Personally, I’m not a fan of sitting nor standing all day, thus I lean towards a sit-stand desk to switch positions a few times during the day rather than fixed standing desks.

Originally I purchased the SKARSTA desk from IKEA, a sturdy, affordable desk that served me very well, but comes with a major downside which is the lack of a motor option.

At first I thought cranking it up and down twice a day will be a good arm exercise, but that enthusiasm didn’t last for long. Recently I found myself sitting most of the time due to the inconvenience and the time it takes to move from one position to another. All in all, I was sitting most of the time and when I raised the desk I kept it there for an extended period of time exceeding my comfortable standing duration.

I looked into a DIY solution, and there are some ingenious ideas around motorizing the SKARSTA which I would look into for a secondary setup. But for my main one I’m not too fond of the idea. That leaves one solution: upgrading to a motorized desk.

I didn’t consider a motorized desk back in 2016 due to the high cost. Only a few brands were in the business at the time and priced the desks prohibitively high. Today the cost came way down making this type of desk very affordable.

I chose the option with dual motors, it puts little work on each of the motors allowing a higher load (120Kg, 264 pounds) and faster movements 38mm/s. It has 3 segments which allow it to go higher than models with 2 segments, this one goes from 67cm to 129cm (26.3” to 50.7”). The control panel can save up to 4 settings, which can store sit/stand positions for you and a partner or a colleague. The desk is hefty, made of thick steel extrusions and its width can be adjusted from 100cm to 170cm (39.3” to 67”) to match a wide variety of tabletops.

Disclaimer: I received my unit with a discount from Opal, our review is independent and unbiased, no extra money changed hands and no one is influencing our review.


The desk arrived in a compact package, well-padded and protected. All needed screws, tools, and accessories come in the package with a helpful instructions booklet.


The desk can be assembled fairly quickly, you can choose if you want to attach the base to the tabletop first or assembled the desk first. If you chose the latter like us make sure you have someone to help you, as flipping this giant thing is challenging.

Fast forward and the desk is assembled, connect the motors in any slot and connect the control panel, hook power and we’re ready!

Low setting
Control panel
High setting

I’m so happy with the desk that I took the old GERTON tabletop to a shop to be refinished, I decided to go with a walnut stain and a matt finish. It looks much better than what we did before and the results speak for themselves.

Final desk

You can see some other upgrades, stay tuned because next time we’ll talk about the rest. For now, you can pick a sit-stand from Amazon and reap the benefits:

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 🇫🇷 🇩🇪 🇪🇸

One last thing to say, it’s time to take a stand!

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