As many people are starting to realize, sitting is the new smoking–it’ll kill you faster than a bowlful of trans fats. But standing still in front of your computer all day isn’t so great either. What you need is a combo sit-stand desk, preferably one that’s easy to adjust, and that doesn’t use a motor.
That’s the Perch. It’s a super-adjustable desk that sits on top of your regular desk, raising your keyboard, mouse computer and even a secondary screen to the correct level.
The design came about after Nick Salisbury got fidgety at his 9-5 desk job. “[I] found myself slipping away from this active lifestyle I loved and falling helplessly into a life of sitting,” he says. Research showed him that existing desks were either too expensive or not easily adjustable, so he got together with friends and set up Perch.
The most important feature of the Perch is its adjustment system, which lets you change the height of its shelves on the fly, even when they’re loaded with a heavy computer monitor. The Baltic birch plywood shelves have tongues that protrude from the side and hook into a kind of ratcheted notch system that is routed out of the side panels. This, along with handles cut into the edges, lets you grab a shelf, tilt it to unlock it, then lift or lower it. The shelf then seats itself correctly when you’re done.
The rest of the design is just as clever. Holes are cut in the rear of each shelf for cables to pass through and stay out of the way as you adjust shelf height. The top shelf is actually two overlapping shelves that can hold a monitor and a notebook at different heights, which actually puts the screens at the same height as each other. This is ergonomically sound, as it keeps you from having to nod your head constantly while you work.
The more I look at the Perch, the more I like it. The full-width keyboard shelf has room for plenty more than just a keyboard, so you don’t have to reach down for your coffee or pencil. The shelf design locks the shelves into place when weight is placed on them. And speaking of weight, the desk can hold up to 180 pounds, so even your giant 27-inch iMac won’t break it.
The Perch comes in two sizes, a narrow 29 inches and a wider 38 inch model, and because it has no screws or bolts, the makers say it takes only a minute to assemble. It’s not just for computer work, either. The Kickstarter video shows one person using a sewing machine, and I can see myself using it to play and record music while standing up.
The Perch seems popular. In just a few days, it has blown past its Kickstarter goal. That means that the current best price, for a promised February 2016 delivery, is $200 for the small desk and $250 for the large.