Who doesn’t love a good standing desk? People who hate all desks, because desks are untidy eyesores, that’s who. Finally, those fussy folks might have something they can set their OCD eyes on without having a fit.
That something is Ergotron’s Hub, a heavy-duty convertible desk that bolts to the wall and folds closed when not in use. You can think of it as a modern-day version of the roll-top bureau, only slimline, and for use when standing while sitting. It’s a wonder that the Victorians ever managed to conquer the world–all that time spent writing letters while sitting down must have seen them dropping like flies.
The main feature of the Hub is its frosted glass front panel, which folds down to become the desktop (and, when closed, can be used as a dry-erase board). The Hub comes in two sizes, 27 and 24 inches, measured like a TV screen. Both can be used to hold a notebook computer, but the larger one also works as a full-sized desk. The idea is that it can also be used as a home organization station, because computer work isn’t the only thing we do at our desks.
“The Hubs address other home annoyances as well,” says Ergotron’s Betsey Banker, “like what to do with all the mail, magazines, phone chargers, and grocery lists that clutter up the counter top. It’s the perfect solution to bring some health and organization home.”
To help this organization, the Hubs have a set of plastic inserts that hang from the back and let you stow pens, keys, books, and even your phone or tablet (the Hub also locks closed to keep things safe while you’re away). The idea is that you have everything to hand, including chargers (routed through custom channels), so you can either work for a few minutes, or have everything to hand for a full day’s work, without needing a bulky desk.
“The bigger trend here is around small spaces,” Banker says, “the Hubs are compact enough to go almost anywhere, and although perfect for short bursts of use, they can also be used for extended periods. All a user would need to do is slide up a stool and a footrest to comfortably alternate positions as they work.”
I’ve tested Ergotron’s gear before, and it really is designed around keeping you moving. Or rather, it doesn’t pin you into one way of working.
“Though it is frequently overlooked,” says Banker, “standing is the simplest, easiest change to make. Standing increases energy, burns calories, tones muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow, reduces blood sugar levels, and ramps up metabolism.”
Standing up is a great way to change your regular position, but most standing desks–Ergotron’s other models included, are bulky, or need a big investment. The Hubs run at $200 and $350, which certainly isn’t cheap, but neither is it anywhere near the price of a good standing desk.
Something like the Hub, or even just a sturdy shelf like Ikea’s Norberg, also means you can put an ergonomic workspace in the tiniest corner of an apartment. Even a hallway or a corridor is big enough.
Or you could just keep slouching and end up like the Victorians. Ever wondered why you don’t see them around any more? Too much letter-writing while sitting down, that’s why.