What we talk about when we talk about the SmartDesk

Autonomous Autonomous | May 30, 2017

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A lot of the discussion is focused on whether standing at work ‘works,’ whether it is the ‘right’ way to work or whether it’s all just talk.
However, what we at Autonomous find fascinating is that when we listen to what people are saying about the sit to stand desk, they cover a broad spectrum of experiences.  What is consistent among them, is that most people who try out a sit to stand desk find it helps them change the way they work for the better. There is no one ‘right’ way, but making the first change helps them to get closer to what works for them.


Even professional reviewers of our SmartDesk, who cover the same features of the sit to stand desk, find value in different features. Whilst Jay2Cents, ALittleDimm and Bob Buskirk from ThinkComputers talk about its affordability, Dave from TooWiredTooTired focuses on the health benefits of standing at work. Meanwhile PhoneDog talks about the aesthetics of the SmartDesk’s finish and YourTechExplained talk about its technological capabilities and ‘sturdy build.’


The fact is, everyone is different and wants different things for their sit to stand desk. So we thought we could open up the conversation and look at what people talk about when they talk about the SmartDesk. Look at a range of first hand experiences and individual journeys towards working smarter and healthier.




Perhaps the most widely discussed aspect of the sit to stand desk is health. This has led to sensationalist phrases like ‘Sitting is the New Smoking,’ - the title of an article published in the The Huffington Post which quickly made waves across the internet. Whilst we are very encouraging of the idea of finding alternatives to sedentary working, we don’t think it’s useful to scare people with rumblings of a health epidemic or to suggest sitting at work is somehow ethically ‘wrong.’


What we do find, is that when we look at individual experiences with the sit to stand desk, like the widely shared story ‘My Year with a Standing Desk and Why I’m Never Going Back’ by Ceria Bernales, we hear about her previous personal health issues and how the sit to stand desk helped to resolve them.


As she describes, her ‘lower back and shoulders always felt tight at the end of the day and I usually felt fatigued on my way home from the office even though I eat fairly well and exercise regularly.’


After using a sit to stand desk Bernales improved her posture and relieved the tension in her shoulders. However, she didn’t get the perfect combination until she found a seat for active sitting which allowed her to get the right balance for her.


‘Two weeks of leaning on the Locus Seat made me realize that, even though I loved standing at my desk, my feet liked the relief. Because I don’t have to adjust the height of my desk, I could switch from standing and leaning throughout the day. The side bends I was doing while leaning were also refreshing; it was like stretching without interrupting my workflow.’


By taking the leap into a sit to stand desk Bernales was able to start experimenting with how she could improve her health at work and eventually found a solution that works for her.


Equally relieved to find a solution to the problem of sedentary working, Darryl Schwenke, US, also found sit to stand desk which offered relief for the pain in his neck, shoulders, wrists and back.


‘I've had mine about six months, and it has made a HUGE difference for me. I spend a lot of time at the computer, (you knew?) and being able to "stretch" a few hours a day has really helped with neck, shoulder, wrist and back pain. My posture has improved dramatically, and I can go longer at the screen. Just moving things up and down for variety is a huge help with looming Carpal Tunnel.’


Darryl Schwenke’s Autonomous Desk at his home set-up


Whereas Davey Dee was more concerned about maintaining his posture,

‘It's great for posture allowing me to adjust the height so that I don't have to hunch/bend when mixing on Facebook live or when I spend 2-4 hours mixing a set; conventional tables are a bit low and can create back problems.’


And Cindy from Ontario was more conscious of her shoulder position,


‘My favourite part of the desk is the cutout in the front...being a Gokhale Method instructor we always talk about shoulder position and having the cutout enables you to maintain good shoulder position because you don't have to reach forward to your work (which can put a lot of strain on your shoulders and neck).’


Meanwhile with a slightly different health issue, Brian Franzo from Fredericksburg US, speaker, blogger and commentator on all matters millennial and tech, found a sit to stand desk useful for streamlining the energy of his ADHD into an active way of working productively:


‘We are all special.. we are all unique... we all work differently....

Here is a taste of what my ADHD entrepreneur brainstorming process looks like... people say you can't multitask, people say you need to eliminate distractions... I say:

BE YOURSELF and do what works best for you and do it to the best of your damn ability!!’



As long as we embrace the fact that we are all different have different physical and mental qualities to work with, we can all find ways to work smarter and healthier day to day.What we know for sure is that it is unlikely that sitting all day everyday is the best fit for everyone.




The most talked about feature of the Autonomous SmartDesk and the thing that separates it from other sit to stand desk’s on the market is its affordability. In the words of The Awesomer,


‘Autonomous proves that you don't need to spend thousands to own a great motorized standing desk. Its top of the line desk has bells and whistles like a personal assistant, but its basic model has all the essentials, including a lap desk-style ergonomic surface.’


How did we manage to build a SmartDesk of the highest quality for the lowest price? Well as we often say, we are DIY Hack’s ourself and we found a way to cut out the middleman.


This is yet another feature of our sit to stand desk that has got people talking, as Brad Auerback described in  Forbes ‘By owning every touchpoint along the supply chain, the company is able to offer high-quality products directly to businesses and consumers, at price surprisingly low.’


We’re happy to have saved, potentially hundreds of dollars for our customers, and so are they, as Geoffrey in Toledo Ohio wrote,


‘This desk is great and the price is unbeatable from what I researched! I love it, and everyone that comes into my office comments on it, and are always shocked that it is a fraction of cost of other motorized stand up desks.’


Image of Geoffrey’s Autonomous desk and set-up in Toledo




Naturally what is unique about the Autonomous SmartDesk is the ‘Smart’ element. As a company, Autonomous is dedicated to integrating the latest in AI into everyday objects to create cutting edge products.


With the SmartDesk you don’t just get a sit to stand desk, you can also program your favorite heights into four separate modes, making it easier to transition into different types of working throughout the day. With the addition of our AI box you can also have a personal assistant, home control and the ability to develop your own features onto sit to stand desk with the built in Developer SDK.


But don’t take it from us, take it from Jonathan Bloom in North Carolina:


‘I love walking into my office and having my desk rise in the morning. I also love changing it by voice throughout the day! And after using the AI for a few weeks, I LOVE IT. I forgot there are preset buttons, as I just tell Isabella what to do!’


Image of Jonathan Bloom’s set up in Columbus Ohio


And from Thomas Masengill in North Carolina:


‘This is my second stint with a Stand/Sit desk and I'm glad I found this desk the second time around. The motors are relatively quiet and the desk is very stable. There are a ton of neat features (USB ports galore, upgradable software for the AI module, Bluetooth speaker, mobile app, and the list goes on)’.


And Chris from DailyTekk:


‘I love this desk because it is exactly what I'm looking for. I really like the options to sit or stand, and the control panel makes it really easy to dial in some presets. Overall, this is a really sturdy, high quality desk which is really smooth and quiet when it's raised or lowered. It's the most affordable standing desk out there. ‘




We also hear people talking about the benefit of having a desk which is adaptable. Whether in a central New York office or a suburban house, we don’t always have a lot of space to work with. Being able to change the function of a desk is a good way to maximise space. Christie from California, for example, bought one for her son, who found the desk convenient for his two children to do their homework on, as well as for him and his wife to do her officework.


‘The desk is perfect for what they need and for what they have, which is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. The only place they could set up their computers so both of them could work at the same time, was in their bedroom. It's the perfect size. They each can work on one side using their desktop and laptops.’


Similarly, Corey from Minnesota found it fit perfectly with her children’s different needs.


Just ordered our second one of these because we liked the first one SOOOO much!! My daughter uses it for crafts, my son is going to use it for computer work/programming. They love it.’


Picture of Corey’s daughter’s bedroom with the Autonomous SmartDesk


So what do people talk about when they talk about the SmartDesk? They talk about health, about affordability, technology and adaptability but above all they talk about their own individual needs and experiences. The SmartDesk is not about one correct way of working, it’s about creating room to experiment with the way we work. To look for ways for everyone to work smarter, healthier and be more productive, whatever their specific needs.


In line with this ethos we offer a 30 day free-trial with all of our products so you can give it a go for yourself and see if it makes a difference to the way you work. We’d love to hear how it goes.

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