As an SEO and thus, someone who’s at their desk for many hours every day, I’ve come to know the importance of strong ergonomics. Regular readers will recall from my Ergodox EZ review, that I also know it can be a nightmare to figure out exactly what you’re looking at, and looking for.
But before we dive into all of that, let’s look at …
- Why I Started Looking At Standing Desks
- The Standing Desks I Shortlisted
- Autonomous: The Standing Desk I Chose
- Assembling The Autonomous L-Shaped Standing Desk
- The Quality Of The Autonomous Desk
- The Verdict
- Ordering An Autonomous
- Promo Code
- Impact On Health
Why I Started Looking At Standing Desks
Both my wife Mary, and I were interested in standing desks. Because we both work in Internet Marketing, I in SEO and PPC, and her in UX and Social Media, we’re both at our desks … a lot.
We’re been in the industry for about 20 years at this point, and the sitting was taking its toll.
She’d been feeling the impact of sitting for long hours at a stretch and something important to think about for everyone is – ergonomics isn’t as much for the you of today, as for the you of tomorrow. Seeing the future that was coming we started the hunt for her standing desk first, knowing that if if didn’t meet our quality expectations it would be easier to return one.
This is exactly the type of research I love.
Over the coming months we’ll be chronicling not only the desk, but also the impact on body health.
The Standing Desks I Shortlisted
There were three standing desks I shortlisted. Some of the biggest characteristics we were looking at were:
- L-Shaped (not important for me, but was for Mary)
- Needed to be able to support up to 5 monitors
- Needed to have programmable heights
This one is from a Canadian company and comes in at $1,325 CA (roughly $1,030 US) and won’t be available in the US until February 2021.
This one came with some solid reviews and I almost chose it, but as an internet marketer I was put off by verified tales of bought reviews and the use of marketing strategies that I wouldn’t support in my job.
From what I can tell quality-wise they’re solid, but the incident was a tie-breaker between the one I chose and this one.
It comes with a 30-day trial and free shipping.
You can find out more about them if you’re interested here*. If you use our link you get $25 off.
Coming in at $1,249 US (on sale – down from $1,299), this was the most expensive of the options I looked at.
It is well reviewed and has a great track record. It was even recommended by a friend.
Honestly, with this one the deciding factor was price. The three I seriously considered were all well reviewed, and this one was the most expensive. I believe whole-heartedly in paying for quality, but when the quality appears equal, then price becomes the deciding factor, and it was especially pronounced in Canada with duty fees.
It does have a 30-day trial which is great, and supports 355 pounds.
On top of that, you get the option during ordering to add on some nifty add-ons for free.
That said, I’m Canadian and the Shipping to Canada would have tacked on an additional $445 US. They have free shipping in the US however.
You can find out more about them here.
This one comes in at $739 US, with free shipping for the L-shaped desk. They also have options from $374US for standard builds.
It came with strong reviews and the lowest price tag of the ones I seriously considered.
It supports up to 350 pounds, more than enough for some files and a few monitors, looked good and comes with a 30-day trial in the US and a 15-day trial in Canada, which was extremely important to me.
I’m not sure why the difference in trial periods.
You can find out more about them here*.
Autonomous: The Standing Desk I Chose
As may be obvious by now, we ended up choosing the Autonomous, and were completely satisfied. In fact, about a week after Mary had been using hers I order one of my own.
Mary’s desk was ordered on December 10, 2020 with an estimated delivery date of January 18, 2021.
The order was:
There were shorter timeframes for different color-combinations and configurations, the one we needed is one of ones with the longer wait times.
The anti-fatigue mat came first, on December 18th and the desk came in three boxes on January 20th.
The Second Order
I ordered my own desk on January 27th, and received it on March 1st.
It came in the same fashion, mat first and the three boxes with the desk (I also decided to order and L-shaped version and glad I did as it turns out I use it).
Note On Shipping Times
In appears the they’ve sorted out the delays in manufacture. As of this writing on April 16th, the shipping estimates are 7 to 15 days in Canada and 5 to 7 days in the US.
Assembling The Autonomous L-Shaped Standing Desk
As noted, The desk came in three boxes:
The second I picked them up to carry them in I was impressed by the weight. These were clearly not some cheap Ikea creation.
The first build took about 3 hours in total. A good deal of that time was figuring out some of the slightly confusing bits.
The second build took a little under 2 hours. Between these orders they had remedied an issue with the instructions coming in 2 parts. And of course, it’s simply easier to build something a second time and avoiding stupid mistakes.
An important note if you go with the Autonomous for yourself:
Listen to what they advise and build it upside down. It would just have been better and faster, something I should have taken their advice on but didn’t.
The Quality Of The Autonomous Desk
After about a week into use I was confident in the quality and stability.
Programming the heights in is simple, and the motors are sturdy. The desk itself is as stable as hoped, and hold the monitors and files well.
As mentioned, after my wife used hers for a week, I ordered another Autonomous L-Shaped standing desk for myself, after debating between it and the SmartDesk 2 Premium.
Fully built it looks like:
Ordering An Autonomous
You can order the desk off the Autonomous website here*.
As noted, shipping times are dramatically reduced over when I ordered ours.
Automomous Desk Promo Code
Impact On Health
I use it is the standing position for about 60 to 70% of my day. It started at about 30 to 40%
Initially I found that my lower back actually got tighter. Turns out, it just wasn’t used to having to do anything for long periods of time, and that adjusted. After about 6 weeks of use I find it helps not just my back feel better at the end of the day, but I’m more alert while working.
Not to add to the cost, but if you’re seriously interested in ergonomics, I’d also suggest reading my Ergodox EZ review. Combined they make and incredible difference in posture.
I’ll also be reviewing the X-Bows keyboard in the coming weeks, as I’ve ordered the Knight for my wife who doesn’t want an Ergodox, as well as the Nature for myself to use while I travel.
If you’ve read this far you’ll know that I’ve ordered two desks.
After I’d ordered my second desk, with the anti-fatigue mat, Mary informed me she prefers didn’t like hers, and prefers to stand on the ground. As noted, she has scoliosis and something about it irritated her back. I stood at it for a bit and wanted one so I decided to return the one that was shipped for me as it was unopened.
The return process went as follows:
- On February 5 I submitted my request to return the item.
- On February 7 I was asked for a picture of the item to prove it was packed in the proper packaging for shipment back (so if you think you may return your Autonomous desk and are just taking it for a test drive, make sure to keep all the packaging).
- On February 8 I was sent a prepaid FedEx label.
- On February 11 I shipped the item back.
- On April 16 I had to followup with them about the return, as the money hadn’t been returned to my account.
- On April 22 the month was returned to my account. 🙂
If you have any questions, free to drop them into the comments below.
Once more, to see the version I ordered, and get updated shipping info you can visit their website here*.
Disclosure: If you see an asterisk after the name of one of the companies, that means we are a member of their affiliate/referral program and will profit in some way should you use the link and then purchase one. We don’t recommend any services we haven’t used, that’s the purpose of these reviews, and we certainly didn’t choose to use a lackluster desk just for a few affiliate dollars.
What we will do is make a few extra dollars recommending something if they want to give it to us. Heck, we’d recommend you do the same. 🙂