Disclosure: iMovR and WorkWhileWalking have mutual ownership interest*
Commercially-available treadmill desk workstations have only been on the market for a few years. In that time, we’ve seen the industry transform right before our eyes: more and more standing- and treadmill desk products have come on the scene, and new active furniture and devices – like desktop risers and leaning seats – have gained in popularity. We’ve also seen a dramatic shift in the technology behind stand up desks and the walking treadmills underneath them. Far from the clunky, flimsy, noisy, and expensive desks of yesteryear, many of today’s standing- and treadmill desks are sleek, sophisticated, and affordable on just about any budget.
But one component that hasn’t changed in all this time is the table top itself. While adjustable height standing desks have become quieter and more reliable, and while crank mechanisms have become faster to adjust and easier to assemble, table tops have remained largely the same. Sure, some manufacturers have designed ergonomic monitor arms, keyboard trays, and other peripherals to customize your desk. And others have made significant improvements with installing table tops, such as the pre-drilled inert nuts on iMovR’s ThermoDesk Ellure and Elite. But the general shape of the table top has not improved much in the switch from sitting desk to treadmill desk.
iMovR is looking to change all that with Omega, their new line of stand up desks. The Omega Denali Stand Up Desk, the crank-adjustable model, retains several impressive features of iMovR’s ThermoDesk Elite, but kicks the table top to a new level, raising the bar for office ergonomics.
Why Ergonomics are Different When Standing or Walking
Manufacturers of sit-to-stand desks and treadmill desks have been relying on decades-old assumptions about the proper positioning of hands over keyboards for minimizing RSIs (repetitive strain injuries). Little research has been done on whether those assumptions still hold up when typing while standing or walking. According to iMovR, there are many nuanced differences, and they claim their novel Omega design addresses those differences better than any other desk, including ones equipped with a conventional keyboard tray.
Most treadmill deskers come to find that using a treadmill desk poses a set of new challenges when it comes to typing while walking. One example is the hand, wrist, forearm, shoulder and neck strains that afflicts every treadmill desk user to some degree, but is especially bad for newbies still getting used to their tread legs and for highly-committed walkers who’ll spend four hours a day, or more, treading.
When walking on a treadmill, even as slowly as we do in the 1 to 2 mph range, we tend to ‘anchor’ ourselves to the work surface while we type – pressing down hard on our palms for stability and to maintain hand position over the keyboard – as the treadmill belt constantly pulls us away from our desk. Typing in this “closed loop” posture for long periods of time can put undue strains on the muscles and tendons in our wrists, arms and shoulders, potentially resulting in carpal tunnel, rotator cuff soreness or even low back pains, over time.
This seems fundamentally counterproductive when we’re using these devices to improve our health and productivity in the first place, which is why we’ve always recommended using an adjustable keyboard tray when working while walking. Trays like the Humanscale Keyboard Tray System, Humanscale Float Tray and ThermoDesk Stowaway can be adjusted to a negative angle that places the wrists in a more neutral position, reducing flexion and extension (cranking of the wrists). But these peripherals tend to be cumbersome, difficult or impossible to install, and costly. Not to mention, they force your body some 10″ to 14″ farther away from your desk and monitor.
These keyboard trays also act as levers attached to your desk, translating and magnifying the oscillations your body makes when you walk. Even small vibrations from your typing can create a distracting amount of shakiness in your monitor – especially if it’s hanging on the end of a monitor arm (as it should be) and especially if you’re particularly tall or heavy-handed. Some users minimize the instability in their treadmill desks by using a variety of tricks, but many just have to make peace with a slightly wobbly workstation. The taller the user, the worse it can get.
What sets the Omega above other treadmill desks is its built-in SteadyType keyboard platform. The front edge of the table top opens up into a cutout shaped like the Greek letter omega where the user is positioned. Here, a rectangular portion of the desk 19.5” wide by 10.5” deep is sectioned off from the table top and attached to a solid steel pivot bar running underneath. Knobs on the underside of this platform loosen or tighten the attachment, allowing the platform to tilt forwards or backwards a full 90 degrees in either direction. In contrast, traditional ergonomic keyboard trays typically have a very limited incline adjustment range of +5 to -15, or at most -20 degrees. The Omega’s unique feature results in an unprecedented keyboard tilt adjustment range – a major advantage, as we soon found out.
New Stand Up Desk Summits
Suitable for value-minded deskers and those looking to complement their existing desk, the Omega Denali Stand Up Desk (named after the Native American name for Mount McKinley) pairs the revolutionary new table top and integrated keyboard platform that defines the Omega, with an affordable, easy-crank manual base – the same one used in the ThermoDesk Ellure.
The Denali provides a sit-to-stand workstation, complete with improved wrist ergonomics, for standing desk users with nearly any budget. Installation and assembly of the Denali is straightforward, the documentation very clear (note there is also an option to order the Denali pre-assembled at the factory). The base comes with two lifting columns and a connecting crank shaft that adjusts the telescoping leg segments, and a width-adjustable crossbar to connect and support the legs. Attaching the base to the table top is as simple as lining up the base with the underside of the table top.
The nice thing with all iMovR desks is that their base widths are telescoping, so if you ever need to change desk sizes in the future you can just swap out the top (the far less costly component of the desk) and reset the base width. While some other desks provide pre-drilled pilot holes for installation, the Omega takes it a step up with their recessed insert nuts and easy-insert machine screws, which removes the mess of drilling into wood and protects the table top as you attach the base and keyboard platform mounting hardware to the top.
There are two height settings available on the keyboard tray’s mounting bracket, one that is set at 3/8″ below the surface of the desk, the other at 1-1/8″ inches. Of course the tilt angle and depth of the keyboard platform affect the net difference in height between typing and mousing. In our tests we were able to always achieve the ergonomic goal of minimizing the extension of the upper arm when mousing while keeping our hands within a consistent “arc” around the body.
During testing, we liked that the integrated keyboard tray creates a “cockpit” feel that is both ergonomic and aesthetically dramatic. The keyboard platform is contained in a cutout that gently dips inward, giving users easier access to the table top. A pair of sliding pegs can be adjusted to fit most full-sized keyboards. The keyboard platform angle adjusts quickly and easily, for a neutral wrist position. These dramatic angles are even more important to deskers who walk on a treadmill.
Rather than pressing down on a flat surface and increasing the pressure on the wrist, users were able to anchor to the keyboard platform while keeping their arms at neutral angles. Users also retained access to more of their desk top without a keyboard tray pushing them a foot away. And with the keyboard platform built directly in to the desk, close to the center of balance, we experienced almost no shakiness, even when typing deliberately forcefully.
Most table tops comprise a standard high-pressure laminate top and PVC or vinyl strips around the edge. iMovR’s signature 3D lamination process envelopes the MDF table top and the separate keyboard platform, and makes them impervious to moisture damage. It also allows the tables to achieve gently-sloping edges and rounded corners for a more comfortable top than standard adjustable height standing desks. The 3D lamination also preserves the woodgrain design over edges, inside grommet holes and around corners on the thick, 1.125” table top.
Like the Ellure, the Omega Denali Stand Up Desk is available in widths of 42″, 48″, 60″ and 72″. There is no left- or right-tray setup available on Denali as its base does not spread wide enough to accommodate both a treadmill and full-sized office chair like the Everest can. A smooth, 3-turns per inch crank adjusts the height of the Denali from 30-1/8” to 48-1/8”, and lifts up to 200lbs, while the adjustable keyboard platform sits front and center. The low end height of 30-1/8″ may seem a bit high for shorter people, but remember the keyboard tray itself is lower than the tabletop, and should be ideal for 95%+ of users.
A single grommet hole is provided on the 42″ and 48″ top; the two larger sizes come with two grommet holes standard. The 3″ holes are fully-wrapped in 3D lamination, showing off the all-natural hardwood look of the desk. iMovR also offers a grommet-mounted dual-AC power node that fits neatly in one the 3″ grommet to conveniently bring laptop and cell phone charger plugs to the tabletop. This is a great feature for any multi-user workstation setup, in particular. Whether you’re standing, walking, or sitting, the Omega Denali’s keyboard platform protects your wrists and keeps you closer to your desk.
The reliable, affordable crank base underneath makes a sit-to-stand workstation with better ergonomics easy on the wallet. For a complete sit/stand/walk workstation with more ease-of-use features, check out our review of the Omega Everest.
*Full disclosure: iMovR and WorkWhileWalking have mutual ownership interest. However, we can assure our readers that on this side of the fence we expose the good and the bad of every product, regardless of any financial connection we may have to the manufacturer. iMovR product reviews are done with the same editorial responsibility we have always had reviewing other third party products that we also sell in our stores.
Sizes and Colors
The Omega Denali tabletop is available in 42″, 48″, 60″, and 72″ widths and 30″ depths across the board. These are ideal for sit/stand or walk-only configurations, but unlike the Omega Everest do not have enough room to accommodate a treadmill and chair side-by-side. The keyboard platform “cockpit” is centered on each size. Unlike the Omega Everest, there is no option available for dual keyboard platform configurations. The table tops can be ordered in any of eleven standard finishes: Clove Mahogany, Light Maple, Hayward Cherry, Shaker Cherry, Almond Cherry, Urban Walnut, Designer White, Warm White (Beige), Putty, Black, and a handsomely corporate Shark Gray.
Three inch grommet holes are standard on all Omega desks – one on the 42″ desk, and two on the 48″, 60″, and 72″ widths. These grommet holes are perfect for gathering the various cables that run over and under your desk. Alternatively, a dual AC grommet-mounted power node can be installed in the grommet, ideal for shared workstations. These power nodes allow you to charge your phone or laptop without needing extra long cords for all your devices. A desk accessory that we highly recommend is an adjustable monitor arm. These devices allow you to keep your screen at ergonomically-comfortable positions, reducing the strain on your neck and shoulders and allowing you to be more productive at your desk. An LX Tall Pole Monitor Arm is perfect for sit-stand desks, and the new Sit-Stand Monitor Arm has an extra wide reach to swing between the chair side to the standing mat side.
Just like the Everest, the Denali Stand Up Desk is available with a set of optional caster wheels. These attach to the desk’s feet and allow you to move the desk around, for a more mobile standing workstation. Made of the best materials available, these wheels will never mar the floor, and they can be locked in place. Note: the casters add an additional 2.5” to the height of your desk, another plus for taller users. If you do go with adding casters to your desk we definitely recommend the iMovR Advanced Cable Management Kit to go with it, to make sure your cords are always tidy and out of the way of the wheels. For an easy storage solution, the optional iMovR Mobile File Cabinet provides abundant space to keep all of your documents and supplies handy, whether you’re sitting or standing. And just like the table top, the file cabinet is 3D-laminated to match your desk’s decor.
Another thing we appreciate about iMovR’s business model is their pre-assembly service. This has been very popular since they became the first (and still only) height-adjustable table manufacturer to introduce the option, and has also become a standard element of their white glove delivery option. White glove installation of the Omega desks is relatively quick and easy thanks to iMovR’s easy-to-follow instruction manuals, some users may prefer to skip all that and get straight to working. If you elect to have your desk pre-assembled, it will arrive at your door ready-to-go – simply flip the desk off the shipping pallet, raise the desk to your preferred height, and you’re off to the races. The high rate of shipping damage to furniture items shipped by UPS or FedEx is well known, and it’s a huge hassle for both the recipient and the manufacturer. iMovR prefers to avoid these issues by using freight carriers instead of parcel shippers. They ship their thoroughly-packaged Omega Desk on its own pallet for a flat rate of $99. This method highly reduces the instances of damaged deliveries, which justifies the higher cost in our mind. The flat rate includes the base, top, and any other options ordered at the same time, such as monitor arms or power nodes.
The first in the industry to do so, iMovR also offers a pre-assembly option, where the Omega desk will ship with the base and top put together, ready-to-use. An optional Room of Choice feature takes the pallet anywhere in your house or office. Finally, a White Glove service option includes all of the above, plus setup of the desk and cleanup of any packaging materials. Refer to the table below for pricing:
|Delivery Options (Choose One):||Residential-Military-School||Commercial Address|
|Standard Delivery||$0||$0 to loading dock $45 to threshold|
|Room of Choice||$149||$110|
|Pre-assembled||$189||$149 to loading dock $195 to threshold|
|Room of Choice and Pre-assembly||$275||$229|
|White Glove: Room of choice, pre-assembly, and cleanup||$299||$259|
The Omega Denali Stand Up Desk is covered by a lifetime warranty on the steel frame, 5 years on the table top, and 2 years on moving parts.
|iMovr Omega Denali||Price|
|30″x42″ Solid Color||$894.00|
|30″x48″ Solid Color||$904.00|
|30″x60″ Solid Color||$969.00|
|30″x72″ Solid Color||$1,139.00|