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How to Select the Best Height Adjustable Desk

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Factors to consider when selecting a height adjustable desk
Standing Desks Height adjustment range comparison chart for electric desks
Height adjustment range comparison chart for gas or spring desks
Height adjustment range comparison chart for crank adjustable desks
Height adjustment range comparison chart for pin adjustable desks

Why consider a height adjustable desk?

Let's start off by discussing why someone would want a height adjustable desk. There are two primary reasons to consider a height adjustable desk.

To set the desk height to the correct height for the user. This is particularly helpful for shorter and taller users. People in wheelchairs also often benefit from a custom desk height. How tall the desk should be depends on the user and whether or not they are using a keyboard tray. Users without a keyboard tray will need the desk to go lower than those with a height adjustable tray. Consider a height adjustable desk for your children. It will grow as they do.

So the user can stand part of the day. Why stand? Research has shown for more than 30 years that sitting all day is unhealthy. In addition to adding to the obesity crisis, sitting is hard on the back. Additional concerns are poor circulation and after four hours, sitting can change the way blood sugar is handled by the body. Standing for an hour or two improves alertness and productivity. Dr. Mark Benden of Texas A&M University has done research showing that standing just two hours a day can help a person lose up to 20 lbs. in just one year.

How high does the work surface need to be?

  • For sitting - sit in your chair with your feet flat on the floor, your knees approximately even with your hips (this is proper seated height). Your keyboard should be positioned low, in your lap so your forearms are approximately level with the floor when typing. If your keyboard tray doesn't let you do this, your desk may be too high. If your knees don't have enough room to move comfortably, a taller desk will be more comfortable.
  • o    For standing - we recommend the use of an anti-fatigue floor mat to reduce the stress of standing. Stand on the floor or the mat you will use. Your keyboard should be at the height that allows your forearms to be parallel to the floor.
  • o    Will the user only stand or sit and stand? We strongly recommend that you tradeoff between sitting and standing. As we've all learned over the years sitting all day at your desk can be very harmful but standing all day can cause lower extremity issues.
  • o    Which desk best meets my sitting and standing height? Please make sure that the height adjustment meets your needs or look at adding a keyboard tray. A seated person who is 5'0" will need type at 21.4" to 21.9" (depending on chair height) off the floor and 36.4" to 36.9" off the floor when standing. On the other hand a 6'1" person will type at 29.5" - 30" while seated and 45.4" to 45.9" Standing.   
  • o    See Height Ranges Below:
  • o    Pin-set height adjustable desks are meant to be set and left and are not well-suited for frequent height changes.
  • o    Crank desks use a crank (usually removable) to set or reset the height of the desk. Crank height adjustable desks usually do not have the height range to accommodate standing, and frequent height changes would be inconvenient. Crank desks are great for multi-user situations.
  • o    Gas cylinder or spring-assisted lift desks are a newer design and can allow for fast and easy height adjustments without requiring any electricity. This type of desk is an earth-friendly option.
  • o    Electric height adjustable desks offer maximum adjustment range and are easy to change from sitting to standing height in a matter of seconds. Some models offer memory settings and/or digital displays for height.
  • o    Will the user be installing a keyboard tray? We recommend using a height and angle adjustable keyboard tray for maximum positioning flexibility for the keyboard and mouse. However, pedestal desks may not always have enough clearance to handle a full length track (usually 22"). Shorter tracks are available for many brands but using one will prevent the tray from storing completely under the desk. Whether or not this is a problem depends on the user.

Single surface or dual? Most users will benefit from a single desk surface. Bi-level surfaces offer a built-in keyboard platform that is height adjustable and sometimes angle adjustable (depends on the model). However we don't recommend these for most purposes as tilting the keyboard platform can cause everything to slide off the desk, and the front platform will not push underneath the rear part of the desk. This makes the main surface hard to reach for phone access or writing.

Check out our selection of height adjustable standing desks.

Standing Desk Height Adjustment Range on Electric Desks

Brand

Height Range

Legs or Pedestal?

Memory

Uprise Desk

24" - 50.5"

2 or 3 legs

Yes

S2S Desk

24" – 50.5"

2 or 3 legs

Yes.

Conset 501-27

22" - 48"

2 or 3 legs

No

Conset 501-29

24" - 51"

2 or 3 legs

No

Conset 501-19

25" - 46"

Pedestal

No

ESI Rectangle Desk

24" - 50.5"

2 or 3 legs

Yes

Ergoprise 2 Stage

27" - 47"

2 or 3 legs

Yes

Ergoprise 3 Stage

24.5" - 51"

2 or 3 legs

Yes.  

Workrite Sierra

22" - 48"

2 or 3 legs

Yes

Workrite Sierra HX

22" - 48"

2 or 3 legs

Yes



Standing Desk Height Adjustment Range on Spring and Gas-Activated Desks

Brand

Height Range

Pedestal or Legs

Humanscale Float

27” - 47”

Legs


Height Adjustment Range on Pin Set Desks

Brand

Height Range

Legs or Pedestal?

ESI Ergo

26" - 42"

2 or 3 legs

Workrite Sierra

22" - 34"

2 or 3 legs

Workrite Sierra HX

22" - 34"

2 or 3 legs

 

How to Pick the best retrofit Sit-Stand Desk Riser:

You’ve read the headlines – Sitting Is the New Smoking!  However, Standing All Day can be Detrimental so, what are we to do?  Answer, a series of transitions of both throughout the day.

Sitting and Standing throughout the work day will have tremendous health benefits.  But confusion always occurs when there are too many of any solution to choose from. Our goal at Ergoprise.com is to assist you in finding the best justification for a Sit to Stand Workstation that meet your needs.  This guide this is to provide the most comprehensive and balanced overview.  It is our sincerest intent to show an extensive summary of the product (including the ideal height range for each solution).

One of the most important factors when choosing a retrofit for the workstation is that you can sit and stand in the most ergonomic and comfortable posture as possible. On the following page, I’ve enclosed two images from Dr. Hedge of the Cornell School of Ergonomics that will provide a helpful visual & convey information to understanding the importance of a proper set-up.

One of our greatest concerns which rarely is addressed with any desk-on-desk riser, is that they truly limit the users if the keyboard tray does not adjust below the work surface.  We’ve enclosed two graphics from the Cornell University School of Ergonomics of the ideal typing posture. We married Cornell’s ergonomic workstation guideline with the average female and male anthropocentric dimensions while seated and standing. This will give you an idea of what workstations will work for your height.  Knowledge is power; we truly believe that when one understands the correct seated, standing & eye height parameters, you will be amazed how important the technical specifications will determine which Sit to Stand Workstation is best for EVERYONE.

Standing Desk Risers (placed on standard 29” tall desk)

Brand

Keyboard Height Range

Stand Alone Grommet/Clamp

Keyboard Tray

Above/Below

S2S Comfort Plus

22” to 50” Meets HFES 100-2007

Clamp/Grommet

-7” Below Top

S2S Sit Stand Workstation

22” to 50” Meets HFES 100-2007

Clamp/Grommet

-7” Below Top

IOP Winston

17” from 29.75” to 46.75”

Stand Alone

+0.75” Above Top

Ergotron Workfit-A

20” from 25” to 45”

Clamp/Grommet

-4” Below the Top

Ergotron Workfit-S

22.8” from 25” to 47.8”

Clamp to Front

-4” Below Top

Ergotron Workfit-T

15” from 29.75 to 44.75

Stand Alone

+0.75” Above Top

S2S StandTall

14” from 29.75” to 43.75”

Stand Alone

+0.75” Above Top

Taskmate Go

19” from 25” to 43”

Clamps to the Front

-4” Below Top

Kangaroo Desk

16.5” from 29.75” to 46.25”

Stand Alone

+0.75 Above Top

 

 

 

 

Varidesk ProPlus36

15” from 29.75 to 44.75”

Stand Alone

+0.75” Above Top