It’s difficult to know how to choose a standing desk. To choose the right desk you should initially decide what you need the desk for and how much you will want it to move up and down and this will inform your decision.
What type of height-adjustable/ standing desks are there?
There are 3 common height-adjustable desk models:
Electric height adjustable: Desks designed for a healthy mixture of sitting and standing throughout the workday. Instant height adjustment at the touch of a button
Crank handle: Desks designed so that people of different heights can share the same desk. Crank handle desks should not be used as a ‘standing desk’ but they offer height-adjustment to help you achieve an ergonomic sitting position.
Desk top converters: Desk top converters are designed for individuals that work on a bench of desks. Compact and easy to install, you can begin to alternate sitting and standing immediately.
The most common reasons for requiring a height-adjustable desk are the following:
- A) If you are tall, short or in a wheelchair and need a fixed height adjustment.
- B) If you’d like to be able to stand and sit at your desk for different periods throughout the day.
- C) If people of different heights are likely to be sharing a desk.
If you are A, ie tall, short or in a wheelchair, you are likely to just need the desk to be set at a higher or lower than average height. A fixed height adjustment can be made to your desk. Simply set your desk to the height you require.
To find the optimal height, sit with your feet flat on the floor then hold your arms at a relaxed 90° angle so your forearms are parallel to the floor. Your desk should be the height of your forearms. Refer to our guide to healthy workstations for further tips on how to set up your desk.
If scenario B chimes with you, you wish to be able to both stand and sit at your desk and alter position throughout the day then you need an electric height adjustable desk which will move up and down easily and smoothly. We recently shared some information on the benefits of standing desks and our tips for standing desk users so make sure you give those a read.
And if C refers to you and you need to be able to alter desk heights between shifts so that people of different heights can sit at the desk, then a crank handled desk will do the trick. Crank handle desks don’t come up as high as electric desks and we wouldn’t recommend using them as a sit-stand desk as consistently cranking them to standing height may cause RSI. They are, however, perfect for making frequent adjustments.