A healthy work day should involve a range of movements and postures, supported by ergonomic furniture and tools. While a height adjustable desk might seem like a great opportunity to pretend you’re a keyboardist in a 90s rock band, they actually provide significant ergonomic benefits in enabling users to smoothly transition between sitting and standing during the work day.
Falling into five broad categories, we break down how each desk works and the pros and cons of each option.
- “Set Up” Height Adjustable Desks
The term “Set Up” essentially means fixed, according to the user’s requirements. Though they can still be adjusted in height with telescopic legs, typically it is only done once when installing the desk and takes a bit more work to adjust after this. This option represents low cost outlay similar a fixed height desk and is easy to assemble.
- Crank height adjustable desks
This is a popular, low cost option which provides manual adjustment via a crank handle, located to one front side of the desk. The crank handle allows the user to easily raise and lower the work surface, though it takes time it takes to adjust, particularly when there is a lot of equipment or heavy items on the desk top.
- Pneumatic height adjustable desks
Also referred to as spring-loaded or counterbalanced desks, these work by a lever mechanism which is released and locked when adjusting height. The counterbalance option uses a weight to raise and lower the top, while pneumatic or spring-loaded desks operate very similarly to an office task chair. These desks adjust quickly but due to the mechanics involved, they can be slightly more physically demanding to use.
- Electric height adjustable desks
These desks are obviously the easiest and most flexible option for height adjustability. While more costly than manual versions, only a couple of simple buttons are required for adjustment making them a great solution for staff with varied physical ability who want the most straightforward adjustment option possible.
- Treadmill desks
These desks have been somewhat polarising in recent years. While some users swear by them, they are typically not suitable for prolonged use. Consisting of a work surface and telescopic legs with a basic treadmill underneath, this is a great solution for increasing blood flow and gently integrating exercise into your work day. However, they tend to use a larger footprint than other desk types and are generally used in addition to a ‘static’ desk and chair, making them a costly option.
In addition to the five desk types mentioned above, there are numerous types of equipment available to provide an alternative work surface that adjusts separately to a fixed desk underneath. This option can be great for laptop users who need a simple adjustable stand rather than an entirely adjustable desk.
Centuries of research has proven there is no one perfect posture. A height adjustable desk is an easy, user-friendly option to encourage movement and posture changes throughout the day.