There is a huge amount of interest these days from office bound people in switching from sitting all day to a sit stand desk. This is understandable as not only is sitting for hours at a time unhealthy, it’s also energy draining too.
It’s easy to understand why so many are keen to make the change, until they hit the brick wall – cost.
What makes these sorts of desk so costly?
When you introduce a moving top to a desk, you add an element of complication. Unlike a fixed height workstation where it’s simply welded or bolted together, making it easy to manufacture.
With an adjustable desk something has to be added to move the top up and down. The most cost effective method is to have sliding legs pre punched with holes with removable pins for changing the height. Unfortunately this isn't very practical in use.
Consequently some mechanical means of adjustment is needed and as soon as you add this into the mix, the cost of producing it quickly ratchets up the price.
However, people using portable computing do have a better chance of keeping costs down.
How some people can benefit from a low cost solution
With the move away from traditional desk computers to a more mobile way of working, it is possible for some users to gain the advantage of sit stand working without spending a fortune.
Where your main computer is a laptop or a tablet it’s far easier to find an affordable workstation. Whereas you might need to invest $500+ for a full size moving top table, adjustable tables for use with portable devices can be had for less than half this amount.
The reason this is possible is because they need a much smaller top as well as a lower weight carrying capacity. This helps to keep costs in check as it requires less sophisticated equipment for moving the top.
Nonetheless, caution is needed.
What are the limitations with these cheaper products?
It’s important to realize that there is usually a compromise with these sorts of products which shouldn't be ignored.
First, they generally have a much smaller work surface maybe 24 inches wide by 18 inches deep. This isn't necessarily an issue where you only need maybe your laptop or tablet. However when you have other items you will rapidly run out of space.
Second, they are only designed for relatively light weights, so the top may only support 30lbs in total. Again, not a problem until you start adding extra equipment.
One other thing to watch out for is when you come across very low cost products. Before rushing in to buy, take the time to check out some existing customer feedback. Some we've seen have very low customer satisfaction and ignoring this could prove costly.
Let’s quickly recap on the main points we've covered here:
- Adjustable desks cost more because they often require expensive mechanisms
- Portable computer users can often find a lower priced solution
- It’s important to recognize the limitation of top size and carrying capacity of smaller desks
- Always check the feedback on very low cost products, it will save you any nasty shocks
Have you had any good or bad experiences with sit to stand desks? Let us know what you've found.