Ask a sample of office workers which type of sit stand desk might have the best speed of adjustability, chances are they would go for electrically controlled. This would be a perfectly logical response, after all what could be easier than pressing a button to move the top to where you want it?
For a moment though, imagine you’re searching the web for more information on a topic. Google throws up what looks like the answer you need, you click on what looks like the best answer and then the page takes an age to load. How long are you going to wait before clicking away and going to the next result?
Probably 5 to 7 seconds, because as soon as a page starts to load slowly it all becomes different. All of a sudden speed becomes important.
So, let’s look at speed and convenience and then how the different types of adjustability options on sit stand desks are affected.
Will speed affect the way you use a desk?
The quicker it is to adjust the height of a moving top workstation the more likely users are to alternate between sitting and standing, especially if it’s easy as well.
And providing it’s simple to change height some delay in speed will be acceptable for most users.
How fast do different desk mechanisms adjust?
We’ll begin with electrically controlled tops. Normally these move at around an inch per second so covering the full range will take about 15 seconds.
It’s not a huge amount of time and it couldn't be easier to do, press a button and it’s on the move. However it isn't as rapid as some of the alternatives.
Another plus is electric tops are available in larger sizes and have good weight capacity. This makes them more flexible than other solutions. A number offer memory presets allowing you to save preferred positions.
Crank operated desks adjust at a similar speed to their electric equivalents. It just requires the added effort of some rapid turns of the handle to make the required adjustments. Size and weight capacities are also good on these manually operated desks.
Although electric and crank are the most well known types there are workstations which are mechanically operated in other ways.
These include gas lift, counterbalanced, cable controlled and add on workstations for use with an existing desk. Most of these are rapidly adjustable going through the full height range in a few seconds.
In terms of speed and convenience these sorts of desks are very easy to use. Inevitably there are some drawbacks and there are two common limitations.
First, the top size is often a lot smaller than a conventional desk, so they don't have space for much equipment.
Second, the weight carrying capacity is typically low, restricting use to maybe a monitor and keyboard.
Nonetheless when you don't need loads of gear on your desk top they are certainly a sound alternative.
Let’s recap on what we've covered here:
- Speed and ease of use will likely affect how often you alter your working height
- Electric push button control is undoubtedly easy to use, adjustment speed can be a little slow
- Crank operated tops move at a similar speed to electric, requiring more user involvement
- Both electric and crank offer good work surface size and carrying capacity
- Alternative controllers allow rapid height changes however surface area and weight capacity can be limited
Here’s where you find more information about the desks discussed in this article.