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Height-Adjustable Desks - Here's what you need to know

19 Apr 2016

“Sitting is the new smoking !” - Scientists and workspace consultants have been pushing this one for quite some time now. If you’re wondering why, check out this piece from nextdesk. We’re pretty much one activist campaign away from slapping stickers on every task chair being sold with the message ‘Sitting Kills’ !

The solution - Height Adjustable Desks or Sit-Stand desks. The idea, while simple ,is unheard of to those scouring the market for desks. Most major manufacturers have designed and produced their own version of it. To save you the trouble of looking up each of them and comparing features, we’ve listed the different types of mechanisms that make the desk ‘adjustable’ :

Pin & Ratchet

The most basic approach to the height-adjustable desking system. The legs have holes punched on the side, intended for a pin to be placed inside to keep the desk at a certain height. It’s designed to make your workstation experience more comfortable, by being able to adjust the height. While ergonomic, it won’t push you to stand.

The most pocket-friendly version in the market. You simply rotate the crank manually to lower to increase the height. It’s removable too. A side bonus would be a good workout for your arms ;)


Motors or Linear Actuators power the desk to enable smooth up-down movement. Higher-End models offer presets which can be programmed to switch between preferred heights. The downside is it being noisy and slow due to motors.


If speed is what you’re looking for, the gas cylinder mechanism is what you need. Just keep in mind, you’re trading off accuracy and preset options for speed and electricity-free usage. So you’ve got the added advantage of not having to have a socket nearby.


The most expensive mechanism available, and the most ingenious as well. Adjustable springs move the table up and down with minimal effort. The best part is they’re totally silent. The downside - limited weight capacity. Which mean you’ll have to pick what you keep on your desk, or avoid heavy items.