Sit/Stand Desk Buying Tips: Adjustment Method and Height Range

Revised 2019.02.18

There are many variables to consider when buying a sit stand desk including:
  • Warranty
  • Ease of service if there is a problem
  • Weight capacity
  • Table top size
Two variables that I will be discussing in this post are adjustment method and height range.

1. Adjustment Method

Electric, Spring Assist, Crank

Crank is typically too slow if you are planning to adjust your desk a few times a day.

Spring assist will allow the fastest adjustments but some physical effort is required. Some desk mount spring assist devices do not lock into position, so be sure to check on this feature if you are likely to be leaning on it.

Electric desks require the least physical effort to adjust and are available with greater ranges of adjustments than the 2 other options.

2. Height Range

Your desk should be able to reach the following heights when seated and standing.

Keyboard height = Floor to top of your keyboard
Approximately, your elbow height above the floor

Monitor height = Floor to top row of text on your monitor display
Approximately, your eye level above the floor

Ergotron has recommendations for these heights but there are individual variances in how we are proportioned. The best way to determine the heights required is to take measurements of the person who will be using the desk.

Note: The heights recommended by Ergotron are for individuals not wearing shoes. If you plan to use your desk while wearing shoes, add an inch or more to the recommended heights.

Measurements to make:

A. Seated keyboard height
B. Seated monitor height
C. Standing keyboard height
D. Standing monitor height
E. Viewing distance (eye to screen)

Also, good to know.

F. Height of top of keyboard above surface it is sitting on
G. Height of top row of text above surface the monitor is sitting on. Record the minimum and maximum if it is adjustable.

3. Desktop-mounted sit stand workstations

These workstations are generally cheaper than replacing your whole desk but may not give you the same benefit. Be sure that the desktop unit can accommodate the measurements mentioned above.

  • The keyboard height will be higher than the height of the desk that the unit is placed upon unless the keyboard section can overhang the front of the desk. You may need to use an external keyboard tray to get your keyboard to the right seated height. Measurements A & C above.
  • Some units allow you to use your existing monitor stand while others require your monitor to be mounted on a post or articulating arm. If that’s the case, be sure your monitor is compatible with the mounting hardware.
  • If you are using your monitor with its built in stand, it will be resting on a surface higher than your desk. Again, this may be an issue when looking at your monitor when sitting. Measurements B & D above.
  • Is it deep enough to accommodate your viewing distance? Measurement E above.
  • How easy is it to move up and down?
  • Do you need room for more than just a keyboard and mouse?
A review of some of the more popular models, including suggested user height ranges is at the link below:

4. Standing with your laptop

If you will be using your laptop at a standing workstation, there is some important information to consider at the link below: