To sit or not to sit that is the question. Well at least that seems to be one of the biggest questions influencing office furniture design in the market at the moment and something we have predicted to be a key trend that will dominate the industry throughout 2015. But, is the height adjustable ‘sit-stand’ desk a trend that is here to stay? Or, is it only here until it is superseded by the next office gizmo? Building Interiors are here to analyse the benefits and to make the conclusion. But it doesn’t stop there, with multiple lifting mechanisms available, which one is the best? And which one is the best for you? We are here to clear the air.
Dr. James Levine Mayo Clinic endocrinologist
The chair is out to kill us.
Key research into sitting and sedentary behaviour has revealed that sitting for prolonged periods of time can be substantially detrimental to your health. The results are so damning that a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Dr. James Levine said “The chair is out to kill us”. Sustained sitting is linked to the slowdown of the metabolism affecting fat removal, blood sugar regulation and blood pressure, so what are the key facts:
The results are considerable that our culture of sitting is bad for our health so do ‘sit/stand’ height adjustable desks target the issue?
In a study undertaken by the CDC, known as the Take-a-Stand project, sit/stand desks were shown to reduce upper back and neck pain and to improve mood but there are numerous other identifiable benefits that have appeared from implementing sit/stand desks into the workplace, such as:
Verdict: Sit/stand desks are an excellent way to reduce the issues associated with prolonged sitting and are a good way to increase employee moods and productivity. Thus they are definitely destined to become an office staple.
Crank height-adjustable desks use a right-angled lever to alter the height of the workstation and are an established, robust and cost-effective form of sit/stand desk. However, due to the manual effort required to adjust the height, these desks are outdated and unsuitable where constant adjustment is required and also unsuitable in narrow spaces. These form of desks also struggle to maintain level when weight discrepancy.
Gas-lift height adjustable desks offer an instant sit/stand solution that have advantages over both crank and electric sit/stand desks as they do not require an electrical power socket, are more eco-friendly and are silent during adjustment which are attributes associated with electric and do not require the manual effort associated with a crank mechanism. However, gas-lift desks have to be stringently regulated to deal with differing weight as they can be capable of collapsing.
Electric height-adjustable desks are the most common sit/stand desks on the market and the type that we recommend the most. Electric desks are easily adjustable by the touch of a button with memory positions pre-set in some models and have a weight limit that is above normal requirements. Electric height-adjustable desks offer complete simplicity of use and are the most reliable form of sit/stand desk. The downside of electric desks is that they are more expensive than other models, however, they are the best solution to the problem.
Weighing up all the pros and cons of each of the main alternative forms of height adjustable desk available on the market, we believe that for the reliability, simplicity and weight capabilities that electric sit/stand desks are the best type to consider when looking at alternatives to traditional desks in the office.