There are many reasons why you might want to buy a height adjustable desk. A standard desk is about 72cm high and is designed for people of average height and reasonable mobility. An enlightened employer
may want to have office furniture which is adapted to suit workers outside the averages or with reduced mobility. In fact, many people interpret recent legislation regarding health and safety at work and disability discrimination as requiring employers to make height adjustable desks available to those who require them. Some classes of workers often want to use sit-stand desks, ie desks which can be easily transformed for use either sitting or standing. Many graphic designers, architects etc prefer to work in this manner.
There are basically three different types of height adjustable desk: fit-and-forget, mechanical and electrical. I will describe each in turn.
The fit-and-forget desks usually have some sort of mechanical adjustment in the leg of the desk. This may
be by means of a pop-out button or screw thread. They would normally be set to the required height on installation and usually require tools to adjust the height. To make an adjustment once the height has been set would require the desk to be completely cleared of all equipment, eg computers, phones etc and can often mean turning the desk upside down. It is not something you would contemplate doing on a regular basis, for example changing the height of the desk between shifts in a call centre.
Until recently, the mechanically adjustable desks were confined to crank handles which need to be turned to adjust the desk height. This requires considerable physical effort to adjust the height of the desk and it was often found that the crank handle itself was positioned in an awkward place – if it was easy to get at to make adjustments it often protruded into usable space, for example it might interfere with leg room or prevent desks being aligned. A recent innovation has been the Linnea Plus bench desk from Elite Furniture. This uses a scissor type leverage system to raise and lower the desktop within the frame and is considerably less expensive than a fully mechanised crack-handle system. Subject to weight constraints, this type of desk can be adjusted in height with equipment still on the desktop. These two systems should be considered where occasional changes of height are required and the degree of movement required is not great. For example they are not really suitable for sit-stand applications.
Finally, affordable electric height adjustable desks have been launched on the office furniture market in recent years. Advances in motor technology and normal economies of scale have brought the cost of a quality electric
height adjustable desk down to about £500. The height of the desk can be adjusted through a wide range at the touch of a button. Naturally, the include all the safety features that you would expect in a desk of this type. They can be obtained in a wide range of styles, shapes, finishes and sizes and they come in standard, heavy and extra-heavy duty models.