Are Height-Adjustable Desks Worth it?

The average adult sits for 6.5 hours per day.

Does this sound like you? Are you tired of spending so much time sitting?

If so, a height-adjustable desk might be a good choice that gives you the flexibility to stand up and stretch throughout the day (without having to commit to full-time standing).

On the fence or confused about whether or not this type of desk is worth it? Keep reading. Listed below are some important pros and cons to keep in mind.

What Is a Height-Adjustable Desk?

A height-adjustable desk comes with adjustable legs that allow you to convert it from a low position (perfect for doing seated work) to a higher position (perfect for standing). It’s also known as a sit-stand desk.

These desks are made of all kinds of materials and come in a variety of styles. Some are raised and lowered with a crank, for example, while others rise and lower automatically at the push of a button.

Height-Adjustable Desk Pros

Over the last few years, more research has emerged on the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle (increased risk of cardiovascular disease, increased risk of diabetes, increased rates of depression, etc.). As a result, sit-stand desks have become popular, both in home offices and in more traditional workplaces.

Woman on bed working at computer


If you’re thinking about switching from a regular desk to an adjustable-height one, you’re likely wondering what benefits it has to offer. Here are some of the most important pros to consider:

Better Health

When you start using a height-adjustable desk, you get to reap all the standing desk benefits. This includes things like reduced back, neck, and shoulder pain.

Standing also burns more calories than sitting does. Spending even a few hours per day standing at your adjustable desk can help you shed excess pounds and get closer to your fitness goals.

Standing up and moving around more throughout the day can also improve your mental health. Many people report lower levels of stress when they stop sitting for hours on end.

Increased Productivity

According to the results of one 7-week study, 87 percent of participants reported feeling more energetic when they used a standing desk.

How much more work could you get done if you didn’t get hit by waves of fatigue after sitting for hours on end? A sit-stand desk allows you to change things up, get out of your seat, and feel reinvigorated during the workday.

Increased Flexibility

A common complaint about standing desks is that they’re uncomfortable.

Indeed, standing for hours on end (especially when you’re used to sitting) takes some getting used to. Some people (particularly those with poor posture) even find that their pain doesn’t necessarily get better just because they’re standing. 

The great thing about a sit-stand desk is that you don’t have to commit to exclusively sitting or standing. You can sit for a few hours during the day and then stand when you need a change of pace and want to stretch a bit. You get to enjoy the best of both worlds!

Supports Agility in the Workplace

Height-adjustable desks also are conducive to a more Agile, collaborative workplace.

Consider an office where workers are encouraged to stand up and move around. Now, compare it to an office where people are chained to their desk chairs for 8 hours (or more).

Of these two sets of workers, which ones do you think will be more inclined to connect with colleagues, bounce ideas off of each other, and work together to get things done?

Height-Adjustable Desk Cons

Height-adjustable desks have a lot to offer. However, they aren’t for everyone. Be sure to factor in these potential downsides before you go ahead and purchase one:

Adjustments Can Be Tricky

In some cases, when switching to a new desk, the adjustment (no pun intended) process can be difficult. This is especially true if you buy a low-quality height-adjustable desk that requires a lot of time and effort to convert from a sitting position to standing.

Customization Is a Must

The best sit-stand desks will come with lots of customization options. If you want to experience the benefits outlined above, you need to be able to customize the height of your desk to meet your exact needs.

Customization is also important from an ergonomic standpoint. If your desk doesn’t support good posture, it may end up making pain that you’re trying to address (in your back, neck, etc.) worse.

Extra Costs

Height-adjustable desks can be more costly than regular desks. When you consider the features they offer, this makes sense. However, the price is still unrealistic for some.

If you have a limited budget, a sit-stand desk might not be an option for you. You might also have a hard time convincing your employer to pay for a replacement unless you can present them with compelling evidence and make a strong argument that it will help you to do your job better.

Tips for Choosing a Height-Adjustable Desk

Do you want to jump on the height-adjustable desk train? If so, remember these factors so you can choose a desk that works well for you:

Height Range

How tall is the desk when it’s raised to its highest point? Is it tall enough that you can stand and work at it comfortably, or will you be hunching over when you need to type or write something down?

Consider the height when it’s lowered, too. Are you able to sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor while working, or do you end up contorting yourself while trying to get work done? 


How deep is your desk? Most experts recommend a depth of about 76 centimetres (30 inches). This is the minimum, though.

Consider how much equipment you need to keep on your desk at any given time. Make sure there’s room for your laptop, keyboard, mouse, etc. without creating a ton of clutter that you risk knocking over every time you adjust the desk’s height.

Manual vs Automatic

Do you want a desk that rises automatically with just a push of a button? Would you rather one that you raise manually?

Manual desks will likely be less expensive, but they may take a while to adjust, which may turn you off from ever switching them from a sitting to a standing position (or vice versa).



How loud is your desk when you adjust its height? Depending on where you work, this could be an irritation to your colleagues, so it’s a good factor to keep in mind.

Weight Restrictions

How much weight can your desk hold? Will it be able to support your computer and other tools with ease, or is there a chance that it’ll collapse halfway through the workday?


Finally, don’t forget about other features. Height-adjustable desks come with a variety of features.

For example, some automatic styles provide you with the option to program the desk to your exact height preferences. Others give you the ability to accommodate accessories like privacy screens, lights, and tool rails.

These features aren’t necessities for everyone, of course, but they may make your desk more enjoyable and help you get the most out of it. Factor in what’s most important to you before you make your final decision.

Are You Ready to Upgrade Your Desk?

Now that you know more about the pros and cons of a height-adjustable desk, what do you think? Is this a good option for your office?

If you do decide to go ahead and invest in a new desk, remember the tips outlined above so you can choose the best one for your needs. Start your research here, have a look at the height-adjustable desks we offer!