How to Choose an Ergonomic Sit Stand Workstation for Your Home Office
Today, most people are aware of the harmful effects of sitting for prolonged periods of time. And when you add using a computer in a rigid position to the mix, the risks grow even more – eye strain, Carpal Tunnel syndrome, pain in the shoulders, arms and wrists, etc. And using a laptop makes things even worse.
Luckily, the growing number of office workers and the awareness of the dangers of sitting brought a whole host of solutions to the market. Out of all these solutions, there’s one that stands out the most (both literally and figuratively). The sit-stand desk is one of the most versatile and effective solutions for the ailments brought on by modern office work. It allows you to get the best of both worlds by switching between sitting and standing. After all, standing all day can be just as bad as sitting. If you’re considering buying a sit stand workstation, here’s what you need to consider to make the right choice.
Probably the most important feature of your sit stand desk – the range of height it can be adjusted to. Take into account your own height and that of your chair in order to decide what range is best. Note that your shoulders should be relaxed when using the desk while standing up and when sitting down, your knees should be at a 90-degree angle with the floor.
Although it might seem like is not that important, the amount of load your desk can take should also be a decisive factor. I guess, it depends on the stuff you intend to do or have to put on that desktop. This relates closely to the way the desk moves up and down. In general, the models with mechanism adjustable by can hand take around 15-20 kg of load. Compare that to the models fitted with electric mechanisms with a bigger load capacity of 25-45 kg and you already have a clearer picture as to which model you need.
Type of Mechanism
When it comes to adjustable desk operation, there are two types of mechanisms: hand-adjustable and electric mechanism.
The most common hand-adjustable mechanism is the pneumatic one. It offers you a smooth height adjustment without exerting much effort. Some more advanced hand-adjustable mechanisms involve counterbalancing and are the premium option.
Electric mechanisms are even easier to operate. However, they come with more moving parts. This means that they are more prone to experiencing faults and it will be more complicated and expensive to fix them.
The Amount of Useful Workspace
Because of the way most adjustable sit-stand workstations are designed, they can cut down your work surface when in the standing position. While this is not a bad thing in itself, it’s still a factor that ought to be taken into account. If you have to work with a lot of files and other items, look for a desk that’s at least 900 mm long in order to have ample surface to organise your things.
It is age-old common wisdom – you should put more confidence in a product that comes with an elaborate and long term warranty. Luckily, most adjustable sit-stand workstations come with a warranty of 5 years, although you can find models with a warranty of up to 10 years. Since getting such a desk is not exactly a cheap investment, opting for a model with a longer warranty can be a more cost-efficient choice.
Like any office furniture, adjustable standing desks are available in a variety of designs and colours. You can simply go for your favourite colour or opt for a traditional neutral design that will provide less visual clutter in your room. Try to avoid unnecessary distractions. If you’re working from home, chances are, you already have enough distractions on your plate.
You might think, for a moment, that electric mechanisms would cost more. Well, that is not quite correct, not with all models. The most basic models are available for prices as low as $400 and the ones on the high end with premium features can go as high as $3.000.
Don’t Forget to Define the Purpose of Your Work Space
Another thing to consider when choosing a sit-stand desk is to determine who will use it and how it will be set up. Working from home is now very common. Sometimes people are sharing the same computer, or maybe just the same desk. You need to take this into consideration too.
Another aspect has to do with the rest of the elements of your workstation. Your setup does not consist of the adjustable desk only. There is the chair, the type of computer you will use (monitor, keyboard and mouse). They all have to be aligned to serve one common purpose – allowing you to perform your work in a way that’s good for your body.