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Height adjustable and Sit Stand desks or attachments allow a portion or whole of the desk space to be elevated or lowered to suit sitting and / or standing positions.  At their most basic, some height adjustable desks can have adjustable feet to raise and lower the desk.  More recently, the reference to height adjustable desks and sit stand desks is more about the ability to adjust more to a standing height.


Height Adjustable Desks

These are desks that typically adjust with a manual winder, requiring exerted effort to raise and lower the desk.  These are not sit stand stations as they require an exerted force to wind the desks up and down and do not always support a standing posture.  The ability to adjust them is limited to the number of times it can be wound up or down using the winding handle (see photo below).  The recommendation is no more than once or twice a day, taking into consideration pre-existing health conditions and not overriding existing medical advice.

Example of a height adjustable desk 


For the purposes of the main profile of users at the University it is recommended height adjustable desks are maintained from a minimum base of 700mm and adjustable to a standing range.  An example of a height adjustable desk range would be 700mm – 1100mm.


Sit Stand Desks

These are whole desks or desk attachments that allow easy adjustment from a sitting to a standing posture and vice versa.  Sit stand desks either require very little exerted force to adjust or are motorised with an electric motor.  These desks do support the full sitting and standing postures.

 Ergotron Workfit-S Model (front and side views)


Example of a corner desk that is motorised


It should be noted that the WHS Unit does not endorse sit stand workstations as a holistic solution and prefers that people do exercise a practice of sitting less and moving move.  For more information, please refer to the Sit Less Move More (PDF 359KB) brochure.  The key is being able to vary tasks, take rest breaks and take opportunities to vary posture in an effort to not over exert and strain muscle groups from prolonged sitting or standing.  Being able to move is recognised as a component to better health and avoiding long term illness, along with healthy eating and drinking habits and lifestyle choices.  Many studies support this approach rather than simply sitting or standing at a desk.