The facts are in on the ergonomic height-adjustable desk – it’s better for employees and better for businesses.
But if you’re reading this and you’re buying furniture for your organization, you probably already knew that. What you need now is a plan of action for maximizing your investment.
There are many ways to improve the experience of desk workers even further. Following recommended usage guidelines and using height-adjustable desk accessories can optimize your office ergonomics products and practices for comfort and health.
5 Tips for the Perfect Ergonomic Height-Adjustable Desk Experience
Best practices for office ergonomics always include height-adjustable equipment. To get even more ROI, you need to:
- Follow the BIFMA-recommended height range for desks.
- Make sure the desks have the functionality you need.
- Look for the most versatile desks.
- Never forget to accessorize.
- Find room in your budget for alternatives.
1. Follow the BIFMA-recommended height range for desks.
The Business + Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) conducts rigorous quality tests on furniture intended for businesses. Ideally, you want BIFMA-certified furniture because it automatically comes with a seal of approval.
The recommendation for standing desks is that they’re adjustable from a minimum height of 22″ to a maximum height of 46.5″, according to Work While Walking. This range accommodates 90% of the United States’ population based on the 2010 census -- from the 5th percentile of women to the 95th percentile of men.
In Europe, the standard is 3″ higher than the American standard. For what it’s worth, Work While Walking believes that estimation is more accurate and practical than BIFMA’s prescribed range.
2. Make sure the desks have the functionality you need.
All a desk needs to be height-adjustable is a sit-stand desk mechanism, which can be either manually operated or electrical. Since your organization has specific needs for those using the desks, verify that the ones you purchase have the functionality you require.
For example, some desks have a lift-up table mechanism that moves quickly, which means you can change heights fast. Others have much slower mechanisms (which arguably are a bit safer). If you want employees to be able to adjust the desk quickly, a faster motor is naturally better.
Another functionality concern is weight capacity. You need desks that can handle the load on them, lifting and lowering repeatedly without long-term damage. If your desks will hold multiple computers, don’t skimp on strength.
3. Look for the most versatile desks.
Some desks are more feature-rich than others. Many of today’s desks are “smarter” than the old days. Most notably, they can achieve a preset height at the push of a button.
This is a nice feature for a workspace that several people use each day. If an employee comes in and knows she wants a desk height of 50”, she can quickly jump into the system, find her setting, and watch the desk adjust automatically.
4. Never forget to accessorize.
Accessorize? More like necess-orize.
There are at least three types of accessories you absolutely should consider investing in if you want to keep employees off the injured list.
Ergonomic Keyboard Trays
Always think about depth and space when you’re considering office ergonomic accessories.
You can find keyboard trays designed specifically for sit-to-stand desks. The most obvious benefit is that they can slide out of the way to leave room on the desk, but there are other benefits. They can swivel, move up and down, and adjust in just about any way imaginable to achieve ideal ergonomics for the user.
Many height adjustable tables have crossbars that make up the frame. There are unique keyboard trays out there that are short enough to fit an 8” track or an 11” track, depending on your needs. This allows the user to fully hide the keyboard tray under the table instead of it sticking out.
There are very few products out there that will work on 8” tracks, so click the button below if that’s what you’re looking for.
Ergonomic monitor arms allow you to adjust the height and orientation of monitors to the user’s eyes, neck, and back in great shape.
An ergonomic monitor arm can hold one or more monitors, depending on the design. These products are fairly uniform; the only other notable difference is whether they’re mounted by clamp or grommet hole.
CPU Holders or Trolleys
A CPU holder attaches to the desk to keep the computer tower out of the way, while a trolley sits on wheels on the floor and can be moved from area to area as necessary.
- So, which do you want? Consider the following:
- The computer’s size
- How much security you want -- do you want the computer locked in the holder/trolley?
- Is mobility important to the user?
If you prefer stationary CPU stands, make sure the ones you choose have access to the back of the holder. Once you push the computer in, you don’t want to have to climb under your desk to get to the back of the computer. Always choose a CPU holder with a swivel feature so you have access to the cords.
Computer trolleys are usually a little cheaper because they have fewer parts. Despite that, they’re mobile and allow easy access to the back of the computer. In the end, both are a cost-effective option. They’re certainly better than paying $2,000 for a new desk.
5. Find room in your budget for alternatives.
Speaking of budget …
Higher quality and more bells and whistles will obviously result in a more expensive desk. But the fundamental benefits of a sit-stand desk can be obtained on a budget, if you’re adamant about not spending to replace all the desks in your office.
There are many devices, like ergonomic monitor lifts and monitor arms, that are great for desks whether they’re sit-stand or traditional. The ergonomic accessories include a lift-up hinge mechanism that sits on top of the desk. At your command, the mechanism lifts the monitor up or down to achieve a similar effect to a standing desk.
Create a Culture in Your Office
Sit-stand desks and other ergonomic office accessories are a big investment, both in money and philosophy. Optimizing your foundation -- the desk itself -- will help you build a culture of safety and comfort that has real monetary value. To learn more about accessorizing for an awesome ergonomic desk setup, click below: