Standing Desk or Height Adjustable Desk – Which Should You Choose?

There is a difference between sitting down for an occasional break and sitting down for nearly all 8 hours of one’s 8-hour shift at an office job. Studies show many American workers are doing the latter rather than the former to make a living in today’s modern world. And they are doing so at their own peril, according to multiple studies. 

One of those studies, which poignantly details what sitting too long does to the human body, comes from the Mayo Clinic. In that study, researchers found that sitting too long increases the risk of obesity, hypertension, high blood glucose, and high cholesterol. Researchers further revealed there is evidence to suggest that high cholesterol associated with sitting too long can also put some individuals at risk of developing heart disease. For these reasons, some employers make it a point to furnish their employees with standing or height-adjustable desks.

Standing and Height-adjustable Desks: Choosing the Ideal Workstation

Few employers are willing to part with the hundreds or thousands of dollars it costs to provide employees with office furniture that helps fend off chronic health problems and minimizes work fatigue. The ones who do generally do so because they know it leads to a better employer-employee relationship, not to mention happier, more productive, and loyal employees. That said, choosing between a standing and height-adjustable desk can be challenging as both have their benefits and drawbacks. Available data shows most employers in the market for either desk will look at and evaluate three critical things before making their final purchasing decision; these things include:


For employees that have to alternate between sitting and standing multiple times throughout the day, it is hard to go wrong with a height-adjustable desk. Also commonly referred to as sit-stand desks, height-adjustable desks have cranks, motors, or some other mechanism that allow workers to quickly transition from a sitting to a standing position and vice versa. These desks are the better choice if adjustability is the only thing up for consideration.


Since productivity is critical to getting a raise or being promoted, many employers encourage workers to choose a desk that allows them to get the most work done each day. For those in retail, for example, that could mean choosing a standing desk. For those working in a traditional office environment, it might mean going with a height-adjustable desk. As a matter of reference, a 2016 study revealed call center employees working from a height-adjustable desk were 46% more productive than those working from a traditional desk.

One study out of the United Kingdom found that 87% of employees report feeling more energized, awake, and alert when working from a standing or height-adjustable desk compared to a traditional desk. That said, standing all day can also cause health problems. With a height-adjustable desk, one can quickly return to a seated position, but doing so is impossible for someone working from a stationary, standing desk. For those unaware, prolonged standing can cause the following:

  • Leg pain
  • Heart problems
  • Fatigue
  • Pregnancy complications in women

In summary, investing in a standing or height-adjustable desk is a win for both employees and employers. That said, industry and employee needs are the two most important things for prospective employers to consider when trying to decide between the two. To learn more about standing and height-adjustable desks or for help choosing the ideal desk for your business, consider speaking with an Solutions Office Interiors associate today.