How a Standing Desk Works?

Standing desks have become a popular option for those looking to improve their health and productivity while working. These innovative desks allow individuals to alternate between sitting and standing while they work, providing numerous benefits over traditional desks that require prolonged sitting.

In this guide, we will explore the basics of standing desks and the various types available in the market today. From manual standing desks to electric and smart height programmable options, we will cover the mechanisms behind each type and help you choose the most reliable option for your needs. Additionally, we will answer frequently asked questions about the benefits of standing desks and how to use them effectively.

How a Standing Desk Works?

Standing desks come in three major types based on their working mechanism: manual standing desks, electric standing desks, and standing desk converters. A manual standing desk is adjusted by hand using a crank or lever, while an electric standing desk is adjusted using a motor. Standing desk converters are placed on top of an existing desk and can be raised or lowered as needed. By allowing users to stand while working, standing desks can help improve posture, reduce back pain, and increase energy levels.

How do Electric Standing Desks Work?

Mechanism of Single Motor Electric Sit Stand Desk

In a single motor electric standing desk, the motor is responsible for adjusting the height of the desk. The motor is connected to a control box that keeps track of the desk’s height and adjustment speed. Two sensors detect the number of rotations and direction of the motor, which is then sent to the control box.

By pressing a button, the desk can automatically adjust to the desired height. The control box also allows for the programming of different heights, providing multiple options for sitting or standing at work with just one button push.

Single motor electric sit stand desks have a weight capacity of up to 80 kg, making them ideal for home offices and small businesses.

Mechanism of Dual Motor Electric Standing Desk

Dual motor electric standing desks have two motors, one on each side of the desk. This type of desk is more expensive than a single-motor desk, but it has several advantages.

The desk with dual motors can be more stable when raising or lowering the height because there are two motors. This is especially important if you plan on using a large monitor or laptop on your desk.

Another advantage of dual motor electric sit stand desks is that they usually have a higher weight capacity, making them suitable for supporting more heavy items, such as printers or multiple monitors.

Mechanism of Smart Height Programmable Standing Desk

Smart height programmable standing desks have the ability to store two or more different heights. With just one push of a button, the desk can easily raise or lower depending on your needs. This type of desk is perfect for people who often switch between sitting and standing throughout the day.

Smart desks don’t require you to keep track of changing heights because the desk does it for you. As a result, they’re perfect for offices where employees share desks. Smart height-adjustable desks can have either a single or dual motor.

How do Manual Standing Desks Work?

Mechanism of Hand Crank Standing Desk

Hand-crank standing desks are the most common type of manual adjustable desks. These desks feature a hand crank that is used to adjust the height of the desk. To raise or lower the desk, you need to turn the crank in either direction. Some desk models come with knobs instead of hand cranks, but they all work the same way. The knob adjusts the desk’s legs, allowing it to be modified in height. The only downside of the hand-crank standing desk is that it can be slightly slow to adjust, as you need to turn the crank a few times to move the desk up or down. However, they are a great option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly manual standing desk.

Mechanism of Pneumatic Standing Desk

Pneumatic standing desks are a type of counterbalance desk that uses gas cylinders to adjust the height of the desk. The gas cylinders are located at the base of the desk, allowing you to adjust the desk with just a few pumps easily. To adjust the height of the desk, you need to engage the cylinder, and the pneumatic fluid or gas flows around or through the piston. This action then pushes or pulls the piston, which moves the desk up or down. There are two types of pneumatic standing desks: single-leg and two-leg pneumatic counterbalance desks.

Single-leg pneumatic counterbalance desks have one gas cylinder and are the most common type of pneumatic desk. The gas cylinder produces adequate height adjustments, which are essential when you want to adjust your desk from sitting to standing. When you engage the gas cylinders, they inflate with air and push the desk up.

Two-leg pneumatic counterbalance desks have two gas cylinders, one for each leg of the desk. This type of desk uses a connecting rod or cable between the two legs so that both gas cylinders can inflate simultaneously. This design is necessary to achieve a more balanced desk height adjustment. The advantage of two-leg pneumatic desks is that they’re typically faster to adjust than single-leg pneumatic desks. However, they’re also more expensive than their single-leg counterparts.

Mechanism of Spring Counterbalance Desk

Spring counterbalance desks use springs instead of gas cylinders or pneumatic fluid to adjust the desk’s height. The working principle is simple: as you engage the springs, they inflate and push the desk up. The amount of spring tension can be adjusted, so you can make the desk as easy or as challenging to change as you want. One of the downsides of spring counterbalance desks is that they can be a bit noisy. That’s because the springs make a metal-on-metal noise as they inflate and deflate. However, they’re a great option if you can sacrifice the noise for a faster and easier height adjustment.

How do Standing Desk Converters Work?

Standing desk converters allow users to convert their traditional sitting desk into a sit/stand desk. They are an affordable alternative to buying a new standing desk and are easy to set up.

Most standing desk converters are designed to sit on top of your existing desk and have a platform for your computer and other essentials. The platform can be raised to your eye level, allowing you to work comfortably while standing. Some converters also come with additional features such as storage shelves or drawers.

To use a standing desk converter, you simply place it on top of your existing desk and adjust the height to your desired level of comfort. Some converters come with electric motors that allow for easy adjustment of the height with a button, while others require manual adjustment.

Standing desk converters are a cheaper alternative to electric standing desks, which can be quite expensive. They offer a convenient way to switch between sitting and standing while working, promoting a healthier work environment.

Most Reliable Type of Standing Desk

When it comes to standing desks, electric standing desks are the most reliable option. They offer the convenience of not having to manually adjust the desk height, which can be a hassle with manual standing desks. In addition, electric standing desks are typically much more stable and quieter than manual standing desks, which means you won’t have to worry about disturbing your coworkers. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, standing desk converters are also a great choice. Ultimately, the stability and height-adjustment capabilities of electric standing desks make them the most reliable option for those looking to switch to a standing desk.


In conclusion, there are various types of standing desks available in the market that can help you stay healthy and productive at work. The electric standing desk is the easiest and most reliable option, while a standing desk converter is a more budget-friendly solution. A spring counterbalance desk might be the right choice if you don’t mind a little noise. Ultimately, the choice of a standing desk comes down to personal preference. Regardless of the type of desk you choose, it is essential to prioritize your health and well-being at work. Standing desks can help reduce the negative health effects of prolonged sitting and increase your productivity.


Are Standing Desks Good For Posture?

Standing desks have been found to improve posture and reduce back pain, according to recent studies. In fact, one study showed that individuals who used a standing desk for several weeks reported up to a 32% improvement in their neck and lower back pain. If you are looking to improve your posture, using a standing desk is a good idea. For more detailed advantages of standing desks, check out our guide.

How Many Hours a Day Should You Stand at a Standing Desk?

The amount of time you should stand at a standing desk varies from person to person. However, most experts recommend starting with 1-2 hours per day and gradually increasing the amount of time spent standing. It is important to take things slowly if you are new to sit-stand desks. Alternating between sitting and standing every 30 to 60 minutes is also recommended.

Do Standing Desks Need to Be Plugged In?

Electric motorized standing desks require a power source since they use electric motors to adjust the height of the desk. If you are looking for a standing desk that does not need to be plugged in, you will likely need to choose a manual or pneumatic desk.

For more articles on office furniture, visit

About the author


Hi there! I'm Terry Raul, a digital product enthusiast. I work from my personal office at home and enjoy exploring new and innovative products. Recently, I wrote some content about electric desks on that I think you might find interesting.

Leave a Comment