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9 reasons why a height-adjustable table is a better solution than a sit-stand desktop converter

On July 10, 2019, a recall was issued for 76,000 sit-stand desktop converter workstations (4,000 in Canada) due to potential malfunctions of the gas cylinders when the weight limit is exceeded. This recall prompted us to visit why electric height adjustable tables are more advantageous than sit-stand desktop converters.

What are sit-stand desktop converters and how do they differ from height-adjustable tables?

Sit-stand desktop converters are placed on top of the user’s existing desk, where the surface of the converter can then be raised to “transform” it to a standing desk, or lowered for the desk to be used as normal. These converters provide the option for users to stand without getting an entirely new desk; however, it’s important to realize the flaws inherent to the converter concept. Desktop converters only “convert” a small portion of your work surface into a standing desk, meaning that commonly used items have to be left on the existing desk platform. This can lead to awkward postures such as reaching for the phone or a file on the platform below. They also do not help those that need their desk to go lower.

Height-adjustable tables, on the other hand, offer a complete ergonomic solution, allowing employees to adjust the table to their optimal height when seated while also giving them the option to stand while they work, whereas desktop converters simply accommodate for standing. The table below outlines things to consider when making the choice between upCentric electric height adjustable tables and sit-stand desktop converters.

upCentric Electric Height-Adjustable Tables vs. Sit-Stand Desktop Converters
upCentric Height-Adjustable Tables (Electric) Sit-Stand Desktop Converters
Stability & Weight Capacity Lower cross support provides a very sturdy solution that can hold hundreds of pounds while maintaining the ability to effortlessly raise/lower the table.

upCentric Expandable Frame – 300 lbs

upCentric Modular Frame – 250 lbs

There are a number of different styles of desktop converters. Some are only meant to hold a laptop, while there are others that can hold a monitor and a keyboard. These converters can’t hold much weight, and may require you to remove items from the converter when raising/lowering, which can be a hassle.
Height Range 21.6” – 47.9”

This range allows virtually 100% of the workforce to properly adjust their workstation to their desired height, in a seated or a standing position.

Ranges vary.

Typical converters may be too tall for shorter people to use when seated while simultaneously being too short for taller people to use while standing.

Surface Space Everything on the table is at the same height when you switch to a standing position, meaning no awkward reaching for frequently used items such as the phone, files, etc. If your work surface width is 36” the converter solution does not provide an ergonomic keying height. Limited space on the converter also means having to leave commonly used items on the existing desk platform, 12” to 16” below.
Assembly Time upCentric tables can be assembled in as little as 5 minutes. Click here to see the assembly video. Typically require little assembly.
Cost With technological advances, electric height-adjustable tables have come down in price significantly since they first appeared on the market. There are a wide range of prices available for desktop converters.
Travel Speed 1.6” per second. Takes a few seconds to raise/lower.
Desire to Keep Existing Desk Electric height-adjustable table frames can be used with existing tabletops. Allows you to keep your current desk, but limits space on the desk top.
Wire Management ergoCentric Cable Management is available for upCentric electric height-adjustable tables in 28”, 36” and 48” lengths, as well as two different colours – silver or black. Your converter, the computer and all wiring moves together when switching to a standing position. These wires can become a big hassle if not adequately managed. Many converters don’t come with any cable management.
Ease of Adding Accessories Easy to add ergonomic accessories such as a keyboard, monitor arms (leaves arm at the correct height) and free up desk space. Many table top converters lack work space, which is a limiting factor when looking to add accessories. Many of them cannot have monitors mounted and lack room for a keyboard at the correct height.

Striking the right balance between sitting and standing throughout the day is key to experiencing the wide range of benefits associated with height-adjustable tables. Desktop converters only do half the job.

Read more about the recall on CTV News

By ergoCentric

The ergoCentric Team is here to help you. These articles are written to assist you in making the best decision for YOU, by breaking down the facts about ergonomics, office safety and much more. Have a question or concern about one of the articles you have read? Have an idea for an article or already have an article written and think our readers should see it? Share it with us! We encourage you to comment on the article or email us at [email protected]. We are always looking for new contributors to share their thoughts on ergonomics, safety in the workplace and much more. And don’t forget to subscribe, so you can be notified when a new article is written.