Height Adjustable Workstations/Tables

The Risk Management & Insurance Ergonomics program recommends the use of adjustable workstations in the office/computer workstation environment. However, it is important to ensure the workstation adjusts properly. Inappropriate height-adjustable workstations are not recommended. Please review the below documentation for additional information regarding height-adjustable tables/workstations.

Risk Management & Insurance Position Paper – Height Adjustable Workstations

Concerns With Height Adjustable “Platforms” (Desk-on-Desk Solutions)

Comparison Between Height Adjustable Workstations

How to Obtain a Height Adjustable Table

Height Adjustable Table Price List

Additional Details

A height adjustable sit/stand workstation allows for adjustment of the work surface height to allow users to adjust between sitting and standing while working. Properly designed adjustable workstations not only allow for users to either sit or stand but also allow for the keyboard and mouse to be adjusted to properly fit each user and allow for an ideal hand working height. Fixed workstations designed at the standard 29-31 inches are too high for ~95% of the population. With proper table height adjustability, users will have the ability to adjust the height of the work surface to an ideal working height based on their height and stature which will prevent awkward postures which increase the risk for injury.

Much like an ergonomic chair adjusts to fit a variety of users, so too should the desktop height. Often times the focus is simply to obtain an ergonomic chair as the belief is that this will solve potential problems in the office/computer environment. A good ergonomic chair has several adjustments including but not limited to height adjustment, back support, seat depth, tension control, etc. However, the perfect chair cannot fix a desktop which is too high (which is very common). With a desktop too high, users often lean forward away from back support making even the most expensive ergonomic chairs ineffective. This also increases the fatigue and stress on the back, neck, and shoulders. A height-adjustable table will allow for proper hand working height for both sitting and standing. However, users must be mindful of the adjustability of the work surface whether sitting or standing and should make the proper adjustments. Simply having a table does not guarantee the proper height. Whether sitting or standing the shoulders and upper back should be relaxed and the elbows naturally by the torso with elbows in ~90-110 degree angles.

Sitting/Standing Durations

Although sitting for prolonged periods is not healthy, standing for prolonged periods is no better. Ideally, when using a  height-adjustable workstation, users should adjust postures frequently. Current guidelines point to sitting and standing on a 1:1 ratio (i.e. sit for 30 minutes, stand for 30 minutes, repeat). More frequent adjusts should take place. See the white paper above which discusses both detriments of desk-on-desk solutions as well as the detriments of both sitting and standing for extended durations.

See also Cornell University’s website on sit-stand work programs.

Workstation Setup Tips, Training, and Other Details

Workstation Setup Tips

Keyboards, Mice and Keyboard Trays

Online Training – How to Setup Your Computer Workstation

Schedule an Ergonomic Evaluation

Questions or need additional information?
Contact CSU’s Ergonomics Coordinator
970.491.2724 – 141 General Services Building