Finding the Best Ergonomic Desk: Ergotron Sit-Stand Desks
When you write for a living, finding the best ergonomic desk becomes a rather high priority. I’ve had my eye on the line of Ergotron Sit-Stand desks for some time. In terms of staying healthy, a Sit-Stand desk presents a great solution for staying active during what is often a very sedentary type of job. That is, when we’re not testing tools in the shop or on the jobsite! While we do tend to move around quite a bit, the writing side of the business stands as a “necessary evil” of the review process. I personally spend hours and hours in front of the computer as do Kenny, Tim, and Chris, who now frequent our new offices.
Much excitement surrounded the moving of our office space. It gave us a lot more room to work and consolidated the CD Media Publishing team which oversees our various online magazines. Attached to roughly 2,000 square feet of shop space, the 640 square feet of air-conditioned office needed a working desk environment as versatile as its occupants. The Ergotron Sit-Stand desks made for the perfect match. In fact, we grabbed one of each major style. Now we can shoot videos, write reviews, and take care of everything else we need to publish and promote our written and online reviews.
In addition to the three primary Ergotron desks, we also utilize two WorkFit-PD, Sit-Stand Desks. These serve as mobile workstations and allow us to take notes and document results during our tool testing in the shop. One WorkFit-PD lives in the connected woodworking shop and the other is located nearby in the Shop Tool Reviews automotive shop.
I want to go through the features and advantages of each desk that Ergotron offers. I’ll start with the manual model, and then move up through the two electric models we use.
WorkFit-DL 60, Sit-Stand Desk
Available in three colors—black, maple, and wenge—the Ergotron WorkFit-DL calibrates easily to whatever load you put on it. That means you can manually elevate or lower the desktop using the manual handle without having to apply much effort. It lets you sit or stand at will so you can engage in a full day of computing. This is a premium sit and stand desk that gives you flexibility as you work.
The desk comes in 48-inch and 60-inch wide formats. The one we use features a 60″ x 29″ (152.4 cm x 73.6 cm) work surface. We added an LX Desk Monitor Arm to allow us to mount a 24-inch LCD display alongside our iMac. The work surface height is adjustable from 31.3–51.3″ (80–130 cm) just by pulling upwards on the adjustment lever while guiding the table up or down.
We also added a Neo-Flex Underdesk Keyboard Arm to allow us to place the keyboard at the proper ergonomic position relative to the display height. This keyboard arm lets you tilt it as desired for wrist ergonomic and also stores the keyboard underneath the WorkFit-DL 6 desk. When not in use it gives the desk a cleaner look. This is now the desk of Chris Boll, our new Assistant Editor covering all of our websites.
Assembly on this desk was straightforward, starting with attaching the base legs and cross bars to the table top. Once all of that is in place you mount the controls. Finally, you flip the desk upside down and dial in the tension to compensate for the weight of anything you place on top.
Elevate 60, Electric Sit-Stand Desk
If you’re going to step up from the WorkFit-DL 60, that means an electric desk. The Elevate 60, Electric Sit-Stand Desk adjusts from sitting to standing height with the simple push of a button. The controls even hide neatly away underneath the desk surface. This full-sized 60″ wide (152 cm) desk gives you 29-inches of working depth. That’s plenty of space to handle a computer, extra monitor, and desktop speakers. The electric lift system can handle up to 150 lbs (68 kg). Given the low weight of today’s computers, laptops, and screens—you’ve got plenty of power to get you from sitting to standing. With all that weight, you’d think the desk would be immovable, however the embedded rear wheels allow simple movement and repositioning.
Even though this desk provides a powered lift system, it assembled almost as easily as the manual WorkFit-DL 60. The only difference was the power cable leading to the motorized legs and the use of a wired Up/Down remote control in place of a manual cable lever.
We found it both quick and easy to lift and lower this desk. Ours carried an extra monitor and a laptop along with whatever tools Tim Johnson of Shop Tool Reviews was looking at that day. The laptop and monitor mount on a conversion kit, allowing Tim to use both on a dual VESA mount system. Tim measures in at 6’ 4” tall, and the height adjustment kept up and gave him an ergonomic screen viewing height at the desk’s full lift position. The range of motion takes the desk from 28″ (71 cm) to its maximum height of 47″ (119 cm).
Elevate Adjusta 60, Electric Sit-Stand Desk
The Elevate Adjusta 60, Electric Sit-Stand Desk is what I use. Similar to the Elevate 60, the Adjusta adds a “split” desktop. It gives you a way to hold one or two keyboards on the front portion of the desk. It can easily accommodate a mouse or even a Wacom tablet. That front portion can be at a different height than the rear portion which holds your computer monitors. I much prefer this to a keyboard tray, though it sacrifices having a large cohesive desk space.
What’s special about this system is that the same electric lift raises both desk sections up or down as desired. You simply press the Up or Down button on the 60″-wide (152 cm) dual-surface Elevate Adjusta, and both the front and back desk surfaces move together. This is the best ergonomic desk for anyone who needs a lot of space for keyboards and other input devices.
If you do want to make an adjustment to the independent height of the front keyboard surface, you simply squeeze a lever to place it right where you want it. It actually adjusts both above and below the rear desk surface. The tilt can also be adjusted from 9° forward to 15° backward. In terms of the keyboard surface support—it alone can handle up to 40 lbs (18.2 kg).
Assembly of this desk was actually a bit more involved. It included having to add and configure the adjustment arms for the front keyboard tray as opposed to simply placing the legs and crossbar on a single desk surface. Still, we had it together in no-time—and since we did it last, there were very few surprises.
Like the Elevate 60, the Elevate Adjusta 60 can electrically lift up to 150 pounds. The range of motion on these Ergotron sit-stand desks is from 28″ (71 cm) to 47″ (119 cm) in height. The system consistently and quickly lifts my 2017 iMac and 27-inch LED display. We attached both using an Ergotron LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm VESA mount.
One of the questions we often get with respect to these ergonomic Sit-Stand desks revolves around cabling. Since we tend to connect so much equipment to the desk, people wonder if anything gets caught up with then desk goes up or down. Surprisingly, there’s absolutely no interference between the desk movement and the cables of connected devices. Because the power strip we use rises and falls with the desk, the only space needed is for the singular power strip supply cord. With that free, I’ve yet to see any problems with cords or cables catching during movement of the desk.
Ergotron Sit-Stand Desks Common Features
All of the Ergotron Sit-Stand desks feature very cool “Tilt-and-go” wheels on the rear that let you lift the front and move them forwards or backward as needed. This made it very easy to maneuver the desks into place once they were assembled in our office. Each of the desks also uses an Elevate Power Bar with 12 outlets. This lets us plug all of our cords into a single power strip. We like this power bar because it has multiple mounting methods and also spaces the receptacles 2-inches (5 cm) apart. Given the number of transformers we use, this comes in handy.
When finding the best ergonomic desk, don’t forget that you’ll spend considerable time on your feet. With any Sit-Stand desk, you’ll definitely want something soft to stand on. This makes ALL the difference in the world when using these systems. We chose three Neo-Flex Floor Mats which measure 36″ x 24″ (91 x 61 cm). They slide easily underneath the Sit-Stand desks when not in use, and pull out with the slide of your foot.
Finally, cable management matters. To dress up your Sit-Stand desk, we recommend grabbing a Cable Management Kit. This helps you organize and route equipment wiring as needed.
Finding the Best Ergonomic Desk
It doesn’t matter if you’re a construction business owner, bidder, or simply filling out paperwork at home. Using Ergotron Sit-Stand desks will be much more healthy than just sitting. If you already have a desk, Ergotron also makes WorkFit Desk Conversions that go right on top of your work surface. They even have models for corner desks.
One last tip: Be sure to vary your time standing and sitting. It’s recommended that you switch every couple of hours. Standing all day isn’t more healthy than sitting—in fact, it may be worse. There are other companies that make these types of desks, but I’ve followed Ergotron for years and found them to make high-quality products that last. When it came time to finding the best ergonomic desk, these had everything we needed.