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Desktop Converters or Sit-Stand Platforms: Good or Bad? Part 2 of 4

“I’ve heard about sit-stand, or standing, platforms and converters. What do I need to know?

This is the second of a four part series: IMPORTANT FACTORS when considering investing in a sit-stand option. You can read Part 1 here.

Consider “Sit-Stand Platforms”

Purchasing departments are in favor of this type of equipment because the existing desk can still be used. Facility departments also like this type of height adjustable “desk”, since the installation is easy.

Nearly all desks in North America are already too high for most of us.

Concern #1:

Desktop Converter1The normal desk height in North America is 29” – which is perfect for someone who is about 6’- 4”.  So, nearly all fixed-height desks in North America are already too high for most of us. (That’s why keyboard trays are so popular.) Sit-stand platforms sit on top of the desk and increase the seated keying height, making an already bad situation even worse!


Frank Gonzales of Colorado State University has this to say about standing platforms:   

“…beware of “platforms” and other equipment that sit on the desktop. Although these seem to be a growing trend and are easy to add and certainly allow for both sitting and standing to take place, if the proper adjustments cannot be made to allow for ideal hand working height for both sitting and standing, awkward postures are likely and risk for discomfort and fatigue increased.1 

I encourage you to read the rest of this report.

Some sit-stand platforms incorporate a keyboard tray, that sits in front of the desk and below the height of the work surface. That brings into play added serious concerns regarding “reach zones”. (More about that in our next installment.)

When elevated, sit-stand platforms leave the desk behind.

Concern #2: 

Downsides of Desktop Converter/PlatformSimilar to keyboard trays, when standing, it’s difficult (almost impossible) to reach phones, reference documents & writing material which are still on the desk. The desk becomes little more than a “platform stand” and the space you’re left with to house the important stuff that you need close a hand is, well – challenging.


Concern #3:

When a person stands, the monitor viewing angle is different than it is when seated. An adjustable monitor arm allows the screen to easily be altered in angle, height and depth for maximum eye comfort when either sitting and standing. Monitor arms cannot be clamped to a sit stand platform due to space restrictions and instability when moving (raising) the monitor.

“Height adjustable workstations are ideal in today’s office environment, where computer work is prevalent. Not only will an adjustable workstation/table properly “fit” a majority of the population (about 90 percent or more), when adjusted correctly, an adjustable workstation/table will allow for alternating between sitting and standing, which has great benefits”.1

Mounted Monitor Arms

Electric tables quickly and effortlessly raise from a sitting position to a standing position and back again. This flexibility helps to encourage multiple position changes throughout the day. Sit-stand desks (adjustable workstation/table) have the added element of being able to be lowered to a comfortable keying position, improving upon the benefit of the height adjustable keyboard tray by keeping everything else on the desk within reach and by saving the cost of the added component.

Keep an eye out for Part 3 of this series next week!


1 Tips on ergonomics and sit/stand workstations, Source, Dec 2, Frank Gonzales  


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