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Considerations for Selecting a Sit Stand Table

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Today’s marketplace is crowded with sit stand table options. Prices vary, and at first glance they all look alike. There are significant differences. Considerations to help in your evaluation can come from the photo, what is stated and not stated in the product description. Let’s eliminate the variables of the work surface and focus on the base.

Which is the right sit stand base for you? This will depend on your application, number of users, body type, and budget. Whether you are an occasional user that plans to work at this base for two hours or less a day or an intensive user, we want to help you select the height adjustable base that is right for you. WorksInComfort offers commercial grade bases for intensive use and very durable occasional use table bases with prices ranging from $689 to $959.


Occasional Usage from $689


Intensive Usage & Full Height Adjustment Range from $959

You can find occasional use bases that are not as sturdy or are not reliable for as low as $499. We don’t sell these. Most likely you will be disappointed. You get what you pay for. Here are some things to consider as you shop for a sit stand base.

User Type

How many hours do you plan to work at this station? If two hours a day or less, then a sit stand base designed for occasional work is probably adequate. If more than two hours a day, you should consider a commercial grade designed for intensive use. For example, if you plan to work at the station for eight hours a day, five days a week, that is approximately 2,000 hours per year. It is commonly recommended alternating from sitting to standing twice an hour. That equates to 4,000 cycles per year. An “occasional use design” probably will not hold up.

Height Adjustment Mechanism

There are essentially three different alternatives, hand crank, electric motor, or pneumatic adjustment. One of the benefits of the hand crank or pneumatic adjustment is you do not have to worry about having access to an electric outlet. The unit can be easily placed in the middle of a room. If you are only going to occasionally adjust the height then a hand crank may be the way to go. Pneumatic adjustments tend to be more expensive. The benefit of electric is you can easily adjust to different heights with the push of a button. Only the most popular electric alternatives are shown on our website, but we provide crank and pneumatic alternatives.

Electric Motor Considerations

How reliable is the electric motor? Does the manufacturer specify the brand of the motor or can they easily swap motors as a cost savings? Is the motor commercial grade or designed for only occasional use?

How many motors are there on the unit? Is there an electric motor on each leg of the table? Does a two legged table have two motors; does a three legged table have three motors? Frequently lower priced units have a single motor. That is fine for only occasional use. However, if you plan to be making frequent adjustments, having a motor for each leg may be more appropriate for your usage. Keep in mind if this is your primary work station, you may be adjusting this 4,000 times per year.

Both ISE’s RISE and S2 bases use German manufactured Bosch motors for each leg. Bosch is a leading commercial grade electric motor.

ESI’s Triumph base easily meets the needs of an occasional user. Triumph has a single electric motor.

How loud is the motor? This is typically measured in decibels. For example 50 dBs is equivalent to having conversation at home; 100 dBs is the sound level of a motorcycle or snowmobile. ISE RISE and S2 function at 38dB. This is the equivalent of whispering at the theater. ISE’s “whisper” motors are the quietest in the industry. If you are making occasional adjustments or work in solitude having a quiet motor may be less important. However depending on your planned application it could make a significant difference.

Sit Stand Base Design

Designing and building a good base is not easy. It needs to support the work surface while not interfering with the user. Some bases have parallel work surface beams that run horizontally across the front and rear. This can create a problem if you plan to use a keyboard tray that slides under the surface of the table. The beam may interfere with the keyboard arm. Alternatively, ISE bases have an open design where the work surface beams are designed not to interfere with keyboard storage space, but provide a great deal of stability.


Standard Design


ISE’s Design

How sturdy is the sit stand table particularly when it is raised to the highest setting? Some users complain that the less expensive designs experience wobbling left to right. Some designs utilize a cross beam to combat the wobbling. (See figure 1 below). This creates another problem because the cross bar encroaches on the user’s leg and knee space.


Figure 1

Alternatively some units have a clever design with hidden cross beams that do not interfere with the user’s space and provides a sturdy base. RISE, S2, and Triumph all have hidden cross beam designs.

Is the based designed so it can be flexible for multiple widths or is the base specific to just one or two widths? If the horizontal beams have telescoping capability you have future flexibility to change the width of the base only needing to change the work surface instead of the entire table. For instance the most popular ISE RISE and S2 base sizes accommodate work surface widths from 48” to 84”.

Leg Design & Height Adjustment Range

What is the height adjustment range of the legs? The Business Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) has come out with height range guide lines. The BIFMA range is 22” to 48” in order to accommodate 5% of Seated Female to 95% of Standing Male. ISE RISE meets the BIFMA adjustability range. You may or may not need that complete range of height adjustability depending on your planned application. However, if you are in a multi-user environment or plan to have your small children sharing your station this height range could be very important.

If you are an intensive user of average stature and will be the only person using this work station then you may not need the height adjustability range of RISE and S2 would meet your needs with height adjustable range of 27” – 46”. If you are an occasional user of average stature then ESI’s Triumph may be right with an adjustable range of 26” – 45.5”.

Is the actuator, the device that extends and retracts the leg, designed for commercial applications or occasional use? Some inexpensive models are designed for infrequent usage. Others are for commercial applications where the units are tested to 10,000 cycles. Health care professionals recommend adjusting the height 2 times per hour that would equate to 4,000 cycles in a year for your primary work station.

What is the speed of adjustment? Some units adjust at 1.6” per second - others at 1” per second. What seems to be a small difference adds up quickly. Particularly if you plan make frequent adjustments.

Some units come with an “auto-stop” sensor as a safety feature if the table hits an obstruction. Many units do not.

Some switches are single touch operation. We prefer the ones that require the operator to engage the switch as the unit is moving as another safety feature.

How much weight will you be planning to put on the base? Please keep in mind the work surface itself could be 70 lbs. or more. Some bases are only rated at 100 lbs. Others may lift up to 180 or 250lbs or more. Some manufacturers include options to increase weight capacities of 300lbs.

I hope this has helped you in understanding differences amongst the various bases. For your convenience, click this link to view a comparison table of bases we feature

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