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We’ve been sitting too long.

That’s what they tell us anyway, and research from the National Institute of Health even tells us that there’s a direct link between time spent sitting and early mortality. Yikes.

To fix this problem, standing desks have proven themselves a necessary part of the workplace, and have even become the fastest growing employee benefit. A lot has been written about the advantages of standing desks over traditional desks in productivity, user satisfaction, health, and safety, and now there’s enough research to show that this revolution is a big part of the solution.

How can we do better?

In the next wave of height adjustable desks, we have a chance to add a little nuance to the design, and squeeze just a little more benefit, to make these promised benefits really come to life. Pneumatic height adjustable tables can offer significant advantages over electric ones on the things that matter most in the workplace – productivity, speed, flexibility, health, and safety.

When people are more comfortable, they are more productive.

The issue with electric desks is that they take too long to lower or raise the desk to the right height. This time creates an interruption in flow, a state that is hard to regain – according to a UC Irvine study, it can take up to 25 minutes to get back on task. Pneumatic desks, with their ability to adjust faster than the fastest electric models – a minimum of 8 times faster – dramatically reduce distracting work interruptions.

Another area where electric standing desks have struggled with efficiency is maintenance. Service issues waste time and again interupt your flow. Maintenance delays can occur when the table control isn’t reset correctly after a loss of power, or when a power spike or collision occurs, rendering the desk annoyingly malfunctioning until it can be serviced. With the simpler design of pneumatic standing desk mechanisms, users experience none of those service issues. Move the desk from one place to another, or work straight through a power outage – the adjustability of the pneumatic desk is unaffected.

How can standing desk design increase user satisfaction?

Standing desk users are usually quick to embrace them, but there are some annoying quirks with electric standing desk designs that affect adoption – things like noise and ease of use. Some people find the “whine” of electric motors distracting or annoying. Others find that understanding how to operate the desk and adjust it properly takes more training than you might expect.

Quiet operating pneumatic standing desks are engineered to eliminate bothersome noise that might distract other workers. And intuitive counter-balanced design means that training time for users to learn how to operate the pneumatic table is virtually nonexistent. Users can begin operating them immediately without barriers to acceptance.

Are standing desks living up to their health and safety promise?

The health benefits of height adjustable standing desks can only be realized if people actually adjust them during the course of the day. Height adjustable pneumatic standing desks reduce the time needed to adjust from one position to another, increasing the probability that users will actually adjust the desk periodically. When users are motivated to change the desk position, health benefits of changing positions are actually being realized, calories burned, and musculoskeletal discomfort reduced.

In addition, moving parts of electric standing desks carry some risk of accidental safety issues due to pinch points such as adjacent desks, storage units, or seating. A safely engineered pneumatic desk helps eliminate safety risks because the user is the motor and can adjust quickly when the desk moves.

The simple fact is that when people feel more comfortable, they are more productive. Pneumatic height adjustable desks can help. The promise of height adjustable desks ties directly to the mission of Kessebohmer Ergonomics: that sitting and standing at your desk shouldn’t be a luxury. Well engineered, safe desk designs that take advantage of the quick, quiet pneumatic power, can form the future and the promise of height adjustable standing desks.