Standing Desk Risers: Manual or Electric?

Standing Desk Risers: Manual or Electric? June 26, 2018

Standing desk risers, whether you’ve heard of them or not, are becoming an office worker’s savior. The stats don’t lie: people who sit for more than eight hours a day have a much higher risk of obesity and early death. There are litanies of studies to back up these assertions, which is why a standing desk riser could save your life.

It should be noted that while prolonged sitting has been proven hazardous to your health, so is excessive standing. I know, which are we supposed to do!? The answer is both, which is why a standing desk riser is so vital to your health. An adjustable desk, like the VersaDesk Power Pro allows you to easily sit and stand throughout the day without disrupting your work. Mixing sitting and standing throughout your workday is the healthiest approach to a long and prosperous life.

We have covered the “why” for an adjustable desk riser, your health; the question is then, which one? Standing desk risers come in two types: electric standing desk risers or the manual standing desk variety. In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each.

It’s Electric!: The Electric Standing Desk Riser


The biggest advantage of an electric standing desk riser is the ease with which you can adjust it. A simple touch of a button and your desk will raise and lower at your command. This makes switching from standing to sitting a breeze, keeping your body happy and healthy at the touch of a button.

One surprising element of certain electric standing desk risers is affordability. Sure, many electric adjustable desks are more costly than their manual counterpart but not all. There are cost-effective options available for electric adjustable desks. Also, something to consider. It’s your health, it’s worth investing in.


One downside of the electric adjustable desk riser is the electricity. If your office or work area lacks an outlet, that’s an issue. For now, these desks run electrically. So no power source, no button powered standing desk riser. Another factor is weight. Because of all the motors and machinery involved with this hassle-free adjustment, electric standing desk risers are typically heavier and a little harder to move around.

While it’s true that there are affordable electric adjustable desk risers, in general, the electric variety is more expensive due to motors and so on. Although the wattage one of these pulls will only cost about 40 cents a year.

Get Your Manual On:


Manual standing desks come in more variety than their electric brethren. There are full-size desks with cranks. There are small workstations that move with pneumatic systems for quick adjustment. Some manual adjustable desks change height like crutches with ball bearings. The manual standing desk may not be as easily adjusted but there are a bevy of options to fit your exact situation.

Whether you have a tiny workspace with no outlets or a second workspace that you’d like outfitted, there is a manual desk perfect for you. Manual standing desks also, in general, are more cost-effective, as they have fewer moving parts.


The real downside of the manual standing desks come when you’d like to change the height. This isn’t to say that all manual standing desks are brutal to change. A few, especially the smaller workstations, only take a few quick clicks. However, many require quite a few cranks of a handle to get adjusted. Some models even require you to lean forward and then pull the weight of your desk up and back. This is really bad for your neck and back.

Lastly, many manual adjustable desk risers have limited lift capacities. Meaning if you have too many heavy items on your desk it may not be able to rise as needed.

In the end, the adjustable desk riser you choose should be based on your needs and the workspace you inhabit. If you’d like to adjust your desk frequently, have an outlet nearby and don’t plan on moving locations, electric is probably the way to go. However, if you don’t have a lot of space and only plan on adjusting your desk once or twice a day, manual may be the way to go.

The key to choosing the right desk is having your priorities in order. Know what is important to you and don’t hesitate. A standing desk riser could save your life and that’s no hyperbole.