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Does a Fixed Height Desk Last Longer Than a Standing Desk?.

When you present both a fixed height desk and a standing desk to your customers, they eventually ask one question.

Which one will last longer?

As one of Australia’s leading office furniture wholesalers, OLG has been supplying both fixed height and motorised standing desks for over 15 years.  In this time, we’ve learned a thing or two about how durable these products are.

In this article, we’ll discuss the build quality of both fixed-height desks and standing desks. We’ll explore standard manufacturer testing, product warranties and answer the ultimate question.

Which desk lasts longer, a fixed height desk or a standing desk?   

Different Types of Standing Desks

While the most common type of sit-to-stand desk comes fitted with an electric motor, there are several other types of standing desks including pneumatic gas lifts and manual winch. For this article though, we’ll be referring to standing desks fitted with an electric motor.

Are Fixed Height Desks More Durable than Standing Desks?

When it comes to mechanics, there’s a general rule that applies to almost every invention in existence. The more moving parts a machine has the more maintenance it will require over its life to keep it running. It’s the reason Teslas require less servicing than your run-of-the-mill combustion engine vehicle.

So, when you consider every part involved in a motorized standing desk, it would be safe to assume that they wouldn’t last as long as their fixed-height equivalent, right?

Well, not exactly.

How Long Do Standing Desks Last?

On average, standing desks’ motors last anywhere between 5-15 years depending on their build quality, the amount of load they endure, and how often users operate them. To get an idea of how durable their products are, manufacturers cycle-test their motors to the point of failure.  This involves repeatedly raising and lowering the desk until the motor burns out.

A cheap motor will burn out before 5,000 cycles. Comparatively, a high-end motor will still be running strong after 20,000 cycles. But adjusting your standing desk up and down repeatedly all day is hardly typical use.  Manufacturers of standing desk motors maintain that typical use involves a rest period between each full cycle.  The total amount of time taken for each cycle added to the rest period is known as the duty cycle. Manufacturers recommend that for every 2 minutes of operation, 18 minutes of rest is to be expected. This means that standing motors have a 10% duty cycle.

To determine the actual product life in a real-world scenario, we need to understand how users utilize standing desks. A standing desk that remains locked in one position throughout the day exerts far less strain on its motor than one that is constantly adjusted. Assuming a person adjusts their desk twice per day or two cycles per day, each use comprising of raising the desk up and down, a typical motorized standing desk endures 504 cycles per year.

Now consider that at the lower end, motors will last around 5,000 cycles. That equals just under 10 years of typical usage conditions. Theoretically, higher-end motors could achieve a life of up to 40 years if used twice a day under the same conditions.

In saying all this, the life of a standing desk is going to depend on a few main factors. How much weight the desk carries, the office environment and how protected the components are from external damage.

How Long Do Fixed-Height Desks Last?

Even without understanding the cycle rating of standing desk motors, most people would assume that fixed-height desks last longer.  And for the most part, you’d be correct. But the average lifespan of fixed office furniture is probably a lot lower than you might think.

Hardwood desks generally have a life of around 15 years, but not because of issues with the tabletop or frame.  Often, it’s stuck drawers or wobbly legs that create a need for a replacement. 

Despite their comparatively longer life, fixed-height desks are generally swapped out once every 5-10 years.

How Long Do OLG’s Standing Desks Last?

This warranty applies only if you follow the supported weight guidelines and set up the desk indoors. OLG tests and rates all its standing desk motors for up to 15,000 cycles without failure.

In almost all cases, this is longer than both the warranty period and the average amount of time between office refurbishments.

The Results Are In!

On paper, a fixed-height desk will always last longer than a motorized standing desk.  This is due to it containing fewer moving parts and thus, fewer points of failure.  Despite this, both fixed height desks and standing desks that are made from quality components should have no problems surviving the average five-to-ten-year refurbishment period.

If you want to add a range of fixed height or motorized standing desks to your business’ catalogue and need more information, feel free to reach out to our friendly sales team on 02 8188 2732 or email us at info@olgoffice.com

Want to keep reading? Find out what’s new with OLG or head over to the OLG Learning Centre. There you’ll find a curated archive full of educational articles and industry content, all completely free to use.

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Still not convinced?

These are just some of the reasons OLG is the preferred office furniture supplier for so many Australian resellers. If you need help choosing the best furniture wholesaler for your business needs, feel free to drop us an email at info@olgoffice.com or give us a call on (02) 8188 2732.