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sit-stand height adjustable desk

How do you adjust the height of an adjustable desk?

By Sam Knijff
- 2 minutes read

Adjusting the height of an adjustable desk depends on the type of desk you have. Here are some common types of adjustable desks and how to adjust them:

Manual Crank Desks

  • Locate the crank handle. It's often tucked underneath the desk's side or can be detached and stored when not in use.
  • Insert the crank handle into the appropriate slot if it's not already there.
  • Turn the crank handle clockwise to raise the desk and counterclockwise to lower it.
  • Once you've reached the desired height, you can remove the crank handle and store it if necessary.

Pneumatic or Gas Lift Desks

  • These desks utilize air-pressure mechanisms for height adjustments.
  • Typically, there's an activation lever or button located beneath the desktop.
  • To elevate the desk, gently lift the surface while simultaneously engaging the lever or button. Once you've achieved the desired height, release to lock in place.
  • For descending, press the lever or button and apply a mild downward force to the desktop until it reaches your preferred level. Release the lever or button to secure the position.

Electric or Motorized Desks

  • These desks typically have a control panel with up and down arrows or buttons.
  • Press and hold the up button to raise the desk and the down button to lower it.
  • Some advanced electric desks might have preset height settings, allowing you to save and instantly go to your preferred heights with the push of a button.

Pin-and-Ratchet or Set Screw Desks

  • These desks have predefined height settings.
  • To adjust the height, you typically need to pull out or release a pin, move the desk to the desired height, and then re-insert the pin or tighten a screw to lock it in place.

Counterbalanced Desks

  • These desks use weights or a tension mechanism to balance the desktop.
  • To adjust, release a locking mechanism and move the desk to the desired height. The counterbalance will hold it in place once the lock is re-engaged.


  • Always clear your desk or lighten the load before making height adjustments, especially if doing so manually.
  • Adjust the desk to an ergonomic height that allows your arms to be at a 90-degree angle when typing and your monitor at eye level.
  • If you're using a chair, make sure the desk height aligns with the chair height, so your feet are flat on the ground and knees are at about a 90-degree angle.
  • Always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific desk model.

Take a look at some of our height adjustable desks:

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