Having a standing desk is a suitable investment for your health. Instead of sitting for 8 hours at a desk job, you can easily switch from sitting to standing with the press of a button. However, a standing desk has a limited number of cycles it can handle. Cycles are the raising and lowering of the desk via the small electric motor that is included.
While the electric motor of a standing desk can be more prone to malfunctions than a manual lift standing desk, many standing desk motors can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years or longer. This can be up to 20,000 independent cycles of raising or lowering the desk while under the weight of your computer, laptop, books, or other desk accessories.
The lifespan of a standing desk will depend on the brand’s reputation, quality of components, and care while using the desk. It is an investment that can get you several years of reliable use on average.
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Factors That Affect The Motor
There are a variety of factors that can include the lifespan of a standing desk motor. These can include:
- Manufacturer reputation
- Motor internal components
- Weight limit of the desk
- Power surges within the electrical system
- General care and maintenance
All standing desks, regardless of their manufacturer, will have a set number of cycles they can perform throughout the motor’s lifetime. A cycle is when you lift or lower the desk to your sitting or standing height. Normally this will be done under the weight of many items on your desktop which can weigh up to 150 pounds or more, and includes the weight of the desktop itself.
A standing desk motor can be rated for up to 300 pounds, though 200 pounds is the most common. The weight of the wooden, metal, or composite desktop itself will have to be added to this weight. In addition, the weight of your computer monitor, accessories, books, laptops, stationery, and other desk-related items will add to this limit.
Depending on the manufacturer and the components they used when making their motors, a standing desk motor can be rated anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 raising and lowering cycles.
If you only use your standing desk on occasion or limit the number of cycles you use throughout the day, a motor can potentially last 10 years or longer. Many motors are rated well below their cycle limit, for example, your motor may say it can handle 10,000 cycles when in reality, you can get 20,000 from it.
The manufacturer’s reputation can also play a factor in the lifespan of a standing desk motor. For example, better-known manufacturers specializing in standing desks will pay more attention to the quality of their products. After all, they want to make a name for themselves in that market.
On the other hand, lesser-known manufacturers, or those that do not specialize in standing desks or other motorized components, may not invest the most time or money into quality motor internal components. In this case, the motors may not last more than 3-5 years on average while still costing as much as a higher quality desk.
Weight limits can also play a major role in the lifespan of a standing desk motor. Desks can be rated to hold anywhere from 100 to 300 pounds, and sometimes more for custom units. This includes the weight of the desktop itself, and anything you place on top of it.
If you overweigh the desktop, you risk stripping the gears inside the motor, causing it to overheat, or otherwise damaging the internal components in such a way that the lifespan is drastically reduced. This can also potentially void your warranty, and leave you stranded without a desk and no way to return or repair it.
Tips to Maintain the Motor
You can do a few very simple things to ensure your standing desk motor has the longest lifespan possible.
Reduce the Up and Down Cycles. If you are constantly adjusting your desk up and down, the motor can overheat which can damage internal components and reduce the overall lifespan of the motor.
- Tip: Try to limit the times you raise or lower your desk throughout the day. Only change from sitting to standing every 30-60 minutes if possible, to help reduce the possibility of overheating the motor.
Don’t Overload the Desk. Each standing desk will come with a weight limit that lets you know how much the motor can lift and lower carefully. If you exceed this limit, you can cause the gears inside the motor to become stripped leading to a faulty or damaged motor.
- Tip: Make sure you check your users manual to know exactly how much weight your standing desk can hold. Also be sure your computer accessories, monitor, books, and anything else you have on the desk are within this weight limit.
Having a standing desk is a great option to improve your health and reduce back pain. While some standing desks can be a sizable investment in price, they are normally well worth it.
As an electric desk with a motor, there may be concerns about the lifespan of the desk itself or the motor that raises and lowers it. Luckily, these motors can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years and even more if treated well.
Factors that help with increasing the lifespan include:
- Avoiding overload on the weight limit of the desk,
- Not using the lift or lower options more than necessary, and
- Ensuring the motor does not suffer any power surges during storms.
Following these tips, your electric standing desk will last you several years and can easily improve the circulation in your lower legs, reduce or eliminate back pain, and help increase your quality of life while spending time at a desk during work or school.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.