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How do I stop my Standing Desk from Wobbling?

November 01, 2021

How do I stop my standing desk from wobbling

Standing desks, and specifically height-adjustable desks, were designed with the convenience of sitting or standing at balanced intervals in mind. But having a standing desk that wobbles compromises comfort, safety, and benefits.

Check out UpDown Desk's Wobble Free PRO Series Electric Standing Desks!

Why the Wobble?

Your standing desk would naturally be at its sturdiest at its lowest height. A wobbly desk at a higher setting is most likely a result of unbalanced design or improper height adjustments.

Design factors such as inadequately sized feet, frame weight, the quality of materials used, and the precision to which components are made, all contribute to the wonkiness of a not-so-wonderful workspace.

While obvious errors tend to be easier to repair, it can be problematic to find the cause and therefore fix a desk that’s not under warranty. 

To minimize the risk of ending up with a wobbly workspace, it is advisable to read through every section of this guide - even before buying a desk.

The introduction to different components, common causations, and cures may provide invaluable insight for the sake of choosing or re-establishing optimum balance to your current workstation.

What are the most important  standing desk tips for choosing a wobble-free desk? Configurations of the base frame need to be as stable as possible. Let’s take a more solid stance.

Loose Frames 

Knowing how your  standing desk is made is the first step in addressing a wobbly work surface. These tables require intricate construction, especially the adjustable ones, use interlocking parts that can come loose if not properly assembled.

Loose frames as a result of no screws or loose screws are one of the main reasons why standing desks wobble but are luckily easy to repair. 

The best way to avoid this altogether is by purchasing a desk from a company that offers a professional installation service or applying thread locker material to all the screws during the initial setup. It is also advisable to do routine checks for loosening components every six months.

Incorrect or faulty assembly is one of the leading causes should a standing desk sway from the start. As much as a lack of easy-to-assemble instructions adds to this desk wobble-trouble, installation equipment supplied with desks are often more cost-effective than task-efficient.

Cure

  • Buy your standing desk from a reputable supplier that offers a professional installation service
  • See if there are any instructional videos available
  • Use tools that you trust, and are comfortable with for setup

Feet

While more secure feet may add a few cents to the raw material costs of a standing desk, a good set of feet are non-negotiable.

Needless to say but worth mentioning is that heavier and longer feet offer more longitudinal stability.

Of course, if you don’t want to worry about the hassle involved with stabilizing the feet on your standing desk, a  standing desk converter could be worth it.

These nifty little pieces of furniture allow you to turn pretty much any flat surface in your house into a standing desk, giving you the freedom to work wherever you can find enough space to set it up.

Cure

It is unfortunately not advisable to add weight or make any structural alterations to the feet of your desk since this may interfere with proportions, overall durability and lead to injury - as well as causing you to forfeit your warranty.

Weight Capacity

How can I stop my standing desk from wobbling

Even though the testing criteria to establish the weight limits or lifting capacity of standing desks may differ, weight is one of the best considerations in choosing a stable and durable adjustable desk.

It would be advisable to stay well under the maximum weight capacity since adjustments with heavier loads would lead to more wear and tear, loosening bolts. This compromises the lifespan of your standing desk.

An even distribution of desktop weight prevents unnecessary stress to lift columns, prolonging good glide condition, and motor life. Wobbles aside, an uneven distribution may also interrupt height adjustment.

Why are standing desks so expensive?

Improved designs and technological advancements have necessitated an upgrade in manufacturing materials, precision, and therefore tools. The increased cost of standing desks is therefore justified by the parallel increase in stability as a result of the enhanced quality, durability, and resilience of every single component.

Cure

  • Check that your desk is not overloaded
  • Remove heavier items when adjusting your desk
  • Rearrange the weight on your desktop, making sure that it is evenly distributed, with heavier items such as monitors centralized or placed on areas with more support

Columns

The legs of a standing desk are sometimes referred to as columns or lifting actuators - but only if you’re using an adjustable height standing desk.

Since improper height adjustments are one of the main causes of a wobbly desk, the quality and synchronization of the legs are of vital importance. The columns of a high-quality standing desk should be perfectly matched.

If this is not the case, the most basic temporarystanding desk hack that we all tend to forget under pressure is the simple yet superhero power of a homemade wedge under a wonky leg. 

You could also trim or add to the length of the column, but replacement is recommended.

The columns are where detail and quality meet, even if not visible to the naked eye. Inside the column, tubes nest inside each other, so the fit mustn't be too loose or too tight, but just right.

All in all the inner mechanisms are about perfectly balanced deflection. Too much or too little deflection will add to quicker wear and tear of components and motors, as well as an increase in energy consumption.

The shape of leg tubes is another important consideration. They can be either round, square, or rectangular. Rectangular leg tubes tend to provide better overall stability as a result of their surface-to-slide proportions.

Cure

  • To reset your height adjustable desk, simply return the desk to the minimum or lowest possible height setting.

Glides

Glides are the bearings or gaskets that separate tubes and reduce friction. These need to be made and fitted with absolute precision, since they play a pivotal role in a smooth transition and maintaining the stability of the columns.

At higher settings, they serve the purpose of minimizing the gaps in metal pieces between the casings to provide smooth adjustment. The glides are therefore one of the main mechanisms contributing to a stable workspace.

Cure

  • Contact your supplier, even if your desk is out of warranty.  It is best not to start fiddling with inner mechanisms, as you may end up doing more harm than good.

Desktop

A sturdy surface combines a strong desktop material with adequate thickness in relation to the size of your desk.

An uneven desktop may also be avoided by purchasing a desk with dual motors. This not only increases the lifespan and stability of your standing desk but the load capacity at the same time. Should the motors be out of sync, there is a simple cure.

How long do standing desks last? 

The components within the lifting columns would naturally wear with each up-down cycle, and loose parts, such as bolts or hardware, may contribute to an unstable table. 

Standing desks often have warranties that are valid for three years or longer, but as with everything else, the better you look after it, the more and merrier years of stable support and service.

Cure 

  • Reset the desk to the minimum height. Once your desk is level at the bottom, the motors will reset and synchronize.

Floor

can I stop my standing desk from wobbling

As much as an uneven floor is one of the last things on our list, it does happen and may contribute to a wobbly workspace, so let’s explore -

Cure

  • If your desk has foot levellers, make sure that they are properly adjusted
  • Add more legs to your desk
  • Some manufacturers offer extra support under the legs, which may solve the problem, otherwise
  • Move the desk to firmer ground

Choosing the Right Standing Desk

What do I need to know about standing desks?

Choosing a standing desk is a financial commitment that is best approached with open eyes and as much information as possible. While we all have a budget in mind, anything built with moving parts needs to be carefully selected to last, as natural wear and tear are unavoidable.

The following tips may save the unnecessary expense, frustration, and buyer’s remorse of an incorrectly selected desk:

  • Simplicity in design. Less is mostly more. Moving parts may lead to loose bolts and instability within frames. Extra features usually mean extra parts, which in turn cause extra problems.
  • Have a careful look at the feet of the desk. Are they long enough to support the depth and weight?
  • A heavier desk frame base adds to overall stability.
  • Maximum load or weight lifting capacity.
  • Warranty coverage and, or individual component certification.
  • After-sales service. Even if a desk performs well after initial setup, professional advice and maintenance support provides extra security.

To Summarize 

The Why Not-So-Smart Today Wobbly Desk Troubleshooting Checklist

  • Remove under-desk equipment and recheck.
  • Check for loose parts, like bolts, screws, or hardware.
  • Make sure that you have not exceeded the weight capacity
  • A change in the distribution of mass on the actual desktop may induce movement, so make sure that heavier items such as monitors are evenly distributed and carefully placed
  • In the case of a desk converter or riser, it is important to realise that we all have our good days and tend to type a little harder on difficult days. Rate yours from zero to packed with punch, if not all the way up to Beethoven. Maybe go for a walk, a talk, or tea if not all three? 

Conclusion

There is clearly more precision engineering involved in both the design and manufacture of height adjustable standing desks than what can be seen. It is therefore advisable to purchase your desk from a reputable supplier, with a warranty and after-sales service to match.

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