How Long Do Standing Desks Last?

Standing desks can last a long time, depending on the design, materials, and quality of the electric motors. Manual standing desks can last even more since they don’t use electronic components.

Key Takeaways:

  • An electric standing desk typically lasts between 5 and 10 years but a manual standing desk may last 10 or more years.
  • Electronic components such as motors are backed by the shortest warranties by standing desk manufacturers.
  • Brushless standing desk motors last longer than cheaper brushed alternatives.

How Long Is The Lifespan Of An Electric Standing Desk?

Most standard electric standing desks last between 5 and 10 years but can last even longer as all sit-stand workstation components of an electric desk can be replaced. Sit-stand workstations are made with replaceable parts where electronics, the frame, or even the desktop can be replaced. Australian standing desks will usually offer a warranty of up to 10 years on a new standing desk.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Manual Standing Desk?

Since electric motors are usually the first component to break, manual standing desks have an advantage over electric desks as they generally last longer. New manual standing desk setups can last over a decade since they have fewer moving parts and no electronics. Besides higher durability, manual sit-stand desks are also practical as they don’t need to be located next to a power plug.

How Long Do Desk Converters Last?

Electric desk converters can last between 3 and 10 years and their lifespan is heavily dependent on their build quality. With the sheer number of desk converters, you should be aiming to invest in a high-quality version that should last longer. The better and longer-lasting desk converters are the ones that come with premium springs in their pneumatic systems.

How Long Do Standing Desk Motors Last?

Standing desk motors can last as long or longer than the warranty manufacturers offer. Most standing desk motors have similar technologies and can last a similar time. However, sitting and standing desk lifespan is highly impacted by how the standing desk setup is used daily.

How The Use Of A Standing Desk Affects Its Lifespan

How your standing desk is being used and treated will play a major role in how long it can last and perform.

  • The number of daily cycles: The office furniture industry measures electric motor actuation to help determine its lifespan. An actuation cycle is when your desk is elevated from a low point (standing) and then dropped back to the original low point (sitting). The more actuations the more stress on the motor and frame.
  • Less frequent height adjustments: A person that only adjusts a standing desk 1 to 3 times per day only uses these standing desks up to 6 cycles per day. UpDown Desk, one of Australia’s leading standing desk manufacturers makes sit-stand desks with a lifespan of up to 50,000 cycles. This means their standing desk can last around 8,333 days. Used every day for 365 days a year, a standing desk would last 22 years for a person that only adjusts its height up to 3 times per day.
  • Frequent height adjustments: A person adjusting their sit-stand desk to the right height at least once per hour can move the desktop up and down 16 to 20 times per day. 20 actuation per day leads to an average lifespan of 25,000 days. This means even heavy standing desk use can lead to an average lifespan of 7 years, based on a 50,000 cycles electric motor lifespan estimate.
  • Load: Using a standing desk for a long time is subject to other variables apart from electric motor actuation, such as load. The more load a motor has to lift, the harder the motors have to work. A standing desk with a 150kg load capacity that is loaded with 150kg is not expected to last more than its 5 – 10 year warranty. A lower load on the desk dramatically increases the chance of the electric motors lasting longer than their official warranty.
  • Motor quality: Not all electric standing desk motors are the same. Their principles and designs affect their lifespan. Brushed motors are cheaper but they last less. They also take longer to respond. Brushless motors last longer and have better responsive time.
  • The way the motors are maintained: An office with dust and high humidity will likely impact the standing desk lifespan. Dusting, cleaning, and reducing moisture levels in the office can help standing desks last long periods.

7 Factors That Affect The Lifespan Of A Standing Desk

Not all height-adjustable desks are the same and not all can last a long time. Here are some of the most common factors that impact their lifespan.

1. Quality of materials

A steel frame is likely to last a very long time as well as desktops made out of hardwood. Some of the cheaper melamine desktops and even particleboard materials may not last as long and could be prone to warping if loading is too excessive.

2. Regular maintenance

A standing desk that isn’t cleaned correctly may end up picking up dust or brushing against the wall to go up and down. These are factors that affect its lifespan and may limit the proven benefits sit and stand desks have on posture as they may only last a few years. Failure to maintain can also lead to the electric standing desk not working correctly.

3. Frequency of use

The more you use a standing desk the more likely it is not to last as long as a desk that’s only occasionally more height adjusted. One way to use the desk as often as needed without putting too much pressure on the motors is to save height presets on the built-in memory slots. Health problems such as lower back pain may be improved when frequently alternating sitting and standing for better health.

4. Environment

An office with high moisture or humidity is more likely to affect the wooden materials of the desk as well as its motors. Measuring and lowering indoor humidity if needed can improve the lifespan of the desk.

5. Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of the sit-and-stand desk impacts its lifespan. Standing desks with high load capacity such as 140kg can last a long time even under uneven loading. For example, cheaper standing desks from Ikea will typically have lower load capacities.

6. Adjustability

The way a standing desk is adjusted also impacts its lifespan. Manual sitting and standing desks only use a crank which means they may last a very long time.

7. Warranty

The lifespan of a standing desk is estimated by the manufacturer and backed by the product’s warranty accordingly. This is why standing desks with the longest warranty also last the longest.

Are Electric Standing Desks Reliable?

The reliability of an electric standing desk can be determined by analysing a few key elements such as materials and build quality. Here are some of the critical elements that determine just how long an electric adjustable desk can last.

  • Designed with weight limits: The weight limits of a sit-stand desk indicate the manufacturer has tested its materials and electric motor for actuations under a particular load. It is a mark of a high-quality product.
  • Durable materials such as steel and aluminum: Steel and aluminum frames are some of the most durable types of frames for desks that adjust up and down. Some of the lesser-quality alternatives include wooden desk frames.
  • Manufacturing location: Standing desks made in Australia are likely to last longer than those made elsewhere. Quality manufacturing standards across the nation represent high standards each desk should abide by.
  • Tested and certified to meet Australian safety and performance standards: High-quality materials and assembly processes allow Australian brands such as UpDown and Stand Desk to offer policies such as a 100-day free trial. This is proof these brands build quality products that can meet the needs of most users.

How To Extend The Life Of Your Standing Desk

Regardless of the brand of your standing desk, there are a few key strategies to make it last longer. Here are some of the top tips to ensure your sit-stand desk lasts as long as possible.

  1. Make sure your standing desk is correctly adjusted for your height: A bad posture at the desk is supported by incorrect height adjustments which put extra pressure on the desktop in areas it shouldn’t. Make sure to elevate or lower the desk to a comfortable 90-degree elbow angle as research shows this is the correct elevation of adjustable sit-stand desks.
  2. Avoid excessive loads in corners (spread weight): Too much load in a single area of the desktop can be detrimental to the motors and the desktop itself. Spreading out the weight is the best maintenance provided by the user tip for most sit-stand desks that last.
  1. Keep tabletop clean: Clearing out all items that aren’t needed and cleaning the desktop makes it last longer. An uncleaned coffee stain left for even two hours may permanently stain desktops that need to be cleaned to last long.
  1. Periodically check stability: There are many benefits to using a standing desk such as lowering the risk of heart disease. But a desk that isn’t stable isn’t likely to be used for a very long time. The human body can stand for hours but the focus might suffer together with the integrity of the desk even with slight wobbling.
  1. Regularly look for loose screws, nuts, and bolts: Loose screws eventually lead to wobbling. It’s best to check screws and tight assembly every few months. You may see less stress regarding durability when you regularly check the assembly screws of the frame and desktop.
  1. If necessary, lubricate moving parts: Moving parts may require lubrication over a long period. Make sure to check the recommended lubrication interval in the user manual or simply lubricate metal and moving parts when the desk is slow to adjust or when it makes squeaking sounds.
  2. Replace worn-out parts: Some parts of the desk wear out faster than others. Rubber feet or casters are significantly cheaper to replace before the entire desks start to suffer durability issues.
  1. Store in a dry location (water damage): High humidity is known to limit the health benefits of standing in any office. Even more, it may lead to premature desk components wear. Make sure to check air humidity to improve the lifespan of your desk and office chair.
  1. Secure and balance when transporting (moving house etc): A standing desk is best taken apart before being transported. The legs can be removed from the desktop while the motors can be removed from the tabletop as well. You can potentially double the amount of time a desk can last simply by taking it apart and assembling it back as often as needed when moving.
  1. Do not lift from its top only: Some users can force the desk up by pulling the desktop which compromises the motor and eventually breaks it. This is why the desktop should not be pulled or pushed down as forcing it will lead to premature motor wear. Always use the electric controls to bring the desk to the right height.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the life expectancy of a standing desk?

A standard Australian-made standing desk from a reputable manufacturer can last between 5 and 10 years at a minimum. These desks can last even more with proper maintenance.

Can standing desks collapse?

Standing desks cannot collapse as motors maintain the last known elevation level even in case of an electronic failure. They may only collapse under very heavy and uneven loads.

How long do standing desk motors last?

Electric motors last at least 5 years. They are usually the first component to wear out due to their moving parts and constant use.

Do standing desk motors break?

Standing desk motors can potentially break when users force them with heavy loads. Make sure to check the maximum load of a standing desk to avoid premature wear.

What is the typical warranty on a standing desk in Australia?

A typical warranty covers a standing desk for at least 5 years in Australia. Some of the top brands such as UpDown, Desky, and Stand Desk offer 10-year warranties for their sit stand desks.

What are the benefits of a standing desk that lasts long?

Apart from not spending more on a new standing desk, a quality sit stand desk that lasts long helps you choose how long should you stand every day without worrying it will break. An hour standing or multiple hours standing should be determined by user preferences and not by limited quality materials. The standing time at the desk is time spent in improved health and posture and the more you use such a desk the more you limit a sedentary lifestyle.


Many elements impact the lifespan of a sit stand desk, however, they still represent a good investment for your home or office, especially since you can claim them on your tax return. The way you interact with your desk, the cleanliness of the tabletop, and the maximum load on the desktop all impact the expected lifespan of an electric desk. Regular maintenance and refraining from forcing the desk under heavy load are a priority for a standing desk that lasts.

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