Linear Actuator Insider

How to Select the Right Lifting Column for a Desk

Electrical Linear Actuators and lifting columns are finding unique and demanding applications in office environments, across the medical field and even in logistics and farm equipment.  It is, therefore, become necessary to choose the next lifting column you invest in with great care to ensure that it not only meets the requirements for the job but also to get the most bang out of your investment.

One of the most popular and often productivity-boosting office application of a lifting platform is found in an adjustable height desk or what is also known as ‘a standing desk’.  The factors that should be considered when choosing a lifting platform obviously begin with the overall stability of the platform that is the desk, the speed with which the platform can be raised or lowered, the load which the lifting platform can bear when moving from one position to the other, the stroke length or the height differential for which the desk can be raised or lowered and how repeated action of raising and lowering impacts the lifting platform.

Other considerations might include, the noise level of the lifting platform when operating it to raise or lower the desk, the build dimension of the lifting platform and how snugly it can fit the design of an average office desk and included safety factors.


In all things being the same in an application like a standing desk rectangular tube lifting platform provide the best overall stability.  This is because the ratio of the long-side to short-side of the rectangle can be tuned to optimize both inherent instabilities (longitudinal and latitudinal) as opposed to treating them equally.


Speed of a lifting column and how quickly a platform attached to it can be raised or lowered has an immense impact on the productivity of the user.  This is the reason many lifting columns that are used in a medical setting such as x-ray machines, patient examination, and operating tables require an optimally quick speed.  The same is true for a lifting platform used for an adjustable height desk.  This can vary anywhere from about 10 mm/second to about 25 or 30 mm/second.


Although with the dramatically reduced and ever-diminishing weight of equipment and computers on an average desk, the load requirement of a lifting platform used in lifting an adjustable desk are not entirely as demanding as say for example an patient examination table, it is important that the load-bearing is sufficient that the speed of the lifting platform and the cost is low enough to merit such investment.

Stroke Length:

The primary reason for using a lifting platform versus a simple electrical linear actuator is that a lifting platform is essentially multiple staged actuators combined in a singular telescopic tube.  This is done to increase the length to which a lifting platform can lift a desk.  The stroke length provides the ability to raise the desk to a standing height.  The longer the stroke length the longer the range between which the desired platform can be adjusted to a required height.


A lifting column in a standing desk has a relatively low repeatability requirement unlike lifting column in more industrial environments where a single operation is repeatedly more frequently.

Other Factors to Consider:

In an office environment noise may be a big factor that may detract from adopting a lifting column solution if it operates with an unacceptable level of noise.  Not only the noise will detract the user from using the lifting column frequently it may also have health and legal implications on the work environment.

Most lifting platforms come with safety locks or have other mechanisms to retain the current state at which the column has come to rest.

The big reason electric lifting columns have become popular is because of their compact design and the ability to have a small footprint in most applications with all the operational capabilities of a large footprint pneumatic or hydraulic actuator.

In conclusion, with the modern metallurgical techniques, powerful motors and compact design Loctek Motion can provide the best lifting columns for applications in standing desks, conference tables, storage racks or kitchen cabinets.

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