NOTE: There is a 2023 update to this article available here:
Many facilities will request casters on imaging desks so that they can easily access the equipment or move a desk for cleaning purposes. Let’s be realistic; if the imaging desk is designed for easy access to the LCD monitors and CPUs, and it has a good cable management system, there is really no need to move the desk away from the wall. To emphasize my point, how many times have you actually seen the desks moved away from the wall? As far as cleaning goes, how often do the facility staff members move the desks away from the wall to clean? The answer is the same for both questions: rarely.
In the event the desk needs to be moved within the room and you purchased an imaging desk with glides, the desk will easily slide across the carpet or hard surface. However, if you need to move the desk from one room to another, furniture dollies will make the process very easy. In the event you need to move your imaging desk a fair distance, contact the manufacturer of your desk, as they should be able to provide documentation of how to move your desk and/or offer to provide the service at a nominal fee.
I know you are thinking casters could be an asset even if they are only used occasionally, but there are some definite drawbacks to putting casters on imaging desks.
- Most ergonomists recommend that a desk raise from 23” to 48”; however, if you add casters to the desks, typically they will be raised several inches above the 23” mark. As a matter of fact, the ANSI/HFES Standards are pretty clear in regard to the height range of a sit/stand desk. They are wanting the desk to accommodate a 6’ 2” male or a 5’ female, meaning it will accommodate the 95th percentile standing male to the 5th percentile seated female.
- The mere physics of putting a desk on casters creates unnecessary wobbliness (or “racking”). What do I mean by “racking”? Imagine you are standing and interpreting images. You’re leaning and resting your elbow on the desk while holding your microphone, and meanwhile, what is happening to your monitors? They are shaking, and this type of movement makes it hard to properly view the images.
You can clearly see that the glides are more stable than the casters.
Take another look at the caster and the glide; what other feature do you see? The caster stem is typically a press fit while the glide is a thread fit. What if you have an uneven surface where half of the desk is on carpet and the other half is on tile? The glides allow you to adjust the height of the stem to ensure the desk is level. With the caster, you just don’t have that luxury.
To sum it up, casters will take away from both your convenience and ergonomics, and have proved that they just aren’t worth the investment.