How to Install Cables on a Standing Desk So It is Neat, Safe and Works Well

Properly installing cables is particularly important with height adjustable standing desks. The reason is that if the cables are not installed properly the standing desk won’t work properly. If cords are too tight, or you don’t have long enough extension cords, the standing desk won’t be able to extend from a sitting to a standing position. Not to mention that messy cords are a safety hazard and it doesn’t look good.

Pacific Ergonomics ergonomic installation services in San Diego will make sure that your height adjustable desk looks great,  functions properly and your workstation is safe. Our San Diego ergonomic installation services for standing desks are available for home offices and companies.

The importance of cable management for standing desks is that cords need to extend from a sitting position to a standing position. This is a more complicated installation than a stationary desk.  If cables are not installed properly in a standing desk, you will know.

Do You Have an Unsightly Amount of Cables Under Your Desk?

If your height adjustable standing desk does not have proper cable management, one of the following can easily occur.

  • Your feet will get tangled in the cables under the desk.
  • When raising your sit-stand desk, either your phone or monitor gets pulled off the desk.
  • Damaged cables frequently happen because they get bent.
  • It looks like a mess!
  • Power strips are hanging in mid-air
  • It can actually destroy electronics and office equipment like phones, task lights, speakers, microphones, webcams
  • Bent outlets will decrease the life of your cords
Cable management is important

How to Fix Your Standing Desk Cable Management if You Have These Problems

If you have a home office and you are doing this yourself, the following steps can help you fix a messy cable situation. Or you can call Pacific Ergonomics and we can fix this for you.

Step 1: Untangle all cables that are on your desk and remove any cords that you no longer need. 
This includes everything from your lights, your mouse, speakers, telephones, webcams, everything. It is easy to accumulate cords if they are all tangled up. For example, you get a new monitor and your old monitors are tangled. Perhaps you just plug in a new monitor and leave the old cord there. Be sure to get rid of all unused cords.

After all if you have a task light cord that is wrapped around a monitor cord, that is wrapped around the cord for your printer this is a problem when you are moving from a sitting to a standing position. All of those items will move up and down.

This is very important to do because over time it is easy for cords to become tangled. If cords are not untangled, many problems can occur. If you raise your desk from a sitting to a standing position, the cords need the flexibility to move up and down without strain.  

Step 2: Plug all of your equipment into one or more power strips to make sure they have a range of motion
This will enable flexibility to have a better range of motion going from sitting to standing.

  • The length of the power strip cord that is needed depends on how far the outlet is from your desk. If your power is close to your desk, you don’t want to get a 12-foot power cord and end up with more cables under your desk.(Can’t do in one big bundle……….

Step 3: Mount your power strip to the underside of the desktop and plug all the cords in
With cords are hidden under your desk and they off of the ground, there are many benefits.

Benefits of Mounting the Power Strip Under Your Desk Include: 

  • Neat, organized and clean looking
  • Easy to dust and clean the underside of your desk
  • You can use a footrest without pinching the cords

Tip on Where to Place the Powerstrip: 

  • If you are working in a corner, you will want the powerstrip more toward the corner.
  • If you are working on an L shape desk and only one side is height adjustable, the power strip needs to be mounted to the adjustable side.
  • If you are working on an L shape desk and the entire desk is height adjustable, place the power strip closest to your monitors and CPU.


One option of how to line up the screws with the back of the power strip

A second option: 

  • Draw a 10-12 inch straight line on the underside of the table. You can use any straight edge like the powerstrip or a ruler
  • Look on the back of the power strip. Measure from center to center of the screw holes.
  • If the screw holes are 8 inches apart, go to the underside of the table…make two dots 8 inches apart on the straight line, and put screws in. (Power strips can vary drastically, so the point is to line up the holes with screws)
  • Mount the power strip.

Step 4: With your cords plugged into your new power strip(s), raise your standing desk to the maximum height. Then begin to bundle cables together in smaller bundles. 
Make sure your desk is at maximum height before you start. This is important because if you attempt to do this with your desk at sitting height, you run the risk of making them too tight. If cables are too tight in the sitting position, when you stand it will pull all of your equipment right off.

Note: If your CPU is on the ground, it is quite common that the monitor cords are not long enough to reach when in the standing position. In this case, we recommend that you add a CPU holder that mounts the CPU under your desk.

How to Bundle Cables:

1. Don’t combine all of your cables into one big bundle.
-The reason is if one of the cables goes bad, it will be difficult to extract if wrapped up with all cords.
2. Instead, combine similar cables together. I.e. Power cords with power cords monitor display cords with monitor cords etc.

Step 5: Once bundled, attach the cables using either commercial grade velcro straps,  zip ties, snakes, cable clamps, and screws or troughs. 

  • If you are comfortable using tools, a good option is cable clamps and screws and/or installing troughs.
  • If you are not comfortable using tools, commercial velcro, zip ties, or snakes are a good solution.
  • If you are looking for the least expensive option of cable management, use zip ties or commercial velcro.

Enjoy your standing desk with your neat and organized cables.

About the author

Ryan Gates
Ergonomic Installation Specialist

Ryan Gates has over 20 years of experience in furniture assembly, installation, and delivery. Professional, accomplished, with a positive upbeat attitude and welcoming smile, Ryan is here to help our clients. We get raving reviews. Ryan is also a certified ergonomic technician and is able to properly set up a workstation, chairs, desks, and cubicles and teach end-users how to properly use. Ryan's ergonomic and installation expertise combined with his friendly, professional demeanor are cherished by our customers who receive excellent work with the tremendous service he offers.