What is the optimal height for a standing desk?

Sitting at a desk for most of your workday can set you on a path to back pain, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and other health issues. Standing desks seem to be the perfect solution to this problem, however only under one condition – the desk’s height must be adjusted correctly so that your posture is neutral and comfortable. Read on to find out what the right height is and how to find out your optimal setup. 

Why is it important to set the right desk height?

Bad posture and a sedentary lifestyle are the most frequent causes of back pain. Nevertheless, working all day long in a standing position can also lead to negative consequences like leg swelling, sore feet, stiffness in the neck, and lower back pain. The most recommended solution is to change your position throughout the day, from sitting to standing – and for that reason, the purchase of an adjustable standing desk is worth considering. 

Whether you sit or stand, setting your desk at a proper height is crucial for your comfort, productivity, and health. Working in a bad posture, forced by an incorrect desk and monitor setup can lead to serious problems in the long run. The possible issues are:

  • wrist disorders and increased risk of a carpal tunnel syndrome,
  • neck and lower back pain,
  • shoulder muscle pain,
  • disc damage (which might even be permanent),
  • poor circulation,
  • heartburn,
  • headaches,
  • chronic fatigue. 

The above health issues hinder your productivity and wellbeing. Therefore, spending a few minutes adjusting your desk height is crucial and really pays off. 

What is the correct height of a standing desk and how to find it?

We all come in different shapes and sizes, which makes it hard (or even impossible) to determine one desk height suitable for everybody. However, according to the UCLA Health’s Office Ergonomics guidelines, the tabletop should be positioned at an elbow height. You can adjust your desk according to this rule in a few easy steps. Stand up straight and comfortably with your shoulders back, then place your elbows at a 90-degree angle – forearms should be parallel with the floor. The distance from the floor to your olecranon (the tip of the elbow) is the best standing desk height for you. 

 

Another way to find out how tall your desk should be is using an online desk height calculator. Simply enter your height and select your position (sitting or standing) to get the answer. For example, the recommended standing desk height range for a person measuring 165 cm is 99-107 cm. 

Other factors you might want to consider while calculating the optimal desk height is your footwear and accessories such as anti-fatigue mats or balance boards.

Using the methods described in this article, you can level up your workspace, improve your productivity, and, above all, take care of your health.