Standing desks are an excellent way to change your posture or increase blood flow as you work.
However, ensuring that the desk is at the right height can be crucial for both your work and your health. Desks that are too high or too low can actually cause more issues than they solve.
Many people recommend positioning a standing desk at 30 inches, but this height only works for some people.
Instead, it’s best to figure out what specific height is the proper one for you.
What is the correct height for a standing desk?
The best way to determine how high a standing desk should be is to consider your own height. It’s
generally good practice to raise a standing desk to elbow height, and this will be different for everyone depending on how tall they are and how long their arms are.
To raise the desk to the proper height, stand in front of it in a comfortable position. Your feet should be about a foot apart, and your back should be straight but not stiff.
Then, raise one arm so that it’s bent at a 90-degree angle at the elbow. Raise the desk until the fingers of that bent arm brush the keyboard. This should be the proper height for your standing desk.
Some people prefer to lower their desk to an inch or two lower than their elbows so they can rest their hands more comfortably on the keyboard.
This is acceptable. However, desks should never be higher than your elbows.
Most adjustable standing desks have buttons that allow you to program memory settings.
Once you have adjusted the desk to the proper height, you can program the height so that you don’t need to measure every time but can instead simply hit a button.
What issues can a desk set at the wrong height cause?
If a standing desk is positioned too high, it can put strain on your wrists and elbows. This can lead to shoulder and arm pain, muscle fatigue, and even back pain.
If the desk is too low, on the other hand, you may find yourself constantly tilting your head down. This can lead to neck strain, which can in turn lead to poor posture, back pain, or headaches.
What else should I consider when using a standing desk?
Setting your standing desk at the correct height is a crucial step for proper desk setup, but it’s also important to consider other parts of your setup.
For example, your computer monitor should also be at a comfortable height. Having to constantly look up or down at the monitor can cause muscle strain.
Instead, position the monitor so that you can see it without tilting your head too much one way or the other.
Ensure that the upper third of the screen is at eye level and that you can see over the top of the monitor.
When placing your monitor, it’s also better to move the monitor about 2 feet away from you, if possible.
This distance helps to reduce eye strain and also means that you won’t need to tilt your head as much to take in the whole monitor.
Standing for long periods of time can be just as detrimental as sitting, so it’s important to ensure that you’re taking care of your legs, feet, and back when using a standing desk.
If you can, opt for a standing desk that allows for quick adjustments. This way, you can rotate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
It’s also a good idea to use a thick padded mat, such as a standing or kitchen mat, under your desk. This will offer more cushioning for your feet. Standing mats are usually a bit thinner than kitchen mats.
Remember that, if your mat is quite thick, you may need to adjust the height of your standing desk.
When setting up your desk, you may also want to think about how you type. Many people find that adjusting the tilt of the keyboard can relieve wrist or hand pain.
Tilting the keyboard back can help your wrists remain in line with your elbows, which is a more natural, comfortable position. Gel keyboard and mouse wrist rests can also help to relieve strain.