How Tall Should A Desk Be?

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I don’t know about you, but having the perfect desk has become an obsession of mine since working from home. The desk is a vital part of the working from home ensemble. Whether it is a permanent or temporary position, it’s a talking point for many of us. 

How tall should a desk be

But have you noticed little niggles? The odd back pain, hunched shoulders, maybe even wrist ache after a long time at your desk? Me too! It’s led me, and I’m sure many others, to sonder, how tall should a desk be? Is the height of my desk causing some trouble? 

The last thing any of us want is to cause damage to our bodies! So let’s find out just how tall a desk should be!

Whether it’s a standing desk, adjustable, or to collapse every day and finish those pesky reports, let’s look at how tall your desk should be! 

How tall should a desk be?

Let’s get straight into it. How tall your desk should be will depend on your height, the equipment you are using, and the tasks you are performing. As a general rule, you should maintain a forearm-to-upper arm angle of 70-135 degrees.

For those typing at a desk, this should be ideal. To achieve this, you will want a height of 27.8-inches. The height will, of course, vary on your height and working environment. Keep reading to find out more!

Those who are handwriting might prefer a lower height. Some users also prefer an elbow-height desk, especially if they are working with intensive data entries.

Your desk’s height needs to be ideal for a working environment that will not cause any physical pain.

Depending on your work, you might want to work below elbow height. For example, if you are stapling, stamping, and packing, the lower height can be advantageous. When deciding at what height your desk should be, consider your common tasks and where you feel most comfortable.

Once you have found a comfortable position and height that works for you, sit at your desk chair. Measure how your desk will need to allow you to work in this comfortable position from the ground up.

Remember that you don’t want to be hunched over as this can have long-term implications on your back. Once you have the height, you can purchase your desk! Remember that if the chair changes, this can impact the size of your desk.

Many people recommend selecting the chair first and sizing your desk around it. This does allow you to ensure that you are in a comfortable chair that supports your back and will allow you to work with comfort and ease. However, you can choose your desk first and have a chair that fits the needs if you wish!

When considering how tall your desk should be, we need to consider the type of desk you have. Whether you have a sitting, standing, or adjustable desk, the height will vary. We will look at how tall these types of desks shall be in closer detail now! 

How tall should a sitting desk be?

As we have touched on above, a sitting desk needs to be tall enough to suit your chair. Like we said earlier, you can measure while sitting on your chair to find the best height that is comfortable to work at.

For the average person (height 5 foot 9-inches), a sitting desk should have a height of 27.8-inches. However, we know that not everyone is of average height. So how do you know what height the desk should be? Well, we can help you there!

For most of us, the desk features a monitor or laptop, keyboard, and mouse. We will use these features to help you determine the height of your desk. Let’s start with the monitor. You will want it adjusted slightly forward, allowing you to sit upright and maintain great posture.

Also, keeping your knees and elbows at a right angle prevents them from further pain. You want to be seated at a height that allows this.

You will want your monitor to be below the horizontal optical axis, an arms-length away. Be sure that your eyes aren’t straining to see the screen, though!

Next, look at your keyboard and mouse. These should be in line with your elbows; use this height to work out the height from your desk. You can also add a hand rest to avoid excessive bending from your hands.

Finally, make sure your feet are firmly on the floor; no dangling toes here! Once all of these are in place, get a measuring tape, or ask a friend to measure you! These measurements will tell you how tall your desk needs to be! 

How tall should a standing desk be?

Standing desks have gained popularity in recent years, with claims that they can boost your health compared to being stationary all day at a standard seated desk.

Experts recommend alternating your time between standing and seated desks (which is why adjustable desks are popular), but for those with a purely standing desk, let’s look at those heights!

How tall should a standing desk be?

You are going to want a desk that is somewhere between 41 and 44 inches in height. Remember, we are basing these heights on the average height of 5 foot 9”.

To ensure the standing desk is the correct height for you, you should have your elbows at a right angle when using the keyboard. 

You should also be able to look straight at the monitor without needing to look down. As a general rule, you should be looking at the top third of the screen.

Make sure that you feel comfortable with the height before purchasing your desk.

Adjustable desks?

An adjustable desk will allow you to raise and lower the height of the table section of your desk. They are popular for those who want to split their time between standing and seated work.

For your adjustable desk to be the right height, you will want it to be adjustable from the average seated height (27.8-inches) to the average standing height (41-44-inches). This way, you can work comfortably whether you are seated or standing.

Remember that these are average heights and might not be the best for you! You can use the same methods we looked at earlier to ensure you get the right height desk for you.

Be sure that when seated, your elbows are at a 90-degree angle and comfortable for work. Again when measuring the standing adjustment, your desk should be roughly elbow height. 

Final word

As you can see, how tall your desk should be will vary on a few factors. Finding the right size desk will be worth it, though, as you will be more comfortable and focused during working hours.

Whether you are tall, short, or average height, it’s time to whip out the measuring tape and work out how tall your new desk should be!