Proper Height For Standing Desks

Now that you are up and running it is essential to determine the correct height of your standing desk in order to maintain the best posture possible. It would be of little essence to use a Standing Desk should you be slumped into it straining your back, or straining up to reach it, so here we will establish the perfect height of your specific Standing Desk.  Just to note, if you are looking for details on the proper height for a Treadmill Desk, don’t worry, the same rules apply.

For the video I used the Taskmate EZ 6400, a full review can be found here.

What is the proper height for a standing desk?

The height of your desk should generally be at elbow height. This means: as your elbows are positioned at a 90 degree angle from the floor, measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of your elbow. The desk should be built to this height.

For instance, the average standing desk height for those 5’11” is 44 inches tall, but remember this is a general average and you should consider your body’s proportions before settling on a height.  Of course you can always grab an adjustable standing desk if you decide to.  An easy way to get the proper height for standing *and* keep your existing desk is by using a Standing Desk Converter.

Some may choose a slanting desk, therefore if the elbows are resting at 44 inches, the upper most part will be 48 inches while the center of the desk will be 46 inches.

The general rule of thumb is that your elbows should naturally be resting on the desk at a 90 degree angle without having to strain or slouch.

Standing Desk Mat

Once you have decided to purchase or build a Standing Desk, make sure you pickup a Standing Desk Mat as it will help you throughout the beginning phase become accustomed to standing and your feet will thank you.  The last thing you want to have happen is to spend money on a nice desk and then not be able to use it because of foot/calve or back issues.

A Chair, If Needed

If you are looking for a chair which you may have to occasionally call upon during those moments of lower limb discomfort, the following tips as to which kind of chair should come in handy.  Check this article where you can review a number of options for standing desk chairs.

  • Obviously make sure that the chair is adjustable with regards to its height and tall enough so that your elbows can be raised higher than the work surface, while your finger tips are pointing down.
  • The seat should have both a forward and backward tilt, allowing maximum versatility.
  • A lumbar support should be added to the chair in order to maintain a good posture.
  • The chair should also have an adjustable backrest.

Comments

  1. Thank you for the tips, Trevor. I recently built my own standing desk using materials from ikea and an existing tabletop. I absolutely love it, however I think the main portion of the desk is 2″ too low as my elbows are about 2″ off the portion. I THINK this is why my wrists have been acting up a little.

    Ergonomially speaking, would a simple keyboard+mouse raiser solve this? My worry is that having my arms essentially hovering would cause strain elsewhere, but perhaps I am wrong. I have the monitor height perfect, so I do not want to raise the whole unit.

    • Giacomo, thanks for the comment! I agree that the height difference is probably causing the wrist issues. I would look at raising it, maybe a couple of pieces of wood from Home Depot will get it to the correct height. Let me know what you decide.

      Thanks,
      Trevor

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