Furniture, Tips & How To’s

What is The Standard Desk Height For Office Ergonomics?

Tim Parry


what is standard desk height

Working at home or in the office in front of your computer all day requires you to be comfortable. This means that you need the correct desk and chair height. Ergonomic chairs ensure that you sit with the right posture, keeping you from having neck and back pains. This brings us to the question; what is a standard desk height, and how can you ensure your desk is of the recommended height?

Most offices have standard size desks. However, we are all built differently and aren't a standard size. That means that most people will still have issues with their standard-size desks. Let us discuss that in the section below. Please read on.

The average desk height is 29 inches (approx. 73.5 cm). Unfortunately, only a small percentage of the population are suited for that height. Therefore, there is no standard desk height for stand-up tables. However, they should be tall, between 38" and 42".

How to Calculate Desk Height

Standard desks may be hard to use because not everyone is of 'standard' height. This means that you may need to customize a desk depending on your height to be comfortable. So, to calculate the desk size, you can use this formula;

i). Measure your height wearing the same footwear you use at work.

ii). Divide the measurement (your height) in inches by 2.

iii). Once you get the results in step two, subtract from it 8.5 inches to get the minimum desk height.

iv). To find the maximum desk height, subtract 6 inches from the results in step two.

If you feel that this may not give you the exact or reliable results, you can practically test it to ensure your desk is comfortable. For example, you can use these primary indicators to tell whether or not you have a proper desk height.

a). Knees

Your knees shouldn't touch the desk, and if they can, it means the desk is too low. When your feet are flat on the floor, your knees should be at 90-degrees, but not if they are squashed below the surface. You need t have at least a few inches between the bottom of your desk and the tops of your knees.

b). Arms and Elbows

Your arms should be at a right angle to the desk, sitting comfortably at your side. Elbows should be at a 90-degree angle when sitting. The workstation is too high if you have to raise your hands and lessen the angle of your elbows while your arms are by your sides. On the other hand, dropping elbows indicates that the desk is lower than recommended.

c). Feet

Your feet should be flat on the floor when you're sitting at your desk. To ensure this, change the height of your chair. You should be able to fit your legs underneath the desk while maintaining the proper angle of your arms and elbows when sitting with your feet flat on the floor.

What's the Importance of an Ergonomic Desk Height ?

If you've never thought about how your desk affects your work life, it's time you do so. If you've been focusing only on an ergonomic work chair, you need the same focus on your desk.

If your desk is not of the proper height, not even the best ergonomic chair can make you comfortable. So, we would like to take you through the issues you could experience if you use the wrong desk height.

a). Neck

Your neck is both a powerful and sensitive part of your body. You'll understand what we're talking about if you've ever pulled a muscle in your neck. If you keep your neck in an abnormal posture for an extended period, you may have pain, which may become long-term if you do not rectify it.

It's a tell-tale sign that your office desk height is off if you have to glance up or down at the screen all day instead of straight ahead.

b). Spine

Your upper body is carried and connected by your spine. If something occurs to it, you're going to be in a lot of pain and have trouble. For example, your spine may be pushed into an unnatural posture if you have the wrong desk height. A curve, a hunch, or an overextension could be the cause.

Fatigue creeps in after a while, and your spine can no longer support you correctly. This can result in serious back problems, including disc spillage. It can also tear the muscles around it, causing chronic back pain.

c). Eyes

During a typical workday, your eyes already strain a lot, and average screen time is expanding exponentially. Unsuitable lighting might also cause tired, irritated eyes. But what is the relationship between this and desk height?

When you're staring at a screen, the reflection and brightness are likely higher than usual, making it difficult to see well without straining. Looking up at a screen, on the other hand, might promote office weariness by pulling the muscles behind your eyes. So, the top of your monitor needs to reach your eye level for a better view.

What to Consider When Selecting the Ideal Desk

When selecting a desk, you need to look at other things besides ergonomic height. This ensures that you get a comfortable desk that will meet all your needs. Let's look at some of the things to consider.

a). Available Office Space

You'll need to double-check the size of your office to be sure the desk of your choice will fit. It's better to collect measurements right away because it's no fun unboxing your desk only to discover it won't fit in the spot you've already designated.

Consider the size of your room while measuring the length and width of the space you have for your desk and workstation. When you're sitting on an ergonomic desk chair, you'll want lots of space behind you to lean back, rotate, stand up, and otherwise stay comfortable. We all need to stretch out now and then!

b). Size and Surface Area

A laptop and a lamp are all that some people require on their desks. You should consider purchasing a workstation with a lower surface area if this describes you. This frees up a lot of room for other activities or furniture.

However, most of us have various items on our desks, which is fine. You'll need a desk with plenty of surface area if you have paperwork, framed photos, coffee cups, a second computer screen, and your phone.

c). Storage

An L-Desk is a good option if you need one that can also serve as a storage space for your files and books. If you don't have enough shelf or storage space in your office, L-Desks are incredibly useful. They're also an excellent way to divide your deck into two half.

However, because L-Desks take up a lot more space than other types of desks, you'll want to make sure it's exactly what you want before buying one. A tiny filing cabinet will be a better option if you don't have the space.

d). Choose Between Standing and Sitting Desk

The best basis for selecting the ideal standing desk height for you is your height. It should also be the same height as the elbow when bent at a 90-degree angle.

Because your height is the most important factor in determining the ideal standing desk height for you, whatever works for you may not work for others. An adjustable standing desk also works well as you can adjust it to suit your height.

Height adjustable desks can also function as standing desks as you can adjust the height to suit your sitting or standing position. Also, if you are not willing to spend on an adjustable desk, you can instead get an adjustable chair to compensate for the height difference.

How to Use Standing Desks Correctly

Sitting all day is not healthy for your back and spine. So, if you spend your day in the office chair, you may need to alternate between sitting and standing to ensure you don't strain too much. If you use an adjustable standing desk, you may need a few tips to help you understand how to stay comfortable while standing.

a). Adjust the Desk Height and Screen

Correct desk height is a must to improve comfort and minimize injury risk at work. Your standing desk should be at about elbow height. This will put your elbows at a 90-degree angle from the floor. The consensus is to have it 20-28 inches away from your face for the screen position.

The distance between the screen and your face should not be less than from the middle finger to your elbow. Next, check the top of your screen to make it at eye level and tilt it between 10 and 20 degrees. Just ensure that your head is not tilted either upwards or downwards.

b). Change Your Keyboard and Mouse Position

Working on the computer for long periods might cause wrist pain. As a result, it's critical to optimize wrist posture, either sitting or standing.

When standing, the optimal angle is slightly higher (tilted upwards) than when seated. Also, keep your mouse and keyboard at the same level; to prevent your wrists from hurting. You can also use a keyboard tray.

c). Take a Break

Even if standing at your desk is preferable to sitting, you should still get up and stretch, clear your thoughts, and rest your eyes frequently.

Some people spontaneously take short breaks, while others may require a reminder.


Office desks are made with an average height of 29 inches, and you can even use them for study. However, people have different heights making it difficult to have office furniture that suits everyone. Though, working on your computer all day requires a desk that will provide office ergonomics for maximum comfort and productivity. Finding a good desk is also easy as they are in most online shops and stores.

Image: Business Advice

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Tim Parry

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