What Height Should Your Standing Desk Be?

The height of your standing desk will depend on how tall you are. The best stand up desk allows you to stand correctly and comfortably.

To get the proper height of your standing desk, stand in front of the desk and let your elbow rest at the desk on a 90-degree angle from the floor.

The height of your table should be the distance from the floor to the bottom of your elbow.

The average height of standing desks for those who are 5’ 11” is 44 inches tall. However, this is just a guide. Consider your body proportion as well before deciding on the height of your standing desk.

To make it easier, you can use an adjustable standing desk. There are several standing desk options you can choose from. 

Height adjustable standing desks also come with a digital memory that allows you to store your standing desk heights so you can switch from standing to sitting whenever you need to with just a touch of a button.

There are other standing desk options available in the market like the electric standing desk which also comes with a drawer. If you want to keep the desk you are currently using, you can also use a stand-up desk converter.

When looking for the best standing desk for you, always consider your comfort. You will be using it while working, so make sure you are able to perform your tasks flawlessly.

What Makes A Desk A Desk? 

Choose a standig desk that allows you to rest your wrist and elbows comfortably on the surface area.

A desk is a piece of table-like furniture with a flat surface that is used in schools, offices or home for domestic or professional purposes such as reading, writing or using a computer or the like.

There are various types of desks such as:

  • Armoire desk – a desk built inside a cabinet-like structure
  • Portable desk – a light desk that can be brought everywhere. You can place it on your lap whenever you need to.
  • Sitting desk – a desk usually used in schools and offices. It may come with a built-in chair or you can use a separate chair. It is usually built with drawers or compartments where you can store your things.
  • Standing desk – a desk built so you are able to stand while working. It may come with a tall chair or you may use a separate one.

Experts agree that sitting for long periods of time can lead to serious illnesses in the future, even if you get a lot of exercises when you are not sitting.

Choose the standing desk that corresponds to your height.

This is why standing desks have gained popularity among employees and entrepreneurs over time.

In a report published by the Society for Human Resource Management, providing employees with standing desks increased three times in the past 5 years, from 13% to 44%. 

Sitting for a prolonged period of time is associated with a higher risk of health issues. 

Employees are still at risk of health problems due to prolonged sitting, even if they are eating healthy and exercise regularly.

Using a standing desk in the office not only increases your focus, but it can also help elevate your mood and help increase your productivity.

Types of Standing Desks

Choose the standing desk that fits your needs.

There are different standing desk options you can choose from, depending on your needs.

  • Adjustable height standing desk – this is a standing desk where you can adjust the height either manually or with a push of a button. 

A manual adjustable height standing desk usually uses a crank so you can adjust the height. 

An electric adjustable height standing desk allows you to increase or decrease the height of your desk with just a press of a button. 

Other models also allow you to store 2 or more standing desk heights so you can choose the height you want to use.

There are also adjustable standing desks with drawers which gives you extra space to keep and organize your things.

  • Converter stand-up desk – also called a standing desk converter.  It is a product that you place on top of your existing desk so that you can work while standing. 

If you can’t or don’t want to spend your money on a stand-up desk, you can turn your existing desk into a standing desk using a stand-up desk converter. 

Most standing desk converters have adjustable height and room for your desktop and keyboard.

There are several standing desk converter options you can choose from. Some models hover around your desk while some use a swing-arm mechanism or something similar.

  • Desk riser – is an elevated platform that you mount on your desk to elevate your monitor, keyboard, or laptop. 

Don’t be fooled by those labeled as adjustable desk risers. You still need to adjust their wingnuts or leg locks and you will have to remove everything on top of it before you can fix those mounting slots so they still basically function as fixed-height desk risers.

  • Fixed-height standing desk – typical standing desk with a fixed height. If you are going to buy one, make sure that the height of the desk corresponds to your height. 

Do it yourself standing desks – You can create your own stand up desk by adding a heavy box or other items that can be either stacked or put on your current desk. 

Make sure you use sturdy equipment to put your computer, monitor, and other things on. When I first started trying to make my own stand up desk options, my laptop fell down because the box I had it on, did not take the weight of even my laptop. 

Determining The Height Of Your Standing Desk

Stand in front of the standing desk and rest your elbow at a 90-degree angle.

Stand in front of the standing desk and rest your elbow at a 90-degree angle. Check if you are able to stand upright while your elbow rests on the desk. 

Your wrist should be well-rested and your neck should be neutral. If not, the height of the standing desk is not right for you.

Sit-stand-recline desk – this desk allows you to sit, stand, and recline literally just like an astronaut. This type of desk is a bit pricey. However, if you are experiencing chronic neck pain or severe back pain, this type of desk may be your best choice.

No matter what type of standing desk you choose, select the one that corresponds to your height. You should be able to stand in front of your standing desk comfortably and your neck should not slouch. 

How do I adjust my standing desk? 

Follow these guidelines on how to use a standing desk properly.

When adjusting your standing desk, keep in mind your body proportion. To take advantage of the benefits of a standing desk, follow the steps below:

  1. Stand straight in front of the standing desk with your shoulders back. Relax your shoulders and let your arms hang loose naturally by your side. 
  2. Adjust the height of your adjustable standing desk or adjustable converter stand up desk until it meets the height of your elbow. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and keep your wrist straight in front of you.
  3. Your neck should stay neutral. Your forearms must be parallel to the surface of the standing desk.
  4. Your wrists and neck should remain neutral. If your wrists incline up or down, you should adjust the height of your standing desk.
  5. Ensure that your forearms are parallel to the surface of the desk and your wrists remain neutral.
  6. To prevent your neck from straining, position your monitor where the top third of your screen is at eye-level. This way, you don’t have to bend your neck upwards to view your screen. 
  7. Tilt your monitor about 10 to 20 degrees towards you, slightly upwards so you don’t have to bend down your neck. Place your monitor at least 20 to 28” or about 51 to 71 cm away from your face. 
  8. Follow the measurement where you are most comfortable. You can also do a ballpark measurement by placing the tip of your middle finger in front of your monitor. 
  9. Measure the distance between the tip of your finger to your elbow. That should be the distance between your monitor and your face.

Ultimately, the best guide should be how comfortable you are with the height of your standing desk. If you are not at ease, it’s time to look for another one.

Related Questions

Where should your feet be while typing?

When using your standing desk in the office, it is important that you have proper posture to prevent fatigue and pain associated with poor posture.

You should stand directly in front of your standing desk, facing your monitor. Place the tip of your middle finger in front of your screen and adjust your body accordingly.

Adjust your body so it is positioned to where your elbow is. Your feet will naturally follow. That is where your feet should be while you are typing on your standing desk.

Is it better to have your keyboard up or down?

Whether you place your keyboard up or down does not matter. What matters is, your wrist must remain straight while you are typing. 

You can move your body close to your elbows. This is the most efficient position as it allows you to reach the keyboard easily. By doing this simple trick, your typing speed will improve.

Your elbow must be parallel to the surface of your office stand-up desk and your wrist should remain neutral.

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