How High Should A Standing Desk Be?

In recent years, standing desks have become exceedingly popular in the modern workforce. With the increasing number of studies that confirm the many health benefits these desks offer, more and more Singaporeans are swapping their regular office desks with height-adjustable standing desks. And as expected, users are experiencing less pain, better posture, and improved productivity--all just by standing at a desk.

But to reap the full benefits of a standing desk, it should be at the right height. That said, we come to this question: how high should a standing desk be?

We don't want you to guesstimate your proper desk height. There is an exact science to where you should position your standing desk. So, in this article, we will talk about how to determine how high your standing desk should be. Plus, we are going to go over some of the best tips on how to set up your standing desk so that you can make the most out of it!

But before anything else, let's find out why it's so important to raise your desk at the right height:

Why Does The Proper Standing Desk Height Matter?

Both sitting and standing for too long is not good for you. When your body is held in a single position for extended periods of time, your muscles will fatigue. This will lead to the aches and pains that we're all too familiar with at the office.

Standing desks are good for you because they give you the ability to alternate between standing and sitting down at work. As a result, you take pressure off your back, hips, knees, and feet periodically. With less pressure, these parts of your body are less likely to ache, cramp up, or worse--become more susceptible to injury.

However, all of this depends on whether or not your standing desk is at the right height. If your desk is too low, then the tendency is to slouch or lean towards your computer screen. On the other hand, if your desk is too high, your wrists will be hanging off the edge of the desk (increases your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome), and you will have to crane your neck upward to see your screen.

That said, having your standing desk at the wrong height will cancel out all of its potential benefits. In fact, using a standing desk that is too low or too high can cause more problems than solutions. With that in mind, setting your desk at the right height is vital to maximizing its benefits, as well as avoiding any additional issues that may occur. While you're here - we encourage you to learn how long you should stand at your standing desk, too.

So, How High Should A Standing Desk Be?

The proper standing desk height depends on your height while wearing shoes. For a 5'0" person, the general recommendation for average standing desk height is 36.5". For every succeeding inch of a person's height, half an inch should be added to standing desk height.

For example, if you are 5'8" while wearing shoes, your standing desk should be 41.5" high.

Of course, this guideline does not work for everyone. For a more accurate approach, follow these steps:

  1. Stand straight with your shoulders pulled back and head parallel to the ceiling.
  2. While keeping your arms at your sides, bend your elbows to 90 degrees.
  3. Raise your standing desk to elbow height, making sure that your elbows are still bent at a 90-degree angle. You must be able to type on your keyboard without flexing your wrists.

Finding the perfect height for your standing desk may take some trial and error. If you have to slouch, lean forward, flex your wrists, or do anything that shifts your body out of its natural alignment, it means you have to readjust your desk height again.

However, adjusting your desk again and again when you have to transition can be a hassle. To avoid this problem, we recommend using motorized standing desks. These desks raise and lower with a push of a button and can help you achieve your ideal height in just a few seconds. In contrast, manual adjustable desks are, well, manual. Aside from taking a long time to adjust, who wants to hand-crank their desk every few hours?

If you want to learn more about motorized standing desks, make sure to check out our article on how standing desks work.

Additional Tips For Setting Up Your Standing Desk

Aside from raising your standing desk at the right height, there are a few other things you can do to make the most out of your standing desk. Let's discuss them one by one:

Use Arm Supports

When sitting on a regular office chair, your rest your arms on the supports on either side. Since your arms have something to lean on, tension is less likely to build in your shoulders and wrists. Why? Because the entire weight of your arms is not hanging off your shoulders. Similarly, you are maintaining proper elbow height, thus preventing your wrists from straining against the edge of your desk.

Most standing desks do not come with built-in arm supports, so it is best if you purchase your own.

Invest in a Keyboard Tray

A keyboard tray is not always necessary, but using one is a great way to prevent the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome. Keyboard trays allow you to separate your keyboard and mouse from the desktop, giving you the ability to adjust their height and position relative to your body--without having to move your entire setup.

At the same time, using a keyboard tray lets you raise your desk and/or monitor without compromising your posture or typing position. So, if your standing desk needs to be higher but you don't want to raise your keyboard along with it, get yourself a keyboard tray.

Stand on an Anti-Fatigue Mat

Even if you know the best way to stand at a standing desk, a few bouts of pain and soreness can still creep up here and there. To minimize this, we highly recommend investing in an anti-fatigue mat.

Anti-fatigue mats are commonly used in occupations where standing for long periods of time is expected (e.g. cashier, bartender, assembly line worker). They are designed to reduce fatigue caused by standing for too long on hard surfaces, thereby helping prevent pain in the joints and legs.

If you use an anti-fatigue mat, however, you will need to readjust the height of your desk depending on how much height the mat adds to you. But if your mat is too thin to make a significant change, you don't have to worry about readjusting your desk.

Adjust Your Monitor

Whether sitting or standing, you shouldn't have to crane your head up or down to look at your computer screen. The top of your monitor should be at your eye level or slightly below. And when looking at the middle of your screen, you should only have to shift your eyes slightly downward.

Adjust your monitor height until you meet these guidelines. Buy a monitor riser if you can't raise it high enough on its own. If you use a laptop, raise it with a laptop stand and then use a wireless keyboard to type.

Can't get a monitor riser soon enough? A stack of books should do the job for now.

Organize Your Cables

Leaving your cables tangled up and strewn about can only lead to disaster. If they get caught on something while you're raising your desk, you could risk damaging your cables or maybe something even worse, like pulling out a port from your computer.

Get Rid of Clutter

Throw out those used coffee cups. Give away the collection of paperweights that you never use. Let that dead desk plant go to its final resting place. If you're using a standing desk, clutter becomes an even bigger problem than it is with a regular desk. Why? Because every time you transition from sitting to standing (and vice versa), the excess clutter on your desk may end up relocating to the floor.

Plus, clutter is never a good thing in the workplace (unless you're of those people that thrive in messy environments). Get rid of your clutter problem once and for all and watch how a clean desk can do wonders for your productivity.

Final Thoughts On How High Standing Desks Should Be

Using your standing desk at the proper height is necessary to maximize its potential benefits, including less pain, improved posture, better circulation, enhanced productivity, and so much more. To determine your ideal standing desk height, the golden rule is to simply raise your desk until you can lightly touch your keyboard while your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. Quick and simple.

After reading so much about the benefits of standing desks, you're probably itching to get one of your own. Well, you don't have to look any further. Our adjustable work desks make it easy to switch between sitting and standing at work. In fact, we've come to be known as the premier choice for standing desks in Singapore. In just a few seconds, you can find the perfect height for your desk and continue working--no manual cranking required.

So, what are you waiting for? Make your workdays productive, comfortable, and completely pain-free with a state-of-the-art standing desk from EverDesk+!