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How Tall Should Your Desk Be?

How tall should your desk be? Learn how to get the best-sized desk for you. . Read on.

People come in all shapes and sizes. To think that a one-size-fits-all approach is suitable for everything is a foolish notion. When it comes to work desks, different people will find different heights more suitable than others. 

What may be comfortable for a short person may be too low for a tall person and vice versa.

So, if you've ever wondered “how tall should a desk be,” we'll demystify this aspect by considering the variations in human heights and the requirement for a comfortable working position.

Read on to find out what your commercial office desk height should really be, and how to determine it, as well as the best variety of office desks in different standard heights. 

Average Desk Heights

The height of a desk can play a significant role in your comfort, your posture, and by extension, your productivity when at your workstation. Most offices feature standard-sized furniture, including desks and chairs. The industry standard desk height for office desks is 29 to 30 inches or 73 cm high for desks with a sitting design.

When considering the standard desk height from the floor, the industry usually leans towards accommodating individuals who stand around 6’ tall. Odd, since that’s not even the average height in the US! Think we kid? 

The average height for an American man is actually 5’9’’ when standing straight, whereas, for a woman, it’s 5’4’’. So you can see how furniture designed for a 6’ tall individual could be a problem for those who are under 6’ tall. Here, you might ask, “how tall should a desk be” to accommodate these varying heights?It’s certainly no secret that posture issues, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and more abound in an office setting where most of the workday is spent sitting. 

When you consider the discrepancies between the correct or ideal height for furniture and the actual average height of people, you can understand how such poor design might cause posture issues and pain. Try spending 8 hours every day craning your neck or dangling your legs! The truth is that it can’t help but have a detrimental effect on your body. Hence, there's a growing need to adjust your workspace to make it more ergonomic. So, if you’re wondering what to look for in an office chair and desk, consider their measurements together so that you fit properly. 


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How to Determine Proper Desk Height

The question of “how tall should a desk be” ties directly into the idea that the ideal computer desk should fit well with your office chair and allow you to maintain a healthy posture. It shouldn’t be so high as to cause additional strain on your eyes, neck, back, or arms, but neither should it be so low as to cause you to stoop and slouch just to reach your monitor or keyboard tray. Your feet should be able to rest flat on the ground and your arms should be parallel to the floor. 

The Right Height For a Seated Desk 

Since we’ve established that a standard desk height is designed for 6’ tall individuals, it’s time to develop a method for determining an ideal desk height for you. You don’t need to be exact in your measurements, a difference of 1 or 2 inches is acceptable. 

Also, keep in mind the kind of footwear you use, as it could add inches to your standing height and seated height. Your keyboard should be level with your elbows and form a 90-degree angle with your arms. Your monitor should be at eye level so you don’t have to stoop or crane your neck to see it comfortably. 

Though there are various ways of determining the ideal desk height, as a general rule, a 1’’ difference in height––with respect to the 6’ standard––results in a difference of 0.4’’ with the industry standard desk height of 29’’. 

So, for example, if you are 5’ 11’’, you would remove 0.4’’ from the desk height of 29’’. If you are 6’ 1’’, you would add 0.4’’ to the standard desk height. Another method is to follow a simple formula: 

Your Height in Inches + 1 = Desk Height in CM

Standing Desk Height

For standing desks, although there is no fixed industry standard, the average desk height is around 47’’. If you're wondering 'how tall should a desk be,' keep in mind that this average might be a good starting point. The Live Edge Standing Desk can extend to 45.5”, for example. Although fixed-height standing desks are available on the market, it’s better to opt for a standing-height adjustable desk since it allows you to customize your experience to better fit your requirements. 

A rule of thumb is your keyboard table height should be at 90 degrees to your arms, or in line with your elbows, while the top of the monitor should reach eye level. This sitting posture will cause the least amount of strain and keep your body as comfortable as possible.  For more information on standing desks, read our article answering the question, “are standing desks good for you?” 

We at Juniper Office Solutions are proud to be a one-stop-shop for sustainable office furniture, providing you with sitting desks in various sizes, and also standing desks in both fixed and adjustable height designs. 

Hands down, one of the best ways to find your ideal desk and figure out how tall your desk should be is to first choose your adjustable chair, and then match your desk with it. Your chair height and office desk both need to be in harmony to allow you to work comfortably––with a healthy seated posture and the right angle––and take on the world.

Standard Desk Height