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. Read on to find out what your office computer 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
Most offices feature standard-sized furniture, including desks and chairs. The industry standard height of office desks is 29 inches or 73 cm high for desks with a sitting design.
Regardless whether the desk is a standing or sitting desk, most office furniture is designed for people who are 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’’, 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. 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 work day is spent sitting.
When you consider the discrepancies between the 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. So, if you’re wondering what to look for in an office chair and desk, consider their measurements together so that you fit properly.
How to Determine Proper Desk Height
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 height and the seat 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’’. 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 healthy seated posture and the right angle––and take on the world.