In order to determine which standing desk you should buy, just measure the height of your hands above a table when you stand in typing position and pick the closest height. Another method is to stack some books up to the proper height (with your laptop on top to feel what height you like). And then measure the stack of books! From there, you’ve got a great estimate for which standing desk you should get.
If you don’t feel like measuring, and you just want to get on with your day, you can follow our below height suggestions, which have been pretty helpful for most people. But be forewarned that measuring is the best option!
The stand comes in four heights: 9, 12, 14, and 16 inches. The perfect height for you ensures your laptop’s keyboard is at or slightly below elbow height, as illustrated to the left.
StandStand is not adjustable, but you can buy the size that fits you (like a t-shirt!). Almost all tables and desks come in a standard height of 29-30 inches. So, no matter where you go, StandStand will likely be just about the same height from spot to spot once placed on top of a standard desk or table.
What is the Proper Standing Desk Height?
So, how tall should a standing desk be? This measurement will actually be based on the specific height of the person using the desk, so there’s not one specific answer. However, you want to get this measurement right because if your desk is even a few inches off, it may cause you to slouch or strain your neck or wrists. It’s also important to adjust the desk’s height every day as shoes like high heels or anti-fatigue mats might make you taller.
Whether you are standing or sitting, start with arms at your sides and feet slightly separated with weight evenly distributed between your legs. Everyone is different, so a tailored approach to desk height will be more accurate than some of the standing desk height calculator measurements you find online. Follow the tips below, and what size standing desk do I need?
The height of the desktop itself is crucial to avoiding unnecessary back and neck pain and reaping all of the benefits that standing offers. Generally, the height of the desk should be about elbow height. First, however, let’s look at what that means in detail.
Hold your arms straight out if you are standing tall the way you will be when using the desk. The forearms should be parallel to the floor.
They should be able to rest on top of the desk. Therefore, you should measure from the floor to the bottom side of your forearms. Get a desk that is that height or that can adjust to that height.
One other consideration is the shoes that you will be wearing. Most of us have more than one pair of shoes that may be worn while we are working at the desk. Take that into account and measure the height while wearing the shoes.
Check out this table for some average desktop heights for different user heights. However, everyone has slightly different proportions, so these are only guidelines, and you will want to measure to your forearms anyways.
The perfect height for almost everyone is elbow height. When you are standing upright with your chest up and shoulders back, your forearms should rest flat on the desk surface (parallel to the desk and floor as in the picture).
Standing Desk Posture
- Start with the elbows- While your feet are flat on the floor in front of the standing desk, slowly elevate the desktop height until your elbows are at 90 degrees. Your wrists should be hovering just above the keyboard with your forearms parallel to the floor.
- Line up the monitor- Once the desktop is at the right height, now you can position the monitors—the line to the top of the screen to be just above your eye line. Again, you don’t want to strain your neck by either looking up or down. Instead, it would be best to look directly at the screen without having to tilt your neck to see any of it. Also, your screen should be tilted by about 20 degrees. When you think you have your monitor at the right height, extend your arm out, and your fingertips should just touch the screen surface.
This step is slightly easier if you have a helper, but all you really need is a measuring tape.
- Measure from your elbow to the floor – this is your standing desk height.
- Next, whatever your height is – that’s your monitor height.
- Finally, measure from your hip bones to the floor – this is your standing chair height.
Keep these things in mind:
- Measure yourself in shoes if you intend to wear shoes while at your standing desk since they can add to your height
- If your desk will be on the plush carpet, both you and the desk will sink into the carpet over time
- If you intend to get an anti-fatigue mat, it too will add height (nearly an inch, in some cases)
Benefits of a Standing Desk
Aside from the ability to dance while you work, standing desks offer numerous benefits, including higher calorie burn and better ergonomics. Both of these contribute to a healthier you. We’ll share some tools and resources with you below, but as someone who has used a standing desk through the Black Friday and holiday season, I can share two things.
- Working while standing prevents that hunched over posture that hits at the end of a long day, leading to better back health.
- The extra calorie burn helps. How else could I drop a few pounds over the holiday season with a constant influx of treats and no time to run.
Working in a correct ergonomic position will help you avoid many of the pains that plague computer workers. A sit-stand desk like the Workfit S allows you to change your position throughout the day to avoid muscle fatigue.
Standing up burns a noticeable amount of calories every day, 276 for a 200-pound individual in 6 hours, which leads to a healthier life. In addition, Ergotron’s Just Stand website has a calculator which will help you figure out how many calories you will burn by standing while you work, which is a nice incentive.
The Importance of Proper Posture
Posture refers not only to the body’s alignment but how this counteracts the strain of gravity. When your muscles and joints are positioned correctly, gravity’s pull does less damage as the stress is evenly distributed throughout the body. However, if something falls out of alignment or you slouch for long periods, you increase the strain on certain areas that can get injured.
Take a moment to consider your posture. Whether in a sitting or standing position, posture is one of those things we’ve heard about since we were children, yet many people forget and slouch on a daily basis. While subtle changes in posture every day do not hurt in the short term, it’s very important to take care of the spine by practising good posture so that in the long run, you do not create a buildup that leads to neck pain, lower back pain, or other health problems.
Does it measure up in all the important places?
If your ergonomics consultant didn’t tell you, sitting at a desk requires individual sizing and placement of all the pieces. Getting a standing desk requires the same attention to detail.
Not all standing desks are created equal—at least not to the heights you need. While there are adjustable desks, even ones that you can move up and down within seconds, they vary in adjustment height.
You need to determine what height will be right for you to work in both the standing and sitting positions. This matters not only for the height of the keyboard and mouse but also the position and tilt of the monitors.
Key Factors To Consider for Standing Desk Height
- Chair Height: Investing in an ergonomic chair for your workstation will provide the most amount of adjustability in tandem with the sit-stand desk. Always adjust your chair first to be comfortable with both feet flat on the floor, and then move your desk to meet your hands.
- Chair Tilt: Tilt the chair forward slightly so that it fully supports your back and brings you closer to the desk. The back of the chair should be at a height that provides lumbar support. There should be a small space between the back of your knees and the edge of the chair when sitting.
- Elbow Height: While sitting or standing, your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle, and your wrists should be able to lay gently on the keyboard tray. If this is not the case, raise or lower the desk or your chair to find the optimal height.
- Keyboard Tilt: If you have a keyboard tray that can be tilted, try tilting it back by 10 degrees. This will allow your wrists to be neutral, which will be more comfortable and better for wrist health.
- Eye Height: Your screen monitor should be at eye level and approximately the distance of one monitor away. If your screen is very large, position it even further away. The ideal ergonomic monitor height suggests your eyes line up with the top 1/3 of the monitor so that you have to look down slightly to see the centre of the screen. For those who wear bifocals, we recommend lowering the monitor more so that your eyes line up at the very top of the screen. To make up for this, tilt the monitor back by 20 degrees.
- Monitor Tilt: To set the proper monitor height, the screen should be tilted backward at 10 to 20 degrees to prevent you from slouching and looking down.
Does the chair matter for a standing desk?
Many people want to get a sit and stand desk so they can switch between standing and sitting whenever they feel the need.
Suppose you are planning on one of the models that sit atop an existing desk and can be lifted up to the standing position (most do this easily with little effort required); measure for the desk’s lowest position first. This is because it will almost certainly place the keyboard and mouse at least an inch or so higher than the existing desktop.
Your forearm position at the keyboard when sitting will be the height of the main desk itself plus the height of the keyboard tray on the standing desk in its fully collapsed position. By checking the manufacturer’s specifications, you can determine the height that the new standing desk will add to the lowest position. Adding these two measurements will determine how high the keyboard tray will be from the floor.
Once you know the height of the keyboard and mouse on the new standing desk in a sitting position, measure to see if your forearms will be parallel to the floor when typing—the ergonomically correct position. Once you have the chair height right, will your feet be flat on the floor?
If your current chair does not adjust high or low enough for your forearms to be parallel to the floor while working at the keyboard, you will need a chair that can get you to the proper height.
You’re sold on the health benefits of using a standing desk to break up your sedentary workday. Now, you just need to buy the right one for yourself. Before you shell out hundreds of dollars on a model that doesn’t quite meet your needs, it’s important to recognize that standing desks are not a one-size-fits-all purchase. Here are 4 factors to keep in mind when shopping for the perfect sit-stand desk for you.
Sit-Stand Desk Size vs. Current Desk Size
Because standing desk converters sit on top of your existing desk, it’s essential to measure your current desk’s desktop size and floor height. Doing this will help you ensure that the sit-stand desk you are considering isn’t too deep, too wide, or too short (when fully extended) to meet your needs. So, don’t guesstimate! Instead, get out your tape measure and compare the measurements you take against the size specifications for the model you consider before buying. Tip: If space is limited, look for sit-stand desks that extend and lower within their own footprint using a straight up and down motion. Steer clear of models that rise up and out since they require more desktop surface.
Desk Design vs. Personal Style
Your personal taste and style should definitely play a part in your selection of a sit-stand desk. After all, who wants to spend 8 hours a day working at a desk that’s too bulky, the wrong colour, or just plain unattractive? Fortunately, many standing desk manufacturers now offer a wide range of colours and styles to complement your existing office decor. So, don’t settle for a traditional black standing desk when you really want a mahogany one. Instead, look for a reputable standing desk company that gives you style options. Also, keep in mind that some standing desks have unique designs that are better for certain functions like laptop use.
Desk Price vs. Your Shopping Budget
As with any major purchase, the cost is an important consideration for most buyers. So, before you start shopping, determine what your budget is. And, if you’re working with a limited budget, avoid the temptation to let the sit-stand desk with the lowest price win you over. Remember, it costs less, in the long run, to buy quality, so shop around for the best value within your budget. Also, consider cost-saving benefits like free shipping, money-back guarantees, and lifetime and extended warranties.
Is a Standing Desk Worth It?
Yes, a standing desk is more than worth it! Let’s put it this way: What could be more priceless than your health? A height-adjustable standing desk can reduce neck and back pain and prevent the chance of developing numerous chronic illnesses, from cancer to diabetes, heart disease, and more. Plus, it is excellent for your circulation, helps reduce stress, burns calories to promote weight loss, and aids focus and productivity while at work.
Adjustable standing desks are best for this, but there are other ways to ensure that you have the correct height as long as you purchase the right desk for you.
If you are planning on using an existing desk, there are tons of standing desk converter options, and some are also adjustable.
Try to make sure that the monitor and keyboard heights are correct first. Then, if you have not bought a desk yet, measure to the underside of your arm while standing and get a desk that adjusts to that height. There are so many options, and you should not have trouble finding one that suits your height as well as your taste in style and design.
FAQs About Standing Desk
How long should I stand at my standing desk?
Sitting behind your desk all day is bad for your health, and experts have long been advising people to stand at their workstations for about 15 minutes an hour. But a University of Waterloo professor says his research shows that people should be standing for at least 30 minutes per hour to get health benefits.
How do you measure a standing table?
Measure from your elbow to the floor – this is your standing desk height. Next, whatever your height is – that’s your monitor height. Finally, measure from your hip bones to the floor – this is your standing chair height.
Is it bad to use a standing desk all day?
Keep in mind that using a standing desk is like any other “intervention” — it can come with “side effects.” For example, if you suddenly go from sitting all day to standing all day, you run the risk of developing back, leg, or foot pain; it’s better to ease into it by starting with 30 to 60 minutes a day and gradually.
Are standing desks better for you?
Standing desks offer several health benefits, including Standing burns more calories than sitting down. This means that standing throughout the workday can help lower the risk of weight gain. Other reIn addition, others suggested that standing desks help lower your risk of heart disease.