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proper height for standing desk

What You Need to Know to Achieve the Proper Height for Standing Desk

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As we continue to learn and understand the standing desk advantages, this type of desk has only grown in popularity in contemporary workspaces. However, such a desk must be positioned at the ideal height to utilize its benefits fully. You might wonder, “What is the proper height for a standing desk for my body?” Many factors, such as ergonomics, posture, and the user’s height, can affect these measurements. Finding the best one can improve your health and keep you comfortable while working.

Here’s everything you need to know to determine your standing desk height.

Proper Height for Standing Desk

Finding the perfect standing desk height isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation.

While two people can be the same height, one might need a lower stand-up desk than the other, depending on their body proportions.

Since we have different body types and proportions, everyone requires something different. While there are standard heights for standing desks, there are ways you can find one that will cater specifically to your needs.

Here’s how to get the proper standing desk height measurements for your context.

Assessing Your Needs

We all have different body types and health conditions.

To truly experience the health benefits your standing desk can offer, it must address what your body needs, especially while you work.

The monitor height, arm support, desk surface, and other factors should help you maintain a natural position during the long hours spent at your computer.

If you feel neck pain, strain in your leg muscles, or other discomfort, you may have to adjust your desk or switch it out.

You also need to consider how it can affect your standing posture. Standing desks are a great way to address poor posture if you get it at the correct height.

Switching between sitting and standing is also essential since you’d have to rest between work. You should be able to easily adjust the desk if you’re switching positions.

NOTE: Your standing desk should have the tools to let you do that without assistance.

Measuring Your Height

Your standing desk’s height should be based primarily on your standing height. You must measure it based on how you can stand comfortably and naturally while working.

When measuring your height for the desk, make sure you stand up tall with your head parallel to the ceiling. Keep your shoulders pulled back like you’re placing your shoulder blades into your back pocket.

Besides measuring your overall height, you also need to take note of your body proportions to get the correct desk height for your body type.

Make sure to factor in your shoe height. We advise wearing what you usually would while working so the desk height calculator can factor them in.

You might also have to consider your monitor stand height. While the desk can address how your arms will be positioned while you work, you might need something extra to adjust your monitor height, assuming you have a longer torso.

You should be good to go if you can easily see the top third of your screen from your ideal standing position.

Determining the Elbow Height

When standing at your desk and working on your keyboard, you must ensure your arms are not strained from holding a position too long.

Ideally, your elbow should be at a 90-degree angle with your wrists resting on the desk surface.

However, this isn’t ideal when you’re at rest while standing. In this situation, your arms, wrists, and hands should be in a hanging position, so you might have to adjust accordingly.

Your shoulders should be able to rest relaxed and at the right angle. If you don’t feel relaxed at the given angle, you can adjust it accordingly to make yourself more comfortable.

Recommended Desk Height for Different Heights

The typical standing desks can come in different heights. You can see that there are ideal setups for all heights, which are usually available on the manufacturer’s desk height chart or calculator.

However, there’s no specific formula for achieving the proper standing desk height. While there are tips on how to get it, they can still be relative to how comfortable you are once the desk is set up.

Finding the best desk for shorter individuals can differ from finding taller ones, which is another consideration. That way, everyone can benefit from the transition to a standing workstation.

Like with chairs, some may need an extra footstool or other tools to make standing more comfortable.

Ideal Posture and Ergonomics

Posture and ergonomics are always important, regardless of whether you’re sitting or standing.

Yes, using a standing desk can be healthier. However, if you’re still slouching while you work, then you can’t fully experience the benefits it can provide.

Adjusting the ergonomics can be as simple as adding a monitor stand or using tools to make working more comfortable.

Here’s how to maintain an ideal posture and maximize the benefits of standing desks.

Maintaining a Neutral Spine

Standing at your desk is best as it allows you to be aware of your back. While maintaining a relaxed position is the best way to have a positive outlook on your work, being too relaxed can be detrimental and have you feeling lazy.

You thus need to maintain a neutral spine to get the most out of your sit-stand hybrid desk.

Avoid putting too much weight on one side of your body. Keep your stance even and align your head with the rest of your spine while looking straight ahead.

Try to set alarms to alert you to check your posture. It will help you build awareness and keep your spine neutral so you don’t end up straining or injuring yourself.

Positioning Your Monitor

When you set up your computer monitor, you should see the top third of your computer screen while standing perfectly straight. This will give you the best view of your tasks for the day.

The distance between you and the screen should be from your middle finger to your elbow. Also, take note of the focus distance, which can cause you to lean back or squint forward when reading text on-screen.

You can add an ergonomic monitor elevation to have it at the correct height. You should be good if you can look at your monitor while maintaining a neutral posture for your neck and back.

After all, if it’s too high, you might end up straining your neck from the awkward angle. On the other hand, a lower monitor can have you slouch more to see the screen correctly.

Having your monitor at the correct height can help you be more productive and maintain a better posture while you work for extended periods.

Keyboard and Mouse Placement

Your elbow should have a 90 to 100-degree angle for working with your computer keyboard and mouse.

Elbow height can still be relative to your arms’ length, so adjust them according to your comfort.

If they’re too high, your muscles will need to do more work which can result in wrist pain. If they’re too low, they can have you slouching to get a better reach on your keyboard keys.

You can also try using gel mouse pads or a keyboard tray to properly position your keyboard and mouse on your desk. These can provide more comfort when you maintain a static position for hours on end.

A laptop’s design is also not ergonomic compared to a desktop computer, so you may need a tool to help your keyboard tilt at a better angle.

Foot and Leg Positioning

Whether sitting or standing at your desk, there should always be enough room for your legs and feet to relax.

While standing, you might move around a bit while you work. There should be floor space to stretch your legs, especially when you need to boost your blood flow after standing for hours.

There should also be a balance between sitting and standing, so ensure you have enough space for those adjustments.

Getting used to this different working style can take time, especially if you’re used to working while sitting.

However, slowly getting used to it and enhancing your workstation to accommodate this new working style can help make everything more comfortable and ergonomic.

Adjustment Tools

Having a fixed standing desk can be challenging to work with, especially if it has you standing still for too long.

Adjustable standing desks are a great way to have everything arranged based on your needs. However, a simple or minimalist elevation can also do the trick.

Here are a few adjustment tools you can use to help your standing desk adjust to your requirements.

Standing Desk Height Calculator

You can find a standing desk height chart or calculator online, usually on the desk manufacturer’s website. This can help you get a stand-up desk at an appropriate height.

However, note that charts based on a specific height can be relative, and you would still need to base everything on your body’s proportions.

Try to find a specific calculator that can consider factors such as your torso length, arms, and the like.

Using a Ruler or Measuring Tape

Using a ruler or measuring tape can help you get the correct measurements to adjust your stand-up desk.

You can input the measurements into a standing desk height calculator to get the ideal height for your sit-stand desk.

These can help you get a more accurate result based on your body’s proportions.

However, remember that this has to go hand-in-hand with trying out the desk and adjusting it to what your body needs instead of just relying on the numbers.

Marking Your Desk

Once you’ve found or set up a sit-stand desk to your needs, it’s best to mark it so people know how to interact with it.

If you have a height-adjustable standing desk, you should also mark the correct height so you can easily adjust it. It can make switching between sitting and standing much easier or allow others to still use the desk at their height.

Personalized Standing Desk Options

The ideal standing desk height might be an adjustable standing desk specially designed for you. Some manufacturers accept customizations, especially for people with special needs.

If you’re switching between standing and sitting, you should also ensure that your chair height matches your and the desk’s available heights.

NOTE: Having the proper lumbar support and arm supports/armrests can make your office chair more comfortable during the times when you prefer sitting.

Troubleshooting and Tips

Whether you’re working on a minimalist desk or a high-tech adjustable one, sometimes your setup won’t work for you.

That’s where troubleshooting and resetting your desk comes in.

Here are a few tips to prevent straining your body from standing for long periods.

Dealing with Discomfort

Just like the duration you spend sitting at a desk, standing for long periods can also result in strain and injury.

Transitioning can start slow and should never be rushed. Try standing for 15 minutes to half an hour before resting to help your body get used to it.

Don’t stay in the same position for too long, and alternate between sitting and standing. Take some time to walk around if necessary.

Periodic Sitting Breaks

While standing has benefits, doing it for extended periods can also lead to injuries and pain.

That said, after standing for about an hour, take the time to sit down once to rest your legs.

You can also download a rest notification app to remind you to take a break. According to an investigation, call center employees experienced less upper limb and back discomfort in just two weeks of using these programs.

Using an Anti-Fatigue Mat

Anti-fatigue mats are designed to reduce stress on your body while you stand for hours.

Using an anti-fatigue mat can reduce lower back pain and stiffness, making the standing desk experience more comfortable.

Wearing Supportive Shoes

Even with a standing desk mat, what you wear on your feet can also affect how your legs feel in the long run.

Try to wear something comfortable, like your everyday walking or running shoes.

If you must wear heels or flats in the office, you must have two different desk heights to accommodate them.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Proper Height for Standing Desks

What Is the Ideal Height for a Standing Desk for Someone Who Is 6’5”?

The ideal desk height for someone 6’5″ should be around 47.5 inches (almost 4 feet) tall.

However, this can still depend on your proportions and specific needs—factor in the above conditions when looking for a standing desk.

How Do I Set My Standing Desk Height if I Am 5’8”?

The ideal standing desk height for someone 5’8″ is usually around 41.5 inches (around three and a half feet).

You can use adjustment tools to set a desk according to your height, depending on how it’s designed. Some might need to be manually set to a specific height, while others can be adjusted with a push of a button.

How Can I Calculate the Proper Height for a Standing Desk if I Am 6 Feet Tall?

You can calculate the proper standing desk height by measuring your height while standing upright with your usual work shoes on.

Then, you can use a calculator online or check a chart with the manufacturer to find one that fits your height.

Calculating the height of your standing desk doesn’t always have to follow a specific formula since our bodies are different.

While there are already ideal heights for these desks to match specific user statures, you may have to factor in your body’s proportions before buying a standing desk.

How Do I Know if My Standing Desk Height Is Too High or Too Low?

Ideally, your arms should comfortably rest at a 90-degree angle while working.

If your desk is too high or low, it can cause discomfort and muscle tension, ultimately leading to pain and injury.

If you’re feeling any strain on any part of your body while working, you may have to adjust your desk accordingly.

Will Using the Proper Height for Standing Desk Help Improve My Posture?

Using a standing desk at the correct height can improve your posture as long as you know how to use the desk correctly.

The correct standing desk height can help prompt your body for proper posture.

However, awareness is also crucial to maintaining good posture. Even if you have an ergonomic sit-stand desk, you should still set reminders and be conscious of when your body is starting to slouch.


Looking for the ideal standing desk height isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. It can vary for everyone.

So, is a standing desk worth it?

As long as you have one with the correct standing desk height and you take note of how you can actively improve your work habits, they can be worth it.