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A desk is where you might spend several hours of the day. It's important to make sure you love where you work, and your desk is likely to be the biggest part of your work station. When purchasing a new desk, it's easy to spend days looking for a piece you adore, but it's equally important to find something that will work for you ergonomically. It's natural to wonder, what is the standard height of a desk?
The standard desk height is between 28 and 30 inches (71-76 cm). This range will suit most people of average height for work and leisure desk activities. While this standard size will not work for individuals that are outliers on the height scale, it serves as a perfect benchmark when outfitting offices or rooms.
Desks and tables come in all different heights so it can be difficult to plan a big purchase like this. We've put together some useful information to help you start your search. Just keep reading!
Buy A Desk That's Made for Your Height
Proper desk height can really boost your productivity and work quality. Not only can it help you maintain your focus and energy after long hours sitting at a desk, but they can also help you avoid fatigue and keep good posture.
The standard desk height of 30 inches works best for people between 5'8 to 5'10 in height. It is essential to find a desk that is the appropriate height for your own body, habits, and work style. It may take some additional shopping around, but the time investment certainly pays off.
If you need any help customizing your new desk to best fit your lifestyle, check out our article on How To Decorate Your Desk.
How Do You Determine The Correct Height Of A Desk?
A quick and easy way to determine if a desk is the proper height for your body is to use your elbows. You have to make sure that the table surface and keyboard are at your comfortable elbow level while seated upright. This ensures that you can sit with good posture and use your desk with your elbows relaxed and bent at a right angle.
If you can't physically sit at a desk before buying it, you can use an online desk height calculator to find out the best approximate measurements to suit your needs. We have more information about some of the best desk height calculators and how to use them later in this article.
Stylish Computer Desk
What Is The Ideal Height Of A Study Table Or Student Desk?
The industry-standard height for a student desk is within the standard 28-30 inches from the ground. Study tables at libraries, computer desks, and other facilities will often provide seating at desks with this height. In cases where you cannot change the desk height but want more comfortable seating ergonomics, you can adjust the height of your chair.
Study desks can often times have a pull-out drawer for the keyboard and mouse of a computer. This lower drawer should be what is used in calculating the height as it is where you will interact with the desk directly. Having a tiered desk with multiple surfaces and heights will help fit more into a smaller space.
For more help designing a bedroom with a desk in it, check out our article that discusses 10 Awesome Layouts For A Bedroom With A Desk.
2-Tier Computer Desk
This compact desk even has a keyboard tray for added convenience.
What Happens If Your Desk Is Too High?
It may seem like an arbitrary detail at first, but an improper desk height can have many downstream effects on your health and work performance.
For example, if your desk is too high, then you may likely end up leaning your elbows on the edge of the surface instead of properly laying them on top. This restricts blood flow to the hand and wrist muscles and can cause cramping or fatigue. Desks that are too high will also often cause you to lift your arms, shrug your shoulders, and crane your neck.
Low desks can also have an adverse effect after hours of remaining in the same position. They may cause you to lean forward or overly extend your arms to use the computer. These positions can lead to back and shoulder pain.
What About Adjustable Height Desks?
It is not uncommon that a desk will have an adjustable height that allows you to get a more custom fit. This is a great thing to look out for when making a purchase. Desks with adjustable heights have several benefits.
You can change the height as your needs change or if you plan to repurpose it later on for someone else with a different height. Some more high-end desks made of solid wood material or joined construction don't allow for much room in height adjustments. You should be sure that they will work well beforehand.
There are some desks on the market that even allow you to switch between standing and sitting positions. As you will see, most online desk height calculators will show you suggestions for both of these modes. Height is just as important with standing desks because all the variables for posture and arm positioning are the same. We are focusing more on stationary height desk tips as these are the most common and cost-effective for the greatest number of people.
Sitting Desk Height Calculators
Online desk height calculators can be found in many places online. Most of them are based on the same basic input - your height. We have picked out 2 that we think are the best, and provide you with the most resources to understand the results and make better decisions.
Ergotron Workspace Planner
Ergoton Workspace Planner is a very solid basic desk height calculator. All you have to do is select your height, then the handy illustration will update with all of your measurements. The result will show you suggested heights for many components that are important to your desk. They even provide you with a printable worksheet to keep for reference or to take with you when shopping in person.
BlitzResults Optimal Desk Height Calculator
The calculator on this site allows you some more customized input. With BlitzResults Desk Height Calculator, you can select the type of units to display the results in and select whether you wear heeled shoes regularly. If you wear heeled shoes to work often, then it will affect your optimal desk height. This calculator helps to clear that variable. It also has useful information about proper posture and positioning after recommending suggested desk dimensions.
Always remember that all of our bodies are different and there is no substitute for trying it out for yourself and finding your personal best desk height. Keeping that in mind, these online calculators can help you to consider some standard sizes that are more likely to work for you. They are meant to provide a baseline of numbers to continue your search.
It's All About Productivity
Ultimately, finding a desk with the best height for you is based on enhancing your productivity. You can mitigate muscle strain and fatigue while making your working space more comfortable and stylish. Your desk should serve as the perfect place to do your best work. Finding the appropriate desk height for your body will help you achieve that goal!