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What is the Ideal Office Desk Height and Why it Matters?

Person Working at a Height Adjustable Desk Rotating Towards You

Few of us give any thought to the ideal desk height and how our workspaces are set up. We’ll sit there for 7 hours a day at a poorly set up desk, hunched over, only to complain afterwards that our backs hurt.

As something which is supposed to aid productivity, it’s counterproductive for our workspaces to work against us and impede our minds and bodies.

Even our expertly engineered, high-quality office desks can be a curse instead of a blessing if they aren’t set to a height which suits you perfectly. So let’s determine the perfect desk height as well as why it matters.

STANDARD DESK HEIGHT

Person Reading at a Slouch Office Chair and Desk Setup in a Ginger Background

Now, let’s talk about that just-right height for your desk, making sure your office environment facilitates your productivity instead of impeding it. 

The average desk sits at a height of 73cm, which is a recommended sitting desk height if you’re around 6 feet tall, but if you’re on either side of this height, it means you’re likely to be sitting in a compromised position while working.

In a survey posted by NHS Digital in 2021, it was shown that the mean height of men in the UK was 175.9cm (5 feet 9 inches) and for women it was 162.4cm (5 feet 3 inches).

Based on these heights, this means:

The average desk height for the typical man in the UK would be:

Sitting: 70cm

Standing: 101.5cm

The average desk height for the typical woman in the UK would be 

Sitting: 64cm

Standing: 86.5cm

Because we come in all shapes and sizes and there’s no one-size-fits-all for desk height. You could consider an adjustable desk which accommodates many different heights and factors. 

OTHER FACTORS WHICH CAN AFFECT YOUR DESK HEIGHT

But height isn’t the only indicator of the ideal desk height for you. You may have longer legs and a shorter torso, or vice versa. We come in all shapes and sizes, so the average desk height might not be good enough. So it’s important to understand the correct position you need to be in when sitting down comfortably as if ready to work…

  • a height-adjustable desk should be able to be set to elbow height, so the forearm and upper arm are perpendicular, and the elbow bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Through a combination of office chair and desk adjustment, your upper legs should be at a right angle to the ground, and your feet should be completely flush with the floor, not hanging and not so your knees are higher than your hips.
  • Your monitor should be positioned at the correct distance from your head, which should be between 20 inches and 30 inches, and adjust the monitor height so that the top of the screen is at—or slightly below—eye level. This should allow for the maximum amount of viewable screen when sat in a neutral position.

BEST STANDING DESK HEIGHT

Women Working at a Height Adjustable Desk

There’s no set standing desk height – but following these recommendations can give you an idea of what the typical standing desk height is. It can also give you an idea of how you should feel when at a desk which properly accommodates you.

Desks with adjustable height are a good example of office ergonomics, creating a workspace which aids your ability to work and can accommodate different heights. 

And the NHS states that sitting for too long can have a negative impact on health, such as blood sugar, blood pressure and weight. So if you’re a maverick in the office and enjoy being on your feet over sitting down you might be onto something. An adjustable standing desk from Slouch can liberate you from the shackles of a traditional desk and the risks of a more sedentary lifestyle.

At a properly positioned standing desk, your back should be straight – no twists, turns or bends – otherwise you’re putting excess strain on your back all day long and your spine won’t thank you for it. 

As with a traditional desk, your arms should be at right angles with no pressure on your elbow or wrists. Your monitor should still be between 20 inches and 30 inches from your face to avoid eye strain, with the top of the screen at or slightly below eye level.

See the reference below for the ideal position you should be in when using a standing desk. We also have a guide for setting up your desk which you might find handy.

WHY DESK HEIGHT MATTERS

So we’ve been over what the standard height is, but why should it matter to you? So let’s enlighten you on why your eyes, neck, back, and knees will thank you for getting the height just right.

IMPROVES POSTURE

A desk height which aligns your body’s natural stance, helps you avoid trapped nerves, twists, aches and pains which can come from straining or standing in an unnatural or misaligned position. 

IMPROVED COMFORT

Even if your office chair provides lumbar support, if the height of your office desk means you have to stoop or arch your back to reach or see your screen, you could still be putting your body through a trial it doesn’t deserve. 

Having a desk at the right height means you’re getting the most out of a nice ergonomic chair.

BETTER FOR YOUR HEALTH

A body may be able to recover from the occasional ache or pain, but the misalignment from not having the correct desk height can take its toll on the body over time, bringing life-long changes and impacts to quality of life, such as;

  • Sciatica
  • Poor digestion
  • Respiratory problems
  • Nerve compression
  • Varicose veins
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

And that’s just to name a few. By having the optimal desk height, you’re doing what you can to prevent your workspace doing a number on your health.

BOOSTED PRODUCTIVITY AND ACCESSIBILITY

A well-adjusted desk height isn’t just about physical comfort; it’s about helping you fulfil your role and accomplish your goals and that’s what Slouch is all about.

Workspaces which slow you down slow your day down too. Ever felt like a task is taking longer than it should? That your day has dragged on endlessly? Even small adjustments to your desk can make all that a thing of the past, provided your desk has the capability to do so like a Slouch Office Desk. 

So as a heads up to all office or home office dwellers, take a moment – measure twice, adjust once, and your back, posture, and your to-do list will thank you for it.

FULFIL YOUR ROLE, ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS

Good home office furniture needs to be able to accommodate you. If your needs aren’t being met by your current furniture, you might not be meeting your needs for the day. 

You can do without the stress. Achieve the perfect height for you with a high-quality Slouch desk.

To renew your work-from-home experience, fill out this contact form today. And for any general enquiries, email us at [email protected] and we’ll be in touch to assist.