Desks come in many shapes and sizes and if you are going to work at your desk for any significant amount of time the height and ergonomics of the setup are important. By having your desk at the correct height you avoid problems such as back pain, hamstring pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain (if you are using a computer desk), and general fatigue from being in an uncomfortable position. This is a basic guide to setting your desk at the correct height so that you stay comfortable and on task.
The first step in determining the proper height for a desk is to consider what you are doing on the desk and how you will address the desk. If you’re sitting and using a computer you will want a desk at a standard 30-inch height and a typical computer chair. If you are drafting you will want a taller chair and a desk that inclines so that you can reach a much larger section of paper comfortably. If you are cooking you will most likely address the desk in a standing position. And, if you are throwing clay, you will want a lower worksurface and a stool so that you can gain leverage on the pottery as you work with it.
For the standard seated-use scenario desks are generally between 28 inches and 30 inches tall and adjustable chairs make using such a desk comfortable.
For someone that wants to use a desk while standing there is significantly more variability in the proper height of both the desk and the chair. The reason is that when standing we have such a significant range of body proportions in the legs, torso, and arms. They all matter when standing. Setting the height of a standing desk requires some math and one of the best ways to get it right is to use a standing height desk calculator.
There are many products that can help adjust the ergonomics of your desk setup.
Chairs come in a variety of styles. You are, of course, familiar with the standard height stools and office chairs. There are also standing height chairs called “drafting stools” which allow you to sit at a standing-height desk without having to adjust the desk up and down. This is quite popular in offices where a standing height desk is used and workers want the convenience of not needing to adjust their desks multiple times per day. You can also find a variety of standing height stools on the market. These provide a more active seating experience while allowing standing height desk users the ability to sit at that height.
Finding a position where your desk and your body result in great ergonomics is important when using a desk for an extended period of time. Be sure to check out our Office category for great products that will meet your needs when it comes to working, standing or sitting, at various heights.