How Tall Is A Desk? The Best Height for a Computer Desk

how tall is a desk


“Ten thousand years can give you such a crick in the neck”, goes the Genie in the Disney classic Alladin.

You don’t have to wait 10,000 years to get a crick in the neck, just get your computer desk dimensions wrong.

Whether you work in an office or from home, your desk is your battle station. Its height could help you achieve maximum productivity or bring about uncomfortable aches.

We spend a lot of time behind the desk. Yet, we rarely take time to consider the role the desk height plays in our health and comfort.

In this post, we take a look at the factors you need to look at when choosing the ideal desk. We’ll be answering the question you frequently ask “how tall is a desk?”

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Work Desk

Your Height

Before you get carried away by the aesthetics of a work desk, your height could be your inbuilt determiner of how tall your desk should be. 

The ideal desk height is one that allows you to sit upright as you work. You should not be hunched over, especially if your work requires intensive typing and long hours in front of a screen.

A cursory glance at most desks will give you a figure of about 29 inches tall. That height is perfect, if you are 6 feet and above. However, you’re not 6 feet so you might be setting yourself up for major back pain in the future.

According to a height guide compiled by the Painless Movement, the best desk height if you are at least 5 feet tall would be 24.2 inches or 153 centimeters. There is a +.4 variation per inch increase. These measurements are geared towards helping you maintain the best working posture.

Chair Height

How does chair height affect how tall a desk should be? The chair is as vital as the desk in ensuring you deliver consistent output at work. Whether stationary or mobile, it needs to be high enough to help you stay upright.

Unlike desks, adjustable ergonomic chairs are easier to get. If you can get your hands on a good adjustable chair, you can boast of proper basic office setup. Using your seat as a starting point, make sure the tabletop and your elbows align. There can be a variation, but if you find yourself straining, one component is set up wrong.

Leg Space

One important question you need to ask yourself is how the desk height affects your mobility. Sitting for long hours will make you want to shift positions a few times.

The clearance between your tabletop and your thighs needs to be at least 15 inches.

There are anatomical factors that could change these numbers. However, an adjustable seat can be useful where more space is required.

Computer Placement

The perfect desk height allows you to use a computer without straining your neck. Your computer screen needs to be at eye level.

You are at an advantage if you are using a laptop and an adjustable chair. You can adjust both to reduce back strain and eye strain.

Standing Desks

While they are not common in most workspaces, standing desks also need to be optimally set up to help you stay productive. A standing desk is helpful in breaking the monotony of sitting for long hours.

Other than helping you stay barely mobile, a standing desk could be beneficial to your health. Sitting for long hours has been shown to contribute to weight gain.

To get the optimal height of a standing desk, stand straight with your shoulders straight and your arms and torso forming a 90-degree angle. Your palms should rest on the tabletop of your standing desk.

In this position, the tabletop needs to be aligned with your elbows.
Make sure you adjust the desk for proper body position every time you move. When you’re sourcing for standing desks, give adjustable standing desk priority over the non-adjustable variety.

Brilliant Hacks for Comfortable Desk Height

When buying desks for many workstations, you need to consider height variations of the people working there. For instance, short people might need shorter desks if the chairs available are non-adjustable. In such scenarios, desks with retractable keyboard drawers are crucial for work.

You can also consider a desk converter. A desk converter can be a DIY project if you’re looking to exercise your building prowess. A good desk converter is a handy office tool that can help you alternate between standing and sitting.

It also helps you adjust the height of your computer such that you maintain the proper gait.

It’s in the Angles

If you’re keen on the specifics, you’re most likely to get a desk specially designed for your body dimensions. Still, you can make the process easier by getting the angles right.

This approach involves you sitting on the chair you’ll be using. The edge of the chair should not be in direct contact with the back of the knees.

Your legs should form a 90-degree angle. Your arms should rest on the aptly named armrest. The armrest needs to form a straight line with the countertop. This calculator will give you quick results if you are specific on measurements.

In Closing

The body is designed to maintain a certain stance when you sit. In ergonomic chairs, make sure the S-curve of your spine is in contact with the lumbar support offered. You can add pillows to give you maximum comfort.

So, how tall is a desk?

For a buyer in a hurry, the starting height needs to be at least 20 inches from the floor to the top. Work your way up to about 30 inches to account for height variation. Make sure there’s enough clearance between the top of your thighs and the bottom of the desk.

You can always upgrade your desk for comfort and work efficiency. Convertible computer desks are a great option if you want to reap the benefits of working while standing.

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