Have you ever thought about how high your desk should be? What’s the correct desk height, and what’s the best office chair to have? Nope? Very few people do! No matter how important part of the office ergonomics, the correct height of the desk is, most of us don’t think about it. We choose a desk based on the design and colour, focusing on other parts of the workspace.
However, the height of your desk is very important, as you spend long periods of time behind one. Having the wrong desk, you’ll face backaches, discomfort in arms and knees and neck pains after a few years of usage. That’s why it’s crucial to have an ergonomic desk with the correct height. Hopefully, there are many tricks you can use to help you work: height-adjustable desks, ergonomic chairs for back pain with backrest and armrests and so forth.
In the latest years, there is a new input in ergonomic desks: sit-stand desks or just standing desks. The use of these desks can improve your productivity at work and have no negative impacts on health. But why are standing desks good for you? How should you know the perfect height my desk be? Read on to find out!
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How tall should a desk be?
Whether you use a standing desk or not, there’s a standard desk height of 73-80cm. However, the optimal height for a computer desk depends on the person using it. The average desk height is 73cm, but you can alter it depending on your height, body and comfort.
But, how can you find the right desk height for your workplace or home office? There’s a height calculator to help you know the correct height available online, or you can determine it depending on your height.
The standing desk should be at the height of your bending arms. To get the right height, your arms should form an L-shape while they’re bent on the desk, and the forearms should be parallel to the floor.
Standing desk benefits
A standing or stand-up desk is the desk you stand up to work in a comfortable manner. Several studies have shown that employees who work in a standing position are less likely to suffer from obesity and heart conditions, are more productive and less tired than those who work in a sitting position.
Here are some of the benefits of having such a desk:
- You burn calories. While sitting, your body burns 60 kcal per hour, whilst it burns 88 Kcal per hour while standing.
- A stand-up desk helps to reduce backaches. Sitting for long periods leads to tightened muscles and lower back pains. Working behind a stand-up desk will minimise and ease backaches.
- You are more productive and creative. Several studies have shown that employees working on stand-up desks are 45% more productive than those who sit.
- A stand-up desk lowers the risk of heart disease. A sitting position has an increased risk of developing a heart problem by up to 147% than standing.
- It improves mood and boosts energy levels. Employees using stand-up desks are less stressed and tired than those sitting.
The proper way to use a standing desk
To get the most out of your stand-up desk, you should adjust your workspace to your body’s needs. Using this type of desk isn’t just standing before the desk and working. You have to change the standing desk height, the office chair height if you’re using it and your body.
Here are some tips to help you use your desk the right way.
Adjust the standing desk to the elbow height
Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle, try to keep your neck in a neutral position, and stretch your wrists forward. Then, lift and lower the desk to line up your forearms with the desk surface into a parallel position.
Look out your back
The next step you should take to reduce the risk to suffer from back pain is to adjust the office chair or the stool, to support your lower back. The best is to get an adjustable chair to change the height of the chair and the back position while sitting. Another trick to protect your back is to keep your knees stretched and, at the same time, lower your seat height or use a footrest.
If you’re standing, keep your neck tall and slightly bend your knees to help your spine support your body equally.
Position your wrists
While sitting, you should be able to use the keyboard tray with your wrists and forearms straight. Your elbows and upper arm should form an L-shape at the elbow joint and stay by the side of your body.
Make sure your fingers meet the keyboard without moving your wrists in a standing position.
If you are using your ergonomic chair, use a footrest to reduce backache. You might feel more comfortable crossing your legs, but this position can lead to hip problems and block the circulation in your legs. Let alone the back problems.
Adjust your computer
Place your computer monitor slightly lower than eye level to reduce shoulder and neck pain. That’s also the right height to prevent eye strain, a common problem for all computer workers. Having the computer screen at the right angle, your neck is in a more neutral position, and there isn’t any impact on your back.
5 extra tips for using a standing desk correctly
There are more to take into account to use a desk correctly. It isn’t enough just adjusting the office desk and height of the chair or position your wrists and elbows the right way. You can do more than these to be fully benefited from this type of desk:
- Alternate between sitting and standing every 30-60 minutes. Neither sitting nor standing for too long is good for your body. Thus, alternate between sitting and standing. It’s the best you can do for your back and muscles.
- Change the keyboard and mouse position. You need to adjust the keyboard and mouse to minimise wrist strain, whether sitting or standing. When standing, keep your keyboard tray and mouse at the same level making sure you have your wrists straight when using them. While sitting, keep them a little bit closer to you.
- Use arm supports. Arm support is soft padding attached to the desk to help reduce pressure on the wrist that uses the mouse and the neck and shoulder issues.
- Get an anti-fatigue mat. These mats are used mainly in jobs the worker stands up for long periods of time. They improve blood circulation, reduce tiredness, and overall discomfort.
- Take frequent short breaks. Standing might be better than sitting, however, standing for too long has negative effects on your body. Hence, take regular quick breaks to stretch your muscles, legs and arms and rest your eyes for a while.
There’s nothing better than having your workspace fit your needs. It might sound unreasonable, but the best thing you can do is measure your desk to ensure it’s at the right height and get the most out of your office desk. Sitting or standing, watch your posture to avoid back and neck pain and stiffing knees. Follow our tips and adjust your office desk and chair height to make your working hours more comfortable.