How high should my desk be?

When you’re experiencing neck and shoulder pain, the height of your desk might not seem like an obvious cause. However sitting at the wrong desk height means adapting your posture to the desk and holding tension where you shouldn’t.

Standard office desks are 73cm tall. This accommodates people of most heights and allows them to sit comfortably, but it might be that this is too low or too high for you.

How to know if your desk is the wrong height

You’ll know your desk is the wrong height if you feel discomfort in neck, shoulders and back.

If your desk is too high:

  • If your shoulders are hunched up and feeling tense
  • Your elbows are below the desk
  • Having to extend your arms forward when using the mouse and keyboard

If your desk is too low

  • Overextended arms when reaching your mouse and keyboard
  • Having to lean forward when working

If your desk is too low, you’ll have to overextend your arms and will be reaching down to use your. Your arms and wrists should rest in a natural position with no strain, the right position shouldn’t feel like a work out.

In the video below our workstation assessor (and director) Jo shows you through the correct desk set-up. This includes using your arm angle as a guide to modify your posture and using your chair arms correctly.

If you are now sitting at the correct height but your feet are dangling from the floor, you might need to work out if you need a footrest or not!

If you think your desk is the incorrect height even after making these adjustments and correctly setting up your chair, you might be wondering what you can do now? There are a few options:

If your desk is too low, you could try desk raisers. These are particularly useful for someone who is above the average height that a standard desk size is made for. Desk raisers are placed underneath the desk legs to give some extra height. They can be stacked so if one isn’t enough, you have the option of stacking more until you get the required height. Each pack comes with four desk raisers, one for each leg.

Another option is a sit to stand desk converter. A sit to stand desk converter is an adjustable platform that you place on top of your current desk. It allows you to raise your computer, mouse and keyboard all the way up to standing height or a sitting height that’s suitable for you. A sit to stand desk converter allow you keep your current desk and you’re not required to buy an entirely new desk.

You could get an adjustable desk. This option is the most expensive but offers the most adjustability. Most adjustable desks are electric. They can be lowered to suit someone who is short or be extended all the way to standing height for those who would like to try out standing up and working

There are lots of other ways to check your workstation to reduce aches and pains. Head over to our YouTube channel or visit our blog for lots more information and advice. If you are looking for a new desk, we have lots of desks to choose from in our shop, suitable for both workplace or home office.

If you need extra help then get in touch by phone on 0330 332 0880 or by email, our knowledgeable team are always on hand for advice.

Do you need some advice about your workplace?

Get in touch and one of our team would be happy to help answer your questions.

  • Please type the characters into the box on the right.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.