How to set up a desk for a tall person

All workplaces will have to accommodate for people of different heights, it’s a legal requirement that your workstation is set up ergonomically for each individual and meets their needs to avoid any injuries.

Here at Posture People, we know how to ergonomically set up workstations for all people and are here to help! These are some of our tips on how to set up a desk for tall people.

The average height of a desk is 73cm, not ideal for someone who is taller than 6ft. It’s quite easy to adjust your chair if the desk is too high for you, but what if the desk is too low? An issue that many taller people face at the office.

Why is having the correct desk height important?

If you spend a lot of time sitting behind a desk, it’s important to have your desk at the right height for you, otherwise, it could lead to back pain or bad posture. It can even cause permanent damage to your back. Our bodies were not designed for sitting for long periods of time which is why it’s important to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

How to sit properly on your chair

Before setting up your desk, you need to know how to sit properly in your office chair.

  • If your forearms are not in line, then you will need to alter the height of your chair. Tall people need to do one further check. When your forearms are in line with the desk, check under the desk. If your knees are above your hips, then this means that your desk is too low for you.
  • Sit back in the chair: When you sit down, make sure your backside is far back in the chair as possible.
  • Check the seat depth: When you’re sitting as far back as possible there should be a 2-3 finger gap between the back of the knee and the seat of the chair. Use the seat slide to alter.

Some problems tall people might face when working at a desk

  • Desk too low for them leading to poor arm placement when typing or using a mouse, causing shoulders, arm, and wrist pain. Also, if your knees are above your hips, this causes your lower back to round more, placing more strain onto your lower lumbar discs.
  • Seat might be too far back for them which leaves a big gap between the seat and the back of their legs and gives them no support. Seat sliders are useful for tackling this issue.
  • Poor posture due to desk being too low and having to slouch.
  • Not enough legroom under the desk

Setting up your desk properly if you’re tall

Knowing how to set up your desk and workstation correctly if you’re tall is really important. You should learn:

  • How to adjust your chair height so you’re at the right height for your desk
  • How to know if your desk is too low or high for you
  • How to adjust your arms rests so that they are supporting your arms and reducing strain on the wrist
  • How to adjust the seat depth so your legs are being supported
  • How close you need to sit to your desk
  • How to increase the height of your desk

Our workstation assessor Jo covers all of this in our YouTube video: How to set up a desk for a tall person.

How to add height to your desk

Theres a few ways you can add or adjust desk height. You can buy desk risers and or sit to stand desk converters if you’re not wanting to buy a completely new desk, or you can buy a standing desk to replace your current desk.

Desk risers

Desk raisers are the cheapest and easiest option. Place the desk risers underneath each desk leg to add some height.

Sit to stand desk converters

A sit to stand desk converter is an adjustable platform that’s placed on top of your current desk. It can be easily adjusted, from sitting height to standing height. We have another blog post on sit to stand desk converters which goes into all the benefits of using one and which ones we recommend.

Sometimes sit to stand desktop converters aren’t quite high enough for really tall people, so double-check height measurements.

Measuring tip:

To work out how high a standing desk needs to be, you need to stand up straight, relax your shoulders and form a right angle at your elbows. Then measure from the bottom of your elbow down to the floor. This is the height that your standing desk needs to come up to.

Adjustable desks 

If desk raisers don’t give the adjustability you need, the AluforcePro 140 standing desk is a great option. It’s one of our most popular height-adjustable desks. It’s an electronic desk that can be adjusted to taller people by just pressing a button.

Make sure to go back and look at our measuring tip to see how high this desk comes up just in case the desk doesn’t reach the right if you’re really tall.

We hope that after reading this and having Jo guide you, you have a better understanding of how to adjust a desk for a tell person. For more useful content on ergonomics check out our other blog posts or if you want some advice on your workstation, please do contact us on 0330 332 0880 or by email we are always happy to help.

Do you need some advice about your workplace?

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

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