So you’ve finally decided to get a standing desk for your home or office – good for you! If you’re starting to feel the pains and discomfort caused by long hours of sitting, and you think that your ergonomic work desk and office chair are no longer cutting it, then the best solution would be to upgrade to a standing desk and to a healthier lifestyle. The right desk can jumpstart your journey to a healthier work-life and put an end to your sedentary habits.
Now that you’ve decided to go for a standing desk, what’s next? When shopping for the right desk, most people would initially look into desk quality – what it’s made of, how sturdy and durable it is, these considerations. However, before you go into that, you must first check for the proper height of your desk. This will determine how well the desk will work for you in the long run.
What is the proper height for a standing desk?
When you do research about the proper height for a desk, you’ll come across one general number – 44 inches. However, know that standing desks are not built in a one-size-fits-all design, and the 44-inch desk is in fact crafted for specific individuals – those who measure 5’11” in height. While it’s the standard height, it doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you.
To get the most benefits from a standing desk, you need to find one customized for your specific needs.
Factors to consider in choosing the right height of a standing desk
Before you purchase a new desk, make it a point to check the following:
If you’re taller than the average individual, you need a desk higher than 44 inches, and it goes the same if you’re shorter. When you stand, almost every muscle in your body is at work, and an incorrect desk height would mean harm for most of your muscles.
One of the most effective ways to correctly measure the desk height that’s right for you is to use your elbow as a guide. Because the desk surface will hold your keyboard, it must be positioned at a height that will allow your arms to bend at the elbow at a 90-degree angle, with some room for adjustment depending on what’s comfortable for you.
The right desk will allow you to maintain correct posture while standing. A desk that’s too low means you’d need to slump low, hurting your back in the long run. Meanwhile, a desk that’s too high means you will be straining to reach it, and this will definitely take a toll on your arms, wrists, and shoulders over time.
In terms of posture, you also need to look into the tilt angle of your monitor – this will affect the way you position your body while working. Your eyes must be positioned a little above your monitor, the level aligned with the top of the screen. Also, place your monitor at least two feet away from your eyes to prevent eye strain.
Other factors to check
If you’re a woman, do you wear heels? And how often? What do you use the desk for? Do you use it for computer work, or do you also write on it? And, are you the only person using the desk? Or is it perhaps a family desk? Your answer to these questions will determine the type of desk that is right for you, and in the next section, we’ll provide you some options.
The Different Types of Standing Desks
Given the above considerations, the best desk would be one that you can easily adjust from one height to another, depending on your need. And the good news is you will find many options in the market today.
Adjustable standing desk
This is a complete desk with an electric mechanism that allows it to be adjusted from a low desk to a high desk, making it ideal for both sitting and standing. Most of these desks can be programmed to preset heights, so shifting is easy.
They are stable, offer more work surface, and are ergonomically designed. However, they’re generally more expensive. And since most of these come in a flat surface, you may need to invest in accessories such as monitor arms to get the most benefits out of them.
Convertible standing desk
If you already have an existing traditional desk that you don’t want to part with, you can actually convert that to a standing desk through a desk converter. You can think of this converter as a small workstation in itself, designed with a surface to hold your laptop or computer. There are also models with a separate tray for the keyboard and mouse. You can place this converter on top of your existing desk, adding height and work surface to allow you to stand while working.
A standing desk converter is cheaper, and it will allow you to keep your existing desk. And with its multi-tiered design, you won’t need any additional accessory. However, it’s generally less stable than a full desk, and it offers a smaller workspace.
With the availability of adjustable desks and desk converters, you should have no problem finding one that will meet your needs. Just remember to always set the desk to the correct height, as this will determine your overall posture, comfort, and health in the long run.
You will find several desk options on the market. And once you’ve determined the right desk for you, be it a completely adjustable standing desk or a standing desk converter, you can start looking into other factors such as material and build quality, additional features, and prize.