Find The Proper Standing Desk Height

I get a lot of questions about the right height for people looking to buy a standing desk, and from those who just got a standing desk.

I wanted to post something that could help answer these inquiries. Please note, though, that everybody is unique with their own specific body types (leg and arm lengths, etc) and physical nuances. Each environment is different as well, some people work without shoes, some on anti-fatigue mats, and some even in heels.

So let's start off by clarifying that this is just a guide. Use it as a starting point, but the only way you'll find the exact height you want is by trying different heights. Many people with sit-stand desks will adjust the standing height throughout the day to change things up a bit - it's one of the wonderful things about having a standing desk. 

The diagram below will help you find a good reference point. If you are looking to buy a standing desk, it can help you determine what height range of desks you should be looking for (more likely you will only care about the maximum height).

The starting desk height is at or slightly below your elbow height. You want your body to be supported, but you don't want your arms lifted unnaturally to the point where you change your posture.  You shouldn't have to flex any muscles (including wrists, shoulders, arms). You should feel relaxed and at ease. You'll know the right height when you find it.  And don't forget, you can change it up during the day. 

Remember that having a standing desk isn't so much about standing as it is about refraining from minimizing sitting and being in static positions.



With a 1.5" desk table top, the electric standing desk would top out at 46", and the manual crank at 45".  With most body types, this means that if you're taller than 6'3 or 6'2 respectively, you may need to use additional desk base lifts, or find / make a specialized desk.