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An Ergonomics Guide to Your Office or Standing Desk Height

Curious about what the best ergonomic height is for your desk? Or how you can better adjust your body to your stationary desk's height? While every body and way of working is different, here are the top considerations you should know when buying and adjusting to a new desk.

Buying a desk for work is always a monumental decision, whether your office is at home or in the middle of your city’s downtown. Here, we break down all of the factors you’ll want to consider when shopping for a desk, and we make it as easy as possible to figure out what dimensions the desk should be based on your lifestyle and body type—we are, after all, a company that focuses on ergonomics in the workplace. In order to meet your needs, it’s important to take a step back and establish a holistic understanding of what you’ll need from your desk.
With that in mind, here’s everything you’ll need to think about:

Available Office Space

First and foremost, you’ll have to check the dimensions of your space to ensure that the desk of your dreams will fit in your office. We recommend taking measurements before doing anything else, since it would be nothing short of heartbreaking to find out that your dream desk won’t fit in that corner that you already set aside. Make sure you measure for width and depth, and take yourself into consideration when allotting space—you’ll want there to be plenty of room behind you when you’re sitting in your ergonomic office chair and focusing on work. We’ve all got to stretch out a bit from time to time!

Ergonomic Desk Height

This is perhaps the single most under-appreciated but vital element of any office desk. One of the greatest benefits of owning a standing desk is in the fact that it’s customizable to your personal posture needs based on your height and body type. If you were to get a conventional desk, someone who’s 5’1” will not be comfortable at the same desk as a 6’0” person, even though the two may very well have to share a desk over the course of the week. With an adjustable standing desk, those two people will have no trouble at all sharing a workspace—what’s more, they can have some variation in posture throughout the day by adjusting the desk for themselves. At Branch, we’ve designed standing desks that are extremely versatile—our desks can go as high as 52” to accommodate people as tall as 6’8”, which far eclipses the industry standard maximum height of 49”.
Below is a quick and simple standing desk height calculator to determine how tall you should make your standing desk in order to suit your personal posture needs. Remember to take into account the heels or soles of your shoes, and that every body is different so you may find that the right height for you differs from the suggested by up to 2". Nevertheless, the main principle to remember is that your elbows and underarms should lie straight on the table and armrests (try to have a 90-110° angle at the elbow).
Your Height Sitting Desk Height Standing Desk Height
You can also find more suggestions on proper monitor arm and chair heights using this ergonomic calculator. If, for some reason, you’ve decided a standing desk is not for you, you’ll find that most stationary office desks come in at a standard 30” height, which encourages good posture for a limited range of heights. With that being said, an adjustable ergonomic office chair can do a lot to compensate for the shortcomings of a stationary desk—while the desk may not be able to accommodate your height needs, the chair can adjust accordingly.

Surface Area

You may be the sort of person who only needs to place a couple of objects, like a laptop and a lamp, on their desk—if that’s the case, it’ll probably be in your best interest to buy a desk that takes up the absolute minimum amount of space. That way, you’ll have plenty of space in the room for other activities. If, on the other hand, you’re like most people, and tend to place all sorts of objects on your desk—files, framed photos, a phone, coffee, and a monitor, to name a few—then you’ll want to find a desk that has adequate surface area.
Between our own two most popular sizes, Team and Executive, you’ll almost certainly find the right amount of surface area for your objects. Team Desks, which are sized 48” in width x 24” in depth, provide more than enough room for most workers who just want to fit a laptop, a notebook and a few adornments comfortably. If, however, you have your hands in multiple pots at once, you may want to get a more spacious Executive Desk, which is sized 60” in width and 30” in depth. That extra space could afford you everything you need to have all of the work-related objects you need on hand for your multi-faceted workday.


If you’re looking for a desk that can also store files and books on a long-term basis, you may want to consider getting an L-Desk. L-Desks are extremely valuable if you don’t already have any available shelf or storage space in your office, and they’re also a great way to split your desk space into two separate halves. With that being said, they also occupy much more real estate than any other kind of desk, so you’ll want to be absolutely certain it’s what you want before pulling the trigger on one of these.

A Piece in the Puzzle

Ultimately, your desk will serve as the centerpiece in your workplace, but there are a few other vital components that will contribute to a healthy workplace environment. To set up a complete ergonomic workstation that helps you maintain healthy posture throughout the day, you’ll want to look into other furniture pieces as well: ergonomic chairs will help you minimize the physical load placed on your joints, an adjustable monitor arm will ensure that you never have to strain your neck to look at your screen, and other accessories, such as a credenza, will ensure that everything is kept as organized as possible. With the proper foresight and intentionality, you can set up a work environment for yourself that maximizes both your health and your productivity.

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