Quick Tip To Find the Best Standing Desk Height

Standing workstation has been making quite a buzz as more and more people online praise the ergonomic and health benefits of standing at work as opposed to sitting in front of the computer all day. Standing at work is not entirely news, as matter of fact, it’s a setup that has been around for decades. Ernest Hemingway for example, was said to write all his novels standing at his writing table. But despite that, standing is still considered by many people as ‘unconventional.’ It’s only until countless of researches and studies published in public that showed the perils of sitting when people start to embrace the idea of standing. Dual Monitors Guide is a strong advocate of comfort and workspace ergonomics, and with this, we give you the tips to find the best standing desk height for your workstation. 

(source: OpenCulture.com)

We all have different and unique body types, which means we we have our own needs and preference. Finding the ideal height can be a very difficult task. You should know that there is no science in finding the right height of a standing desk for you. What works for others may not work for you, and vice versa. There are only rules of thumb. And essence of having a standing desk.

Setting up Your Standing Workstation

The rules of thumb can be summed to one important pointer – start at elbow height (elbow parallel to the floor) and from there you can experiment your workstation according to your ergonomic needs. Here is the more comprehensive guide of the rule.

Arm Positioning – This is the very first step that you need to ensure. The height of the desk should be at elbow height. Your elbows you rest directly below your shoulders. Make sure you shoulders are dropped and relaxed. This will ensure neutral posiiton for your upper back, shoulders and arms.

(image from LifeHacker)

Then, make sure your forearms and wrists are in line as you rest your wrist on the table, and you should be able to work on your keyboard and mouse without lifting your shoulders. Your elbow should never rest more than 90° from the floor. Your standing desk or sit-stand desk should be built to this height.

For instance, the average height of a standing desk for people around 6 feet tall is 44 inches. But this is just general average, and there are more things you need to consider such as your body’s proportion relative to the height of the desk and your elbow’s distance from the floor. The best way to get this right is to opt for adjustable standing desk. If you don’t want to ditch your existing office desk, then you still have tons of choices to choose from, such as standing desk converter, desktop riser, or desk mounted or wall mounted LCD arms.

(image from Amazon)

Desk Height (with keyboard and mouse)– Measure the distance between the floor and your 90° bent arm. Ask a friend to do it for you to have a more accurate measurement. The height of your elbow should be at the same height as the top of the keys of your keyboard.


Monitor Height – The standard rule for monitor setup is to set it at eye level, this applies both in sitting and standing. For best setup however, make sure to set the top inch of your screen at eye level, this will give your resting gaze of around 1/3 of the way down.

Tilting the monitor up for about 20° will also give you better view of your display and better positin for your neck and shoulders.

(image from Amazon)

Also, it pays to have a monitor with a good display and performance quality for flexibility and reliability for both working and entertainment use. The HP EliteDisplay E271i for example, is all about business, and a good choice for anyone looking for a bigger screen.


Reaching – If your desk forces you to reach outside your neutral position, it will most likely cause your body to slouch and curve in your shoulders. This is a big NO NO in ergonomics. The best way to position your body in accordance to your workstation is to put your keyboard at the center of your desk. Your belly button should point straight to the “G” and “H” keys of your keyboard.

Using your Mouse or Other Pointing Devices – When working in your standing desk, you have to keep neutral position at all times. You want to keep your mouse and other pointing devices, such as tablet, within your body’s neutral zone. If you hand and/or forearm has to move outside the range of your shoulder width, or your elbow moves away under your shoulder just to access your mouse, then you are no longer in a neutral position. If you’re right handed and you don’t normally use the num-pad of your keyboard, then you are better off using a keyboard without a num-pad. This will shorten the distance between your two hands as you work on the keyboard and mouse simultaneusly., keeping your elbow and shoulders in neutral position. If you are more adventurous, then you can use the mouse on the other side of your keyboard for working on simple tasks such as emailing and web-surfing.

(image from Amazon)

The Genius LuxeMate i200 Compact Stylish Keyboard can be a perfect solution for you, it is compact, stylish, and very easy andcomfortable to work on. Its slim and elegant design comes with soft nylon square keycaps for comfortable and fast typing. It works through USB interface and ready to use (plug-and-play).


Bottom Line

(image from Amazon)

The ‘elbow height’ rule usually works in most types of users, while some feel more comfortable setting their desk an inch lower than their elbow height to rest their hands and wrists better, and to accommodate the added height from the keyboard and mouse. The most important thing in settin your standing workstation is to make a shift surface at the height that will work best for you. You may need to experiment with a keyboard, book, or legal  pad and see how the height feels for you. You can do this by simply stacking boxes or books on top of your existing office desk. You can also try a shelf that is near your ideal height. To find the right standing desk, sit-stand desk or stand-up workstation and to know more about workspace ergonomics, check out Dual Monitors Guide now!

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