Written by Claire Folland on 23 May 2019

Is your desk the right height?

A question we often get asked is what should your desk heights be in a sitting and standing position.

According to the Australian Standards your desk height should be as below.

Work surface height(AS/NZS 4443:1997)

·       Adjustable including a range from 610 to 760mm

·       Fixed height, 700-720 preferred but can be as low as 680mm

Try telling that to a person who just wants to sit at their desk comfortably. How does anyone know what 700mm-720mm means in relation to their own height?

Well here is a quick guide for those who want to set themselves up properly. As you can see in the below table the standard desk height of 720mm correlates to the seated elbow height of a 6ft (182cm) person.

elbow heights.png

In most offices the desk height is 720m. So, we are still designing offices with desk heights that fit a small percentage of the population. What happens to the rest of us who are not 6ft (182cm). Well we start to reposition ourselves to the desk which can encourage poor postures and eventually musculoskeletal disorders if done for long periods of time.

Well luckily for you it doesn’t have to be complicated. The easiest way to set yourself up at the right height is:

-       Sit in your chair and get comfortable

-       Sit sideways onto your desk

-       Put your hands in your lap

-       Your elbow should be at the same height as the top surface of the desk

-       If you have to lift your arm to reach the desk, you are too low

-       You should be able to slide your arm left and right over the desk without shrugging your shoulders

-       Once you have set yourself up at the right height compared to the desk, you may need a footrest to support your feet which are dangling

-       When in a standing position use the same principle

So, there you have it. Just by using the natural position of your elbow you can set yourself up correctly at your desk.

Once you’ve done this, you will soon realise how much more comfortable you are and within a few days or weeks your neck and shoulder discomfort will reduce or be completely eliminated.

Happy Working!


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