Desk height: how to optimally adjust the office desk to your height

Today, many of us work in an office. However, the major disadvantage of such a job is that sitting in an office for hours on end can lead to health problems such as back pain and tension. To prevent this pain, you should definitely work ergonomically. You can ensure the greatest possible well-being at the workplace not only with a correctly adjusted office chair, but also with the right desk height. Find out everything you need to know about the right desk height in this blog post!

Mann und Frau arbeiten im Stehen am Schreibtisch in einem Büro.

Why is an optimal desk height important?

Most of us already know: sitting for too long is a huge strain on the whole body. After all, a lack of movement and incorrect sitting postures don't just lead to short-term tension in the shoulder and neck area or one-off headaches, for example. Sitting in the same position for hours on end every day can also causeserious and long-term physical illnesses. This is how harmful sitting is:

However, many of these unwelcome side effects of prolonged sitting can usually be successfully avoided. The basic prerequisite for this is an ergonomic and healthy workplace. The office chair and desk must be adjusted correctly so that a healthy - and in particular back-friendly - posture can be adopted. Above all, the correct desk height is essential. So if you work at your desk for long hours, you would do well to ask yourself whether your desk surface is at a suitable height.

How high should a desk be?

A desk must be adjusted so that you can adopt a posture that is easy on your back. The perfect desk height depends onyour individual body measurements . Not only body height is decisive here, but also the lengths of the upper arms, torso and lower legs play a crucial role. For example, three completely different table heights may be suitable for three people of the same height.

In principle, however, the following applies: According to the DIN standard 527-1: 2011 , the standard height for desks that are not adjustable is generally 74 cm (+/- 2 cm). Most height-adjustable desks, however, allow a height adjustment between 65 cm and 125 cm.

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How do I know if my desk is adjusted correctly?

It doesn't matter whether you've been working in a sedentary job for years or have just started working in an office: You should definitely check the height of your desk carefully. As already mentioned, an incorrect sitting posture can pose serious health risks.

It's very easy to tell whether the height of your desk is correct. Simply pay attention to your sitting posture. If the tabletop is set too low , your spine is automatically forced into a curve. The result: you naturally lean forward towards the computer keyboard and screen, causing an unhealthy hunchback.

If, on the other hand, your desk is too high, the shoulder girdle is pushed upwards and the neck and shoulder muscles become tense. It usually doesn't take long for this tension to become noticeable in the form of weaker or more severe pain.

The right desk height: table with body heights

You can calculate theright desk height for you . To do this, either use one of the many online desk height calculators or use the following table as a guide. All you need to know is your personal height and you can see the recommended desk height here:

Tabelle für die richtige Schreibtisch-Höhe mit Körpergrößen

However, please note that these areonly guidelines and are not set in stone. It is therefore quite possible that the values given may deviate upwards or downwards. In addition to the individual height, the length of the upper arms, for example, must also be taken into account.

If you are not sure about your height and the correct desk height, follow the instructions below. We'll show you how to adjust your desk to fit your body perfectly in just a few simple steps.

Adjust your desk correctly - here's how to do it

Because an incorrect desk adjustment can turn out to be a serious health risk, you need to adjust the height of your desk correctly. The first thing you should do is check whether your desk is height-adjustable or not. Depending on whether it is a height-adjustable desk or a model with a fixed height, you will need to proceed differently to find the correct desk height:

  • Non-adjustable desk: change the height of your office chair to adjust it to the fixed desk height. However, make sure thatyour ergonomic office chair is set correctly at . You are sitting correctly when your upper and lower arms as well as your legs are at a right angle.
  • Height-adjustable desk: Adjust the desk to the correct height yourself.
We'll tell you how to do this and what you need to look out for in our two quick guides for sitting and standing work!

Correct desk height when sitting

If you are working at a non-adjustable desk , you can achieve the optimum height by adjusting your office chair accordingly. To do this, proceed as follows:

  • Sit on your office chair and adopt as upright a sitting posture as possible.
  • Let your upper arms hang down loosely and rest your forearms relaxed on the armrests of your chair.
  • Your upper and lower arms should form a right angle, i.e. a 90° angle.
  • Then place your office chair as close as possible to the edge of your desk. Adjust your chair so that the surfaces of the armrests and the table surfaces are on the same level. Again, it is of course very important that your office chair is adjusted correctly - it should be neither too low nor too high.
  • If your office chair does not have armrests, simply rest your forearms on the table surface - again, your upper and lower arms should form a right angle.
Darstellung der richtigen Schreibtisch-Höhe im Sitzen

Make sure that youdon't tense up too much in this sitting position , which will certainly be unfamiliar at first. Your forearms should rest loosely on the desk and your shoulders should be as relaxed as possible.

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Office chair adjusted correctly - desk height not right?

If you work at a desk with a fixed height, you can adjust the desk height indirectly with your office chair. But what do you do if your ergonomic office chair is adjusted correctly, but the desk height is still not right?

It's simple: it's best to get a height-adjustable footrest or footrest . This will support your legs so that you can sit with your back straight despite the incorrect desk height. Finally, the footrest guarantees that...

  • ...the right angle between your upper and lower arms can be maintained.
  • ...your legs form a 90° angle.
  • can still adopt an upright sitting position (with relaxed shoulder and neck muscles).

Ideal desk height when standing

If you have a height-adjustable desk in your office or home office, you have the great advantage of being able to adjust the desk height to your height. The desk height can be easily adjusted either electrically or manually To determine the perfect desk height, you should first adopt a posture that is as upright as possible while standing . We have listed a few tips and tricks for you:

  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Shoulder-width means that your two fists next to each other fit exactly between your feet.
  • Place your body weight evenly on both feet.
  • Push your pelvis forward a little.
  • Tighten your abdomen and buttocks slightly.
  • Push your chest forward by pulling your shoulders back slightly.
  • Straighten your head and stretch your neck.
Darstellung der richtigen Schreibtisch-Höhe im Stehen

By maintaining an upright posture, you ensure that your back isstraight . This will help you to avoid chronic back pain and painful tension, which is often caused by a hunched back or a hollow back.

As soon as you are standing correctly, raise your desk until you can rest your forearms on the desk surface so that they forma right angle with your upper arms. Again, don't tense up unnecessarily, but try to relax as much as possible. This will give your spine a well-deserved break from hours of sitting!

The desk height must be right!

If you spend several hours a day sitting at your desk and don't allow yourself any breaks to move, your body will sooner or later suffer from unpleasant symptoms. Back pain, tension in the shoulder and neck area and headaches are common complaints. To prevent or reduce this unwelcome pain, you need to adjust your office chair and desk height correctly and make sure you get enough exercise in your everyday life. The result: you will feel much more comfortable during your daily desk work!

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