One of the biggest things we see with customers, is that their desk is not suited for their height. This happens a lot because let’s face it … our employers aren’t going to buy a new desk for every new employee, or have it moved every time you get a promotion. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the desk you are working at, is at the height that you need it to be, or that you make other adjustments to suit your height.
There are many different ergonomists out there that will tell you everything needs to be set so that you have a 90-90-90-degree angle everywhere. Well, unfortunately for them, research is starting to prove that theory wrong. When we sit with everything at 90 degrees, we are locking up our joints and shortening the muscles and ligaments that surround and support it. We are also starting to learn that really the key to optimal health is just simply to get moving. That’s why your best option is to have a desk and office chair, that allow you to make SIMPLE adjustments in order to allow you to constantly change your position.
Typically, you would want your desk at a height so that when you are writing or typing, your shoulders can remain in a dropped, and relaxed position. If your desk is too high, you will end up hiking and tensing up your shoulders, and if it is too low, you will be hunching forward. Here is a good way to test the height of your desk.
How to Set Your Desk at the Right Height
Step 1: While remaining in your chair, push away from your desk to give yourself some space.
Step 2: Now that you have space, re-adjust yourself so that you have an upright, and correct posture. To do this, line up your ears, shoulders, elbows, and hips all in one straight line.
Step 3: Pretend there is a keyboard in front of you, and raise your hands to it. Remember – you don’t want to be reaching forward for that keyboard. Once you raise your hands, re-visit your posture, are your elbows still at the side of your body, remaining in line? Or are they way in front of you? If they are still at the side of your body, great!
Step 4: RELAX the shoulders! Chances are, when you raised your hands up, your shoulders immediately tensed up out of habit. Let them drop and relax. Now, this doesn’t mean slouch, it just means relax those muscles in the upper neck!
Step 5: Now that we are in the correct position, hold it there and roll back into your desk. Were you able to place your hands at your keyboard without re-adjusting? If not, you will need to make some adjustments!Here are some simple ways to make those adjustments without buying a whole new desk!
Desk too tall?
- Try raising your chair to a taller height, and placing a book or block under your feet so that you can maintain flat feet on the “floor”
Desk too short?
- See if your maintenance department can add some blocks of wood to the bottom of your desk legs to raise it up!
- Or, add an adjustable table top (bonus: then you will get to stand, too!)
Give it a try and see how it makes you feel!