The perfect desktop height
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I bought a new desk yesterday, and I spent about an hour to get the height for it just right. I already had a desk, but it was the wrong kind for me. It was too tall (30") and it was the wrong style (my chair couldn't go underneath it).
Typical office desks are too high for computer work, unless you have a higher than normal chair, but then you have the problem of having your legs in the wrong position. With my old desk, my chair couldn't go underneath it, so setting the chair's height to the right position was a no go.
So, what is the right height for your desk and your chair?
Everywhere you look, you get the correct answer with the following guidelines: the height for your chair must give you a 90° elbow angle when typing; your knees should be bent with a 90° angle when sitting; the display should be at a height where your head is in a relaxed position when working (not looking up or down). But what does it all mean in terms of numbers?
As it happens, someone has already done most of the thinking for us. Statisticians get paid to analyze number and create surveys. Since I was looking for exact measurements, I used this application Find the right position for workstation components
. You tell it how tall you are and it gives you a set of values for the heights of your desk and chair.
These values are not scientific certainty. Nevertheless, the application is helpful enough to get you started. For example, I followed the sizing rules and my set up is better now than it was yesterday. Some of my settings are plus or minus half an inch from the guidelines.
What's my new working gear? An IKEA Galant glass desk (my old desk looks like the one above with the big red 'X'):
And a Herman Miller Mirra chair: