How to Pick an Adjustable Desk

How to Pick an Adjustable Desk

You’re looking at options for an adjustable desk in your workspace – congratulations! You are taking the first step towards better health and productivity during your work day.

Now, the question is: which one to get? There is a wide variety of high quality standing desks and desk risers to choose from. Obviously, you can eliminate any that are going to be low quality or cheaply made, because they won’t stand the test of time and you will eventually be very frustrated with your workspace. But even among the really good standing desks and desk risers, there is a huge variety of options. Life would be so much easier if you could just pick “the best” standing desk and go on with life, wouldn’t it?

The standing desk options that are available actually let you choose the perfect desk for your needs, so that you don’t have to deal with a desk that doesn’t really work for you. Here at Standing Focus, our biggest goal is to make sure that you have a desk that will make you comfortable and help you be active. We want you to love your adjustable desk for years to come. If you go through this guide and do some planning prior to buying, you will be far happier with your standing desk or adjustable desk in the long term.

How tall?

The first question to ask yourself is this: how tall do you want your adjustable desk to be? This depends on several factors, including your height, your arm length, your sitting height, and how long your legs are versus how long your torso is. Don’t worry. There’s no complicated math here, just some common-sense methods of figuring out exactly how tall your adjustable desk should be.

First, let’s talk about your office chair. Your office chair has a lot to do with how tall your desk should be when you are sitting at it. Many office chairs are adjustable. If this is the case for you, you should start with the chair adjusted to the most comfortable height for you. If your office chair is not adjustable, then you need to consider the long-term destiny of that office chair. If you absolutely love it, then measure your sitting desk height from your position in that chair. If you will be replacing it in the foreseeable future, borrow an adjustable chair from a coworker, adjust it to a height that is comfortable for you, and measure the seated position of your desk from there.

Similarly, when you are figuring out the right standing height for your adjustable desk, be sure to think of what footwear you are most likely to wear and whether you will be standing on a mat. You need to make sure that your adjustable desk can be raised to at least the highest level you will possibly need it. Otherwise, you might find yourself wearing a new pair of shoes in to work and then being very disappointed by the fact that your standing desk is now a couple of inches too short. Make sure that there are a few inches of clearance so that a change in footwear will not mess up your workday.

How to measure

Starting at the lowest level you will need your desk to be, sit in your office chair. Hold your hands at a comfortable keyboard level. Have a friend or coworker measure how high from the ground your hands are when they are held at your ideal keyboard level. If you do not have anyone who can assist you with measuring, take a pencil and make a light mark on the wall at the ideal keyboard height. When marking down the keyboard height you want, take into account the height of your keyboard. If your keyboard is 2 inches high, the keyboard tray will need to be 2 inches lower to put your hands at the correct level.

Next, stand up to measure the standing height of your work desk. Let your shoulders relax and your arms hang limp. Now raise your hands to elbow level. This is the ideal position for your keyboard. Measure the height from the ground. This is the upper level that you will need your keyboard to be when you are standing to work. Remember to add a couple of inches to account for changes in footwear!

Measuring for the monitor

Your monitor should be at eye level when you are sitting with your back straight and relaxed, and also when you are standing with good posture. You do not want to be craning your neck up or bending forward to see a monitor that is too high or too low.

To find the correct level for your monitor, follow the same steps you took to find the correct level for your keyboard – but instead of measuring where your hands are, you need to measure where your eye level is.

Now, you need to consider the style of monitor stand or mount you will buy. If the adjustable desk you are considering has the monitor sit on a stand, you will need to measure from the middle of your monitor to its base, and subtract that number from the total measurement you came up with. This tells you where your monitor base needs to sit in order for the monitor to be at eye level. On the other hand, if the adjustable desk or desk riser you are looking to buy has a monitor mount, you will want the mount to hit right at the measurement you made, since that will place the middle of your monitor right at eye level.

Choosing a style

The rest of your adjustable desk choice is all a matter of preference and use. Do you like to spread out and have a lot of workspace? Or do you prefer a small, minimalistic space? Where do you want your desk to be set? How much space do you have? Do you want your desk to be solid wood or a more lightweight laminate?

Upgrading your office space is an exciting process. We look forward to working with you to create the workspace of your dreams, here at

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