If you have had to work for long hours on your computer, you know how important it is to sit comfortably. Poor posture will result in a myriad of problems including, back, neck, and arm and shoulder discomfort. Keep it up long enough, and you will have to contend with medical bills due to doctors’ visits, medicine, and physiotherapy. Musculoskeletal disorders also contribute to a significant proportion of time away from the office by employees. In our article below, we will explore a good desk height and why you need it.
Problems with Having the Wrong Desk Height
It may surprise you, but very many workstations do not have the right desk height. Whether you use it for computer work or writing, you must pay attention to your posture. Your wrist, arms, and hands should maintain the proper position. Your neck, back, and shoulders should be at a neutral position; otherwise, you will have musculoskeletal disorders, arm abduction, and extension or flexion of the wrists. You will also have recurring problems with your tendons, muscles, and nerves.
Experts recommend that you look for one that is 29 inches with a 1-inch error margin. However, you must take into consideration certain factors because that height is not a one-size-fits-all rule. Your height, for example, will require that you make relevant adjustments so that you are sufficiently comfortable. If for example, you are 5 feet tall; your ideal desk height should be 24.2 inches.
When Your Desk is too High
To put it in perspective, raise your arms at a slight elevation, and keep them there for some time. Within a short period, you will start to feel some strain in your arm muscles and shoulders. The same applies when you are using a desk that is too high. While you may not immediately feel the stress because of the support, over time, it will have an impact on your back shoulders and neck. You get into the habit of elevating your shoulders nearer your ears, to be comfortable. Do a mirror check, and you will notice that your shoulders are rather high up. When you try to bring them down to the normal position, it will feel as if you are stretching. You will also feel a lot of strain or tension, especially on the trapezius and levator scapula muscles.
Since you have to extend your neck to look at your monitor, the tension on the back of the skull and neck will be very high.
When Your Desk is too Low
Have you ever had to work from your sofa using the coffee table? You know for a fact that it is an unsustainable position because the coffee table will be too low. You will constantly be stretching or putting your back in an upright position to be comfortable.
You will know your desk is too low if you have to extend your arms to reach your keyboard. But you will get tension and pain in the arm muscles. Your posture will also suffer because you have to slump over to be comfortable. You create problems in your neck, shoulders, back, and chest.
Factors to Consider When Shopping For the Right Desk Height
Take the following tips into consideration when shopping for a desk:
- Ensure your monitor is at eye level to avoid tension in your neck
- There should be space between the workstation and knees
- The keyboard height should eliminate tension in any part of your body. You should maintain a neutral position always
- Ensure your elbows remain at a 90-degree angle
- Look for a desk that allows for height adjustments. it ensures that you are comfortable whether you prefer to work while sitting or standing
- Your shoes have a role to play. They may add an inch or two to your overall height. This will, therefore, impact on the optimal standing height. Since you cannot always determine what shoes you will wear every single day, an adjustable desk works well.
- Some furniture stores have height calculators, which you can use to get a good desk height.
Take due care when shopping for a desk. Good desk height should keep your body in a neutral position. You should also not feel any strain on your arms, neck, shoulders, or back.