Desks - How to Pick the Best Desk for You

Yay, you are finally ready to stop working on your kitchen table and it’s time to buy a desk!

Your new desk will hopefully have some extra space, be your correct height, provide the ability to eat your dinner without looking at work, and you can finally think about being more comfortable at your workstation.

Here are some things to consider when purchasing that new desk:

  • Desk height: your work surface (place where you use your keyboard and mouse) should be at your seated elbow height.

To measure seated elbow height you must measure your elbow held at 90 degrees, with relaxed shoulders, wrists in line with elbows to the floor. If you are having issues measuring this, you can always check out the workstation setup guide.

A lot of desks on the market are 30”/31”, which is actually quite high. Everyone’s seated elbow height is different and depends on their height, length of legs, arms and torso. For example, if you are 6’1” with a short torso and long arms you will have a shorter seated elbow height than someone who is the same height with shorter arms and a longer torso.
If you are 5’4” and under your seated elbow height could be anywhere from 22”-26”, although, it could be higher depending on how short your arms are and long your torso is. It is worth measuring this before buying a desk.

If you are buying a sit/stand desk, the most appropriate height range is 23” – 48” above the floor. Note: some start at 27” (can be too high for some people) so be sure to check before buying. Of course, if your seated elbow height is 27” or higher, then these desks are a great option! Be sure to check out the end of this post for an appropriate sit/stand desk option.

  • Desk width: How much space do you really need for your workstation? This depends entirely on the nature of your work. Do you have paperwork? Multiple screens? Data entry? A note pad? Take notes? If you are only working on your computer with no paperwork – you’ll only need space for keyboard, mouse, monitor, laptop, glass of water and a place to put snacks – the smallest I would go is 42” wide.

If you’ve got paperwork and multiple screens, I would aim for something at least around 62” wide.

  • Desk depth: Once again, this depends on the nature of your work, and also how far away you need your monitors to be from your eyes. I would buy something that is at least 29” deep.

I once had a desk that was 29” deep, but I had to turn my office into a nursery so I moved my desk to the bedroom and had to cut it to 22” deep. HUGE mistake. I barely have room for my keyboard, monitor, and a glass of water AND I can’t do any data entry or use a notepad on the desk. Having a bit more space is better, plus it won’t look so cluttered if you have a piece of paper on it.

Here is a great budget friendly sit/stand desk option:

Ikea Bekant Desk:

This desks height range is 22”- 48” and is 47”W by 31”D. It has an electric motor so you only use a push of a button to adjust it. Best part is, it’s only $399!

Happy working!!

Alana, Kinesiologist

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