Woman sitting ergonomically at proper workstation height

The Importance of Workstation Height

Working from home continues for so many people. With that, we are finding more and more people are looking to put in more long-term solutions for equipment in their home offices. You don’t need to break the bank in doing so, but there are a few key things to keep in mind when making purchases.

To achieve an ergonomic setup, you must be able to work with neutral postures. That is, a straight neck, supported back, relaxed shoulders, elbows bent to approximately 90 degrees, wrists straight, hips and knees to approximately 90 degrees (if sitting), and feet supported. Arguably the most important aspect of any office workstation is good seating. We agree. But the next most important thing is the workstation height. To ensure you can work with neutral whole-body postures, the keyboard and mouse needs to be aligned with your elbow height. Whether sitting or standing, elbow height is the goal!

Proper office ergonomic sitting workstation set-up
Proper office ergonomic standing workstation set-up

With working from home these days, we are tied to our computer even more. Video meeting to conference call to phone call on repeat. The desire is often to have an option that allows us to alternate between sitting and standing so we can create some opportunity for movement.

There are definitely some ways you can create your own sitting and standing workstation custom to your needs, but if you’re looking to purchase a desk option that will allow you to vary between sitting and standing, be sure to consider the specifications before you order.

Look for a product that offers a good height adjustability range, ideally one that can adjust LOWER than 28. For many people, their seated elbow height falls below this and some products just don’t have the height adjustability range to accommodate. If the lowest setting is above seated elbow height, although you will have the ability to vary to standing posture, your sitting posture will not have improved. You will need to raise your chair height to get to elbow height, but your feet will no longer touch the floor, therefore requiring a footrest. Or, if you choose not to raise your chair, you end up with tense shoulders and back, bent wrist postures and overall, a recipe for discomfort.

Good vs bad sitting positions, elbow alignment and workstation height

If you’re looking to purchase a unit to add to an existing desk that will allow you to alternate between sitting and standing, be cautious that most will just add height. Again, sitting postures are not necessarily improved unless you are making adjustments to your chair height to ensure you are working at elbow height.

For more information on equipment for home office work, be sure to tune in to our monthly free webinar for July. We’ll review our top equipment recommendations and explain how some equipment choices for a home office may differ from the equipment you would purchase for a traditional cubicle setting.

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