Desk height is important for your productivity and comfort. If it’s too low, you’ll hunch over all day and strain your neck and back. If it’s too high, you’ll have to reach up or stretch to use your computer, which can cause pain in your arms and shoulders.
Luckily, raising a desk is an easy fix. You can buy an adjustable desk or raise the legs of your current desk with some simple tools. In this article, we’ll show you how to do both.
How To Raise A Desk
Buy an adjustable desk
If your budget allows, a great way to avoid the hassle of adjusting a fixed desk is to buy an adjustable desk. These desks have electric motors that allow you to lift and lower the desktop with a press of a button. They’re extremely easy to use – just turn them on, adjust the height as desired and start working!
Raise the legs of your existing desk
If you can’t afford an adjustable desk or don’t have enough space, there is another option. You can adjust the height of your current desk’s legs using washers and longer screws. This way is very simple to do – just add washers at the bottom of each leg until you’ve raised the desk to the desired height.
Use longer screws
The number of washers you need will depend on the thickness, or spacing, of your desk’s legs. If you have wider leg spacings on your desk (1″ apart) you’ll need fewer washers than if your legs are closer together (1.5″ apart). To get started, grab a ruler or measuring tape and measure the spacing of your desk’s legs.
Determine how much to raise each leg
To figure out how many washers you need to add to your legs, divide the number of inches by four. This will give you the amount in quarter-inches that you need to raise each leg.
For example, if your legs are one inch apart you’ll need to add .25″ of washers to each leg. If the spacing is 1.5″, you’ll need to add .375″ of washers.
Add or remove washers
If you have a desk with wide leg gaps, begin by adding the number of washers you’ve calculated to one of the legs. If necessary, add or remove washers from the opposite leg until the desk is level on both sides. Then, do the same thing for each remaining leg.
Raise a laptop stand
If you’re looking for a fast and affordable way to improve your laptop ergonomics, a great option is to raise your laptop stand. This will bring the computer screen closer to eye level so you won’t have to crane your neck down when viewing it.
To quickly raise a laptop stand, grab some household items around your home. You’ll need four rubber-coated bookends and two books that are the same thickness as the bookends. Stack the bookends and books on top of the laptop stand.
If you’re using a metal or plastic bookend, it may slip so add some heavy-duty adhesive such as Gorilla Glue to keep them in place. Once the glue dries you won’t have to worry about your stand slipping again!
How do I know if my desk is the right height?
Your hands should be at heart level when typing or resting on the keyboard. If you cannot achieve this, readjust your desk to bring it closer to your body.
If you want to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries (RSI), make sure your monitor is at eye level. If you wear bifocals or use an alternate method of eyeglasses, you’ll probably need to raise your monitor even higher so you can read comfortably without straining.
Do I need to buy a special chair?
If you have a standard office chair, there’s no need to go out and purchase a new ergonomic model. The best way to improve your chair’s ergonomics is by raising your desk or laptop stand so they’re at heart level. This will eliminate the need for you to slouch when typing or viewing your computer screen.
What height should I set my laptop to?
When you’re using a keyboard and mouse alongside your laptop, it’s best to adjust the height of your laptop so that the bottom of the screen is at heart level. This will ensure there isn’t too much strain on your neck when working for extended periods.
If you’re using a laptop on your lap or on a bed, elevate the back end of the computer with a stack of books to bring it closer to heart level. This will make it easier for you to type and view your screen.
Whether you spend a lot of time in front of a computer or avoid it whenever possible, proper posture will help you move around more freely and decrease back pain. If you have a standing desk setup, the information above applies to both types of setups equally.
If your height is too tall or short for your workstation there are ways to adjust it accordingly. If you’re too tall, consider purchasing a lower desk. The opposite is true if you’re not tall enough to reach your arm comfortably across the desk surface.