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The right desk: this is important!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 236 views

Arched or kidney-shaped – desks are available in many variations today, far from the traditional rectangle. However, many office workers get stuck under the worktops or bend unhealthily over them because the table cannot be adjusted ergonomically. Read which desk is the right one!

the right height

A good desk should be adjustable in height to the height of the user. A height adjustability between 68 and 76 centimeters is recommended. It is also important that the desk does not restrict legroom with drawers, thickening or supports. The leg room should be at least 60 centimeters wide, 60 centimeters deep and 65 centimeters high.

The size

Recommendations provide for a minimum width of 120 centimeters and a minimum depth of 80 centimeters. However, so that there is really enough space for work and work equipment, the size of the work table should be 160 centimeters by 80 centimeters.

Tables whose shape does not correspond to the usual rectangle have also proven their worth. These so-called free-form tables have, for example, an arch shape or are deeper on one side than on the other. This creates more space within easy reach and a better overview of the work tools and documents.

surface and color

The low degree of reflection (no reflections) is particularly important. The table surface should be matte and decorated in neutral tones. This prevents unnecessary distractions and is easy on the eyes.

The surface of the desk should also not feel cold. After all, you spend several hours a day at this table – whether in the office or at home. Glass tables, for example, look nice, but are less suitable as work tables.

Standing desks / sit-stand tables

Alternating between sitting and standing is generally recommended and helps to prevent common office illnesses such as back pain. Desks that can be adjusted in height manually or at the push of a button are best suited for this. The tabletop then moves up or down.

However, occupational physicians advise against purely standing workstations, for example a standing desk. However, a rigid standing desk can serve as an additional workplace. For example, telephone calls or short meetings with colleagues – all work that happens without a computer and screen – can be done at a standing desk. It is the variety that is good for your back, muscles and joints!

Find the right table height

Once you’ve found the right desk for your study or office space, it’s time to set it up. How to adjust the desk ergonomically and avoid poor posture:

  • Sit upright in your chair directly in front of your desk with your arms and shoulders relaxed at your sides. Now put your forearms on. Your elbows should now be bent at right angles and only slightly touching or “hovering” over the work surface.
  • When working on a screen, the middle row of keyboards should be at elbow height.
  • If the table is too high, your shoulders will roll up; if the table is too low, you will have to lean further forward and put your head forward. In both cases, your shoulder and neck muscles react with (painful) tension over the long term.

Tips for an unadjustable desk

Even if the table does not adjust in height, you can improve the workplace in a health-promoting manner with these tips:

  • Adjust the seat height of your chair so that it optimally matches the height of the table.
  • If you are now sitting too high – meaning your feet are not in firm contact with the floor – use a footrest, for example a small stool.
  • If you sit too low, i.e. your knees are too high when bent at right angles, then place the table legs underneath. Otherwise, the low work surface will force you into a straining hunchback posture. First adjust your seat height correctly and then place the table legs underneath so that the work surface is at the optimum height.

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