An improper desk height can result in an uncomfortable work station, less productivity -- and even injury. Take your workspace to new heights by raising an existing desktop that is too low to a proper ergonomic position. Whether you modify the permanent structure of your current desk, add temporary features, or use an office chair to increase the height of your desktop, you'll create a more ergonomically friendly work space.
It's All About the Chair
You can easily make a desktop that is too short a bit taller by lowering the seat height of an adjustable office chair. Discover the correct height for your desktop by tweaking the chair so the desk surface is almost even with your elbows when you're seated in an upright position with your feet resting flat on the floor. The minimum distance from the floor to the seat of an office chair should be about 16 inches.
Count on Risers
When you want to quickly increase the height of your desk without making any permanent changes, slide a small furniture riser under each leg. Desk risers are typically made from wood or durable plastic and are available with depressions to fit all sizes of legs. Many furniture risers stack together with an interlocking mechanism, which typically allows you to increase the height of your desk in 1- or 2-inch increments. Refer to the manufacturer's recommendations regarding how many risers you can safely stack under each desk leg.
New Legs Work Wonders
If you want to make a permanent change to increase the height of your desk, swap out the existing legs for replacements. Start by removing each leg from your desk and installing adjustable-height furniture legs. Adjustable legs have a mounting plate that you securely attach to the underside of the desk with screws and a screwdriver. Next, the actual desk leg threads right onto the secured plate. You can modify the desk height by turning the leveler feet of the newly installed legs until it's right.
Modify the Top
Affix a layer of wood, plastic, marble or other material over your current desktop to give it a permanent lift. Stack two or more layers over your desktop to increase the height even more. Or, place a freestanding desktop with adjustable legs directly on top of your existing desk. The portable desktop gives you the flexibility to make your desk taller whenever the need arises -- without creating any permanent structural modifications.
- United States Department of Labor Health and Safety Regulations: Ergonomic Solutions for Computer Work Stations
- Body Bilt: Office Desk Risers
- Inspired Home Office: Your Desk's Three Secret Problems -- and How to Fix Them
- ThisCaringHome.org: Furniture Risers Consumer Guide
- Michigan State University Physician's Office: Ergonomics Writing Desks
Mary Cockrill's education and certifications in interior design and home staging have allowed her to author numerous home-related articles. Cockrill has been a top design consultant for a renowned home store and is the owner of Starwood Home & Gifts, LLC, an interior design, decorating and home staging business. She holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education with a comprehensive major in office administration.