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How tall is too tall for standing desks?

Whenever a new product emerges that is fit for mass consumption, the object typically falls into fitting only an average range of heights. This leaves the extremes, both short and tall, excluded unless they invest in different options. In regards to standing desks, designs are proving to fall into typical height restrictions.

A Wide Range

Standing desks follow the patterns set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA). Together, the two work as watchdogs to verify that all furniture is safe for the majority of Americans that fit within a certain range. This means that if you want to stand while you work, you better be under 6’2 as the majority of approved standing desks range from 22” to 47”.

Unfortunately, such a restriction has led to quite an uproar among interested companies as standing desks are meant to detract from office pains, not add to them. Currently, though, the restrictions still stand, and like them or not, these desk measurements cover a stunning 95% of the current population. Since these companies are trying to sell to the largest demographic, it makes sense they would only build to that demographic as well.

Safety Considerations

While this may seem limiting, it’s important to note that height has a huge influence on the stability of inanimate objects. The higher the object, the sturdier the base has to be in order to avoid collapse. On top of this is weight distribution. No doubt top heavy, once the standing desk reaches a certain height, manufacturers can no longer guarantee that the desk won’t tip over under normal circumstances, such as a casual bump.

Ways Around

Luckily, even though there is a height cap for the taller individuals, there are ways around this. Namely, you can invest in extensions that add to monitor and keyboard height. While these are only two answers to an otherwise frustrating situation, keep in mind that the keyboard and monitor make up the largest part of your working life. So long as these are ergonomic, you shouldn’t feel any sort of undue strain.

For the monitor, look into monitor stands. Ideally you’ll want one that can directly attach the desk to itself in order to improve stability. As for the keyboard, attachable keyboard trays do a great job of providing additional surface space that is far more flexible so it can better adapt to your arms. Be sure to find one that extends upward and remember to never put too much weight on this arm as it will easily tip the desk if given enough force.

Finally, find a tall desk that has a smaller desk space. The less space and the less weight up top, the less momentum the desk will have should the frame shake. Ideally, a 40” to 60” spread works the best.

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