Your height (in shoes)
5' 7"
Your weight
How many hours spent standing?
Calories burned standing
Which is
more than sitting

Have you ever heard of a standing desk, and the benefits it brings? No? Well, a standing desk helps you passively burn calories! With our out-standing standing desk height calculator we'll help you set up your ergonomic workstation to be as comfortable as possible: you'll find the optimal stand up desk and monitor height. Take some time, do it properly, and read all the tips, as on average we spend more than 13 years and 2 months of our lives at work.

For most people, standing all day is no better than sitting all day, so make sure you maintain the balance between those two options. If you're wondering which option suits you best - a sit or stand desk - and how to set up that workspace, check out our desk height calculator.

Standing desk height calculator - how to use

To use our tool, you only need to input three values. We'll show you how the standing desk height calculator works with a simple example:

  1. Choose your height from the drop-down list. Let's say you're 5 ft 9 in - that's the average height for an adult man.

  2. Type in your weight - that piece of information is needed to calculate calories burned at the standing desk. In our example our subject weights 175 lbs.

  3. Enter how many hours you use your standing desk for. Let's assume it's 3 hours.

  4. And that's it! The standing desk height calculator now displays:

    • Calories burned:
      • while standing - 500 kcal
      • how many more calories you burned than if you were sitting for the same time - 125 kcal
    • Clues on how to set up your ergonomic workstation:
      • Table height range: 41.5 - 45 in
      • Monitor height: 64.5 - 65.5 in

Towards ergonomic workstation - tips on how to adjust your stand up desk

Our standing desk height calculator will give you some hints regarding the ranges you should look for, but remember that what you find comfortable is the best guide. The rule of thumb is that the table should be set up at or slightly below elbow height. Follow this step by step configuration guide to adjust your workstation into an ergonomic position:

adjusting stand up desk
  1. Stand next to your table. Stand straight up, and let your arms hang naturally down the sides of your body.
  2. Put your hands on the keyboard, if you're going to use it often. Make sure they are in a natural position - the one you usually adopt when typing.
  3. Adjust your desk height to your elbow height. That means your forearms should be parallel to the floor, and there should be ~right angle at your elbow (forearm to upper arm angle).
  4. Put the table a bit lower and check which position is more comfortable for you. If you use a keyboard a lot, then probably the work surface below elbow height will suits you more.
  5. Set up a monitor height. Close your eyes, and while opening and looking straight, you should see the top part of the screen. Also, the monitor should be tilted by 10-20°.

But what can happen if you leave this elbow angle safe range (90-100°)?
  1. If your elbow angle is acute (less than 90°), you may encounter:
  • possible pain in your wrists or forearms, as they will dig into the desk
  • excessive tension in your shoulder muscles
  1. If your table is way too low, then:
  • your shoulder muscles are overloaded, as there's no support for your arms
  • you will probably slouch, which may lead to back problems

Sit or stand desk? Benefits of standing desk

Changing your position during work is a really important thing. Our increasingly sedentary lifestyle leads to many health problems, like obesity (check your BMI!), heart problems, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, certain types of cancer (e.g. breast cancer)... We could list more and more of the drawbacks of inactivity, but let's focus on the positive effects instead. So what are the benefits of standing desks? Simply speaking, stand up desks may:

  • decrease the risk of the health problems listed above ❤️
  • raise your productivity 📈
  • improve mood and your energy levels 😊
  • and even help you live longer! 🍾

Just remember that standing desks should complement standard office desks, not replace them.

Calories burned at a standing desk

In this calculator we've used MET values for sitting and standing. MET stands for Metabolic Equivalent of a Task, and it tells how many calories you burn per hour of activity, per one kilogram. The database of MET values lists many sitting and standing activities:

  • 1.3 - 1.8 METS for sitting activities
  • 1.8 - 2.3 METS for standing activities

Lower values are tied e.g., to reading or talking, higher - to writing, typing, desk work. We've decided to take the midpoint of these two values - 1.5 for sitting and 2.0 for stand up desks.

However, all of these burned calories estimations should be taken with a pinch of salt. Scientists still haven't found an answer to the question if standing burns significantly more calories than sitting. For example, in a study from 2016, the authors claim that substituting sitting with standing may not affect the energy expenditure, and further investigation is needed. On the other hand, another team found a significant increase in caloric expenditure between standing and sitting.

Hanna Pamuła, PhD candidate
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