The Best Desks for Tall Professionals

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The Best Desks for Tall Professionals

In 2009, a study by the Australian National University (ANU) found evidence of a height salary gap. Taller men earn more than men of average height or shorter. An economist at the ANU estimated that if a man of average height, 178 cm, were just 5 cm taller, he could probably earn an extra 950 dollars a year. Most office furniture is built for men and women of average height, but tall statured professionals do not have to suffer in silence. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians are getting taller which could be fueling the growing demand for office desks that are height adjustable. Buyers of desks for tall professionals should be aware of the different types of desks available and the recommended height for tall people.

Pedestal Desk

The pedestal desk is a freestanding desk that consists of a tabletop resting on two pedestals of stacked drawers. The pedestal desk is the typical office desk. Most antique and vintage pedestal desks are made of wood and are quite heavy, while contemporary pedestal desks are made of steel and come with laminated work surfaces, with many contemporary designs sporting removable pedestals on caster wheels.

Pedestal desks vary in terms of size and design. The table below lists the different types of pedestal desks.

Type of Pedestal Desk


Partner desk

Large pedestal desk

Sometimes square in shape

Drawers on both sides

Designed for two people to work at the desk

Student desk

Pedestal desk where one pedestal has been replaced by legs or another support

Also called a left pedestal desk or a right pedestal desk

Commonly found in contemporary office spaces

For the tall professional looking for a more traditional office desk with lots of drawer space, the pedestal desk is a good choice; however, the user has to consider the height of the desk and whether there is sufficient leg room. For a tall professional of about 180 cm, the distance from the top of the desk, where a computer's keyboard rests to the floor should be about 68 cm.

Leg Space and Drawers

Many antique and vintage pedestal desk designs come with drawers situated under the desk and just above the user's lap. If the pedestal comes with a centre drawer, a tall professional should determine whether there is sufficient space to accommodate his or her legs. Ideally, the space between the top of the seat and the top desk should not exceed 25 cm.

Modifying an Antique Pedestal Desk

For the tall professional who favours a beautiful antique wooden pedestal office desk with a leather writing surface, but finds the height of the desk to be too low, it is possible to modify the desk. An obvious solution is to increase the height of desk by building an extra height at the base of the desk. Another option is to invest in a Ergotron mounting system. This mobile workstation allows the user to customise any worksurface. The system allows the user to position the computer keyboard and monitor at the desired height, improving the ergonomics of an antique desk. An ergonomic mounting system is a good solution to the problem of two people of different heights working at the same desk.

Height Adjustable Desks

Between 1995 and 2008, the average Australian male gained 2 cm in height, while the average Australian woman is 1 cm taller. A quarter of Australian men are taller than the average of 178 cm, which means as many as one in four Australian males is likely too tall for his fixed office desk. However, there are height adjustable desks available that allow tall professionals to adjust the height of their desks to accommodate their long bodies.

Electronic Height Adjustable Desks

The Mimek range of height adjustable desks are designed and manufactured in Denmark. To adjust the height of the desk, the user simply presses a button and the desk's silent running Bosch motor adjusts the desk to the desired height. The minimum height is 660 cm, while the maximum height is 1.18 m. The desk can lift a maximum of 70 kg. The speed of the height adjustment clocks in at 2.5 cm a second. The desk frames come in three sizes: 116 cm, 156 cm, or 176cm.

Manual Height Adjustable Desks

The electronic height adjustable desk is the most expensive option. The more affordable option is the hand-powered crank desk that allows the user the adjust the height of the desk manually. However, the most affordable option is IKEA's Galant range of height adjustable desks. Available in myriad sizes and configurations, Galant desks are trestle tables with telescoping trestle legs or A-frame legs. Some Galant trestle tables are very basic and amount to not much more than a bench resting on A-framed legs, while other Galant desks come with small drawers for storage.

Standing Desks

The idea of standing at a desk and working is not a new one. For generations, architects and engineers have used a special type of standing desk called a drafting table for creating technical drawings. The drafting table is a type of trestle table that has a work surface that pivots through 90 degrees. The lectern writing desk is the antique form of the standing desk.

Standing Desks in the 21st Century

The standing desk is a height adjustable desk that can be adjusted to suit any height. The standing desk is a good option for men who are considered especially tall, such as those men over 193 cm. The standing desk also allows the user to reconfigure the desk from a sitting desk to a standing desk, and then back again.

Recommended Desk and Seat Heights for Tall Professionals

Whether shopping for a fixed desk, like a pedestal desk, or changing the desk height on an adjustable desk, it is vital that the user know how to determine a comfortable desk height. A good rule of the thumb to use when determining a comfortable desk height is to measure the distance from the user's elbow to the ground. This measurement is the same as the keyboard height, which is the distance to the ground when the user holds his or her forearm parallel to the floor. The height of the user and the corresponding seat, screen, and keyboard heights are listed below.

Height of User (cm)

Seat Height (cm)

Seated Screen Height (cm)

Seated Keyboard Height (cm)

Standing Screen Height (cm)

Standing Keyboard Height (cm)

















































The seat height is the distance from the floor to the top of the seat pan, while the keyboard height is the distance from the floor to the top of the keyboard while it rests on the desk. The screen height is the distance from the floor to the top of the screen.

How to Find Office Desks on eBay

Whether you are looking to kit out a home office or furnish an office space, eBay offers shoppers great deals on office furniture for tall professionals. On the homepage, and every page on the eBay site, is a search bar. Simply enter a description of the office desk or chair you are looking for into the search bar and hit enter. If you are looking for a height adjustable table, enter "height adjustable desk" into the search bar. If you favour a particular brand, make sure to include the brand name in your search query. Use the available search filters on the results page to sort the listings. The search filters are located in the refinements menu on the results page. You can sort listings based on the material, the condition of the desk, the colour, and even a preferred price range.


For the tall professional, the difference between a comfortable and productive day at the office and a day marred by niggling back pain and headaches comes down to a few centimetres. If the desk is too low, the user tends to slouch over the desk. Persistent poor posture can cause myriad occupational illnesses. When shopping for a pedestal office desk, the shopper needs to consider his height and the corresponding seat and keyboard heights. The distance from the user's elbow to the floor while the user is seated is an essential measurement that helps identify fixed seater desks of the correct height. While height adjustable desks are more expensive, these desks allow users to vary the height of the desk and modify the desk from a sitting to a standing desk with just the push of a button or the crank of a handle.

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