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How to stand at your height adjustable control console (standing desk)

How to stand at a height adjustable control console

Why use a height adjustable control console (standing desk)?

Height adjustable control consoles offer several advantages over fixed height consoles. They are good whether you are tall, short or in a wheelchair. Also, they are beneficial in places where people of different heights are likely to be sharing a workstation; or even if you wish to stand and sit for different periods throughout the day. Experts agree that control consoles which allow sitting and standing are beneficial due to their versatility.

Height adjustable control consoles are designed to promote wellness and encourage console operators to remain focused in high stress environments by allowing them to adapt their workstation to their needs with the push of a button.

How to set the right height at your control console (standing desk)

As a rule of thumb, whenever you are working standing, your elbow height will dictate the height of the work surface, as the elbows need to be bent to 90 degrees. So, to determine the appropriate height rest one hand on the work surface until your palm and wrist are parallel to the ground in a 90-degree angle. For better accuracy ask a colleague for help.

Positioning your monitors for an adjustable height control console (standing desk)

Next you will adjust your monitors. If you are using a single row of monitors, ensure you set the height of your monitors, as in the top edge – not the middle - of the screen to be in line with your eyes. This height will ensure you keep your neck in a neutral position.

When using multiple monitors as in more than 1 row of screens, align the midline of your body with the central point of the monitor array to avoid neck and trunk rotation.

Generally, the preferred viewing distance is between 20 and 40 inches (50 and 100cm) from the eye to the front surface of the computer screen (about an arm’s length). The wider the screen, the further away you will need to be.

How to (properly) stand at a control console (standing desk)?

Once you have set the work surface at the correct height, your elbows rest at a 90 degrees angle, this means your shoulders are able to be in the relaxed position as your forearms rest on the desk.

Your legs also need to be positioned correctly and, ideally, you should be standing on an even surface. Try to position your feet in a straight line with your knees and hips. To achieve this position, first stand with your feet together, then turn your toes outwards as far as you comfortably can. Then bring your heels into a straight line with your toes – you should now be standing with your feet roughly hip width apart. Try to stand with you weight evenly distributed across both legs.

When you are first getting used to working in a standing position, start by working only 5 minutes while standing every hour. Try to increase to 10 minutes and then 15 minutes as you begin to feel more at ease.

To maintain a good posture while standing imagine a piece of string is pulling your chest upwards towards the ceiling. Raise up slightly from the chest but do not let your lower back arch too much.

You then need to position your pelvis. The easiest way to do this is to stand with your hands on your hips, then rotate your hips as far forward as you can, and then rotate the pelvis backwards as far as you can. Because you need to find the middle position, this may take a few attempts.

Once your chest is over your pelvis, the next step is to position your shoulder blades (scapula) by aligning the shoulder joints with the body.

To put the shoulders into a neutral position, start by pulling your shoulders all the way up (shrug your shoulders), then pull the shoulders backwards and slowly pull the shoulders down.

With the shoulders set, the next step is to set the position of the neck. Most people stand with their head slightly forward, but this posture puts pressure on the lower neck as it is forced into flexion (as if looking down), whilst the upper part of the neck is forced into extension (as if looking up).

Bringing the neck back to the neutral position is a simple process as long as the rest of your posture is already correct. You need to look straight ahead and tuck your chin back as if you are holding a small ball under it. Your ear lobe should now fall within the triangle made up by your collar bone and neck muscles.

This neutral posture can feel unnatural at first, as most people actually stand incorrectly. You should try it for a few minutes at first and increase the hold time gradually, eventually aiming to be able to hold it for 20 minutes.

When working while standing remember the 20/20/20 rule

No matter if you are working sitting or standing, move every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds and remember the 20/20/20 rule: look away from your screen every 20 minutes and look 20 feet (6 meters) away for 20 seconds.

Additional considerations for when working while standing.


  • Hand Position: After setting the height of your console, ensure that your keyboard and mouse are slightly below your rested elbow height, such that your shoulders are relaxed. Prevent forward leaning by bringing your keyboard and mouse closer to your body.

  • Keyboard: Flatten the keyboard tabs to maintain your wrists straight while you are working. Rest your palm – not your wrists – on a palm support to manage your arm’s weight.

  • Mouse: Avoid anchoring your wrist on the work surface. Glide the heel of your palm over the mouse surface to keep your wrists straight. Relax your hand and avoid gripping the mouse. Consider alternating hands during prolonged mousing to minimize discomfort and stress.


911 telecommunicators use a headset instead of holding a phone up to their ear. When you are working while standing, use headphones, a headset, or speakerphone to maintain neutral neck and shoulder posture. Also, consider shifting your weight from one leg to the other during calls to boost activity levels.


Ensure that you have sufficient lighting for your documents. If available, position a task light opposite your writing hand to minimize shadows.

Are you looking to replace your fixed-height control consoles with height adjustable ones (standing-desks)?

With over 25 years of experience in the control room furniture industry, we can help guide you through the entire process of designing and building your new control room. Take a look at our case studies of different industries to learn about the wide range of customization options that we offer. Alternatively, you can chat with one of our design experts with the chat function or fill out this form and we will contact you.


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