Standing Desk Best Practices

Sitting for a long period of time can cause illnesses associated with a sedentary lifestyle. If you are thinking of ways to make yourself healthier, start by using a sit-up desk in your office.

Gradually ease your way into transitioning from a sitting desk to a stand-up desk. Prolonged sitting is bad for your health and so does standing for a long period of time. Alternate from standing to sitting every 15 to 30 minutes or when you feel tired or uneasy.

As you go along, you will notice that your standing time is longer. However, you should not overdo it. Do not stand for more than 2 hours. Also, while you are working at your office standing desk, make sure to move your feet and your body from time to time to prevent blood from pooling in your legs.

To ensure that you get the most out of the advantages of using a standing desk, follow these standing desk best practices:

  • Choose a sit-stand desk that corresponds to your height. This is very important. You will be working on your office stand-up desk for the duration of your work hours so you should consider your comfort and posture.

There are electric standing desks with adjustable height that allows you to adjust how low or how high your standing desk should be. You can even save your desired height so you can choose with just a push of a button whenever you want to.

These standing desk models can be expensive but there are other alternatives such as manual standing desks with adjustable height that uses a crank which allows you to secure the standing desk to your desired height.

The fixed-height standing desks are less expensive. However, you cannot adjust its height. If you choose this standing desk model, make sure to check properly if its height corresponds to how tall you are.

  • Adjust your monitor accordingly. Position your mouse and computer screen on the same surface where it allows your elbows to be close to your body.

Start by setting your standing desk at your elbow’s height. Your elbows must be in a 90-degree position from the floor.

There is no specific guideline when it comes to the position of your monitor. In general, your computer screen should be at least 20 to 28 inches away from your face.

An easier way to know the distance between your face and your computer screen is to place your middle finger on your monitor. Straighten your elbow, arms, and shoulders. The distance between your middle finger and your elbow is where you should place your monitor.

Slightly tilt the top of your screen. The tip of your monitor must be at eye level. Your goal is to ensure that your neck is neutral and you do not have to move your neck up or down when using your computer.

Position you monitor properly to avoid straining your eyes and neck.

Positioning your keyboard and monitor properly is important as it can affect your posture and comfort while working at your standing desk.

  • Check your posture. Since you are transitioning from sitting to standing, it is easy to hunch and slump your shoulders. 

Take time to roll your shoulders from time to time to avoid this. Move your shoulders up and as far back as you can then forward. 

Repeat 3 to 5 times until your back is straight. Do this every 10 to 15 minutes or when you feel your back is heavy. 

Improper posture can lead to fatigue and pain in different parts of your body such as the neck, shoulders and lower back.

Check out this video below about why good posture is important:

  • Take a break. Just because you are working at a standing desk does not mean you are no longer allowed to sit. In fact, you should sit whenever you feel tired.

It is recommended to move your feet and stretch every 30 to 45 minutes of continuous standing. Sit for 5 to 10 minutes to relax and get back to work after.

To reduce the fatigue in your legs, you can purchase an anti-fatigue mat. This product can help reduce leg fatigue due to prolonged standing by encouraging slight movements of your leg muscles. This helps reduce overall discomfort by improving blood flow in your legs.

If you are experiencing pain in the legs and lower back due to prolonged standing, the anti-fatigue mat for standing desks can help reduce the pain.

3 Tips On How To Use A Standing Desk Properly

To ensure that you experience the benefits of using a standing desk, it is important that you understand how to use it properly.

1. Adjust your workspace. Place your standing desk where there is no obstruction and you are able to stand comfortably. Remember to have enough space for you to move.

If you are using a fixed-height standing desk in your workspace, it is a great idea to get yourself an adjustable keyboard platform and an adjustable monitor arm. 

Attach these accessories to your sit-stand desk so you can adjust your keyboard and monitor to a more comfortable position. 

Remember, your elbows should be near your body and your wrists must be neutral.

2. Place your standing desk chair nearby so that you can reach for it easily. Avoid putting your standing desk chair behind you as you might trip on it. Place it at the side of your office standing desk or at the wall near you.

When you feel a tingling sensation on your legs or you start to feel pain on your lower back, move your body and walk a few steps away from your standing desk. 

Do some light stretching and sit for about 5 to 10 minutes to relax. Always remember to take a break when you feel tired or uneasy.

Do some light stretching and sit for about 5 to 10 minutes to relax. Always remember to take a break when you feel tired or uneasy.

3. Use comfortable shoes. You are standing most of the time so it is important that you wear comfortable shoes to prevent your legs from straining.

Wearing high heels is not recommended as it can cause strain to your legs which can lead to cramps. If you are going to a party after work, bring your spare shoes so you can wear them before going out of the office.

If you are allowed to wear nothing but socks in the office, that would be great. But standing on an anti-fatigue mat is always a great idea to reduce fatigue on your feet.

There are ergonomic shoes designed for standing. Whichever you choose, prioritize your comfort. There is really no best shoes for standing. What matters is your comfort.

Related Questions

Is a standing desk worth it?

If you want to minimize sitting to prevent the risk of health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle, yes, a standing desk is worth it.

It may not be able to help significantly in weight loss, however, it has more benefits than meets the eye.

Benefits Of A Standing Desk

Corrects posture. Working on a standing desk in your office helps correct your posture. When you are standing, you are more aware of your body and you tend to respond to what you feel faster than when you are sitting.

Minimizes the risk of heart disease. Sitting for a long period of time is associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Standing helps minimize these risk factors by increasing blood flow and improving blood sugar levels in your body.

How many hours should you stand a day?

Generally, you can stand at your standing desk for an hour and rest for 15 minutes. However, it is recommended to stand for 30 minutes and rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

The maximum time you can stand continuously is 2 hours. Standing for more than 2 hours without slight movements can pose health risks such as heart disease, lower back pain, and spasm on your legs.

In my own experience, when I am too focused on my work, I tend to ignore what my body is feeling unless it’s starting to bother me.

If you are just like with me, you better get a standing desk timer. I used to set the alarm on my phone every 30 minutes. However, I found it annoying in the long run as it distracts me from my focus.

So, I started listening to what my body says and I relax when needed. 

Try to move more by walking back and forth from your standing desk. Stretch your arms and legs to increase your blood flow and sit to relax.

If you are working from home or if your office will allow, you can also try the office standing desk with a treadmill so you can work while keeping yourself healthy.

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