Has your workplace recently purchased standing desks or have you decided to get one for your own home office?
If so, that’s great news!
Standing desks can be incredibly beneficial for your health, productivity, and overall happiness while you are working. There’s numerous benefits that can be gained from using a standing desk—including a lower risk of obesity, reduced risk of cancer, better posture, and they may even help you to live longer.
However, it’s not quite as simple as just setting up the standing desk and immediately getting to work. While a standing desk can be more beneficial than working while sitting down, if you use it while standing with poor posture, you can end up aggravating your muscles and potentially injuring yourself.
That’s precisely why we’ve put together this guide to show you the best way to stand at a standing desk. With proper posture, you can find working at a standing desk to be far more comfortable than working at a traditional desk in a chair.
The first thing that you’ll need to do with your standing desk is to adjust it to the correct height (assuming it’s an adjustable desk). The ideal height for a standing desk is high enough that you can comfortably rest your fingers on your keyboard while keeping your elbows at a 90 degree angle. If you are using a laptop you will want to buy a separate ergonomic keyboard.
You should be able to stand comfortably like this while maintaining proper posture (shoulders rolled back naturally, head held up straight in alignment with your spine, eyes looking forward at the top third of your monitor screen). Your screen should also sit between 15 to 30 inches away from your eyes.
By simply standing with correct posture while using a standing desk, you can eliminate the vast majority of health risks that may arise. However, there’s a few other important considerations that you should always keep in mind as well.
Assuming you are using correct posture at your standing desk, there’s also four major tips that we would recommend to ensure you remain comfortable and injury-free while working.
Here they are, in no particular order:
No matter what type of material the floor surface is made of, when somebody spends long periods of time standing in place it doesn’t just place an increased amount of stress on their lower body; it can also cause neck and back pain as well.
To help prevent this, you should be using a high-quality stress mat that you can comfortably stand on while you work. This will help take some of the pressure off of your hips, knees, and joints and help you to feel more comfortable when you have to stand for extended periods of time in one spot.
We’ve mentioned it elsewhere on the site numerous times, but one of the best things that you can do for your health when working in an office environment is to make sure that are you moving around throughout the day.
We highly recommend that you take frequent breaks to stretch or walk around, but even while you’re working, you can still move around a bit by making changes to your standing position. Using a footrest of some kind can be incredibly helpful with this, as you can use it to easily alternate your standing position during the workday.
The shoes that you wear can make all the difference in your comfort levels when you are working on your feet. This is one area where everyone will usually have their own preferences—what works well for one person may give you unbearable aches in your feet by the end of the day.
It doesn’t matter if you use running shoes, dress shoes, or even go barefoot, what matters is that your footwear isn’t causing you any pain. If your shoes end up causing pain in your feet, then you need to change up what you’re wearing.
This last point is so important it bears repeating once more here. Yes, using a standing desk is a healthier alternative than sitting down all day. However, you still need to make sure that you are moving around throughout the day! You should never spend more than one hour at a time standing in one spot.
You can alternate periods of work between sitting and standing if it feels more comfortable for you. You can take a break every 30 minutes or so to stretch your muscles and walk around a bit if you’d prefer.
It doesn’t matter what you choose to do to get moving around a bit more—the important thing is just that you get moving!