What is a standing Desk? A ‘standing desk’ is desk that allows you to stand up comfortably while working. Some versions are called ‘height-adjustable desks’ or ‘sit- to -stand’ desks.

There has been a lot of conversation over the last few years regarding the preference of a standing workstation and its efficacy in influencing health benefits versus a seated workstation in an office setting. Researchers have also looked into the benefits in productivity while using a standing desk. Standing desks are a great way to help enhance a healthy lifestyle, however, it is important to understand how to properly use one.

Standing Desk Positioning Makes All of the Difference:

When you are standing, it is important that you have the position correct. You should ensure the following in your stance:

  • 90 degree elbow bend
  • Viewing distance from computer of about 15 to 30 inches
  • 0% monitor tilt
  • Neutral wrists
  • Eye level monitor
  • Comfortable and supportive shoes
  • Knees slightly bent
  • Shift weight periodically (a step stool or mini elliptical can be helpful for this)
  • Be sure to move so that you do not cut off circulation
  • Make a gradual transition to standing and always be sure to sit if you feel like you need to.

When adjusting to your new standing desk, be sure to do so gradually and with these tips in mind. In doing so, you can take advantage of the health benefits that come from actually living a more active work lifestyle with the use of a standing desk.

Tips for Improving Health While Standing

There are accessories you can use to help avoid and pain while standing such as an anti-fatigue mat or step stool to ease the pressure off of your feet and lower spine.   This will help you to be able to stand comfortably.  Another way to make sure you are comfortable while standing at your desk is to make sure that your posture is correct.  Exercise your legs and feet and be sure to sit when you feel like sitting.  You should find a routine that allows for both sitting and standing throughout the day.  You may even develop a schedule similar to this:

  • 9:00 – 9:30: Stand while reading e-mails
  • 9:30 – 10:00: sit while attending staff meeting
  • 10:00 – 10:30: Stand while working on presentation
  • 10:30 – 11:00: Sit while reading over feedback of yesterday’s work

This is just an example. You want to develop a pattern that will become natural and easy to you and will create a healthy balance for you. Over time, the time standing can gradually increase.

Five Ways that Using a Standing Desk is More Harmful Than Good

Mistake #1- You stand all day. “Standing too much can compress the spine and lead to lower back problems over time. It can also boost your risk for carotid arteries, varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis and other cardiovascular problems since the heart has to work against gravity to keep blood flowing.”

Mistake #2- You stand (or sit) still. Movement is key.

Mistake #3- You use the standing desk for the wrong reasons. “Easiest to work in seated sprints”

Mistake#4- You do it for calorie burn. “Standing burns about 20 percent more calories than sitting.” Standing also makes you tire more quickly. “If your job is dependent on you not getting so tired, then you need to sit down for part of the day to do that job.”

Mistake #5- You spend big bucks. “Test it out before you buy. Stand when you are making phone calls or reading paperwork. Before you spend any money try out the obvious simple solutions” in making your workspace ergonomically, correct.

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