It’s no news that standing while you work is becoming the new normal in the modern-day office. As people begin to realize the benefits of standing as opposed to sitting all day, standing desks are popping up in offices around the world. Standing desks can be a great tool to increase your health, productivity, and collaboration at work, but take note there are wrong ways and right ways to stand. Here are a few common mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
In order to fully take advantage of the health benefits from your new standing desk, it’s important to customize your workspace to suit your body’s needs. How to stand at a standing desk correctly may seem like a no-brainer from an outsider’s perspective: You stand. You work. You repeat. However, ergonomics is not an exact science because every human body is different. The optimal height for your desk will be different for you than for someone else, and that’s a good thing! Let's review how to use a standing desk setup!
According to recent studies, employees spend approximately 62% of their workday sitting, and the majority of university students spend upward of 75% of their class time sitting. This is cause for concern because various detrimental health consequences are associated with prolonged sitting, including an increased risk of weight gain, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and premature death, in addition to mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
One option, that is becoming increasingly popular, to reduce the amount of time in a seated position is to change your workstation to a standing desk. You can purchase a standing desk converter that allows you to keep your original desk, or if you want to remove your original desk, you can purchase a height adjustable standing desk. Both of these standing desk options give you the ability to work in either a sitting or standing position.
All of you who have a desk job or any type of job that requires you to sit for extended periods of time naturally creates problems for your back and neck. Even if you’re leading a very active life, this type of job will still kill your back, or only the neck, like in my case. You can combat this problem by working out actively all the time, by going to the gym or simply doing some easier workouts at home, maybe yoga for example.
However, many of us don’t have enough time for this, and an occasional workout won’t be helpful at all, back and neck pains will still be there, and you will still feel terrible all the time, especially while working, which will, in turn, make you start hating your job.Trust me, a sedentary life might not be problematic for everyone, but eventually, it starts being a problem for each and every one of us. It’s simply not natural for a human body to remain seated for extended periods of time. Get More Info.
So, if you have to do the job you do, you will have to find ways to eliminate your back issues. The good thing is that there are good solutions for this besides going to the gym and doing tiresome workouts several days a week. One of the best solutions is a height-adjustable standing desk. Any type of standing desk can do the trick here, but a sit-stand desk is definitely the best solution as you will be able to both sit and stand while you work. You can change between these two poses with an easy click of a button.
The Health Benefits Of Standing Desks
As medical research about the health dangers of prolonged sitting has poured in over the past few years, standing desks have emerged as a valuable workplace perk.
The 2018 Employee Benefits Survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that company offering of standing desks to workers grew by nine percentage points (from 44 to 53 percent) in the previous 12 months.
Last June, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared that all his employees had standing desks, saying that the combination of sitting and standing was “much better for [the employee’s] lifestyle.”
So, if you have the luxury of a standing desk in your office, how can you use it best? What sort of stretches might help get the blood flowing and what furniture accessories can help you get the most benefits on a budget?
Standing Too Long Can Be As Bad As Over-Sitting
First, one must note that a standing desk shouldn’t replace sitting — and that standing for very long periods isn’t something doctors or physical therapists recommend.
“Standing idly can cause problems, mostly vascular,” says Dr. Andrew Elkwood, MD, founder and director of the Center for Treatment of Paralysis and Reconstructive Nerve Surgery at Jersey Shore Medical Center. “Standing all day puts a lot of pressure on your legs which can cause swelling, varicose veins and hemorrhoids.”
Dr. Susan Chan, physical therapist at Stanford Health Care, adds that prolonged standing can lead to “collapsed veins in the lower extremities,” as well as “knee pain, back pain and hip pain.”
If using a standing desk, be sure not to overdo it, and remember to sit down periodically. “Find moderation between sitting and standing. Alternate every hour or so,” Chan says.
Where Should A Standing Desk Be Positioned?
As mentioned above, when we talk about using a standing desk, we are looking at sitting and standing heights. With that said, we should be looking at how to properly position your standing desk in a seated position first. Then, we’ll look at how to position it at standing heights.
One of the first things you will need to do is get yourself properly positioned in your office chair. This positioning should allow you to put your feet flat on the floor. You’ll want to rest your arms comfortably at your sides; your hand should be at or just below your elbow height. The position that your hands are at now is the desired height for a seated typing task. See here.
To find the proper standing height, we will be doing a similar setup. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, you’ll want to rest your arms at your sides comfortably and position your hands at or just below the height of your elbow. This is the desired standing height for typing tasks.
If you are using things like an anti-fatigue mat or switching to different shoes, consider the thickness of each. This can affect your standing height by as much as 2” depending on the mat or shoe. This can have a big impact on your correct standing height.
Note: The industry standard for normal sitting desks is between 29” to 30” tall. After doing this exercise you will find out quickly that standard desk height is only good for a small group of the population. One of the added benefits of a sit to a standing desk is the flexibility for proper sitting heights.
Summary of the proper way to use a standing desk
- Always adjust your standing desk to your elbows' height.
- Keep your neck tall and your shoulders relaxed.
- Don't lock your knees while standing.
- Keep your screen at eye-level.
- Keep your wrists straight and parallel to the desk surface.
Research shows the ideal ratio is to spend one hour standing for every one to two hours of sitting. A height adjustable sit stand desk lets you do just that. Most quality sit stand desks have electric controls or gas lifts to make it possible for workers to adjust the height of their desk multiple times each day.
That means for every 1 to 2 hours you sit in your office, 1 hour should be spent standing. Try to alternate between sitting and standing every 30 to 60 minutes. Bottom Line: Try to alternate between sitting and standing.
Sitting behind your desk all day is bad for your health and experts have long been advising people to stand at their workstations for about 15 minutes an hour. But a University of Waterloo professor says his research shows that people should be standing for at least 30 minutes per hour to get health benefits.
Those who used standing desks during the studies reported an improvement of up to 32% in their lower back and neck pain after using the desk for a period of several weeks. Set your desk and your monitor at an appropriate height for your back and neck to achieve the correct posture.
Frequently Asked Questions About Standing Desk
How To Stand At A Standing Desk?
Like we said earlier, the proper height for a standing desk differs from person to person. Although our standing desks are easy to navigate and use, many people struggle to find the optimum position. To make sure you get the most out of your standing desk, here are some of Progressive Desk’s tips for using a standing desk like a pro!
Properly Align Your Elbows and Wrists
For the best arm comfort, make sure your elbows and wrists are properly aligned when standing and typing at your adjustable desk. To save your elbows from strain or exhaustion, bend them at a 90-degree angle. For your wrists, keep them in a straight line perpendicular to your body – that way, your fingers will reach the keyboard properly and your wrists won’t get tired as easily. If you maintain this, your hands will stay more relaxed while using a standing desk.
Bend your elbows at a 90 degrees angle, keeping your neck neutral and your wrists straight in front of you. Lift or lower the standing desk to align your forearms parallel with the desk surface. Your hands should float over the keyboard with straight, relaxed wrists. Your fingers can hang down to meet your keyboard, but your wrist position should never be inclined up or down.
The final adjustments are to ensure your wrists remain neutral: Your fingers can hang down to meet your keyboard but your wrist should never be tilted upwards or downwards.
Fix Your Posture
Posture is very important when it comes to standing or sitting for hours. Make sure you always keep your neck straight and tall while keeping your shoulders back and in a straight but relaxed position. Further to this, stretch your forearms so they stay parallel to the table surface and bend your knees a little, so they feel comfortable and not over-extended.
Adjust and Save Your Desk Position
Position your desk so it can keep your wrists comfortable in a neutral position. You need to make sure that your fingers can comfortably run through the keyboard but your wrists don’t need to move upwards or downwards for that. Remember, repeatedly extending your wrists can sometimes result in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you opt for a remote with memory positioning, save the desk height setting when you have the perfect height for you so you can easily switch between standing and sitting.
Maintaining Proper Posture
Your head, neck and torso should be aligned vertically, with your shoulders relaxed. Your knees should be slightly bent with your feet positioned directly under your shoulders, and your weight should occasionally be shifted from one foot to the other. A footrest may be useful for shifting your weight. In some cases, the use of an anti-fatigue mat may allow you to stand for extended periods of time.
Another alternative to sitting or standing at your desk is to kneel, or half kneel. Kneeling is a very natural position for your body and encourages proper spinal alignment. There are various kneeling positions that you can use - one leg forward and one leg down on a balance cushion such as a Theraband balance board, both knees positioned on a kneeling chair, or one leg on the floor and one knee kneeling on a chair. Kneeling places your spine and pelvis in a neutral position, and forces you into a more upright posture, which reduces slouching and stress on your spine.
It’s not unusual for your knees to get tired or achy after a long time spent kneeling. To reduce the discomfort, change positions - switch the side that you’re kneeling on, stand or sit at your desk, or get up and go for a short walk.
Proper Positioning of Your Computer Monitor
Position your monitor about an arms-length directly in front of you, with the top of the monitor at or below eye level (tilted up to 20 degrees) so that when you’re looking at the centre of the screen your line of sight is perpendicular to the screen surface. When dual monitors are used simultaneously, they should be placed side by side with their edges touching. However, if you use one monitor the majority of the time (more than 80% of the time), that monitor should be placed directly in front of you with the other monitor positioned to the side.
* If you wear bifocals, you should lower your monitor by 1 to 2 inches (two to three fingerbreadths) for more comfortable viewing.
Put Something Soft Beneath Your Feet
Just as your bottom, back, and neck will get the brunt of the pain from sitting for too long, so will your feet get the same after standing for too long. So what’s the solution here? Well, basically anything soft, like an anti-fatigue mat or better, a flow board, that you can put beneath your feet. You can even buy the best anti-fatigue mat for a standing desk that has a comfortable ergonomic design that will help you relieve the pressure that you put on your feet.
Any kind of soft surface will reduce the pressure on your feet and get the blood from pooling in your feet and even your legs, which in turn can create its own set of problems. So if you want to use a standing desk properly, you will have to get yourself something to stand on that will be soft and comfortable enough for your feet to feel better. Check this website.
Proper Positioning of Your Mouse and Keyboard
Position your mouse and keyboard on the same surface, and keep your elbows close to your body and bent between 90 and 120 degrees. Your wrists should be straight with your hands positioned slightly below your elbows.
To minimize mouse use consider using keyboard shortcuts and adjusting the sensitivity of your mouse so that you can use a light touch. Additionally, alternate the hand you use to operate the mouse by positioning it on the other side of your keyboard from time to time.
Move While Using A Standing Desk
Don’t stand like a statue all the time, move! You might think it sounds counterproductive the first time you heard it, but it’s quite the opposite. Being static will never be good for your body, no matter what position it is in (sleeping is an exception, but that’s a whole different matter!). So after you are getting used to a standing desk, you should move from time to time. You won’t feel any pain even after half an hour, but it will still be good for you to take a short walk around the office space or house, or wherever you are.
If you don’t feel like walking, you can even do some calf raises or some easy exercises at your standing desk. The key is to put your body into any kind of motion and get the blood flowing. You might think that sitting for a long period of time is bad for your body, and it is, but standing still for too long can be almost equally bad as well. Like we said, being static for too long is never a good thing for your body. So start moving from time to time! You can then get back to your stand up desk and feel re-energized and thus more productive.
Recommended Standing Time
It is recommended that you initially build up to two hours of standing and movement throughout the workday, with a gradual increase to four hours throughout the workday. Keep in mind that whether you’re standing or sitting, you should take a break every 20 to 30 minutes to move around for 2 minutes.
Healthy habits to develop to increase movement in the workplace include walking to the water fountain or printer, using the stairs rather than the elevator, and parking farther from the main entrance.
If you’ve made the switch to a standing or sit-stand desk you’re on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Keep in mind that changing your workstation may result in unwanted side effects, especially if done incorrectly. Introducing standing gradually, and ensuring that your workstation is set up properly, will help you learn how to stand at a standing desk and experience the health benefits of this innovative workstation design.