What Is The Best Way To Stand At A Standing Desk?
So you finally pulled the trigger and decided to treat yourself to a stand-up desk. Great decision - this is one of the best investments you can make in your workspace! But now, you're probably wondering what the best way to stand at a standing desk is. How do you actually use your new desk properly?
You want to get the most out of it and enjoy all the health and productivity benefits these standing desks have to offer. But if you don't use yours correctly, you're missing out. In fact, you could be worse off than you'd have been at your traditional sitting desk!
Don't worry - using a standing desk is actually really straightforward. There are really just a few factors you need to consider. And today, we're going to cover everything you need to know. We'll explain how to set up your desk correctly - including preset heights. Then, we'll cover best practices for actually standing at your desk.
By the end of this quick guide, you'll be equipped to conquer your new workstation and enjoy comfortable, pain-free productivity all day long! Let's start by talking about why learning how to stand at your desk correctly is so important.
Why Learning How To Stand At A Standing Desk Is So Important
Standing at a standing desk may seem so simple. Why are we even talking about this? Can't you just walk up to your desk and....stand in front of it?
Yes - this topic can be as simple as you want it to be. But, if you decided to invest in one of these types of standing desks in the first place, we have a feeling you take your health, comfort, and productivity seriously. That's why this topic needs to be addressed.
Prevent Aches, Pains, & Discomfort
Standing desks are great for helping you relieve aches, pains, and discomfort associated with prolonged sitting. But only if you're using a standing desk the right way.
If you work a desk job, as many people do, you sit anywhere from 6-8 hours a day. If you factor in a commute, dinner, and chilling on the couch - this number is even higher.
Extended periods of time sitting is problematic for a number of reasons. For one, it can contribute to substantial weight gain. Those who live a very sedentary lifestyle are more at risk for weight-related health problems. But, sitting too much also leads to tight hips and poor posture. Together, these ailments contribute to aches, pains, and eventually, injury.
If you spent the time researching your desk, pulling out the credit card, and investing in your wellbeing - you might as well learn how to use it right. Improper use will contribute to knee pain, foot pain, slouching, neck pain, and more. But that's not all you're at risk of when using your sit-stand desk incorrectly.
Maintain High Productivity Throughout The Work Day
Another huge benefit you'll gain from investing in your standing desk is enhanced productivity. Sitting for too long depletes your energy levels. By getting up every so often and getting the blood flowing, you'll feel boosts in your energy along with your mood. In fact, studies have shown that 71% of people reported increases in mental focus by reducing sitting time by just one hour! Imagine what you could accomplish by standing 2-3 hours a day.
How is this possible? Experts suggest it's due to the increased blood supply to the brain. This helps get oxygen and nutrients to where they're needed most while you work.
But, if you don't nail down your sit-to-stand ratio, you won't fully unlock these productivity benefits. And if you don't have your setup dialed in, your standing time will be less productive as you aren't quite as comfortable as you could be. For more information on why standing desks are good for you, take a look at our complete guide. For now, let's move onto how to actually use one.
The Best Way To Stand At A Standing Desk: Everything You Should Know
All this considered, you can surely recognize the importance of learning how to stand at a standing desk the right way. There are just a few things you need to know. We'll begin by discussing how to set up your height adjustable standing desk correctly.
Start By Setting Your Preset Heights On Your Standing Desk Properly
As you can imagine, the biggest factor affecting your comfort and productivity when using a standing desk is height. When you invest in a quality sit-stand desk, you gain the ability to set your presets. In some cases, you'll have as many as three presets you can optimize. With just a quick press of a button, the desk will automatically raise and lower to the heights you've set.
You need to make sure both your sitting and standing presets are dialed in to the correct height. What's the correct height for the standing position, you may be asking? It's pretty simple - set your standing height is at elbow level. Bend your elbows as if you were going to type at your desk, and with the other hand, raise your desk up until your hands meet the table surface. The goal is to find a position where your wrists are never angled up or down - they should sit flush on the table.
But, you also have to consider your computer screen. It should sit at eye level. This prevents craning the neck up or down. To get this perfect, you can use monitor risers or even a few books you have laying around.
We mentioned that you also need to consider your sitting preset. Here, the same principles apply. But you also have to factor in your chair. It's very likely you'll tweak the height of your chair along with the height of your desk to find the perfect fit. We recommend setting your chair such that your knees are parallel to the seat cushion. This keeps your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, which minimizes the effects you'll feel on your hips from prolonged sitting.
How Long To Stand At A Standing Desk (When First Starting)
Once you've got your desk set to the correct standing height, you are ready to get to work! At this point, you should consider your ideal sitting to standing ratio. Using a standing desk grants you the ability to alternate between sitting and standing with the press of a button.
Trust us - if you're used to sitting 8-hours a day and living a rather sedentary lifestyle, standing up while you work is going to take some getting used to. Don't expect to spend the whole day - or even half the day - in the standing position. Even if you can physically manage to stand, you may experience productivity losses past a certain point. That's why knowing when to sit, and when to stand, is so important.
When first getting started, try to achieve a 3:1 ratio of sitting to standing. That means for every three hours you spend sitting, spend an hour standing. You don't have to wait three hours to stand, though. You can break this ratio into smaller chunks. The more frequently you alternate between sitting and standing, the better.
Over time, you can start to whittle away at the time you spend sitting. Your goal should be to build up to a 2:1 sitting to standing ratio, or even a 1:1 ratio depending on how long you spend in front of your desk.
Maintain Proper Posture While You Stand At Your Standing Desk
To truly keep your body feeling healthy, comfortable, and productive, you need to assess your posture while standing. If struggle with maintaining proper posture, you'll tire faster. And, you'll likely end up with soreness, aches, and pains just like you would if you were sitting.
There are a few things you should take inventory of when you stand at a standing desk. First and foremost, keep your feet flat on the floor shoulder-width apart. No leaning, no rocking back and forth, and definitely no cocked hips.
It's also imperative that you keep your spine in alignment. This means no slouching over at your desk. Slouching can lead to back pain, neck pain, and even shoulder pain. Keep your neck in alignment too. The dreaded "tech neck" is a common condition for those who jut their head forward towards their screen.
If you aren't entirely sure how to fix your posture, watch some tutorials. Seeing the ideal posture and replicating it is much easier than trying to read about it. In summary, though, keep your feet flat at shoulder width along with a neutral spine. Stand straight - it's that simple!
Enhance Your Workspace For Greater Comfort & Productivity
By following the advice we've shared to this point, you'll have no problem standing comfortably at your desk and maintaining high productivity over the course of the day. But there are a few accessories you can add that greatly enhance the productivity and health benefits of your standing desk.
The one accessory we recommend anyone with a standing desk invest in is an anti-fatigue mat. Also known as a standing desk mat, this is what you'll stand on in front of your standing desk. It provides just the right amount of support and cushion to keep your feet comfortable and fresh while you stand. It also may even help increase blood flow and relieve tension in your ankles, knees, and back. But, the anti-fatigue mat also protects your carpet from getting worn down. If you spend long hours standing, you'll want one.
Another accessory you may want to add to your workstation is a laptop stand. This will raise your laptop up to the ideal level, keeping you from angling your neck up or down. This is a necessity whether you're sitting or standing.
Want to take things even further? You can optimize your standing desk with storage essentials and cable management tools. These will eliminate clutter and keep your working space nice and organized. You know what they say - a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind!
And while you're upgrading your workspace, consider upgrading your chair. Even with a 1:1 sit/stand ratio, you'll spend a lot of time in the seated position. An ergonomic chair can make all the difference.
What's The Best Way To Stand At A Standing Desk? Final Thoughts
Well, that concludes our quick guide on the best way to stand at a standing desk. It really just comes down to setting your heights correctly (both sitting and standing) and finding your ideal sit/stand ratio. Add a few workplace accessories to enhance your comfort, maintain good posture, and you'll reap all the benefits these sit-stand desks have to offer!
If you're still in the market for a new standing desk, or you want to treat yourself by upgrading your current setup, look no further than EverDesk+.
Upgrade Your Workspace With The EverDesk+!
Our adjustable standing desks are the best in Singapore, and once you get the chance to work at yours, you'll understand why.
These standing desks are proven to keep you healthy and comfortable while enhancing productivity. They're easy to set up, and even feature an integrated health coach to help remind you when it's time to sit or stand. And, they feature cable management raceways and built in storage to keep your workspace clean and productive. With an industry-leading 10-year warranty, what more could you ask for? Invest in your productivity and wellbeing today!