8 Tips for Switching to a Standing Desk

8 Tips for Switching to a Standing Desk

Posted by Uncaged Ergonomics on 11th Oct 2017

Ergonomic standing desks are becoming more common in the modern workplace. Studies suggest they can help reduce health risks like cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Some people even say “sitting is the new smoking.” If you want to move around more during the workday, consider an affordable standing desk. This article provides a few tips on what to do before and when you switch to height adjustable workstations.

1. Research

Do some research on standing desks before you commit to a purchase. Think about what it is you actually need, the overall quality of the product, and how convenient it will be to use on a daily basis.

2. Experiment

After you’ve completed your homework, it’s now time to experiment. Your goal is to find out if you notice any benefits from standing up while working. While you can find many options online, you may want to get the feel for a standing desk in an office furnishing store first.

3. Prepare yourself for the adjustment period

Transitioning to a standing desk is relatively easy, but not always painless. You should expect there to be some minor discomfort during the initial adjustment period—like sore feet, tired legs, or shaky calves.

Try alternating sitting and standing every hour in the beginning stages. Keep in mind the discomfort is because your body is accustomed to sitting down while working. It takes the average person around two weeks to become confident and able to stand for hours on end. Your body will grow stronger and the discomfort will subside. There are actions you can take to lessen the discomfort, including:

4. Have a pair of comfortable shoes

Some people worry about having to sacrifice fashion for standing up at work. But standing for long periods in any style of “dress” shoe is impractical and uncomfortable. You should purchase a pair of comfortable shoes and leave them for use in your office or cubicle.

5. Invest in an anti-fatigue floor mat

Along with taking care of your feet, you need to keep your overall comfort in mind. Crucial for standing desk success is investing in an anti-fatigue floor mat. They aren’t called “anti-fatigue” for nothing—these floor mats give you extra cushioning to work longer while standing and help prevent fatigue in your knees. Using a standard half-inch anti-fatigue floor mat will be sufficient for most people—but you might want to consider a thicker one if you’re on your feet for 10 or more hours a day.

6. Understand the importance of ergonomics

Ergonomics are defined as “design factors as for the workplace intended to maximize productivity by minimizing operator fatigue and discomfort.” It’s important to utilize proper techniques when working. Here are some additional ergonomic tips:

  • Your arms should be positioned at a true 90 degrees when typing
  • The computer screen should be positioned at eye level
  • Make sure your computer monitor is at least an arm’s length away

7. Focus on your overall posture

Try focusing on your overall posture when standing. It’s easy to go back to the bad habits which made you get a standing desk in the first place. Perhaps you can envision your head touching the ceiling. That will keep your shoulders back and allow you to stand straight up. Position your feet shoulder-length apart—but consider crossing your legs to switch it up as well. You’ll quickly find out what works best for you.

8. Take regular breaks

If you have meetings or conference calls, these are good times to get off your feet and sit for a short period. Also walk away from the workstation to just walk. Standing immobile is almost as unhealthy as sitting for endless hours. It doesn’t need to be a long walk—shoot for five minutes of walking for every hour of standing.