9 Tips to Use Standing Desks Correctly

April 21, 2021

A man in pain

Approximately 86% of all full-time workers in the US have a job that requires them to remain seated for hours on end. As a result, countless Americans started experiencing the health issues associated with physical inactivity at work, the most prevalent of which were neck and back problems. 

The Only Solution to Your Problem

Even if you lead an active lifestyle outside of work, these kinds of jobs are bound to kill your neck or back. It can help to start working out proactively at the gym or even trying simpler home workouts like yoga. 

However, so many of us don’t have time for these activities and an occasional workout session will do nothing to combat these health issues. You will begin to feel terrible most of the time, especially during your work hours. As a result, it wouldn’t be long before you will start hating your workplace. 

A sedentary lifestyle may not be a problem for you right now, but trust us, this problem grows over time. And why wouldn’t it? It is just not natural for the human body to sit around for so many hours at a time. 

If you really like your job, you will have to find a way to get rid of your back issues. The good news here is that there is a solution which is much more effective than tiresome workouts at the home or at the gym. 

What you need is a standing desk. 

What Is a Standing Desk?

Standing desks, also referred to as stand-up desks, is a simple desk that is designed in a manner that you can work comfortably while standing. 

While some are designed primarily for standing, some modern designs also offer adjustable options so that the desk can alternative between standing and sitting. These types of desks are known as height-adjustable desks

Granted, these desks will take some time to get used to, but after a couple of weeks, you will notice that the pain in your neck and back have disappeared miraculously. The very same effect happens when you switch from your uncomfortable work chair to a comfortable ergonomic chair. It hurts at first, but once your body adjusts to the new angle, you will be glad you made the switch.

How to Use a Standing Desk Correctly

Sure, switching to a height adjustable standing desk should theoretically solve all your problems, but with these products, you have to pass through a short learning curve. The only way to feel great everyday is by learning how to use a standing desk correctly. 

For this reason we’ve compiled a list of foolproof tips that will help you maximize your benefits and learn how to stand and work like a pro. WIth that said, let’s dive right into our agenda for the day:

1. Set Intervals Between Standing and Sitting

You probably can’t wait to get rid of your back and neck pain with your standing desk, and with good reason. However, it will play to your advantage to start slowly. Despite the fact that you want to put an end to your sedentary lifestyle, standing and working for the majority of your work shift will be a huge mistake. 

Changing your sitting habits so drastically (even though they were not natural in the first place), will result in a lot of aches. Therefore, you should limit the amount of pain you suffer by using a height-adjustable standing desk that can be used to sit and stand after predetermined time intervals. 

Initially, a good rule of thumb would be to assign no fixed time intervals to both standing and sitting and to only shift between them when you feel tired. After a couple of weeks, you will have naturally adjusted to standing for over half an hour without even noticing it. 

2. Stand Correctly

Yes, there is a right way to stand as well. You can’t lean on your standing table or distort your neck and back while working, The key is to stand in an upright position and with your feet firmly planted on the floor and your toes pointing forward. 

It also helps to try and activate all of your leg, back, and neck muscles by standing up straight. Within no time, you will begin to feel your natural posture again and without knowing it, start standing up straight without feeling any discomfort and pain.

3. Position Your Shoulders Optimally

A recurring issue with so many people who use traditional computer tables is that they start slouching their shoulders and hunching their backs. There may even be so many people who feel comfortable in this position and this is exactly what they need to change with their standing desk.

The solution here is that you should do a few shoulder rolls before short bursts of productivity or whenever you feel your shoulder slumping. After a short while you will begin to position your shoulders optimally and feel a lot better. 

4. Stand Over Something Soft

Just as your neck, back, and bottom get the worst of sitting down for long periods of time, your feet will begin to hurt if you keep standing for too long. The solution here is that you need to stand on any soft materials, such as anti-fatigue mats, or better yet, flow boards. 

If you think either of these options are an unnecessary expense, you can place any other soft surface beneath your feet while using a standing desk. In doing so, you will release pressure on the feet and stop your blood from collecting in your legs and feet - which is another pandora’s box of aches and pains. 

5. Move About and Exercise

It doesn’t really help if you keep standing in one place. It may sound counterintuitive to move around while using a standing desk, but doing so actually increases its overall effectiveness. You see, a static position is never good for the human body and it doesn’t matter which position it is in. 

Therefore, when you’re using your standing desk, try to move around from time to time. In doing so, your legs wouldn’t get tired even if you were standing for over half an hour. Alternatively, you could also walk around your office or home when your schedule allows it. 

If walking isn’t an option, you can always do a few calm raises or other easy exercises while standing at your desk. The idea here is to add some motion in your body to keep your blood circulating throughout your body. You will quickly notice how doing so helps you feel re-energized and a lot more productive. 

6. Try Tracking Your Steps

Nowadays, you will come across plenty of devices that offer the option to track your steps. The fact that these devices do so in real-time is a real motivation to walk more, and therefore, can be used while you’re using a standing desk. 

By tracing your steps, you will feel the inclination to pace around from time to time. This practice eventually leads to a healthier mindset and lifestyle and takes your farther away from your unhealthy sedentary lifestyle.

7. Adjust the Height of Your Monitor

If your monitor is set at an incorrect height you are forced to tilt your head forward while standing and tilting it backward while sitting. Both of these positions are unnatural and may have negative effects on your shoulders and neck. This problem can easily be avoided by adjusting your monitor so that its screen is at eye-level and not too close to your face.

8. Adjust the Position of Your Keyboard and Mouse

If you’re prone to use your hands at work, you’re bound to experience wrist pain. Using a keyboard for long periods of time can cause this problem and the biggest reason why this happens is because of your position. While using a standing desk, your wrist is supposed to be tilted more upwards as compared to when you’re sitting. 

If your standing desk has been adjusted to the perfect height but you still seem to be having wrist problems, you can try adding an additional pad over your tabletop to slightly raise the keyboard.

9. Take a Break

Simply because you have a neat sit/stand desk, doesn’t mean that you can’t take a break to relax your mind. Taking short breaks to walk around the office or home is a good idea but don’t forget to take breaks as well. Breaks are an important part of a healthy lifestyle and they are just as important while using standing desks. 

Final Thoughts

Standing desks may take some getting used to. However, if you follow all of these tips, you will not only learn how to use standing desks correctly, but also develop some healthy habits that are beneficial for your overall posture. After just a couple of weeks, these habits will become muscle memory and you’ll begin using your height adjustable standing desk like a pro!


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