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How Long Should You Stand At A Standing Desk

16 January 2024

There's plenty of evidence for the harms that sitting for long stretches can have on your body. From obesity and pains to cardiovascular disease, sitting can have a serious effect on us. Unfortunately, it's difficult to remove sitting from our lives because of how many of our daily responsibilities require us to sit.

Standing desks have managed to provide a solution to the problem by allowing us to do all the work that used to be done seated while standing. But how long should you stand at a standing desk to actually get any benefit out of it?

Standing for too short a time can end up having barely any effect, while standing for too long can end up tiring you out. Let's consider the best way to work at your standing desk.

Standing At Your Standing Desk

There are some clear cut benefits that standing has in comparison to sitting. In fact, where jobs traditionally require more sitting, there are some key ways that standing up from time to time can help keep your body in shape and even improve bodily functions in some ways.

For example, if you spend most of your day sitting, even standing up for a few minutes at a time can improve your circulation, which extends to an improvement in your circulatory system as a whole. When your cardiovascular system is healthy, you are also able to breathe better because the improved blood flow allows your lungs to fill up completely.

The muscles and joints in your legs also get some much-needed movement after staying idle for so long, and the pressure on your back gets released, which instantly makes you feel better.

However, despite all these benefits, standing for too long can also be bad. Prolonged sitting is still arguably worse, but prolonged standing can also have side effects. Prolonged standing is when you stand for about 8 hours or more without much movement.

Jobs that require standing for long stretches of time are most commonly associated with lower back pain as well as chronic venous insufficiency and pain in the leg muscles.

So if both sitting and standing can have negative effects, which one do you go for?

The answer is to have balance - there's always a middle ground that allows you to get the benefits of either one without any of the side effects. Fortunately, height adjustable standing desks - as opposed to traditional sitting desks, or even stable standing desks make this possible.

How Long Should You Stand at a Standing Desk?

There is no one correct answer for the best way to stand at your standing desk because everyone is different and will have different requirements based on their body type. For some, standing every few minutes may be more beneficial, while for others, sitting for slightly longer stretches may work.

Generally, the recommendation is that you should stand every 5-15 minutes after an hour of sitting. However, this is about the bare minimum, and you should try to stand more often during the day if you can. In fact, instead of just switching between sitting and standing, it would be better if you move around during the time you spend standing.

This means walking around a bit to give your legs some exercise and stretch your muscles. This could be as simple as going to get yourself some coffee before you come back to your desk.

Out of an eight hour day, it is recommended to get at least 2 hours of standing or movement in between sitting to prevent the negative effects of sitting from catching up to you. If you can stretch this on to up to 4 hours - that is, at least half the work day - then you can get even more benefits out of it.

Still, remember that the time you spend standing shouldn't be so long that you end up facing the negative effects of standing either. You want to strike the balance!

That means that on top of considering how long you want to spend the day standing to stay healthy, you also want to consider when to switch between sitting and standing. The best way is to take a small break every 30 minutes to one hour, so that your muscles and joints get repeated movements and your blood flow stays healthy and stable.

Balancing Between Sitting and Standing

Again, you don't want to sit too long or stand too long - you want to do both just the right amount. Adjustable standing desks allow for this to happen by providing you with maximum comfort while doing both, which also improves the ratio of your sitting to standing time.

Still, you do have to make some effort to find that perfect middle ground.

Learn to Stand

We know how to stand, but we do still have to teach our bodies to do it at some point. When you spend too much time sitting during your day, you won't actually be able to meet your standing goal right off the bat. The best way is to build up to it slowly. If your standing goal is 4 hours a day, every 30 minutes per hour, then you’d have to start off slow. Stand for a shorter period of time at first, before building up to the goal.

If you feel any discomfort while standing, allow yourself to sit! You'll eventually build that tolerance and be able to stay standing for longer stretches of time.

You can also invest in some support items that make it easier to stand, such as an anti-fatigue mat, or more comfortable shoes.

Remember to Stand

For one thing, you actually have to remember to stand up. We are so used to just sitting all the time that we forget we have to stand up at all - or even that we can stand up and still work. You can set a timer on your phone, or make an effort to keep standing when you get back from a bathroom or coffee break. While these can help, reminders are probably the best way to go about it.

Sometimes your body will give you a reminder on its own, because you'll feel the tension in your muscles, but other times you may need something else to do it for you. If your phone is too distracting, some standing desks come with the option to set sit-stand reminders so that you can make sure to incorporate the right amount of standing in your day.

Comhar Standing Desk

The Comhar Standing Desk with Drawers is a multi-functional desk that works perfectly for home offices and such. Not only does it let you meet your standing goals by allowing you to work while standing, it also makes your life easier by making it a lot more comfortable to work when you're sitting too.

It has the option for height adjustment, so you can set it at whatever height you need to keep the right posture without straining yourself. A lot of the exhaustion that comes with working is about bad posture and working the wrong height. With height adjustment, you can make sure the desk suits your body type and stature and thus prevent problems. Whether you're sitting or standing, you need to keep the right position for your body to stay safe.

Another way this desk helps you with meeting your standing goals is that it comes with a sit-stand reminder that lets you know it's time for you to stand up. All you have to do is program it into the control panel and you can work freely without worrying about forgetting to stand. It's also a lot less distracting and noisy than your phone.

The adjustment is also easily done, since it comes with a motor that can help move the tabletop up and down without you needing to do anything. The motor is very quiet, so you don't have to worry about making a lot of noise in the workspace and disturbing your colleagues. You can even preset your height preferences so that if the desk is adjusted for other purposes, you can get it back to the original without much hassle. The anti-collision function helps prevent damage as well.

It takes up minimal floor space, so you can set it up in any corner of the room as long as the tabletop fits. It also has a minimalist aesthetic so it can work well with any sort of room decor.

The desktop itself is also spacious and can house your essentials without clutter. There is a storage drawer and USB charging ports built into the desktop as well. The desk is perfect for all kinds of work, and now you don't have to worry about damaging your body because of sitting for too long either.

Staying healthy is important, but so is staying comfortable! Take steps to improve your sit-stand ratio, but don't hurt yourself at either step.