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Standing at Work: How To Integrate Tech To Support a Better Standing Habit

24 December 2018

Standing at work is an easy way to improve your health, but it can be tough to remember to take those "standing breaks." You might even have a standing desk, but whether or not you use it regularly is another question. If you want to use your standing desk more but have a tough time remembering to do so, here are some actions you can take right away to help you meet your goal.

Standing vs. Sitting at Work: the Facts

Sitting for extended periods of time every day may increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, accelerate aging and cause other health issues, AARP reports. It's important to take standing breaks, but this doesn't mean you should be standing all day, U.S. News & World Report advises. Instead, you should take a break from sitting approximately every 20 minutes, stand for about eight minutes and also add in a couple minutes of stretching or walking. So how do you remember to elevate your standing desk every 20 minutes or so? Here are some ideas.

Set Reminders on Your Calendar or App

The easiest and least expensive method is to set a reminder that repeats every 30 minutes during your workday. You don't need a fancy device to do this. Just schedule the reminder on your calendar or your to-do app. Then set the reminder to recur every 30 minutes (this includes those eight minutes of standing and two minutes of light movement.) Or just reset a stopwatch app on your phone to go off every 30 minutes.

You can also use an app designed specifically to remind you to stand. There are quite a few to choose from, such as Stand Up! The Work Break Timer for iOS, the Break Timer for the Chrome browser or the Stretchly desktop app that reminds you to take a computer break.

Listen to Your Apple Watch's Stand Reminders

Apple Watch's OS has a nifty Activity app that helps you track how much you're standing every day. The Activity app has different "rings" that notify you when you meet your goals. To complete a daily Stand goal, you must stand and move around at least a minute during 12 hours of every day. If you want your Apple Watch to remind you to stand, just go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap "My Watch," tap "Activity," and turn on the "Stand Reminders" notification. Remember: You can't change your preset Stand goals for every day. But you can change your Move goal's "calories burned" goal for each day.

Use a FitBit To Track Your Standing Times

There are a number of devices that can remind you to stand, including a FitBit. Most FitBit devices are set to remind you to move at least 250 steps every hour. They'll vibrate and put a reminder on your screen 10 minutes before the end of each hour if you haven't completed those 250 steps yet. If you get this reminder, raise your standing desk and move around the office a bit. You can change the settings in your FitBit to remind you anywhere from five hours a day to 14 hours a day.

Use Your Standing Desk's Reminders

Some standing desks, like the electric height adjustable FlexiSpot desks, come with sit/stand reminders that can be customized to go off at specific intervals every day. This system alerts you when it's time to stand, and you can turn it off any time you really need to concentrate for a longer period of time.

When it comes to standing vs. sitting at work, you should be doing a little of both — just break up the time you're sitting with a few minutes of standing every 20 minutes or so. With so many apps and devices available to remind you regularly, there's no excuse to not be standing at work.