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20 Tips for Using Your Standing Desk Like a Pro

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Sep 9, 2020
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All of you who have a desk job or any type of job that requires you to sit for extended periods of time naturally creates problems for your back and neck. Even if you’re leading a very active life, this type of job will still kill your back, or only the neck, like in my case. You can combat this problem by working out actively all the time, by going to the gym or simply doing some easier workouts at home, maybe yoga for example.

However, many of us don’t have enough time for this, and an occasional workout won’t be helpful at all, back and neck pains will still be there, and you will still feel terrible all the time, especially while working, which will, in turn, make you start hating your job.Trust me, a sedentary life might not be problematic for everyone, but eventually, it starts being a problem for each and every one of us. It’s simply not natural for a human body to remain seated for extended periods of time

So, if you have to do the job you do, you will have to find ways to eliminate your back issues. The good thing is that there are good solutions for this besides going to the gym and doing tiresome workouts several days a week. One of the best solutions is a height-adjustable standing desk. Any type of standing desk can do the trick here, but a sit-stand desk is definitely the best solution as you will be able to both sit and stand while you work. You can change between these two poses with an easy click of a button.

At first, you should try and use your standing desk as a simple stand up desk, so that you can become accustomed to standing while working. It will be a bother at first, as it’s a new and often tiresome thing, but after only a couple of days, you will get used to it and stop feeling any pain as your back and neck will adjust to this natural position. The same thing happens when you switch from an uncomfortable chair to an ergonomic chair, your body simply has to adjust to the new position, which has to hurt a bit. Once you get accustomed, you will be truly glad that you bought a sit-stand desk.

Learning how to use a standing desk correctly

Once you get your height adjustable standing desk, you will want to learn how to use it properly and ultimately feel great while doing it! That is precisely what this text will help you achieve. We have prepared a set of foolproof standing desk tips that will help you learn how to use your new stand up desk like a real pro! By taking these tips into account you are bound to feel better and see the full potential of your sit-stand desk. So let’s dive into it and get you on the right track to leading a healthy life with a desk job and no gym time.

1. Create standing/sitting intervals

You are probably feeling super hyped as you have just bought yourself a brand new height-adjustable standing desk. You definitely should, but you still need to start slowly, even though you probably want to finally change your habits and start standing all the time while you work. If you do this, you will be making a huge mistake. I say this because changing your natural position that you keep for extended periods of time (even though it’s technically not natural) will cause you a lot of pain. You have to limit the pain by starting to use your sit-stand desk interchangeably, by standing and sitting.

how to stand at standing desk - you should create standing/sitting intervals

The trick is in creating standing intervals that will become longer and longer over time. You will have to start very slowly, by standing only for a couple of minutes and then sitting for a few minutes as well. There is no golden rule here, no fixed amount of minutes for each interval. The only rule is to progressively and slowly increase the time you spend standing in front of your stand up desk. Over time, you will have learned how to stand for more than half an hour without feeling anything. That’s the goal you have to strive for.

This also leads us to our next tip of using standing desk correctly…

2. Move while using a standing desk

Don’t stand like a statue all the time, move! You might think it sounds counterproductive the first time you heard it, but it’s quite the opposite. Being static will never be good for your body, no matter what position it is in (sleeping is an exception, but that’s a whole different matter!). So after you are getting used to standing desk, you should move from time to time. You won’t feel any pain even after half an hour, but it will still be good for you to take a short walk around the office space or house, or wherever you are.

If you don’t feel like walking, you can even do some calf raises or some easy exercises at your standing desk. The key is to put your body into any kind of motion and get the blood flowing. You might think that sitting for a long period of time is bad for your body, and it is, but standing still for too long can be almost equally bad as well. Like we said, being static for too long is never a good thing for your body. So start moving from time to time! You can then get back to your stand up desk and feel re-energized and thus more productive.

3. Learn how to stand correctly

Yes, there are rules here as well. Just as there is a right and wrong way of sitting while working, so is there a similar thing on how to stand correctly when it comes to using a standing desk. You can’t just stand by leaning on your table, or by distorting your back and neck, etc. You will have to stand straight, the way it’s meant for you to stand.

Learn how to stand at standing desk correctly

The most proper way to stand at a standing desk is to point your toes forward with your feet screwed into the ground. You should also activate most of your muscles in your legs and keep your back and neck straight, but really straight. After a while, this will start to feel natural and you will always keep on standing like this, without feeling any pain or discomfort.

4. Put something soft beneath your feet

Just as your bottom, back, and neck will get the brunt of the pain from sitting for too long, so will your feet get the same after standing for too long. So what’s the solution here? Well, basically anything soft, like an anti-fatigue mat or better, a flow board, that you can put beneath your feet. You can even buy a best anti fatigue mat for standing desk that has a comfortable ergonomic design that will help you relieve the pressure that you put on your feet.

Any kind of such soft surface will reduce the pressure on your feet and get the blood from pooling in your feet and even your legs, which in turn can create its own set of problems. So if you want to use a standing desk properly, you will have to get yourself something to stand on that will be soft and comfortable enough for your feet to feel better.

Use standing desk with flow board

5. Hold your shoulders properly

The problem with people when using conventional computer desks is that they make us hunch our backs and slouch our shoulders. While standing at an height adjustable standing desk, it will be easier to learn to keep your back straight, but the problem with the shoulders will still remain. For some reason, all of us feel more comfortable next to a computer with our shoulder slumped. It’s something that has to change when you start using a height-adjustable standing desk, or you won’t achieve much with it.

The solution for this is to do shoulder rolls from time to time. Every time you notice your shoulders slumping, do a few shoulder rolls and try to keep them straight after that. After a while, this will start to feel natural and you will start feeling better. The key is to be persistent!

Do shoulder rolls while using standing desk

6. Preset your ergonomic workspace

By this, I mean that you have to bear in mind that you need to put your height adjustable desk at the right height. It’s adjustable for a reason… The motorized desk needs to be at a height from which your monitor will be at the height of your eyes so that you won’t start changing your position in order to see better, like moving your head back or forward. Your keyboard also needs to be at chest height so that your hands are not in a position that can cause damage in the long run.

All of these small things are easily adjustable and will keep you from having problems in the future, so they are definitely very important to do when using a stand up desk.

7. Use arm support

It’s good to have your entire arms in a good position, but with a standing desk, or any kind of desk for that matter, you will have to lean your hands on the desk, if not that, at least the wrists. You just have to do this or your arms will start hurting like hell after some time.

The solution here is to use some kind of support on the table beneath your wrists. If you already using our ErgoChair with armrest, you're fine. If not, get something similar for the desk as well.

Standing desk tip is using with ergonomic armrest chair

8. Avoid the infamous lean while using your standing desk

What’s this? Well, it’s the leaning in a pose that most of us unconsciously make almost every time we stand next to a desk. The positive impact you’ll receive from using a stand-up desk will almost dissipate if you keep on leaning in.

It’s a “natural” tendency that all of us have, so you shouldn’t blame yourself for not being able to easily stop doing it. But keep making a conscious effort to keep your back and head straight. Through time and persistence, you will start doing this unconsciously and thus create a new, natural pose for your body next to your sit-stand desk.

9. Adjust the height of your Ergonomic chair

You should adjust the height of Ergonomic chair so that the top of seat cushion is parallel to the based your knees. Your feet should be parallel to the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. This is a proper sitting posture that help you avoid back pain.

10. How long should you stand at standing desk

According to studies, you should alternate between standing and sitting. It's been proven that sitting too much cause bad effect for your health but standing too long also harm your body. Alternate between sitting and standing can help avoid body pain. You should stand 30 - 45 minutes for every hour, this will help you increase productivity and prevent disease.

You shouldn't stand too long at standing desk

11. Track your steps

Tracking your steps with your phone or wearable devices is basically great for everyone and can motivate you to walk more. This can also be useful while using a standing desk because while you stand, you will be more inclined to move from time to time. You won’t do this while sitting as that’s when you easily forget about moving at all.

Tracking your steps can, in turn, lead you to have a healthier life, not just to move from time to time while working. So it’s basically one of the greatest standing desk tips overall!

12. Take breaks!

Just because you have bought a great sit-stand desk, that doesn’t mean that you should keep on using it without stopping. The right standing position with short walking sessions from time to time is definitely good, but you still have to have breaks! Breaks are necessary with everything in life, and they are definitely necessary here as well.

13. When all other movement fails, fidget!

Yes, you heard that right. If you can’t always get yourself to move or you are deep into your work and can’t stop because you’ll lose all of that maximum productivity, just start to fidget.

Fidgeting is spontaneous, easy, and won’t distract you from your work while using your standing desk, so it’s certainly one of the best tips on this list, if not the best!

Fidget while using a standing desk at work

14. Adjust Your Monitor's Height

With your monitor at the incorrect height, you can force yourself to tilt forward to see it when standing, or you may end up tilting your head backward when sitting. These positions are not neutral, and they have negative implications for your neck and shoulders. To avoid this, you need to adjust your monitor to a recommended height with an adjustable monitor arm

Ensure that your screen is on eye-level, but that it's not too close to your face. Ideally, if you stretch your hand outwards from your working position, your fingertips should only just touch the screen. Standing desks don't facilitate laptops very well where positioning is concerned. So, if you are using one, it's in your best interest to get an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard. 

Adjust monitor height

15. Adjust Your Keyboard and Mouse Position

Wrist strain is a big problem for a person who uses the hands to work. When you use a keyboard for long hours, positioning can be a big factor, as you can cause yourself pain and strain with an incorrect one. When standing, your wrist should be slightly more tilted upwards than when you are sitting.

If you find that your standing desk is at the correct height, but your wrists are still in a suboptimal position, it's a good idea to get a pad to help you raise your keyboard to the required level. 

Adjust Keyboard and Mouse

16. Wear Comfortable Shoes

Since people are so used to sitting in the office environment, the matter of comfortable shoes is not one that was often considered. While this was not a good thing, the effect that it could have was not very severe for someone sitting all day. 

However, when you are switching to a standing position, the footwear for the standing desk that you use can help or hinder your comfort. Just as the surface of your floor can be a problem, you must ensure that your shoes are comfortable and of good quality. If wearing your comfortable shoes during transit is a problem, consider keeping them at your desk and changing them for work. 

Wear comfortable shoes

17. Make Use of the Memory Settings

The best standing desk options come with a memory setting feature, and you don't need to break the bank to get one. Using the function allows you to return to comfortable seated and standing positions easily. considering how to use a standing desk depends on what the said desk has to offer you. 

In using the memory settings, you can get into a routine designed around your comfort as you work. 

18. Roll Out Your Feet with a Lacrosse Ball

One of the best tips for standing desk use is to release the tension that becomes built up in your feet during the time you spend standing. Not doing this can be one reason you may find the standing portion of your sit-stand sessions to be very uncomfortable. Sometimes, it's not about the standing desk position or the mat that you are on.

Get yourself a lacrosse ball and roll it around with the balls of your feet as you stand sometimes. Not only do you get to release the built-up tension that you have, but you also strengthen your arches. 

Use lacrosse ball with standing desk

19. Focus on Proper Cable Management to Prevent a Disaster

Another one of the most useful standing desk tips doesn't have much to do with how to stand at a standing desk. Instead, its focus is on your equipment, and more specifically, the equipment that has cables. Depending on your workstation needs, you likely have a couple of cables running under your standing desk. 

One of the biggest concerns about them is when the desk is going through height adjustment phases as it alternates between your sit-stand sessions. You want to avoid putting any kind of strain on your cables by overstretching them. 

Not only can you damage the cables by doing this, but you can also damage the equipment the cables are connected to in multiple ways. You could ruin a port, for example, or you could even end up pulling your whole laptop off the desk. Spend some time ironing out your standing desk cable management needs. 

Use standing desk properly with cable management tip

20. Work on Your Injuries Before Incorporating More Standing

The final entry in this set of standing desk tips is purely concerned with your health and any existing injuries, strains, and pains that you may have. It is often said that you should incorporate a standing desk into your office set up to help mitigate various chronic issues.

However, introducing more standing as someone suffering from various pains can be a very uncomfortable adjustment. While this is not to discourage you from working with a standing desk, it may also be a good idea to start visiting and working with a physiotherapist to address your existing injuries for a more comfortable experience.

Work on your injuries before using standing desk

Is it worth getting a standing desk?

There are certain pros and cons elements while choosing to buy a standing desk or sitting desk. For many office workers working all day, it is easy to have trouble with back pain, fatigue, leg swelling, cognitive decline,... To minimize these health issues, standing desk models have been manufactured with more flexible and modern designs.

The bottom line

In the end, a good height adjustable standing desk will prove to be a wonderful thing for your health, but as you have probably realized by now (if you’ve read the entire text) it won’t do you much good if you don’t have the proper way to use a standing desk. If you have any more questions about how to use a standing desk, please contact us.

So, hopefully, these 20 tips of standing desk will teach you something that’s worth knowing and doing, and ultimately get you to use your standing desk like a real pro.

Tips for using standing desk

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