Modern Office Furniture

12 Tips for Using Your Standing Desk Like a Pro

Autonomous Autonomous | Jul 26, 2018

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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.

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.

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…

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 something like that. 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, even it's not comfortable at first.

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.

Standing desk

The most proper way to do this 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 an anti-fatigue mat 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.

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!

5. 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.

6. 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 Ergo chair with armrest, you're fine. If not, get something similar for the desk as well.

7. 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.

8. 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!

9. 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.

10. 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!

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. 

So, hopefully, these 12 tips will teach you something that’s worth knowing and doing, and ultimately get you to use your standing desk like a real pro.

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