Are you curious about the best way to use a standing desk while sitting and standing? There are a few key areas to look out for. It’s worth taking the time to research and find out the best practices so that you can maximize the value of your new investment and work as ergonomically and comfortably as possible.
So you’ve finally taken the plunge, you’ve done your research, and you’ve purchased a standing desk for your home office. Now, how do you know if you’re using it correctly?
There’s a lot of factors to consider while sitting or standing throughout the workday. Everything from your posture, to the way you type, to the position of your monitor or computer screen, can impact your working wellness tremendously. We’ve compiled a list of things to look out for while using your height-adjustable standing desk.
The most obvious benefit of a standing desk is the ability to stand periodically throughout the day. Only a generation ago, the concept of standing at your desk was almost unheard of, but we now understand the health benefits of interrupting long periods of sedentary work. So what are some factors to look out for while working and standing?
Adjust to proper elbow height
First of all, you’ll want to adjust the desk to a height that allows your elbows to bend at 90 degree angle. This is important because it minimizes strain on your arms, wrists, and hands, and allows your wrists to hover over the keyboard rather than bending up or down as you type.
If you’re going to be standing for prolonged periods of time, standing posture is critical and central to a healthy and ergonomic working experience. In addition to resting your elbows at a 90 degree angle, you’ll want to stand straight with your shoulders relaxed, your neck extended (but not to the extent that you’re straining to do so), and your lumbar curve slightly curved to offer proper support to your back.
Make sure you bend your knees slightly to avoid hyperextension or locking your knees, which could result in cutting off your blood circulation. This also reduces pressure on your knee joints and activates the supporting muscles around the knee to keep you standing up.
This is essential to avoid long-term problems like carpal tunnel. Keep your wrists straight and neutral. Your hands should float over the keyboard, with your fingers extending down as you type, but never with your wrist bending up or down.
A wrist pad for your keyboard can help with this, as it offers support for your wrist and makes it easier for you to keep them straight and neutral as you type. Using a solid, tried-and-true mechanical keyboard can also make things easier on your hands as the typing experience is more deliberate and comfortable.
Use a balance board or anti-fatigue mat
Standing still can be dull—mix things up with a balance board! This allows you to shift your weight and activate your leg muscles, reducing strain on your knees and turning your standing at work into a more “kinetic” activity that burns more calories.
Especially for those with tile or hardwood floors, having a soft cushy anti-fatigue mat can make all the difference in reducing stress and pain on your knee joints. As gravity pushes you down against the hard floor, an anti-fatigue mat absorbs that force and gives you a much more enjoyable standing experience.
Of course, sitting and resting is as important as standing, so you’ll want to know how your desk should be used ergonomically during your time working and sitting down. Check out some of these tips to work smart and comfortably throughout the day while sitting down.
Adjust chair height
If you have an ergonomic chair, you’ll want to adjust it to the proper seated height before you adjust your desk to match. Similarly to your elbows, you’ll want your legs to rest at a 90 degree angle with your feet flat on the floor.
Adjust the height of your cushion so that it’s parallel with the bottom of your knees. There should be about a fist-sized space between the end of the cushion and where your knees bend.
Adjust to proper elbow height
Just like standing, your elbows need to be bent at 90 degrees for maximum ergonomic comfort. Once your chair is properly adjusted, lower your desk to the optimal height for your arms to rest comfortably and for your wrist to float over the keyboard, not bending up or down as you type.
Your chair should be curved to support your natural lumbar curve. Avoid slouching or working hunched over, keeping your shoulders relaxed and down and your neck extended.
Monitor or laptop screen height
Your monitor or laptop screen should be raised to eye level. To test this properly, try first closing your eyes and then looking straight ahead. After you open them, judge for yourself whether you are looking directly at your screen or if you’re having to bend your neck slightly up or down.
If your monitor doesn’t have a built-in extension function, you can place it on a box or even a pile of books. Alternatively, an adjustable monitor arm takes the work out of it and lets you to make simple and easy adjustments throughout the day so that your screen is always at eye level, whether sitting or standing.
Join the growing number of workers who are upgrading their workspaces, whether in the office or at home, with sit stand desks! It’ll transform the way you work, and give you a renewed sense of focus and energy when you need it. Following these simple tips ensures you’ll get the most out of your adjustable-height desk, whether sitting or standing!
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