How To Use A Standing Desk Correctly

If you’re looking into standing desks, or maybe you already have one, chances are you are considering how you will use your standing desk. But more importantly than that, you need to make sure that you know how to use a standing desk correctly to avoid injury, muscle fatigue, and backaches that will have you returning to your sitting desk before you see any benefits!

I’m going to share with you all my best standing desk tips to make sure you get the most out of your standing desk, productivity, and those all-important health benefits of a standing desk.

Before I started working with a standing desk, I had no idea there was a proper way to use a standing desk! So whether you are planning an advanced standing workstation with exercise equipment, or you just want a simple sit-stand desk setup to help boost blood flow and up your activity levels, these tips will help make it a breeze!

Why do people use standing desks?

If you’ve worked a desk job for longer than a few weeks then you have likely experienced the back and neck ache associated with sitting for long periods throughout the day. This tends to be one of the main reasons that individuals start researching standing desks.

Another popular reason people use standing desks is to try and up their fitness levels. Even though you are mostly stationary at a standing desk, you are likely to take more steps by working at a standing desk as users often find themselves shuffling from left to right while they work. Standing desk users are also more likely to take regular breaks for the bathroom, a coffee run, etc. and it’s easier to pace on phone calls when you are already standing. All of these things help to up your daily step count.

Finally, some users research standing desks along with an under-desk treadmill as a way to really up their daily fitness. This is what I did!

How long should you stand at a standing desk?

Many people wrongly assume you should stand all day when using a standing desk. If you really want to maximize the benefits, you should alternate between sitting and standing time throughout your working day. Ideally, you should take a break from standing every hour and make sure you don’t stand for longer than 4 hours per day.

If you want to learn more about the research behind this and tips for how to alternate between sitting and standing, check out my blog post dedicated to how long you should stand at a standing desk.

How often should you stand at your desk?

Most standing desk users will use their standing desk every day they are working, so typically 5 days per week. It’s more important to ensure you don’t exceed the maximum recommended usage each day. Based on studies from The British Journal of Sports Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh, the average standing desk user should take breaks every 30-60 minutes and only stand for a maximum of two hours per day at first. Once this is comfortable, you can up your usage to 4 hours.

How to reduce foot pain from using a standing desk?

Foot pain is a common problem for standing desk users, especially those who don’t do their research before they start using it. Long-time users recommend investing in an anti-fatigue mat (sometimes known as a standing desk mat), and making sure you wear running sneakers, whenever you are standing at your standing desk.

You may also experience foot pain from standing in one position for too long. In this case, you may find you need to take more breaks from standing throughout your working day. If you have a sit-stand desk set up, meaning you can alternate between sitting and standing with an adjustable height desk, then you can break up your standing time this way.

Otherwise, take time away from your desk whenever possible and rest your feet!

What height should a standing desk be?

Your standing desk should raise your keyboard to elbow height when your arms are at a 90-degree angle and your computer screen at a comfortable eye level. This way you can comfortably bend your elbows as you type and your standing position will keep your back straight as you concentrate on your work. If you feel your standing workstation isn’t in this position then definitely take the time to adjust it to ensure you have good posture while you use it. Otherwise, you will experience no end of back pain!

If your standing desk height is not adjustable, you may find a standing desk converter useful to help you increase the height of your standing desk.

If it is too high, you will probably need to invest in a new standing desk. And make sure it is an adjustable desk this time.

If you want an in-depth guide to this, check out how high should a standing desk be for my deep dive into this!

I’ll keep adding back to this blog post as more questions come in. Feel free to drop me an e-mail and I can add yours here!