If you’ve purchased a standing desk, there is a good chance it’s adjustable. The most popular types of standing desks are called sit to stand desks. These will give you the flexibility to sit and stand throughout your workday. With that in mind, we will be talking about how to use your standing desk at sitting and standing heights.
Alternate Between Sitting and Standing
There’s no doubt that sitting too much is very bad for your health. However, that certainly does not mean you should stand all day instead.
Studies have found strong associations between lower back pain and standing occupations, such as bank tellers and production line employees (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
Standing still for long periods is also thought to negatively affect your leg muscles, tendons and other connective tissue, and may even cause varicose veins.
Fortunately, this can be avoided by simply alternating between sitting and standing.
The research is still in its early stages, but a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 sitting versus standing time appears to be optimal for comfort and energy levels, without affecting productivity (2Trusted Source).
That means for every 1 to 2 hours you sit in your office, 1 hour should be spent standing. Try to alternate between sitting and standing every 30 to 60 minutes.
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.
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.
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.
Use Arm Supports
An arm support is soft padding or surface area that attaches to your desk. It is designed to reduce pressure on the wrist that operates the mouse.
This is a well-researched area, with numerous studies showing arm supports can significantly reduce the risk of developing neck and shoulder problems (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).
These are worth looking into if you often experience problems, especially on the side of your dominant hand.
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