Sitting less, standing and moving more is a great decision for better comfort and health at work. Once you have your adjustable standing desk you’ll want to use it correctly.
Installing the standing desk
- Try to position the desk so that when standing you don’t look straight into a co-worker’s desk.
- To avoid glare and reflection on the screen, windows should be to one side, not in front or behind.
Adjusting the height
- For seated work: adjust your chair so that your feet are comfortable and well supported on the floor.
- Next, adjust the desk height so that the top of the desk is in line with the underside of your elbows.
- The keyboard should not feel too high or too low. Now adjust the height for standing work.
- Raise the desk to be in line with the underside of your elbows.
- When standing you may notice that your monitor appears lower.
- This is because the spine and trunk are straighter and less slumped – making you taller – and your head and eyes higher!
Tip: mark your sitting and standing heights, by sticking a post it note on an adjacent wall.
Getting used to standing
- Begin with short periods (no more than 30 minutes) of standing and gradually build up times as your body becomes accustomed to standing.
- It is best to change position frequently and not try to stand for hours! A timer or phone app can remind you to change.
- Most health professionals suggest standing for no more than 60 minute periods.
- Wear low heel shoes with as much cushioning and comfort in the sole as possible.
- A rubber anti-fatigue mat makes standing more comfortable for the whole body, not just the legs.
- Try to choose a style which does not make chair castor movement too difficult.
How to stand
- Stand naturally—don’t stand to attention!
- Let your body move and shift the weight from leg to leg.
- Some people find that their back is helped by more movement when standing.
- Try placing a footrest (or even a block of wood) on the floor in front of your feet and placing alternating feet on this.
Managing pain or injury
- Listen to your body and change position BEFORE increases in pain.
- Most discomfort, pain, and injury are helped by regular posture changes.
- Pain should not be a reminder to move – change posture BEFORE pain increases.
- It is also helpful to walk between posture changes, making your sit-stand rotations look something like this; sit – walk – stand – walk – sit – walk – stand, etc.
- Your health professional may recommend certain sitting and standing times. Discuss your plans to stand with them.
If you need assistance with correct ergonomics, Back Centre offers on-site Ergonomic Workstation Assessments to identify issues and tailor solutions to each individual.