Adjustable Standing Desk

Tips for using an Adjustable Standing Desk

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

  1. For seated work: adjust your chair so that your feet are comfortable and well supported on the floor.
  2. Next, adjust the desk height so that the top of the desk is in line with the underside of your elbows.
  3. The keyboard should not feel too high or too low. Now adjust the height for standing work.
  4. Raise the desk to be in line with the underside of your elbows.
  5. When standing you may notice that your monitor appears lower.
  6. 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.