How to Properly Use a Standing Desk and not Harm Your Health


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When used properly and in the right circumstances, standing desk can improve concentration, cardiovascular health, productivity, and wellness. Once you have purchased the right standing desk, you should know how to use it and what benefits it has.

How Long Should We Spend in Standing?

Try standing for between 15 and 20 minutes every hour. Some of the people who stand for more than 20 minutes often feel sore on the bottom of their feet and lower extremity. Researchers, however, still need to determine optimal sit-stand times.

While standing, we should wear supported shoes or stand on an anti-fatiguemat. With anti-fatigue mats, users can stand on softer surfacesStill, before purchasing the anti-fatigue mat, employers should see if their chair can easily move over the mat.  

Girl in jeans shirt is is standing in front of the standing desk holding a camera and looking unto the laptop

How Should I Position My Wrist at a Standing Desk?

Whether in sitting or standing, you should keep your wrist aligned with the forearm. You should be able to draw a straight line from your elbow to your palm. Your shoulders, as well, should be relaxed, not hunched.

Your elbowshould be close to your body and positioned at about a 90-110 degree angle. In other words, you should aim to keep your elbows above or level with the keyboard and mouse.   

With an electric sit-stand desk, maintaining a neutral wrist posture should be easy. I would advise adjusting the height of the desk so that your shoulders are relaxed and your elbow is in that 90-110 degree angle.

After finding the correct desk height in sitting and standing, set these two heights (if your desk allows) or write down your desk height in both positions. Each time you want to stand or sit, return to these ideal desk heights.    

How to Position Your Monitor?

Whether you are in sitting or standing, the top of your monitor should be positioned about eye level. If the monitor is too low, users will need to awkwardly bend the neck forward. On the other hand, if the monitor is too high, employees will awkwardly bring their neck back. Computer users should note that in order to achieve neutral head and neck posture, you might need to adjust the height of the monitor when transitioning to sitting and standing.

When measuring eye level, do not worry about being so exact. I will often see clients who feel comfortable positioning the monitor one or one-and-a-half inches above or below eye level. This is fine as long as you maintain your head upright (head above shoulders). You should try different monitorpositions around eye level while being conscious of your neck and headposture.  

Positioning the Monitors on a Riser

If you have purchased a sit-stand converter (AKA Riser) you also need to ensure that your monitor is at the correct height as well as about arms length away in sitting and standing. With some risers, you will have to move the keyboard and mouse from the keyboard tray to the work surface when transitioning to standing.

Though your upper extremity position could be correct (shoulders relaxed and elbows at 90-110 degrees), the monitors maybe too low or too far away. In this situation, we will often recommend installing a monitor arm. The monitor arm will allow you to adjust the height and depth of the monitor in both the sitting and standing position.

A guy is standing and working at sit-stand converter table in the home office

Employees who regularly use a sit-stand workstation can improve their cardiovascular health, productivity, and general wellness. However, to get these benefits, we need to use the standing desk correctly.

We should regularly alternate from the sitting and standing position, keep our elbows, shoulders, and wrist in a comfortable posture, position the top of monitor about eye level, and adjust the monitor, as needed, when transitioning to standing. Only when we use the sit-stand desk properly we can obtain the associated health benefits.