So you’re using a standing desk?

That’s the first step towards changing some of your bad working habits.

But it’s not all about standing.

Now, we’re going to take a look at 25+ standing desk tips to improve your working experience and make you feel better.

I promise that by the time you read the article, you’ll know how to use a standing desk correctly and to your advantage.

How to use a standing desk? Best Office Ergonomics Tips For 2021

  1. Switch between sitting and standing
  2. Adjust your monitor height
  3. Use an anti-fatigue mat
  4. Adjust your keyboard and mouse position
  5. Use arms support
  6. Take frequent breaks
  7. Stand correctly
  8. Fidget
  9. Track your steps
  10.  Pay attention to cable management 
  11.  Use your desk memory settings
  12.  Wear comfy shoes (or none at all)
  13.  Adjust your chair height
  14.  Adopt proper posture
  15.  Learn the correct shoulder posture
  16.  Use back support
  17.  Mind your wrist position
  18.  Keep your eyes forward
  19.  Stand after eating
  20.  Keep stuff within reach
  21.  Use a headset for phone calls
  22.  Use a desk lamp
  23.  Roll a lacrosse ball on your feet
  24.  Excercise! Stretch!
  25.  Mind objects below your desk
  26.  Use a raised platform for your feet
 

Switch between sitting and standing

We’re gonna start off the list with one of the essential pieces of advice. You probably know that spending too much time in a sitting position is terrible for your health in many ways. But standing for too long can also turn into a negative.

So, is it better to stand or sit?

What you need to do is to find the golden standard. Sit down for an hour or two, then stand up for another hour or two. Changing positions will ensure your body muscles get enough movement and don’t get stiff.

According to research, the optimal sit-to-stand ratio is 1:1 and 3:1. This means for every hour you spend sitting, you should spend an hour standing, or ideally stand three hours for every one hour of sitting.

Adjust your monitor height

Whether you spend your working day sitting or standing, it’s important to adjust the height of your monitor. Make sure the top of the screen is at eye level.

Another crucial factor is to have your screen position be at least 20-28 inches (51-71 cm) from your face. Your eyes will be thankful if you follow this advice – you will reduce the risk of eye strain and other unpleasant eye conditions.

Use an anti-fatigue mat

The position of your feet is one of the ergonomic factors you have to consider while standing. Too much time spent standing means a lot of pressure for your feet. What to do?

Use an anti-fatigue mat!

Choose one with a comfortable ergonomic design to ensure the best possible stress relief. If you don’t want a special anti-fatigue mat, you can use anything soft or even a flow board.

Adjust your keyboard and mouse position

Be wary of your standing workstation ergonomics. We use our mouse and keyboards for hours and hours; thus an incorrect position can cause significant damage to your wrists. 

Your wrists should be a bit more tilted upwards when you’re standing. However, when sitting and typing on the keyboard, your wrists should be straight and flat.

You can also use a pad for your keyboard and mouse if you’ve followed the proper posture but still don’t feel comfortable.

Use arm support

You can’t avoid leaning your hands on the desk. Whatever the desk is. Getting an excellent ergonomic chair with armrests is the perfect solution for this issue. If you’re okay with your current chair and don’t want to change it, you can try an adjustable armrest.

In all cases, try out something to ease the pressure. Otherwise, your arms will start hurting eventually.

Take frequent breaks

Whether you chose to work sitting or standing, one thing you should always look to do is take frequent breaks. Go for a quick walk around the office – get some water from the dispenser or go to the furthest bathroom.

Just that quick break will do wonders for your body, helping it battle stiffness and fatigue from prolonged periods of staying in an immobile position.

Stand correctly

Standing desk posture is as important as is sitting posture. The first step towards proper posture is being mindful of it. When you’re standing, make sure to stand straight and tall – don’t lean forward. 

Try to keep your shoulders back at all times, keep your head level, pull your stomach in. Let your arms hang down naturally (when you’re not using them), and try to put most of your weight on the balls of your feet.

Fidget

Fidgeting is mainly associated with nervousness or impatience, but it can be a great way to limber up. In fact, fidgeting is one of the standing desk best practices. In addition, it can increase your levels of concentration and productivity.

Just think about it – haven’t you rolled a pen in your hand while you’re talking to someone or learning new information? Fidgeting can improve our psychological stimulation.

Track your steps

Nowadays, dozens of apps track your steps, alongside your BPM, burned calories, etc. We even have dedicated smartwatches that serve the same purpose.

This is something really cool you can gamify, as well. Create an office challenge with your colleagues – who can make the most steps during working hours?

Keep in mind that most adults should aim for 10,000 steps on a daily basis, so you could also challenge yourself to reach that target for ‘x’ days in a row.

Pay attention to cable management

This is a simple yet crucial thing to do. Just put your cables in order. Nobody likes a chaotic arrangement of wires that appear to be coming out of everywhere, but the worst part is they can cause injuries.

Tripping on a cable may sound like something improbable to happen. Probably true, but you can never be too safe. Why risk it when you can simply arrange everything properly.

Better to look at and safer. 

Alternatively, you can use a wireless mouse and keyboard to reduce extra cables.

Use your desk memory settings

Most ergonomic standing desks have the option to remember the height you input. Use that feature to memorize your height preference for both standing and sitting. This way, you don’t have to spend time manually adjusting your desk every time you switch working positions.

It’s easy, fast, and comfortable — one of the best standing desk benefits.

Wear comfy shoes

This one can make or break your entire experience. You’re going to spend a lot of your time at the office standing, so it’s only logical you would pick a pair of comfortable, high-quality shoes.

If you still like to wear high heels or something of the likes, you can have a particular pair just for work that you can keep near your desk.

You can also go all the way and work without shoes – barefoot or with socks.

Adjust your chair height

A proper standing desk setup does include a nice chair, as well. However, as we’ve discussed, spending the whole day working standing might not be the best idea.

Just as you adjust your standing desk height, you should configure the correct height of your chair to obtain a proper sitting posture, so you don’t feel uncomfortable.

To avoid back pain, to top of the seat cushion should be parallel to the base of your knees. Also, pay attention that your feet be parallel to the floor, with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.

Adopt proper posture

I’ll keep this short and straightforward. 

Correct standing posture:

  • Keep your head level
  • Put your weight on the balls of your feet
  • Keep your knees slightly bent
  • Pull your stomach in
  • Let your arms hang naturally
  • Shift your weight from one foot to the other if you’re standing too long
  • Keep your shoulders back at all times
  • Stand straight – don’t lean forward
 

Correct sitting posture:

  • Keep your feet on the floor or a footrest
  • Your ankles should be directly in front of your knees (don’t cross your legs)
  • Use back support or adjust the backrest of your chair
  • Switch positions and take breaks to stretch
  • Relax your shoulders

Learn the correct shoulder posture

As we’ve already mentioned, the proper shoulder posture is to keep your shoulders relaxed. Unfortunately, many people have adopted a bad stance, so at first, correcting it may feel a bit awkward. You need to be persistent if you want to correct your posture.

Research indicates it can take 3 to 8 weeks to establish muscle memory and achieve a proper posture. Yoga and exercise will help your body a lot. Ultimately, the good news is it’s not impossible to change for the better.

Use back support

It’s crucial to support your lower back’s curve. If your chair doesn’t have a backrest, you can use a pillow or other kind of back support.

The most common cause of job-related disability is lower back pain. Dozens of factors attribute to low back pain diseases and injuries. Some of them are genetic, but others – you can change. In this case – proper sitting posture.

Mind your wrist position

Wrong wrist position can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. While CTS is most common in professions like sewing, cleaning, and manufacturing, office workers also have an increased chance of suffering from it, as it’s associated with repetitive hand and wrist use.

Keep your eyes forward

A lot of times, we subconsciously tilt our heads left or right, up or down. It’s part of our body language, and we don’t realize we’re doing it.

Having said that, it’s not impossible to minimize your head tilting and especially to keep your eyes looking forward.

Stand after eating

Had a heavy meal at lunch? Just want to sit down and survive the food coma? It might sound counterintuitive to you, but it’s better to stand up and move around after eating.

Your gut digests food 30% faster if you move around immediately after eating; this also encourages your stomach to empty, while sitting, on the other hand, makes your stomach empty itself slower.

Keep stuff within reach

Needless to say, or is it? Have a look at your desk? Is everything you regularly use within your reach? Are there things you never need that are closer than your water bottle? Clean up your desk and make sure to avoid excessive and repetitive reaching.

Use a headset for phone calls

Working in a call center? Spending a lot of time on the phone to do your job? Part of your office ergonomics should be a nice, comfortable headset.

There are a lot of benefits when using a headset. First of all, both your hands are free to use. Secondly, the poor posture that comes from holding the phone to your ear will no longer be a factor.

Headsets will also boost your focus, as they filter out most of the background noises. Your productivity will also increase. Last, but not least, using wireless headsets will give you the additional freedom of moving around during your calls. 

Use a desk lamp

It really is worth it to invest in a nice desk lamp with multiple settings. Most offices still use fluorescent lights which are really irritating and bad for your eyes. 

To get a unique, eye-soothing and personalized feeling add a desk lamp to your standing desk setup.

Roll a lacrosse ball on your feet

Using a lacrosse ball for a foot massage is a perfect anti-stress method. The ball releases the tension in your feet after prolonged periods of standing and makes you feel energized.

The lacrosse ball removes one of the disadvantages of a standing desk, so if you haven’t already – go ahead and try it out!

Excercise! Stretch!

I can’t stress out the importance of stretching and exercising. I know, not everyone’s the sports type. But, yet again, no one says you have to do push-ups or yoga poses. Some simple exercises like leg kicks or the book press will do the job.

Don’t forget to stretch too. Side stretch, calf stretch, neck stretch, shoulder stretch – vitalize those stiff body parts.

Mind objects below your desk

Getting used to a standing desk takes time. One thing to bear in mind is objects below your desk. Do you keep your PC there? Maybe another cable-connected device. 

Make sure to check before elevating your desk, or you might end up in a situation where you hang your computer or destroy your HDMI cable.

Use a raised platform for your feet

Sitting down for a bit after working standing? You want to give your feet some rest, but they don’t reach the floor. We’ve all been there.

Have you thought about using some kind of raised platform?

Yes, they exist. And they can do a pretty good job for you.

Ergonomic footrests are gaining popularity and rightfully so. They increase blood flow and circulation, thus lowering the chances of stiffness, leg pain, and developing varicose veins.

Conclusion

I promised by the end of the article you’ll know how to use a standing desk and here we are! 

Now, don’t be selfish. 

Share these standing desk tips with your friends and colleagues. After all, sharing is caring and what better way to achieve a nice office atmosphere than having a mutual goal.

PS: I spent four hours and fifteen minutes sitting, and five hours standing to write this article.

A: Some researchers believe the optimal ratio is 1:1 or 3:1. In practice, for every one hour you spend sitting, you should spend one hour standing. Ideally, three hours in standing position for every one hour of sitting.

A: Here are some tips on how to stand correctly using a standing desk:

  • Keep your head level
  • Put your weight on the balls of your feet
  • Keep your knees slightly bent
  • Pull your stomach in
  • Let your arms hang naturally
  • Shift your weight from one foot to the other if you’re standing too long
  • Keep your shoulders back at all times
  • Stand straight – don’t lean forward

A: Suddenly shifting to working standing all day can cause your body stress. You may start to feel pain in your legs, thighs, and back. It’s best to start with 30-60 minutes of standing daily and slowly increase from thereon.

A: Standing desks help ease back pain, but doctors are not sure about the optimal standing time yet. In terms of productivity, call center workers have reported a 45% daily increase in productivity when standing compared to sitting.