How to use a sit-stand desk
New to the sit-stand desk phenomenon?
Welcome to the revolution changing the way we work every day!
Making the move to a standing desk can seem a little daunting, but we’re here to show you that it’s really not so bad – in fact, you too will be enjoying the benefits of sit-stand desks you’ve been reading about, before you even know it!
There are a few fundamentals you might like to experiment with as you make the transition – but remember, each body is different, and what works for some may not work for you.
It’s about following best practises and then adjusting those, as suited, to suit your individual needs.
Using a standing desk isn’t quite as simple as sit – stand – repeat, but basic principle is the same!
There are a few nifty tricks and techniques you might like to follow, especially if you’re new to standing.
Keep your shoulders relaxed
If you sit at a poor-quality desk chair, we want you to do a little experiment as you read this blog post.
Take note of the way your shoulders are positioned. Are they relaxed and neutral, or instead are you subconsciously bunching them up, keeping them hunched up towards your ears?
You probably don’t notice it, but once you do, you’ll be surprised you did it for so long!
The reason behind those bunched up shoulders can come down to a couple of things, but mainly, it’s due to a desk (or a chair, if you’re sitting) that isn’t set to the right height.
If your desk is too high, it’ll force your forearms to sit at an awkwardly high angle, hence the bunched up shoulders. The same goes for your chair, too: if your chair is too low, it will push your forearms up, too.
Your arms should bend at a neutral, 90° angle, and your shoulders relaxed.
Distribute your weight evenly between both feet
While it’s harder for you to slouch when at a standing desk, you still might fall into old habits of putting all your weight and pressure on a single leg and foot, before transferring it to your other foot.
It’s important that while you’re working at your sit-stand desk, you stand with your feet shoulder width apart and consciously distribute weight evenly.
Alternate, alternate, alternate!
We cannot stress this one enough: the best way to use your sit-stand desk is to actually sit and stand at it throughout the day.
That means shorter and more frequent bursts of sitting and standing rather than four hours sitting followed by four hours standing.
This is especially important if you’re new to a standing desk – ease your way into it with frequent and short standing sessions.
That could mean starting out with 30 minutes standing followed by an hour sitting.
As the weeks progress and you get more used to switching throughout the day, you could look at levelling out this ratio, so you’re frequently and evenly alternating between sitting and standing during your day.
Keep your chin up!
The height of your computer screen is just as important as the height of your desk!
OK – so your desk is set at the optimum standing height – your shoulders are relaxed and your wrists are sitting comfortably and lightly at your keyboard.
However, your head is bent at a 45° angle as you look down towards your computer.
It’s now time to lift that screen and relieve your neck from that excess weight!
A standing desk doesn’t just help your back and legs – used properly, it should also relieve “desk neck”, one of the most common office culprits.
Need to adjust your screen or computer? You’re in luck – our durable monitor arms are fully adjustable to suit the height, angle, and depth you require to comfortably sit or stand.
Want to make the most of your sit-stand desk? Go electric!
It’s simple: manual desks are too cumbersome to operate, and before you know it, your fabulous “sit-stand” desk will find its permanent position as a sitting desk, and you’ll find yourself sitting just as much as you were before your new desk.
We’ve gone into greater detail about the different between an electric and manual standing desk – you can catch up on that blog post here.
The bottom line, though, is that a manual desk takes too long to shift between sitting and standing, and with your computer and various desk accessories, is also pretty heavy and therefore tiresome to adjust!
Stand up for better health with a sit-stand desk
So there you have it.
We hope this crash course has helped you understand how you can make the most out of your new standing desk.
Most importantly, remember that it takes time to train your body to stand during the workday. If you’ve been working for even just a few years in a desk job, you’ve got a tough habit to break, so it’s natural that it will take some getting used to.
We suggest creating a schedule that you can follow during the first few weeks as you make the transition.
It can be as simple as:
- Week 1: stand for 5 minutes once per hour
- Week 2: stand for 10 minutes once per hour
- Week 3: stand for 10 minutes twice per hour
- Week 4: stand for 15 minutes once per hour
- Week 5: stand for 15 minutes every 30 minutes
Discover Ergomotion’s range of electric sit-stand desks here.