Five tips to help you get the most out of your standing desk
Standing desks have become more popular and are promoted as a way to improve your health and increase your activity. But how helpful are they?
Physical therapist Jeff Askins said research shows that simply standing does not increase activity levels enough to improve fitness significantly, though many people find standing desks useful for controlling neck or back pain. Askins offered these quick pointers to help you get the most out of your sit-to-stand desk setup.
- Have an ergonomics specialist set up your workstation in the sitting and standing positions. Simply changing positions will not offset poor work posture or poor-fitting equipment (chair, desk, space).
- In both positions, the keyboard height should result in your upper arm being next to your body with the elbows at a 90-degree angle.
- Place the monitor so that when you look directly forward, you are looking at the top border and not the screen itself. The optimal sight line is 30 degrees downward.
- Do not count standing as increased activity. It is still best to take breaks and short walks. Try going to the farthest restroom or placing your printer farther from your workstation. Go for a walk at lunch. A recent study showed that standing for three hours burns 24 more calories than sitting. Walking for 30 minutes burns 100 calories.
- Transition from a sitting desk to a sit/stand desk gradually. You could end up trading neck pain for foot, leg or back pain if there is an abrupt change in activity.
Askins said if you cannot find a comfortable position with your setup, you will likely benefit from seeing a physical therapist. You can learn postural tips and exercises to help you maintain a more comfortable position in sitting and standing.
“Remember, pain is not a sign of aging,” said Askins. “It is your body telling you to do something different. A skilled physical therapist can help you figure out what needs to change if you are experiencing pain.”
Find an orthopedic specialist you trust
Find a provider who’s right for you by viewing their online profiles, star ratings and reviews.Find a Doctor