How Long Should You Stand at Your Sit Stand Desk?
By now you’ve probably heard about, or discovered for yourself, the many benefits of ergonomic furniture in your work environment. For the most part, we’re talking about a sit stand desk, which can be quickly adjusted to suit the requirements of the user and are popular with home office setups and commercial work environments, including co-working spaces.
It’s a good idea to have workstations that accommodate the needs and support the overall well-being of those who work primarily at desks. It is, however, important to note that standing for too long can cause unwanted physical strain. This is particularly the case around the lower back, along with leg muscle fatigue and potential issues with tendons and varicose veins being a problem too.
So how do we find the sweet spot? How long should you be sitting and standing and what else can we introduce to our workstation setup to support our desk time?
Let’s check out some tried and tested approaches and products.
Start Standing With 10 Minutes Per Hour
While it is clear that sitting at your desk all day isn’t great for your posture, productivity, energy levels and overall well-being, there are mixed reviews and opinions on how long one should stand at their workstation during a regular working day.
Ideally, you want to aim to be standing for two hours and eventually increase your standing time to four hours per standard working day.
If you’re new to the world of the stand-up desk, try 10 minutes of standing per work hour for a day or so to get you into the routine, and build up until you’re doing two hours per day and then eventually four hours.
The four hours shouldn’t be in one hit. Break it up into segments throughout the day.
Try Different Cues
Consider standing when you take phone calls or are in online meetings to get into the habit of standing at intervals throughout your day. You could also try standing for ten minutes before and after your lunch break. Trial different cues to gently integrate more standing time and you’ll be on your feet more before you know it. Aim for 30 minutes per hour as a goal. Assuming you work an 8-hour day, this will get you to four hours of desk standing daily.
Try the Pomodoro Technique
This technique is focused on increasing productivity using a timer. It can also help to structure your workday and your sitting and standing time.
A quick overview of the approach:
#1. Select the tasks you want to focus on in the first ‘time block’
#2. Set a timer for 25 minutes
#3. Work only on the task/s you identified for the set time
#4. Take a five-minute break
#4. Repeat the steps again
#5. Take a longer break
Using this approach, you could alternate each ‘time block’ between sitting and standing and use the five-minute break to adjust your stand-up desk as needed, take a toilet break or wander around the office.
Invest in an Anti-Fatigue Mat For Your Sit Stand Desk
Having a quality anti-fatigue mat at your sit stand desk will absorb some pressure when you are standing. This will in turn support your lower back and ease the strain on your posture and muscles. How do you know if the anti-fatigue mat is of the best quality? While it can be tempting to opt for a softer mat, over time this won’t provide adequate support. Look out for those made with high-density (300kg/m³) polyurethane as they will encourage some movement, increase your blood flow and provide the right amount of support. Set yourself up for standing desk success with an anti-fatigue mat and say goodbye to aches and pains.
Be Mindful of Your Footwear
While wearing heels can really make a statement, they can also cause calf strain and back pain. Consider keeping your heels off during the day and popping them on for face-to-face meetings (if you want)! While sitting and standing at your desk you could go barefoot or slip into something more comfortable while using an anti-fatigue mat.
Not Sure if a Sit Stand Desk is For You?
A more affordable option to get you started is a sit stand desk converter. Using one of these will quickly upgrade your standard office desk in a flash. Simply pop the sit stand desk converter on the desk, place your monitor on top and adjust the position and height as needed. There are sit stand desk converters on the market that also enable you to maximise corner spaces and walls to convert them into more ergonomic work environments.
Conclusion: How Will You Get the Most Out of Your Stand Up Desk?
To ensure you’re getting the best outcome from your stand-up desk, it’s imperative that you alternate between sitting and standing throughout the workday and integrate supportive measures, such as anti-fatigue mats and wearing appropriate footwear.
Give some of these approaches a try to get the right balance of sit and stand time.
If you’re interested in investing in quality commercial office furniture that will empower your workplace design and support the health and well-being of your team members, get in touch with the team at Elevar.