If you work in an office, you know how your body can ache after prolonged sitting.
Research studies have all come up with the same indisputable result, sitting all day has negative health effects on the body.
That is why using a standing desk in the workplace has become so popular. It promotes a more active lifestyle.
But you might have read conflicting information about how jobs that require individuals to stand all day, also have negative health effects.
A standing desk is just like any other tool, you must know its correct usage for you to get the maximum benefits.
Let’s dive into how to properly use your standing desk and learn about the benefits of standing for long periods of time.
Table of Contents
- Should I Use My Standing Desk All Day?
- Benefits of Using a Standing Desk Correctly
Should I Use My Standing Desk All Day?
No, you should not use your standing desk all day!
While it may seem the logical way to counteract the risks of a sedentary lifestyle, remaining in a standing position the whole day, is not the way to go.
Doing so can pose several health risks such as cardiovascular and muscular problems.
That is why instead of using your standing desk all day, you need to create a sit-stand schedule.
How Long Should I Stand At My Standing Desk?
When you’re just starting out using your standing desk, you need to give your body time to get used to it.
One study suggests that the ideal sit-stand ratio when transitioning from sitting all day to using a standing desk is between 1:1 and 1:3.
Other experts would claim that it is best to start with 2 hours then work your way up to 4.
Yet another would suggest that the optimal usage of a standing desk would be 30 mins per hour.
With these conflicting suggestions, it can be difficult to create your own sit-stand schedule.
Who should you listen to? Well, you should listen to your body.
Humans are diverse, sit-stand schedules that work for other people may not work for you. Let your body tell you when it’s time to stand or sit.
Is Standing For 8 Hours Bad?
Just as sitting for 8 hours is bad for you, standing for the same amount of time has also been proven to damage your health.
Workers who need to stand all day on their feet have also met severe health risks tied to being unable to sit.
Standing too long in one spot can also harm blood circulation especially when you are forced to stay motionless.
It is important to understand that human beings were meant to be mobile. It is not enough to stand. You must walk and stretch too!
How Do I Remind Myself To Move?
You may have noticed that once you get engrossed with your work, you run the risk of forgetting to move, you don’t notice your fatigue until your muscles get too sore.
As a helpful reminder, you can do the following:
- Create an alarm on your mobile phone
- Create a habit of walking for 10 minutes during lunch break
We have found that the best reminder to move is to hydrate yourself because you have no choice but to go to the bathroom when the need arises.
But then, how do you remind yourself to hydrate? The best way would be to have a water bottle in front of you.
Benefits of Using a Standing Desk Correctly
Are you still thinking of spending most of your working day standing?
Please don’t, because there are no benefits to that. In fact, it is proven to cause leg muscle stress.
Standing too long will do more harm than sitting too long. This is because our body does not like to be in the same position for a long time.
The ideal way of using your standing desk is to mesh it with sitting down, stretching, and moving on your feet.
When you have created the habit of standing and moving when working, by using your standing desk, you lose the stress on the body that comes with sitting the whole day.
Here are some of the benefits of using a standing desk correctly.
1. It reduces your health risks.
Sitting all day has been proven to be a link to all sorts of diseases like obesity, diabetes, and in some cases cancer.
Standing up promotes your mobility. When you walk and stretch your blood flow becomes normal. Which then normalizes your blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
That will significantly lessen your risk of developing heart disease.
Staying active is also highly recommended to women with diabetes. As evidence shows that it is the best way to fight diabetes.
When you get up on your feet and move, your non-esterified fatty acids, insulin, and postprandial glucose are reduced.
2. It reduces your neck and back pain.
The participants from the take-a-stand project claim that prolonged application of standing and moving on their feet during their working hours have resulted in a reduction of lower back pain, less shoulder tension, and better posture.
But you need to make sure that you practice standing with a correct posture and make room for stretching here and there.
3. It boosts your mood and amps up your energy.
You might have noticed that when you’re sitting down you will find yourself getting drowsy.
Studies have shown that standing causes the brain to become alert. This reaction increases your energy.
Oxygen is easily delivered to the muscles because your blood flows smoothly.
Standing is a surefire way to improve your mood and help you stay focused on tasks.
4. It increases your activity.
The health benefits tied to just standing up are not that significant.
But using your standing desk allows you more freedom to mindfully add tiny movements while you work on your computer.
When you add a balance board and a treadmill to your standing desk set-up, you are sure to burn a lot of calories.
Sitting down doesn’t give you the same opportunity.
5. It may effectively increase your lifespan.
A sedentary life is directly linked to lower life expectancy.
When you break free from your sedentary lifestyle, you increase your lifespan!
6. You will have a better posture.
While you sit, you might slouch to relieve that back pain without meaning to.
This poor posture can lead to various health complications.
When you use a standing desk, as you shift from the sitting to the standing position, your spine will elongate and return to its natural S-shape.
Without knowing it, you’ll have better posture as you continue to use your standing desk.
The number of hours you should use your standing desk will solely depend on your body’s needs.
You can follow the advice of the experts by choosing to stand up to 4 hours per day, creating a sit-stand schedule of 1:1 or 1:3 ratio, or standing for 30 minutes per hour.
But you’re the only one who can decide the number of hours that work best for you.
The best way to decide is by listening to your body.
Remember that staying in one position longer than 4 hours will pose danger to your health.
Always move and stretch!
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.