How to use a standing desk at work

Standing desks have been recommended by experts for some years, due to their benefits for both productivity and health.

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The Work Colleague of the Future study recently unveiled a model, in life-sized proportions, to show how future office workers could change physically to cope with a sedentary work life at a standard desk. One noticeable feature is the permanently bent back caused by sitting for prolonged periods in a poor position.

Many workers could benefit from a standing desk but are unsure of the correct way to use it at work. Follow our tips below for using a standing desk effectively.

Take regular breaks

Whether you are using a standing desk or a conventional sitting desk, it is vital to take regular breaks to ensure your posture is not locked into the same position for too long, to give your eyes a rest and stretch your muscles. It can be helpful to have an automated reminder to take a break if you do not naturally have time away from your desk.

Set up your desk and screen to the appropriate heights.

Standing will not provide benefits if the desk is in an incorrect position. Ensure the top of the screen is at eye level at a distance of around 5171 cm from your face. A standing desk should be roughly at elbow height.

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Position your keyboard and mouse correctly.

If your job involves tapping away at your keyboard for prolonged periods, whether it is entering data, using design programs or changing files from PDF to Excel using software such as, you should ensure your keyboard and mouse are positioned appropriately. The ideal angle for standing is tilted upwards and more extended than for a sitting position.

Use arm supports

Using an arm support on your desk could help to eliminate or reduce neck and shoulder problems, particularly on the side of your body of your dominant hand

Try an anti-fatigue mat

Useful for positions where people are on their feet all day, anti-fatigue mats aim to improve blood flow and reduce standing fatigue by encouraging subtle muscle movements in your legs.

Alternate standing and sitting.

The best practice is to alternate standing and sitting. Research suggests for every 12 hours sitting spent sitting, 1 hour should be spent standing.

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