If you are considering getting a standing desk then here are some tips for using it. It could benefit you to consider these ahead of time before buying so that you find one that is right for you.
Hopefully, this can help you get the most out of a standing desk.
Tips for Using a Standing Desk
Make Sure the Height Range Works for You
This may be one of the most important things to consider before you actually buy a standing desk. It would be a waste of money if you bought a desk that once you finally got set up wasn’t tall enough for you.
If you are getting a full sit-stand desk then most people should be good as those are usually tall enough for someone about 6’4″, but a lot of desk converters may not even be tall enough for someone that is 6’0″ tall.
If you’re on the shorter end of the spectrum then most sit-stand desks should accommodate you.
Consider the Monitor Height Compared to Keyboard Height
A lot of sit-stand options have dual levels, as this gives you the correct ergonomics while standing. The issue with this, however, is that when you are sitting your monitor level may be too high for you as we are used to our monitor being at desk level.
If you are someone that sits completely upright all of the time, then having your monitor 5 or 6 inches above your keyboard probably won’t be an issue for you.
But if you are like most people and tend to lay back either some of the time, or all of the time, then this could be an issue for you.
In this instance, it could work better for you to go with a desk converter where there is a limited distance from the bottom and top levels. It will be important for you to have a monitor that is adjustable and can tilt up so that you can still have quality ergonomics while standing.
You could also utilize an articulating computer monitor arm. Most desk converters allow these to be added on and really give you the ideal ergonomics for a sit-stand desk as you can easily adjust your monitor position to your liking.
With a flat standing desk that doesn’t have dual levels, this is needed in order to have the correct ergonomics.
Get a Sit/Stand Desk, Not a Standing Desk
Yeah I know we are talking about standing desks here, but when we say standing desk we are really referring to a sit-stand desk.
Yes, sitting all day is bad for you, but so is standing all day. It is important to balance that out and be able to sit when you need to and stand when you need to as well.
Especially when you first switch over from sitting all day. It won’t be easy to stand for 8 hours, you will want to gradually stand more and more each day. It would suck to go from sitting 8 hours a day to having to stand for all 8 hours.
Make Yourself Comfortable While Standing
Like I said, standing all day isn’t good for you either, so to avoid putting too much stress on your knees, hips, and feet the most important thing you can do is get a comfortable pair of shoes or maybe consider adding some shoe inserts as well.
Another option is to get a quality gel standing mat. This is another way of adding cushion while standing. Granted, sometimes these can be an issue because with some of them you have to remove them before you can move your chair back. Be sure to get a standing mat made to accommodate chairs as well.
If you combine all 3: comfortable shoes, shoe inserts, and a gel mat; then you will maximize your standing comfort.
Consider a Leaning Seat
This takes comfortable standing to another level. If you have a leaning seat then you are never actually standing, and you are never actually sitting.
There are desks specifically designed to go with a leaning seat. These, however, can get really expensive.
One option you can do is to get a portable leaning seat. I personally love the Mogo Leaning Seat by Focal Upright. You can usually find it for less than $100.
This means that you can still keep your chair that you have and still sit or stand in addition to using the leaning seat. The Mogo is able to be disassembled into a smaller setup and placed into a small bag so that if you want it out of the way it isn’t a problem.
Desk Converter or Full Sit/Stand Desk?
I”m sure you have an idea what you would like to go with. Realize that a desk converter will more than likely be the cheaper option and if you really wanted to could get one for less than $200. However, if you are looking for a top-rated converter then you could be pushing $400. There are others that may even cost you close to a thousand but in my opinion, there is no reason to spend that much on a sit/stand workstation.
If you are looking to go with a full desk then clearly you will have a lot more desktop space. The issue with this option is that you are more than likely going to pay a bit more. These can range anywhere from the low $300 range to upwards of 2 grand.
You can still get a real quality desk for around $600, however. Again, I recommend adding a monitor arm to it so that you have the correct ergonomics while standing. If you go with this option then you may want to consider that in addition to the desk.
Will It Fit Your Desk?
If you choose to go with a desk converter, clearly you want it to fit your desk. If it hangs off an inch or two then it isn’t a huge deal. But this is something you should consider.
Some converters can take up quite a bit of space, and the main issue would come up if you have a narrow desk that isn’t as deep as most.
Be sure to measure your desk, and then shop around for a smaller desk converter if needed.
Test One Out Before Buying
You may not be able to actually try a standing desk, but of course, you could use something that mimics a standing desk. You could try working on your counter for a while, or just try stacking up some books.
More than likely you already know if you need to stand more by how you feel. If you are experiencing back pain or just want to get a little more movement in each day then your intuition will probably come in to play.
Again, I recommend getting a desk where you can sit or stand. You can always sit if you have to, and some standing is going to be better than nothing.
Yeah, being able to stand while working is great, but it isn’t magic. You still need to make sure you are taking breaks and walking around when you can.
Seriously. Nothing is better for your body than…not working. Yeah, that’s right. Taking breaks not only helps you physically but mentally as well. Don’t skip out on them now that your work experience is better.
I think that about wraps it up. These are some things to consider if you are looking to get a standing desk, or if you just aren’t getting the full experience from the standing desk you already have. Is there anything else you can think of? Let me know in the comments below.