In this video you will find what you need to know about standing desks, including the three major types of standing desks.
The first thing you need to know is that there are three main types of standing desks. There’s the traditional or fixed standing desk, there’s the riser and then there’s the adjustable height standing desk.
The fixed standing desk or rig is any setup that allows a person to stand or be upright but doesn’t give them the option to sit down.
Along with the traditional standing desk, this category also includes some desks that were designed to keep you active while you work, including the treadmill desk and even elliptical desks.
Besides the full desks, there are also rigs that let you raise your computer and monitors to standing height. This type of desk is kind of an easy DIY project. It’s not so hard to make. There are also dozens of commercially available options in the marketplace today but in just a minute I’m going to explain why this isn’t the type I would necessarily recommend for standing at work.
Next up are desk risers. Risers are in addition to your existing desk. They give you the option to quickly go from sitting to standing or vice versa. These come in a wide range of options, colors and sizes. They’re really not the easiest ones to DIY but it is possible.
Last up is the adjustable height desk. Much like risers, these can quickly go from sitting to standing height but on these desks the entire surface of the desk moves up and down, either electronically or manually. Like risers these can be complex to do as a DIY project but a lot of fun to do as well. I did find one motorized version of this that comes in a price of just two hundred and fifty dollars.
Tons of research has been done on the effects of sitting vs standing. I’ve read through dozens of articles on the topic and one of the best resources I found on the effects of sitting vs standing at work is a study done by Cornell University on the topic of ergonomics.
The study concludes the following four points:
1. You shouldn’t sit all day. Sitting for more than one hour at a time leads to fat build up and is related to heart disease risks. Sitting for eight or more hours a day for years on end like many of us do is extremely unhealthy.
2. You shouldn’t stand all day either. Extensive standing increases the risk of varicose veins and it’s harder on the circulatory system especially for the legs and feet. Standing at work makes us about 20% more fatigued than we would otherwise be and it also decreases our ability to perform tasks that require fine motor skills.
3. Sit stand desks, standing desks in general, they’re not the answer by themselves. People with sit-stand desks tend to spend all of their time sitting at those desks within about a month of getting them and when they do stand it’s usually only for about 15 minutes.
4. Most importantly, there is a recommended balance.
The pattern I’m about to introduce you to changed my whole attitude about sitting and standing for two reasons. One, it just makes sense. It’s something that actually seems logical and two, it’s easy, anybody can do this, this is not a difficult requirement.
And here’s the advice that again I’m going to read the exact quote here:
“Sit to do computer work. Sit using a height-adjustable downward tilting keyboard tray for the best work posture then every 20 minutes stand for eight minutes and move for two minutes.”
That my friends is the key right there. You sit for 20 minutes, we stand up for about eight minutes, which is really easy to do, and then we get some motion going for about two minutes – walk around, go get some water, whatever it is you need to do.
If you try this, you’ll find that it’s actually super easy to do and the times are just really short and easy to work with and the sit stand desk makes this totally possible.
Alright so now that we know that we should be standing and moving around some of the time, here are a few tips to make the most of the time that you do spend standing.
First thing, posture. Your posture is as important as standing itself. While you’re standing, your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle. Your monitor should be within arm’s reach and at a height where you can comfortably see them without craning your neck.
It’s important to change your posture while you stand, so lean on different feet, don’t leave it all, use a stool I think is very helpful to put one leg up and then put one leg down. Switch legs, just keep moving so your body isn’t stagnant.
Finally avoid leaning over on your desk or doing anything that would put stress on your back or neck.
Number two, mats are critical. Buy a decent mat or two to for work and it’ll make standing way easier Costco sells a pretty decent $20 mat that helps the tone or you can get a nicer anti-fatigue mat for about a hundred dollars. You can also double up using two or more mats, which is what I do at work.
Number three, footwear matters. Wear comfortable shoes if you can. Choose shoes that are supportive and that won’t bother you after several intervals of standing. If wearing comfortable shoes isn’t an option, don’t wear shoes while standing. When you’ve got a good mat, being barefoot or just in your socks is actually really comfortable.
Number four, use a tool or a app to keep track of the time you’re spending sitting and standing. Now I’ve tried pretty much every kind of desktop software, phone app, even watch apps to try to find out an accurate representation of when I’m sitting and when I’m standing and honestly I haven’t been that thrilled with any of them.
What I found that works best, what I’m using right now is an interval timer, something that can set for 20 minutes and then gives me ideally an eight minute and then a two-minute interval. I’ve just found one that does 20 minutes and then a ten-minute interval so as soon as I get to that 10-minute section I stand for eight and then move around that last couple of minutes.
If you’ve got some sort of device that you found that works awesome, we’d love to hear about, so leave a comment share it with everyone.
So that’s it, that’s standing desks in a nutshell. Hopefully you’ve learned a few things and found some ways that standing desks can be helpful and can reduce the amount of time that you spend sitting, whether it’s at work or at home.