6 Tips for Switching to a Standing Desk
Posted by Caitlin Norton
I can’t say this enough: I love my standing desk at work. Years back, I used to split time between a retail job where I stood all day and an office job where I sat. I also worked out 4+ days per week and was losing weight without much effort. That all ended when I started my current job and sat for 8+ hours at my desk. Being sedentary for hours, even with going to the gym, took its toll and soon my clothes were feeling tighter and tighter. Sitting was killing my metabolism.
Last year, I kept hearing about all the benefits of a standing desk and wanted to try it for myself. After a few weeks of begging, my office manager found an attachment for my cubicle wall and had it installed. Immediately I felt more energized and I was able to focus on work easier. Now, my back feels stronger and my abdominal region is flattening out again. My clothes keep getting looser.
I won’t lie to you, the first month took some getting used to, but I stuck with it. My feet did hurt after a few hours, so I just moved my laptop and sat to work for 15 minutes or until I felt ready to stand again.
Now I’m able to stand for 6-7 hours of the workday and I’m burning up to an extra 860 calories per day. That’s up to 4,300 calories burned for the week for me! Combine that with time at the gym and you’ll notice a huge difference in your body’s shape and feel.
Here are 6 tips that will make a standing desk easier to use:
1. The desk should be setup with your arms resting at a 90 degree angle and you should be able to look at your computer screen without tilting your head up or down much. You should also still have a chair so that you can sit when you need to.
2. Bring a pair of comfy shoes (ones with good arch support) that you can change in and out of. Dress shoes, including heels, should be only worn to meetings.
3. Don’t just stand upright and still. Your legs should be shoulder width apart (equal weight distribution) and stretch/move your body when you start to feel stiff. I even do calf raises.
4. Your feet and legs will hurt after a few hours. Sit and work for 15-20 minutes or find an excuse to leave your desk and walk around a bit. Listen to your body.
5. Get a gel mat to stand on for extra cushion.
6. If you’re allowed, put on some headphones and a good playlist will keep you dancing at your desk throughout the day (again, movement).
If you follow these six tips, you’ll learn to love a standing desk and all the benefits it has. I’ve even inspired some of my other coworkers to get one and they love it too.
Approach management about standing desk options in your office. If you can’t get a personal standing desk, ask management if they’re willing to set up a shared work station with a raised table, so that anyone can come stand and use it. Remind them that less sedentary employees means lower healthcare costs and increased productivity.