How to Transition to a Standing Desk
Congratulations on making the first step to a healthier lifestyle! Although you may be excited to transition to a standing desk, it is best to ease into it. If you decided to take up running, could you lace up your shoes and run 3.1 miles nonstop? In a perfect world, sure! But for most people, the answer is no.
Much like running, transitioning to a standing desk may take some training. You could set up your standing desk and toss your chair out, but the odds are, a few hours into your workday you’ll be willing to fish your chair out of the dumpster.
Although a standing desk is not physically demanding like most workout activities, it does take some getting used to…queue the adjustment period. But trust us, once you’ve adjusted to your standing desk, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one!
The purpose of this article is to show you how to use a standing desk properly when you’ve never used one before. The idea is to slowly work up to your ideal sit/stand ratio, so you can enjoy the maximum benefits of standing desks.
The Beginners Guide to Standing Desks
- Adjust to your ergonomics
Before you get started, it’s important to know how to set up a standing desk. Improper adjustment can lead to pain and premature fatigue. An ergonomically-sound setup, conversely, will be more comfortable and help you to stand longer.
- Add foot cushions
It is important to get into the habit of wearing comfortable, supportive shoes when you are using your standing desk. Over time, hard floors can lead to soreness and fatigue. An anti-fatigue standing desk mat provides cushioned support that helps you stand more comfortably, and for longer.
- The turtle wins the race
Start slow. Since you are used to sitting in a chair all day, an abrupt change to standing desks will most likely leave you uncomfortable. Instead, set a timer that reminds you to stand for just a minute or two every hour. Don’t stand for more than five minutes per hour in the first week, but make sure you stand at least once every hour so you can begin to develop good habits.
- Increase your endurance over time
With each passing week, increase your standing time in small increments. If you stood for five minutes per hour in the first week, try seven minutes per hour on the second week. Again, the goal is to slowly build healthy habits over time.
- Build toward your ideal sit-stand ratio goal
Contrary to popular belief, the end goal isn’t to stand all day. It’s to achieve an ideal balance of sitting and standing. Studies have shown that movement is healthy while remaining stagnant in one position is harmful. In other words, a lot of the benefit comes from your transitions between sitting and standing. For people under 40 years old, experts generally recommend roughly 30 minutes of standing per hour. For people over 40, experts recommend about 24 minutes of standing per hour.
- Transition between sitting and standing often
And as we mentioned earlier, sit to stand transitions are good for you. You want to transition a minimum of once every hour, but if you prefer switching your position every 25, 20, or even 15 minutes, go for it!
We hope this tips help you transition to incorporating your standing desk to improve your workday and overall health!