While the many benefits of a standing desk have been proven by reliable studies, and the dangers of sitting for long periods of time have been frequently demonstrated, the truth is that most people with a standing desk will not be standing all the time.
Standing for eight or more hours a day can come with its own health risks or discomfort, such as aching feet, exhaustion, and even swelling and muscle strain.
The best type of desk for this situation is an adjustable one, whether that’s a full desk or a mount to put on a stationary desk. Most standing desks will have an option to adjust the height, so make sure to utilize it.
It’s important to find the right ratio of sitting to standing when using a standing desk depending on your fitness level and how used to the desk you are. Also, remember to get a good computer chair so you are comfortable when you are sitting.
Poor Fitness or First Time Desk Use
If you are just beginning to use a standing desk or are not in the best of health, you will want your ratio of standing to sitting to start out in favor of sitting more often. Factors that may make using a standing desk harder may include being overweight or obese, or living a sedentary lifestyle (most of your time sitting or laying down).
In this case, you will want to start slowly, with about ten to fifteen minutes standing with half hour breaks in between. This will give you time to get used to standing for longer periods and keep you from overextending yourself and giving up on the desk or even causing injury.
Starting small may be frustrating, but over time you will be able to stand for longer periods of time. When standing for those periods of time becomes easy, you can move on to the next level.
Average Fitness or Moderate Desk Use
For those who have more stamina and a normal fitness level, for example people who get twenty to thirty minutes of exercise a few times a week, standing for longer periods of time will not be as difficult.
This is also the case for those who have been using a standing desk for a reasonable period of time and are used to standing up or find it easier. In this case, it’s best to stand and sit for about the same period of time per day, alternating between the two.
It’s best to stand for about half an hour and then sit for the same amount of time, which keeps you from getting too tired but also avoids the health risks associated with sitting for too long.
If you are feeling comfortable with this ratio, you can begin to adjust it over time. Make sure to listen to your body and its needs to make sure you’re doing what’s healthy for you.
Good Fitness or Extended Desk Use
Those who are used to standing desks or have a good fitness level, for example those that do cardiovascular exercise as well as muscle building exercise several times a week, can typically stand for longer periods of time without worrying about injuries or tiredness. However, it’s still important to rest a few times a day by sitting down for a few minutes each hour.
This can be as little as five to ten minutes to give your body a break, since standing uses more muscle groups than sitting and can be hard on your feet as well. While those with better fitness levels may not feel tired after standing for a long period of time, it’s still important to sit down long enough to maintain your stamina.
The ideal sitting to standing ratio can vary for different people, and you should take into consideration your own health and needs before deciding how long to sit and stand at your desk. Over time, your best ratio will change and you will build stamina and strength and be able to change this ratio to favor standing for longer periods of time.
Also read about How Technology Is Breaking Down Barriers In Remote Working