BUT it is also essential to getting the most out of your sit stand desk
Standing while working for many is a requirement; such as those in those who work in retail stores, baristas and wait staff to factory workers and construction workers. For others sitting while working all day has been a long time reality that may or may not have bothered you. My guess is that if you are reading this you are already switching to or have switched to the sit stand work revolution and are using some sort of stand up desk (like our miracle desk) to assist you. Now that you have your desk, or even if it is on the way, it is a good time to begin thinking about your posture while you sit and stand at work. I have included some links to some great infographics (basically pictures that show the key points on proper posture while using a standing desk) at the end of the article also if you are a more visual person. There are some key elements to improve your posture while standing without being at work and maybe you are in violation of some of these. So let's go over a few basics on how to stand straight and help keep your core muscles engaged so they can become strong enough to hold you up tall, in the proper way, all the time. Because if you are slouching before you start standing at work it won’t help to slouch while working
Good Posture Vs. Bad Posture and Improving Your Posture:
Remember to keep your shoulders and back aligned with each other. Engage your core muscles (also known as your stomach muscles) to keep your body as straight as possible. If you have your whole body from head to toe lined up so that each piece is directly above the next piece then you are doing it correctly. Don’t forget to slightly bend your knees while standing because this will reduce some of the pressure on your hips. So your head and neck should be held straight so that your spine is straight and your shoulders should align with your hips then. Once you have yours knees very slightly bent (basically you don’t want to lock your knees straight) then you are standing straight and tall. If you want to see a cool infographic on posture you can check out this one at Greatist.com.(http://greatist.com/health/ultimate-guide-good-posture) Now one final thing that will help whether you are standing, running, or using a sit stand workstation is to have the right footwear and maybe even insoles depending on the activity or length of standing. Here is an excerpt from fitdocs.com where a Dr. explains just some of the problems that poor posture can lead too:
“Spending our days hunched over a desk (or over a smartphone) puts significant pressure on the joints of your spine, from your lower back all the way up to the atlas, where your neck and skull meet. Just consider a few of the health problems I see in my patients that can be directly tied to poor posture:
- Shoulder, neck, and back pain
- Degenerative disc disease
- Depression, increased stress and diminished levels of energy
- Tension headaches
- Restricted breathing
- Cardiovascular problems
- Digestive issues such as constipation, acid reflux and hernias”
Ok let’s get back to standing while working though now that you know how to stand up straight normally.
Good Posture While Working at a Sit Stand Desk
There is posture, which we talked about above, and then there is standing at your desk and having to type, read a screen, do paperwork, lean over and a whole host of other things that will make it so you are not always standing perfectly straight. This is ok and not bad for your body at all but what you want to do is maintain some basics while working at your sit stand workstation. To get another perspective on posture while using a sit stand desk you can check out this article from MakeUseOf.com and in the middle it discusses posture at your desk.
- First try to keep your monitor about 20”-30” away from your face. Now obviously you might have to lean in sometimes to read something but as a rule try to keep that distance between you and your computer screen. This will help with eye strain, neck pain and also once everything else is set up properly will keep you properly aligned so that you maintain good posture.
- Second make sure that your desk and elbows are about at the same height when your arms are bent like you would be typing on a keyboard. This will make it so that when you are typing there is less or no strain on your wrists and keep your body aligned properly. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle when you are typing on your keyboard while you are standing and working.
- Thirdly tilt your monitor up slightly so that it is not facing straight forward but so that the bottom comes towards you and the top away. This angle will also help with eye and neck strain or pain.
- Fourth just as with proper posture when you are standing at your desk then you should keep your knees slightly bent. You can do this by putting one leg up at a time on a block, book or anything you can put under your feet. This will not only help you keep good posture but will help with blood flow in your feet and legs and they won’t go numb or feel as sore from having so much weight on them.
- Finally a few other factors to consider at you look at your posture and using a sit stand workstation. Women if you are going to choose to stand for long periods of time then heels are out of the question. Now if you want to go back and forth between sitting and standing while you are working then heels are probably ok. Guys if you are used to just wearing regular dress shoes and you try to start standing all day your feet are going to be very sore. I recommend either getting insoles (but you will have to replace these often and switch them between shoes if you change shoes) or an Anti-Fatigue Gel Mat like the ones that Miracle Desk offers HERE. Also movement is key to standing and working so try to incorporate small movements into your routine. We have articles on our Blog HERE about a wide array of topics from how to move while working, stretches for working, burning more calories and how to get your boss to pay for your desk! Check it out any time.
Our Stand Up Desk Solution:
If you haven’t seen our Miracle Desk yet then DEFINITELY check out our Miracle Desk stand up desk solution HERE and see for yourself why 100’s of people have left rave reviews about how it has helped alleviate their back, neck and wrist pain.
And I did promise that cool looking picture/infographic on standing desk posture so here it is: