Now that your standing desk is here, you are obviously pumped to start seeing the benefits that go with standing while you work. Additionally, you are keen to start using the new features! Anyone would be! It is certainly exciting to have a new desk to work on but you need to ensure that the experience is the best for you. One of the most important aspects is to try your best to avoid injuries. Before you begin the standing regime, you need to take a few steps. We all are different and it is no different from going to the gym or using your weights incorrectly. You must not do something that is beyond your capacity.
There is no specific set of standing hours a day for you to achieve but there are a few guidelines. It is not easy to make the transition from sitting to a standing desk. It would be like saying that you excel in the gym on the first day. There is no specific rulebook but there are some rules that will make the transition easy and convenient for you. Let’s take a look at them.
The initial phase is about the transition
Moving to a standing desk should not be instant. It should be a smooth transition and you must start slowly. You can build up the hours eventually and take it slow. It might be awkward to make the transition but it will feel natural as you get used to it. You will need about three to four weeks to build up to 4 hours of standing in a day as you work. But everyone is different and each one will need their own time to get used to standing while you work. Do not stand all the time. Go slow and gradually increase what you are already doing every week. Identify what works for your body and take it slow.
Those already suffering from chronic back pain or neck pain should speak to a doctor. If the monitor or keyboard is not set in the right position, you will continue to feel the pain. Check the position and see that there is no pressure on your eyes, wrists, or your arms. It should be placed at the right level and if needed, invest in accessories to enhance your work experience. Choose the right type of accessories that will fit on the desk.
How much is too much?
Remember that too much of anything can be harmful to your body. You need to keep in mind that there is no single size that fits all. You must consider the factors like your age, fitness, physique, strength as well as injuries. All of us are different and the amount of time you can stand in a day will be different from the other person. Not everyone will be able to tolerate the same hours of standing time. If you stand and feel your feet sore and tired, it is a sign that it is time to sit for some time. You may want to take a quick walk or stretch. However, if everything is well with your body, you may want to begin incorporating an hour of standing in the workday and then move towards 4-5 hours a day. Always take regular intervals. There is no need to stand for 4 or 5 hours on the first day itself. When you start, you may want to sit for 20 minutes and stand for 30 minutes until you get comfortable standing for long periods.
What should you expect in the initial days?
For those who are used to sitting in the office for more than 8 hours a day and in transit will feel some discomfort in the first 2-3 weeks. You will feel pain in the legs, lower back, and your feet. It will improve with time and you will notice that you are getting used to standing but do not push yourself very hard. Take time to adjust and take one day at a time. You will see a lot of positive changes like better energy, better breathing, enhanced mood as well as mental clarity.
To put it simply, let’s go through some do’s and dont’s.
- Always take it slow.
- Only do what you can tolerate
- Change the posture and move
- Keep correct posture and ergonomics in mind
- Remember to change the position every 20 minutes
- Do not ignore the signs of your body. If you feel discomfort, change.
- Stand on the right surface when working.
- Wear flat shoes whenever you stand.
- Make sure to distribute the weight evenly on both feet when standing.
- Do not keep your feet too close when standing.
- Never make the mistake of standing 8 hours a day straight away.
- If you feel discomfort, sit down immediately.
- Never push through a very high standing goal on the first day
- Do not standstill. The purpose of a standing desk is to change the posture from time to time.
- Never use non-ergonomic heights for the monitor or workspace.
- Do not wear heels when you stand, it will affect your posture.
These tips will help make the most of a standing desk. If you are already using one, remember to never overdo it. It will take a few weeks to get used to it and once you do, you will notice a huge difference in your physical and mental wellbeing. You can also invest in the right types of accessories to enhance your work experience. It will add comfort and increase productivity. If you consistently feel discomfort and already have a medical condition, you may want to speak to a doctor before using the standing desk.
Like any other transition, your switch from sitting to a standing desk will take time. Do not set the bar too high or push yourself beyond the limits. Slowly but steadily, you will get used to the desk and you will certainly notice the differences in your health.