Standing desks are fabulous & I truly think every desk should have the ability to be stod at. That said, standing for 8 hours a day is not a trivial exercise and so I want to share a few tricks to help you get the most out of your standing desk for the sake of both your body & your productivity.
1. Mix it up – stand, sit, stand, sit, stand, sit … you get the idea. At first you will need more sitting time as your body adapts to the physical demands of standing all day but even once you’re a stand-up desk pro you body will still need the change a (small) period of rest or sitting allows. Sitting for meetings, driving or eating counts too!
2. Stand on something – standing for long periods on a hard office floor is unnatural and our bodies aren’t designed for it. Standing at home on the carpet is better, but even then getting yourself a softer surface to stand on is ideal. If you’re in the office with budget then an anti-fatigue mat is the professional solution (the Topo Mat pictured to the right is my personal favourite), if you’re at home or budget is low then consider folding a rug or yoga mat in half, using some kids play mats or simply stand on some folded towels or blankets.
3. Legs vertical – your default standing position should be one in which the bones of your body fully participate in holding your weight (so as not to cause undue wear & tear to muscles & soft tissues amongst other things) . In order to do that we need your legs to be vertical… grab yourself a make-shift (or real!) plumb line and hang it down the side of your leg; it should fall from the mid point of your pelvis past the side of your knee and land at the knobly bone of your ankle.
4. Move whilst you stand – I’m not talking dance moves here (though you are welcome to if you would like to!) but move your feet about, wiggle your toes, move your hips from side to side, twist a little at the waist, roll your shoulders, raise the ball of your foot up on something. You get the idea, they don’t need to be big moves but being static for long periods standing can almost be as bad for you as long static periods sitting. If you think some tools would make it more interesting and help remind you, then a half roller, ball or wobble cushion are all great things to stretch, roll & stand on!
5. Reduce the heels! Standing with legs vertical is impossible if you have any positive raise under your heel. Best case is barefoot or in zero drop shoes…. second best is the lowest heeled shoe you can have!
Main image from sit-stand.com .. check them out if you are interested in a standing desk for your workplace