Updated: Oct 31, 2018
When you start using your new standing desk, you might experience physical fatigue – a negative factor that outweighs the multiple benefits of a standing desk. Luckily, there are quick and simple ways to combat fatigue and enjoy improved posture, increased productivity, and more burned calories.
Mind Your Posture
Poor posture is one of the main causes of back pain, whether you’re standing or sitting for long periods of time. Correct your posture to fight fatigue. Your head should be up and your shoulders back. Stand with your feet apart and keep your balance on the balls of your feet. Don’t lock the knees, just bend them a little to improve blood circulation. If you’re standing for over 30 minutes, shift your weight, alternating from one leg to another. And don’t forget to adjust the height of the desk: your arms should be resting on it at a 90° angle.
Get Proper Footwear
When your shoes don’t fit properly, your whole body will ache. Therefore, it is a good idea to do some research prior to buying the perfect footwear and be prepared to invest in it and try on different brands and sizes before making the decision.
As a rule of thumb, you should search for a pair that has leather insoles, sturdy construction, snug fit and rounded toes. But what fits best for one person may not be right for another – so choose a pair that can fulfill the unique needs of your feet. If you have a foot condition or can’t find the right pair, consult a podiatrist. There are some people that need a custom insole.
Change Your Position
Unlike a traditional workstation, a sit to stand desk doesn’t require you to stand all the time. Since standing or sitting for long periods of time aren’t good for your legs, you should change positions frequently. For example, you can set a timer and switch between standing and sitting.
When you need to change your leg positions, stand on your feet, then lift one of them and place it on the footrest. Then do the same with the other foot. You can add different positions once you have mastered this one.
If you can, you should take short walks during breaks, to improve blood flow and stretch your legs. According to a study published by Stanford University, walking boosts creativity, among many other benefits.
Get A Cushioned Mat
When you stand on the floor for long periods of time, you are at risk of developing different health conditions such as varicose veins, circulatory problems, swelling, and foot and back pain. Even if you have a carpet, negative effects are huge. Of course, these effects are usually not severe or life-threatening but they can make your standing experience worse. Besides, you can easily prevent them.
A cushioned anti-fatigue mat feels good and it helps your muscles and tendons. It helps you contract the muscles in the shins and calves to improve blood and oxygen flow in your body. If you don’t want to invest in a fancy mat, you can get an old exercise mat that will suit the purpose. However, if you stand every day, you could consider one of the tested brands of special anti-fatigue mats.
Make Stretching a Priority
It is hard to overemphasize the importance of stretching. After standing for a long time, you can suffer a sore back, neck, and shoulders. You can reduce these symptoms by stretching several times a day. Your stretching routine can take less than 15 minutes; include hamstring stretches, shoulder rolls, or Yoga moves. Choose something that you like and stick to it. Take deep breaths while stretching to stimulate creativity and improve blood flow – it will also help you survive through the sluggish afternoon hours.
Sit, Stand, and Walk Throughout the Day
As mentioned in the third tip, long periods of sitting can be harmful to your health. However, standing can be harmful as well. That is why you should choose a standing desk that has sitting options to let you switch between these two positions. Make sure the seat is adjustable.
According to studies, you should stand for over 50% of your workday (for example, standing for 4 hours of an 8-hour day). In order to keep yourself healthy, take little breaks every now and then and go for a walk, even if you just walk around the room. Depending on your needs, you may choose one work surface for standing and another for sitting. Or you can get a 2-in-1 standing desk and adjust it in order to support you as you sit or stand.