The steps detailed:
- Stand up straight, looking a bit upwards.
- Let your arms down by your side, then bend one elbow to 90 degrees.
- Bring the desk up until your fingers touch the keyboard.
Experiment a bit with raising it one more inch to find the height that's best for you.
- Next look straight forward, and raise or lower your monitor so that you are looking at the top third of the screen.
Your eyes should be 20 - 28 inches from the screen. You'll need a different height with your shoes on than without.
- Raising and lowering your desk just a bit through the day will make sure you do not get stuck in a single posture.
- In the end your comfort is the most important. If something does not feel right, move your desk to find a comfortable position.
Calculate your ideal standing desk height with this handy calculator
Just plug your height into this calculator and it will give you the suggested desk height.
How to set the correct monitor height for your standing desk?
To set the correct height keep these in mind:
- Your computer screen should be at eye height, looking straight forward you should see the center or the upper third part of the screen.
Make sure you are not looking downwards.
- First make sure your keyboard height is all right, then use a monitor mount to raise the screen.
If you are using bifocal lenses you'll have to lower your monitor.
- Adjust your setup so your eyes are 20 - 28 inches from your screen.
How to set up your sit-stand workstation for sitting?
- Sit on your chair with your feet resting on the floor. Your feet and thighs should be parallel with the floor.
- Adjust the chair's height so that your knees are between 90 and 120 degrees while your feet are resting on the floor.
- Next put your forearms on the desk.
Your forearm and upper arm should be at 90 to 120 degrees.Raise or lower your to achieve this.
- Finally set up your monitor: look straight forward and set your monitor so that you are looking through the top third of your screen. Make sure the screen is 20 to 28 inches from your eyes.
- You can raise or lower the electronically adjustable standing desks really fast. Get one with memory function.
How to keep a good posture?
Having a good posture is very important for staying healthy, still most people just do not pay enough attention to it. A bad posture will decrease the time you can keep standing, and could give you an even worse back pain than you had when you were sitting.
Keep good ergonomics: if you are sitting get a good chair with pelvic support, keep your knees at 90 degrees or a bit more.
The University of North Carolina has a nice article on office ergonomics here.
Neck and back care when standing
Setting the proper height of the monitor will reduce the strain on your back and neck too.
To improve your neck and back health, check this article from Mayo Clinic.
Arm supports improve your wrist, neck, and shoulder health.
Arm supports are made of a soft material and attach to your desk. They reduce the pressure on your wrist as you are using your mouse.
How can I reduce leg fatigue?
You can either get a kitchen mat, or a standing mat.
If you are wearing shoes, the thinner standing mat will give adequate support for you. Kitchen mats are thicker and will give the support you need if you do not have your shoes on.
Do you need breaks with your standing desk?
Switching between sitting and standing every 30 to 45 minutes makes sure you will not get too tired from standing all day long.
This also avoids swollen ankles, which can be a side effect of standing too much without moving.
How to rest when using a standing desk?
- If you have a stand-only desk, you can get a standing desk chair or a drafting chair.
- If you have a sit-stand desk you can lower your desk and use a conventional chair.
Besides sitting down, marching in place and doing exercises can help too.
Tips to get the most out of your standing desk
If you feel like you need to sit down, get a chair
If you feel tired at your standing desk it could be simply due to standing too much.
If you have a sit-stand desk you can use a simple office chair (with pelvic support) and lower your desk.
Take care of the ergonomics: make sure your elbows rest comfortably on the desk's surface, and you can comfortably reach the keyboard.
Adjust your keyboard and mouse position if you sit down or stand up
You can easily strain your wrists through the long hours you use your keyboard. Finding the most comfortable position will reduce this strain and the wrist pain.
Try to spend less money on your stand-up workstation
It's easy to spend a lot of money to get everything you need for your workstation - the sit-stand desk, drafting chair, mat, monitor can cost an arm and leg.
If you have a small coffee table, putting it on your office table can give you a nice little working area. A sturdy shoe-box can function as a monitor stand - you name it!
You may have to experiment a bit and it will no look as good as a boxed solution, but you can be damn sure it will be a lot cheaper!
Have your feet firmly on the floor
Strive to make your workspace even more ergonomic
An ergonomic chair can help a lot by better fitting your body and keeping you comfortable throughout your working hours. Seat height adjustment, lumbar support, will help you find the comfortable posture no matter what you do.
Don't stand too long
When you start using your desk you should not stand for more than two hours during the day, it's the best to stand for half an hour, sit for at least half an hour, then start again.
Once you are accustomed to standing you can work yourself up to standing four hours a day with breaks.
WebMD has a quick article on why it's not good to stand for too long.
Find the right position for your wrists
For good ergonomics you should use your mouse and keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight. This will help prevent repetitive strain injuries.
Your elbows should be at 90 to 120 degrees, resting at the side of your body.
Set the height for your use-case
Depending on what you use your stand-up desk for, you may will want to set it to different height.
- If you are using your standing desk for reading you'll want to set it high.
- If you are using your standing desk with a laptop or computer you'll want to set it lower by an inch or so, to reach your keyboard comfortably.
To learn more about setting your standing desk height, correct posture and ergonomics check these articles:
- Ergoprise has a long and detailed article on setting the standing desk height.
- For a short video on setting your desk height check this one from youtube.
- Osha has a must-read article on correct working positions in the office.
These articles nicely round up all you need to know on setting the proper height for your standing desk.