How to Stand at Desk

Are you feeling tired and sluggish after a long day of sitting at your desk? Standing desks have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason! Standing while working can improve your posture, increase energy levels, and even boost productivity.

In recent years, standing desks have surged in popularity as more people seek to mitigate the sedentary lifestyle commonly associated with office work.

How to Stand at Desk

Transitioning from sitting to standing can offer numerous health benefits, including improved posture, increased energy levels, and a potential reduction in the risk of chronic diseases.

However, to reap these benefits, it’s crucial to understand the proper way to stand at a desk. This guide on how to stand at desk will introduce you to the ergonomic principles of standing correctly to ensure comfort and productivity throughout the day.

What Type of Mental Preparation Do You Need?

Before making the switch to a standing desk, it’s important to mentally prepare yourself for the change. Standing while working may feel strange at first and can take some time to adjust to. It’s essential to have a positive mindset and acknowledge that there may be an adjustment period before reaping the benefits.

It’s also helpful to set realistic expectations for yourself. Starting with short periods of standing and gradually increasing the duration can help your body get used to the new position. Additionally, it’s important to listen to your body and take breaks when needed.

What Will You Need?

Before diving into the proper techniques of standing at a desk, it’s important to have the necessary equipment.

  1. Standing Desk: The first step in standing correctly at a desk is having an adjustable standing desk. This desk allows you to switch between sitting and standing positions throughout the day, providing the flexibility needed for optimal posture.
  2. Anti-Fatigue Mat: Standing for long periods can put a strain on your feet and legs, leading to fatigue and discomfort. Using an anti-fatigue mat can help reduce this strain and provide cushioning for your feet.
  3. Comfortable Shoes: When standing at a desk, it is crucial to wear comfortable and supportive shoes. Avoid wearing high heels or flats with no arch support, as these can cause discomfort and lead to poor posture.
  4. Ergonomic Accessories: Adding ergonomic accessories such as an adjustable keyboard tray, monitor stand, and footrest can further enhance your standing desk setup and promote good posture.
When Standing at a Desk

Once you have all the necessary equipment, it’s time to learn how to stand correctly at your desk.

10 Easy Steps on How to Stand at Desk

Step 1. Adjust the Desk Height:

Ensure your standing desk is at the correct height. When typing or using the mouse, your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle, and your wrists should be straight and in line with your forearms. Adjust the desk height accordingly to achieve this position.

Step 2. Position Your Monitor Correctly:

Your monitor should be placed directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. This positioning prevents you from having to tilt your head up or down, reducing neck strain. If necessary, use a monitor stand or stack books under your monitor to achieve the ideal height.

Step 3. Keep Your Feet Flat on the Ground:

Maintain a posture where your feet are flat on the ground, shoulder-width apart. This stance helps distribute your body weight evenly, reducing strain on any particular part of your body and promoting stability while you stand. Additionally, avoid crossing your legs or standing on one leg for extended periods.

Body and Promoting Stability While You Stand

Step 4. Use Anti-Fatigue Mats:

Incorporate an anti-fatigue mat into your standing desk setup to decrease the pressure on your feet and legs. These mats are designed to encourage subtle movements of your feet, which improves circulation and minimizes discomfort associated with standing for long periods. Position the mat directly under your standing area to ensure maximum benefit.

Step 5. Ensure Proper Monitor Position:

The position of your monitor plays a significant role in maintaining good posture and reducing strain on your neck and eyes. Your monitor should be placed directly in front of you, about an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen at or just below eye level.

This setup helps avoid the need to tilt your head up or down, which can lead to neck and shoulder discomfort. If you use dual monitors, ensure they are positioned close together and slightly angled to minimize turning your head. Adjusting your monitor(s) to the proper height and angle can significantly improve comfort and reduce the risks associated with prolonged standing.

Adjusting Your Monitor

Step 6. Use Dynamic Movement:

Standing in the same position for hours can be just as detrimental as sitting all day. Incorporate dynamic movements into your standing routine to avoid muscle fatigue and stiffness.

This can include shifting your weight from one foot to the other, gentle stretching, or even walking in place. Engaging in periodic movements helps stimulate blood circulation and keeps you energized and focused. Remember, the goal is to promote health and productivity, not replace one static posture with another.

Step 7. Take Regular Breaks:

Even when you’ve mastered the art of standing correctly at your desk, taking regular breaks is essential. Aim for a break every 30 to 60 minutes to sit down, stretch, or walk around.

This not only alleviates any potential strain from standing but also helps refresh your mind, boosting creativity and productivity. Utilizing a timer or setting reminders can be an effective way to ensure you’re taking these crucial breaks throughout the day.

Step 8. Practice Good Posture:

Good posture is key to standing at a desk without causing undue strain on your body. Ensure your head is aligned over your shoulders and your shoulders are over your hips. Keep your chest open and your back straight but relaxed, avoiding arching your back or slouching.

Think of pulling your belly button towards your spine to engage your core, which supports your lower back. Proper posture helps prevent fatigue and minimizes the risk of developing pain in the back, neck, and shoulders.

Step 9. Invest in Proper Footwear:

Having the right footwear is critical when standing for extended periods. Choose shoes that provide ample support, cushioning, and a comfortable fit. Avoid high heels or shoes with flat soles that do not offer enough arch support. In some cases, adding orthopedic insoles to your shoes can further enhance comfort and reduce the risk of foot fatigue. Remember, comfortable feet contribute to a stable posture and overall well-being while standing at your desk.

Having the Right Footwear is Critical

Step 10. Listen to Your Body:

Finally, listening to your body is the most important aspect of using a standing desk effectively. Everyone’s physical condition and endurance levels are different, meaning there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to standing. If you start to feel discomfort or fatigue, it’s a sign that you should switch to sitting or take a break to stretch and walk around. Adjusting your standing and sitting times based on how you feel can help you find the perfect balance for a healthier workday.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to enhance your productivity and well-being, not to endure discomfort.

By following these steps and making standing at your desk a habit, you can reap the benefits of improved posture, increased energy levels, and enhanced productivity.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

Tip 1. Personalize Your Setup:

Understand that everyone’s body is different; what works for one person may not work for you. Take the time to personalize your standing desk setup based on your height, body shape, and comfort preferences. This may involve adjusting your desk, monitor, keyboard, and mouse setup until you find the best configuration for you.

Tip 2. Invest in Quality Footwear or Footrests:

If you stand for most of the day, consider investing in quality footwear that provides good support and cushioning. Alternatively, an adjustable footrest can help you change your standing posture and relieve pressure on your feet and legs.

Tip 3. Use Technology to Your Advantage:

Numerous apps and tools are available designed to remind you to stand up, take breaks, or even guide you through brief stretches and exercises. Leveraging these technologies can help you maintain good practices and remind you to switch positions throughout the day.

Tip 4. Check Your Posture Regularly:

It’s easy to slip into bad posture habits, especially when focusing intently on work. Regularly check your posture to ensure your back is straight, your shoulders are relaxed, and you’re not slouching or leaning too far forward.

Tip 5. Engage Your Core:

Standing doesn’t mean you should rely solely on your legs. Activating your core muscles can help take some pressure off your back and legs, promoting an overall healthier posture. Try to be conscious of engaging your core periodically throughout the day to support your body and reduce discomfort.

When Focusing Intently

By incorporating these additional tips into your routine, you can further enhance the benefits of using a standing desk and make your workday more comfortable and productive.

5 Things You Should Avoid When Standing at Your Desk

Avoid 1. Locking Your Knees: 

Keeping your knees locked while standing can restrict blood flow and lead to discomfort or even dizziness. Ensure you keep a slight bend in your knees to encourage circulation.

Avoid 2. Standing Too Long Without Moving: 

While standing can be beneficial, doing so for prolonged periods without movement can be just as harmful as prolonged sitting. Ensure you incorporate movement or change your posture regularly.

Avoid 3. Wearing Improper Footwear: 

Avoid shoes that lack support or cushioning, as they can contribute to foot discomfort, fatigue, and issues with your posture. Opt for shoes that aid in maintaining a comfortable and healthy stance.

Avoid 4. Ignoring Pain or Discomfort: 

If you experience pain or discomfort while standing, don’t ignore it. These signals are your body’s way of telling you to change your posture, switch to sitting, or take a break.

Avoid 5. Slouching or Leaning on the Desk: 

Poor posture, such as slouching or leaning on your desk, can negate the benefits of standing. Maintain a neutral spine and use your core muscles to support your upper body for an optimal standing posture.

Avoid Shoes That Lack Support

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure your standing desk experience is comfortable and beneficial for your overall well-being. Remember to listen to your body, adjust as needed, and prioritize your health while using a standing desk.

5 Different Stretches to Incorporate Into Your Standing Desk Routine

  1. Shoulder Rolls: Roll your shoulders back and down in a circular motion, then reverse the direction. Repeat several times to release tension in your neck and shoulders.
  2. Side Bends: Stand with feet hip-width apart, place one hand on your desk for support, and reach the other arm up and over your head, bending to the side. Hold for a few seconds, then switch sides.
  3. Calf Raises: Stand with feet hip-width apart and slowly rise up onto your tiptoes, holding for a count of 3 before lowering back down. Repeat several times to stretch and strengthen your calf muscles.
  4. Hip Flexor Stretch: Step one foot forward into a lunge position and slowly lower your back knee to the ground. You should feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Hold for a few seconds, then switch sides.
  5. Spinal Twist: Stand with feet hip-width apart, place one hand on your desk for support, and gently twist your upper body in the opposite direction of your hand. Hold for a few seconds, then switch sides.
Stand With Feet Hip-width Apart

Incorporating these stretches into your standing desk routine can help loosen tight muscles, improve flexibility, and reduce discomfort associated with standing for extended periods.

What is the 20 8 2 Rule?

The 20 8 2 rule is a guideline for using standing desks and maintaining good posture. For every 30 minutes, you should alternate between sitting for 20 minutes, standing for 8 minutes, and moving or stretching for 2 minutes. This routine can reduce the negative effects of prolonged sitting or standing while promoting movement and healthy posture throughout the workday.  So, make sure to incorporate this rule into your routine to maximize the benefit of your standing desk setup. 

Overall, using a standing desk and implementing good practices such as the 20 8 2 rule can significantly improve productivity and reduce health risks associated with extended periods of sitting or standing. Remember to personalize your setup, take breaks and stretch regularly, and prioritize your overall well-being while working at a standing desk. 

So, give it a try and see the positive impacts on your workday!

Is It Ok to Stand at Desk All Day?

While standing all day may seem like a healthier alternative to sitting, it is not recommended. Prolonged standing can put a strain on your legs and feet, leading to discomfort and fatigue. It’s essential to incorporate breaks and movement into your routine when using a standing desk and avoid standing for extended periods without rest.

Additionally, alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day has been found to be more beneficial for overall health and productivity. So, make sure to find a balance that works for you and your body when using a standing desk. 

Overall, it’s about more than standing or sitting all day; it’s finding the right combination of both for a healthier and more comfortable work experience.  Keep these tips in mind as you use your standing desk and prioritize your well-being while working.  And remember, a healthy body leads to a productive mind! 

Is It Better to Stand or Sit at a Desk?

The debate between standing and sitting at a desk is ongoing, but the truth is that neither option is superior. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, making it important to find a balance between the two.

Sitting for prolonged periods can lead to various health issues, such as back pain and poor circulation. On the other hand, standing for extended periods can cause discomfort, fatigue, and other health concerns.

The key is to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day, incorporating movement and breaks into your routine.

This way, you can reap the benefits of both positions while avoiding their negative effects. Ultimately, it’s about finding what works best for your body and adjusting accordingly.  So, listen to your body and make adjustments as needed when using a standing desk. 


Adopting the right approach to using a standing desk can dramatically improve your health, productivity, and overall work experience. The key lies in moderation and balancing between standing and sitting.

Remember to follow ergonomic principles to optimize your setup, such as using a mat, choosing the right footwear, and ensuring your desk and monitor are at appropriate heights.

Incorporating regular movement and stretches into your routine, along with adhering to the 20 8 2 rule, can further enhance the benefits of your standing desk. Paying attention to your body’s signals and adjusting accordingly can make you enjoy a more comfortable and productive workday.

How to stand at desk are not just about standing; they are about encouraging a dynamic and flexible working environment that promotes well-being.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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