5 Critical Components of a Standing Desk in Your Office

Posted on: 20 September 2016

If you're getting ready to incorporate standing desks in your office, you've made a wise choice. Spending less time sitting and more time standing and moving can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease and even cancer. But making the transition from a sitting desk to a standing one should be done correctly to avoid pain, muscle strain, and fatigue. Here are five critical components of your standing desk for maximum health in your office.

Proper Desk Height

Standing desks come at varying heights and sizes, but in order to benefit from proper ergonomics, you need to get one that's the right height for you. The top of your desk should meet the bottom of your elbow, which will keep your upper and lower arms at ninety-degree angles. Your wrists should be straight when typing, and they should rest comfortably on your desk.

A Good Chair

Standing desks aren't all about ergonomics. People use them to improve heart health, increase productivity, and reduce back pain. But when it comes to achieving those goals, you've got to find a happy medium. In other words, it's not a good idea to stand all day, and most experts agree that a combination of standing and sitting brings about maximum benefits. Therefore, you should have the right kind of chair for your standing desk in order to prevent the back pain and muscle fatigue that come from standing too long.

Select a chair that is adjustable so you can keep your arms at the right height for comfortable typing. You should also invest in one that allows the seat to tilt and provides adequate lumbar support. Good lumbar support is defined as something that puts the least amount of strain on your back by keeping it in a natural, S-shaped curve.

Correct Monitor Placement

Where you put your monitor is just as important as the height of the desk and the kind of chair you choose. After all, if you have to strain your eyes or your neck to see the screen, this will defeat the purpose of the standing desk altogether. Here are three ways to achieve correct monitor placement.

  1. Height. Place your monitor at eye level. To be more specific, an imaginary line running from your eyes to the screen should touch about 2–3 inches below the top of the monitor.
  2. Location. The monitor should be in the center of your desk, not off to the side where you will have to turn your head to see the screen. The only time it's acceptable to ignore this rule is if your primary job is to greet clients, and so you only glance at the screen occasionally.
  3. Depth. The general rule of thumb is to place the average-sized monitor so that it's an arm's length away from you. Screens that are 20" or bigger should be even further back to prevent eyestrain.

Cushioned Floor Mat

An anti-fatigue mat is a vital part of your standing desk workstation, particularly in the beginning as you're getting used to spending more time on your feet. Without it, you can put unnecessary stress and strain on your feet, ankles, back, knees, and hips.

Cushioned floor mats work by allowing very tiny movements of the muscles in the feet, legs, and calves. This encourages blood flow and reduces overall fatigue. In fact, a study done at the University of Michigan showed a 50% reduction in body discomfort and fatigue when 3/8-inch rubber mats were used.

The right kind of floor mat will provide a soft cushion but not be so soft that it's uncomfortable to stand on. It should also be slip resistant and have sloped edges to prevent tripping.

A Step Stool

In order to stay in compliance with ergonomics, healthy posture, and good circulation, it's important to change positions throughout the day. Alternating between standing and sitting and changing your leg positions are key components here. That's why a step stool or a foot rest is an important part of your standing-desk repertoire. Like a floor mat, the step stool will prevent fatigue and encourage healthy circulation in your legs.

Look at the furniture supplied by companies such as D and R Office Works Inc. so that you can get some supplies that help you feel good and work well.