How long should you be standing at your desk? Science backed tips

how long should you stand at your desk

Standing desks have become much more popular in recent years, in particular with the rise of home working. Although most manufacturers won’t give specific guidelines on how to use them, there are some science backed ways to get the most out of your new standing desk setup. Remember, as with many things, a lot of it comes down to personal preference. 

It’s good to have a healthy balance between standing and sitting at a desk, and it is important to not “over do” it in either position. Although sitting for too long in one position has its own downsides, standing for too long can also cause fatigue, so remember to take a rest every so often!

When it comes to how long you should be standing at your desk, a published article on Healthline says the recommended duration would be 30 to 60 minutes, alternating between standing and sitting. 

It’s worth noting that this is not strict guidance, and you should mix it up depending on how you’re feeling. Also, it is advisable to adjust your workstation, particularly your screen and desk, to optimal angles, so you can maximise the benefits of your standing desk.

Do you need more tips, tricks, and benefits for your standing desk? Read on to learn more about how you can make the most of your standing desk!

Standing desk benefits

Standing desks have many proven benefits in terms of health and productivity in the workplace or in school. We have more thorough discussions on those topics in other articles on our blog, but for the sake of giving you a better idea of those benefits, here is a brief rundown of benefits that you should keep in mind if you want to buy a standing desk.

standing desk benefits

 

  • Helps you build healthier habits to combat preventable ailments

    In this blog post, we have an in depth discussion of the different health benefits that come with using a standing desk. It includes reducing back pain, correcting posture, improving blood sugar, avoiding obesity and weight gain — preventing other ailments brought upon by unhealthy habits. This basically means that by using a standing desk, you can naturally develop healthy habits that help against developing illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and so on.

  • Stress reduction

    Stress is one of the most dangerous elements that can cause serious health conditions that manifest both physically and mentally. Along with developing healthy habits from using standing desks, it can also have a stress reducing effect by helping you integrate light physical activity as you work on your desk. Sitting down for long durations comes with its own kind of fatigue, so using a standing desk works similar to taking a break and stretching. This allows your body to replenish itself with a nice blood flow boost, allowing more oxygen into your system. This effectively brightens the mood, increases energy, and lessens stress. This is a benefit that is physically and mentally helpful to you!

  • Improves Productivity

    Many companies and organizations are integrating standing desks in the workplace due to their positive effects on overall productivity. As shared in this blog post, a study by the University of Leicester dug deep into the effects of standing while working and how it impacts productivity. The study involved observing employees through a duration of 12 months. They found that those who included standing while working to their lifestyles had better work performance and increased productivity in comparison to those not part of the program. This proves that using standing desks can stimulate the mind, helping you work more efficiently than sitting all day.

There are more benefits to using standing desks, specifically in a classroom setting. But, they are all anchored to the fact that standing desks expands your capacities by enhancing your overall well-being. This has a ripple effect, extending the merits to your work capabilities, emotional condition, social, and cognitive skills.

Standing desk best practices

Aside from knowing the benefits you can enjoy from using standing desks, you also need to know some best practices to maximize the experience. Here are some simple tips you should keep in mind:

  • Configure your standing desk properly

    Standing desks often come with many configurable settings, including height adjustment and in some cases, an adjustable working angle. To make the most of your desk, it is best to set it properly, so you can maintain the ideal posture while you work. There are a few key things to note: comfort and spine alignment. Make sure that you can keep your arms at a comfortable 90-degree angle and your spine can keep that ideal S-shape while standing up, and no slouching! Configuring the right settings can go a long way to improve your posture. Some standing desks may also have features to save settings so you can easily set it up with a click of a button, like our EZ Desk range.

  • Set a standing schedule


You don’t necessarily need to set a specific schedule, but following a set interval may help you find it easier to adapt to the habit over time. As mentioned earlier in this article, around 30 minutes is typically considered to be a good interval when standing or sitting. 

Sit-Stand Desk Guidelines

Here are some workstation guidelines to check on before you start working while you stand:

  • Monitor placement

    Your monitor must be positioned directly in front of you, away from you at arm’s length. That is the general guidance, but you may adjust it according to personal preference. You shouldn’t need to strain your eyes to see the screen clearly. 


If you use two monitors at your workstation, it is advisable to place them side-by-side and at the same distance away from you, or one can be directly in front and the other can be placed on the side. Try out which would be most convenient for you to work with. Make sure that the monitors remain at the correct height for you when adjusting your desk for standing and seated use.

  • Keyboard and/or mouse usage

    Your keyboard and mouse should ideally be located near to each other, on the same surface. You should be able to work comfortably with your upper arms close to your body so you don’t strain them. It is always recommended to make work easy with keyboard shortcuts so you don’t overwork your wrist with the mouse. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle as you work. This should not change every time you change your desk from sitting to standing position. 

 

  • Other devices and tools

    Your telephone, stapler, puncher, and other tools should be nearby if you use them often. You can set them on your desk in an organized manner, preferably at arm’s length so you can maintain posture even if you use them. 
sit-stand desk guidelines

FAQs

Should you use a standing desk all day?

You may do so but it is recommended to alternate between sitting and standing so you don’t tire yourself out. You may find it best to switch from standing to sitting at regular intervals.

Is standing for 8 hours bad?

Standing for 8 hours a day may cause strain and fatigue, which may also cause pain. You may do so, but it is not advisable due to negative effects associated with standing for long durations.

How long is too long to stand and work?

It is recommended to alternate between standing and sitting every 30-60 minutes. See here for more details.

How often should you get up from your desk and move around?

This can be done as needed when you start feeling fatigued from sitting too much. Standing up and moving around as a short break can help energise you and be more productive.