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How Long Should You Stand at a Standing Desk Per Day?

  • March 6, 2024
  • 3 min read
How Long Should You Stand at a Standing Desk Per Day?

In a world where the pleas of our sedentary behinds echo louder than our ‘couch potato’ days, the standing desk has risen — quite literally — to take a stand against the perils of prolonged sitting. Disparagingly called ‘dead butt syndrome,’ the discomfort and health risks associated with sitting for extended periods are real. But before we all start pedestaling our Peaky Blinders-Esque posture and go full-time vertical, the question arises: how long should we really be standing at our standing desks per day?

Benefits of Using a Standing Desk

The allure of a standing desk from Smart Office Furniture NZ has woven a tale of wellness innovations, but what scientific underpinning supports the hype? Standing can help strengthen the muscles engaged in good posture, torch a few more calories than its sitting counterpart, and even hint at the reduction of the lower back never-ending saga of niggles. However, tales come with a tinge of fairy, and here’s why: just as a newly-erected oak struggles to withstand an earth-shattering storm, our legs need time to toughen up to the rigours of standing.

Setting a Duration Goal

You’re not trying to win a ‘standing marathon’ (no medals there, just menacing road cones), so consider your health, comfort, and productivity as the factors in determining your standing duration. For novices, 30-60 minutes of standing per hour is a suggested starting point. Leaps and bounds ahead of the repose of a spud on the sofa, but still acknowledging the need for a ‘sit break.’ Flexible standing desks hold the ace: these can be lowered to ease into a seated position as gravity becomes our nemesis, and fatigue our alarm.

Balancing Standing and Sitting Time

The key isn’t to swap one stasis for another, but to create a dance as harmonious as Simon and Garfunkel’s melodies. Research thus far defers to the merits of alternating between sitting and standing to ensure movement without monotony. Planning for these transitions can be an art, an art that involves setting reminders and creating habitual work ‘rest stops,’ and not, as one would hope, an art akin to a pop-up tent — convenient and instantaneous.

Tips for Effective Standing Desk Use

Like a cave painting of a well-postured office worker, the ideal standing desk setup — screen at eye level, shoulders relaxed, feet flat on the ground — illustrates the point more humorously, but with poignancy. Footwear is a drastic decision when the world is your oyster, but the oyster has been weighed down with high heels and flip-flops too often (much to the foot’s dismay). And who could forget posture checks? Like the conscientious librarian who periodically shushes us into silence, these checks keep our desk-bound selves in line, avoiding the later wrath of an unsparing chiropractor.

Standing desks have beckoned us to a world where desks do more than store papers and heavy sighs — they nudge us towards dynamic positions, asking us to walk the walk, or rather, stand the stand. How long you choose to answer that call could well define your comfort and cadence through the workday!

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