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7 Tips for Using a Standing Desk at Work

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

If you work an office job, chances are you spend a lot of time sitting. You may try to combat all that time spent sitting with an evening run or a post-workday gym routine, but a flood of research over the last few years has found that even good exercise habits are not enough to mitigate the effects of sitting at a desk for six to eight hours a day.

CBS News reports on studies that reveal:

  • “Sitting for prolonged periods raised the risk of cardiovascular disease by 14 percent, cancer by 13 percent, and diabetes by a whopping 91 percent.”
  • “Those who sat for long stretches and got no regular exercise had a 40 percent higher risk of early death. With regular exercise, the risk was smaller but still significant: about 10 percent.”

Your Houston Orthopedic Doctor’s Standing Desk Tips

It’s no wonder that standing desks have seen a surge in popularity. This week on the blog, we’d like to share with you seven tips for using a standing desk, which can potentially lead to improvements in several key areas of your health. These tips (and infographic, posted below) come from CBS News.

  1. Keep arms at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Wrists should be in a neutral position. (These carpal tunnel syndrome-prevention techniques are also useful for developing good form at the computer keyboard.)
  3. Position your computer monitor directly in front of you at eye level. This reduces strain on the neck, which can have a ripple effect throughout the spine and entire body.
  4. Keep the screen at a 20-degree tilt, approximately 20 to 28 inches from your eyes.
  5. Knees should be slightly bent. Avoid locking the legs.
  6. Shift your weight from leg to leg occasionally.
  7. If you wear high heels, take them off when standing at your desk. Heels can cause many problems (orthopedic and otherwise) from the feet through the spine.

Other ideas for working at a standing desk include removing shoes (not just heels!), placing an anti-fatigue mat or other form of cushioning under your feet, and taking breaks throughout the day by sitting or perching on a stool. Whether you choose to sit or stand, alternating your positions and keeping active by taking breaks is important. Check out the full infographic below for more…


See a Houston Orthopedic Doctor for More

Experiencing back or neck pain? Looking for help in correcting your posture? At Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, we help all patients–not just athletes–feel their best. If a desk job is causing you discomfort, schedule with a Houston orthopedic physician by calling (713) 756-5546. Online scheduling is also available.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.