Are Standing Desks Ergonomic? The Answer Might Surprise You

By Rob Orr / Last updated: Jun 26, 2023

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Everyone is excited about standing desks and getting up and moving around.

Just because a desk is a standing desk doesn’t mean that it’s actually an ergonomic desk. Standing desks can be just as rough on your body as traditional non-adjustable desks. So don’t get fooled by clever marketing! While some standing desks are ergonomically designed, many others are not.

So that then begs the question: what makes a desk ergonomic?

How should you sit at an ergonomic desk?View post

How should you stand at an ergonomic desk?

Let’s talk about each one of these issues.

By the way – before we get too far into it here, if you want to get more great ideas for your gaming room or home office and want to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.

Is A Standing Desk Ergonomic?

Is A Standing Desk Ergonomic?

Just because a desk is a standing desk doesn’t mean that it’s actually an ergonomic desk.

While some standing desks are ergonomically designed, that doesn’t mean they all are. There is a whole bunch of desks out there that are just tall versions of standard desks!

These standing desks can be just as hard on your body as a traditional desk that you’d pick up somewhere like Office Depot or some other office furniture store.

Standing desks are often marketed as being ergonomic, but they’re not really the best choice for your health and productivity.

A desk that is not adjustable shouldn’t be called “ergonomic”“. These standing desks force people to stand all day long, or use tall stools, or use drafting chairs which are great for when you’re eating at a restaurant, but are terrible long term solutions to the body position and comfort issues you face during the work day.

So what makes a desk ergonomic?

What Makes A Desk Ergonomic?

What Makes A Desk Ergonomic?

When it comes to finding the right ergonomic desk for your office it needs to have the following features:

Adjustable heightstandard desks come in standard heights, so they don’t offer any flexibility. However, adjustable height desks are available, allowing you to dial in to the perfect height for you.

Ergonomic design – an ergonomic desk design maximizes comfort, encourages the right kind of movement. It’s designed specifically for people who need to improve their posture while sitting at a desk or standing while working. It should be easy and fast to move between sitting and standing positions.

Display height  & distance – your display should be roughly 20 inches away from you and your eye level should be comfortable for you where you’re not straining up or down to see your monitor.

Flexibility – Your desk should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in your workspace. For example, if you decide to add a second monitor later on, you shouldn’t have to buy a new desk.

Still curious? Click here to learn more about what is an ergonomic desk?

How Do You Ergonomically Sit At A Desk?

How Do You Ergonomically Sit At A Desk?

Is there an “ergonomic” way to sit while you’re working?

Good posture is important for sure and it will help you immensely in your work.

To sit properly at a desk you want to sit up straight maintaining the natural arch in your back.

This will help keep your spine aligned and prevent pain.

You also want to avoid slouching over your keyboard and mouse.

You want to make sure that your feet are flat on the floor and that your knees are slightly bent. If you find yourself leaning forward when typing, this could be causing you discomfort.

You also want to ensure that your chair is set up correctly.

Don’t underestimate how important this is!

Noted ergonomics expert Jonathan Puleio points out that “Results from a recent Cornell University research study on task seating showed that less than 5 percent of those surveyed could correctly identify the tension control knob. Even when participants could correctly identify a particular chair control, less than 50 percent reported ever using the control.”

The seat of the chair should be firm and you should be able to adjust the height of the seat without having to get up.

If you’re using a laptop, then you want to ensure that your screen is positioned at eye level.

When you’re looking down at your computer screen, you’re putting strain on your neck and shoulders.

If you’re using multiple monitors, you want them to be placed evenly spaced apart and are easily viewable at eye level.

In addition, you might want to consider investing in a foot rest. These are useful for keeping your feet flat on the ground and preventing leg pain.

How Do You Ergonomically Stand At A Desk?

Do desk bikes work?

The best way to stand while working is by standing up straight with your body weight is distributed evenly across both legs.

This helps keep your back straight and prevents unnecessary stress from being put on your lower back.

Your feet should be firmly planted on the ground and your knees should be slightly bent. This allows your muscles to relax and keeps your spine stable.

An ergonomic desk is adjustable to your height, so make sure your desktop surface is at the correct height for your build.

If you“re using a laptop, you want to ensure the screen is positioned at eye-level. If you’re using two monitors, then you want them to be evenly spaced out, desk height adjusted properly with the top of the monitor at eye level.

If you”re using a standing desk and you’re using your hands to type, then you want to position your wrists so that they’re comfortably resting on top of your desk.

What Is An Ergonomic Chair And How Does It Help With Musculoskeletal Pain?

What Is An Ergonomic Chair And How Does It Help With Musculoskeletal Pain?

An ergonomic office chair is designed to support your back and reduce pressure points. They come in different shapes and sizes but all of them are designed to provide comfort and ease of movement.

An ergonomic chair has a high backrest which provides support and stability. Most people prefer chairs that have adjustable lumbar supports.

These are important because they allow you to change the angle of your lumbar spine. This reduces pressure on your lower back and minimizes any pain.

Ergonomic chairs are usually made with materials such as mesh, memory foam and latex and have features like tilt adjustments, arm rests and headrests.

One other thing you want to consider using while you’re standing at your desk to maintain comfort and focus is an anti-fatigue mat.

Anti-fatigue mats are designed to absorb shock and vibration. In many cases they’re used in industrial settings where workers spend long hours standing at their workstation.

They prevent fatigue and injury and are great for reducing discomfort when you’re standing for extended periods of time.

Anti-fatigue mats excel at keeping discomfort at bay when working at your desk in your home office.

Then Are Standing Desks Really Better?

Then Are Standing Desks Really Better?

In reality, standing desks aren’t any better than normal, traditional desks.

That is, unless they’re designed to be adjustable so you can fit it to your work style.

Adjustable standing desks are designed to give you more options when it comes to sitting and standing.

This means you can adjust the height of your desk to suit your needs.

So if you’re looking for a standing desk, then you need to look into one that’s adjustable.

Standing desks are designed to accommodate both seated and standing positions.

However, they won’t do much for you if you don’t use them correctly.

It’s also worth noting that you shouldn’t stand at your desk for too long.

It’s best to take breaks every hour or two at the very least until you get accustomed to standing.

If you’re going to stand at your desk for longer periods of time, then you’ll likely experience some discomfort.

And if you’re experiencing discomfort, then you should definitely consider investing in an adjustable standing desk.

Another thing to note is that although standing desks are generally considered to be healthier than sitting desks, they still have their downsides.

Should I Use A Standing Desk?

Should I Use A Standing Desk?

Yes – you absolutely should use a standing desk!

There are several reasons why you should use a standing desk.

Firstly, standing desks are known to increase productivity.

Studies show that people who use standing desks tend to stay focused for longer periods of time.

Secondly, standing desks help reduce back pain.

A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that employees who stood during their workday experienced less back pain than those who sat all day.

Thirdly, standing desks promote healthy posture.

When you stand up, it forces you to adopt a more upright position.

This helps strengthen your core muscles and promotes proper posture.

Lastly, standing desks are easier on your joints.

When you’re sitting for long periods of time, your hips and knees start to ache.

However, standing up regularly will prevent these problems from developing.

In fact, studies suggest that standing up for 20 minutes three times per week can significantly improve joint health.

All in all, using a standing desk has numerous benefits.

Next Steps

Want to join others who are creating the most amazing home offices and get more tips, tricks and hacks on how to make your home office the best it can be?

Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best!

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Rob Orr

Rob is a graduate of Florida State University and the founder and Senior Editor of HomeOfficeHacks.com, a website dedicated to helping people navigate the unique challenges of working from home. As a remote working veteran with over 10 years of experience, Rob has developed a deep understanding of the strategies and solutions that can help people thrive in this environment. He is a respected expert in the field, renowned for his clear, engaging, and informative content. An award-winning web designer, developer, and digital marketer, Rob is also the owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties. His dedication, resourcefulness, and creativity have earned him a reputation as a respected leader in the remote work and digital media communities, inspiring others through his work and passion for lifelong learning.

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