Can You Sit At A Standing Desk?

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Jan 5, 2022

Standing desks are becoming more popular these days. They offer so many benefits like helping with your posture, improving circulation, and relieving aches and pains.

But standing too long presents its own set of problems too.

So when the time comes to take a break from standing, can you sit at a standing desk?

Yes, you can sit at a standing desk. If your desk is not adjustable you can use a drafting chair, or a stool alternate between periods of sitting and standing.

The whole idea behind standing desks is to improve improve your health and they’re now widely used in home offices and traditional offices around the world.

But what does life look like with a standing desk as opposed to a traditional desk?

Can you sit at a standing desk?

What about leaning on one?

Some people say standing desks hurt, is that true?

Let’s talk about each of these things.

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

Can you sit at a standing desk?

It’s super easy to sit at a standing desk, should you feel the need to take the load off your feet.

But there’s a problem:

Not all standing desks are adjustable height standing desks.

That means that some of them cannot be raised or lowered to accommodate the user’s preferred position.

So how do you sit at a standing desk if it’s not adjustable?

The best solution to sitting at a non-adjustable standing desk like a drafting table, or some other tall desk that’s too high for a regular office chair, is to use a height-adjustable drafting chair so you can reach your workspace surface comfortably.

A drafting chair has wheels and allows you to move it out of the way easily when it’s not in use.

And if you don’t have a drafting chair, you can also use an alternative option like a stool or pub chair. They don’t have wheels so they’re not as easy to work around, but can do a good job of getting you elevated when you want to be seated at a high desk surface.

It’s recommended that you alternate between sitting and standing regularly – ideally once an hour during the working day.

But as a whole, standing at work is better than sitting all day, even if you’ve got a good ergonomic chair for your workspace.

Is it OK to lean on standing desk?

If your standing desk is a high-quality, sturdy desk, then by all means, you lean on your desk to relieve some of the discomfort from standing.

Sometimes you need a break from just standing, but you’re not ready to lower your desktop surface either, and sit down.

Leaning on your desk for a few minutes can relieve some of the discomfort that can come from standing too long and help you increase your endurance and extend the length of time that you can stand.

One of the things I like to use while standing is a footrest.

Using a footrest to rest one of my feet on while standing helps me get comfortable and continue to engage in positive types of movement.

Another option to use while leaning is to use an anti-fatigue mat.

This way you’re not seated, but you’re not feeling the entirety of your weight either and anti-fatigue mats have been shown to reduce aches and discomfort.

Is it better to sit or stand at a desk?

Is standing better than sitting? In fact, standing while you work is more beneficial than sitting.

There are so many dangers that come from sitting too much that alternating between periods of sitting and standing is vital to your health.

Sitting for long periods of time can cause muscle aches and pains, which may be alleviated by using a stand up desk.

Your body wasn’t designed to be sedentary and sit behind a desk all day. Moving around and staying active is an absolutely essential part of living a healthy lifestyle.

Using a sit-stand desk while working in your home office can help relieve muscular pain like back and neck pain, help stave of the feeling of sleepiness that can be the product of a big lunch, help reduce spikes in blood sugar, and improve blood circulation.

How long should you stand at your standing desk?

While standing desks have a great reputation for the health and well-being benefits they deliver, they can cause other problems too.

It’s recommended that you alternate between periods of sitting and standing.

A good rule of thumb to use if you’re getting used to standing while you work is to stand for one hour, then sit for one hour.

For example, prolonged standing can increase blood pressure and heart rate, leading to dizziness and fatigue. If you want to try out a standing desk, here are some things to consider before buying one.

Do standing desks hurt?

If you stand at your desk non-stop for hours on end, it should come as no surprise that you’re going to ache.

If you’ve recently switched to a standing desk you’re probably puzzled by this.

I know I was at first.

But it’s true: standing desks can hurt.

They can cause aches and pains in places you didn’t even know you had!

By themselves, there isn’t anything wrong with a standing desk.

It’s just in how you use it. 

The key here is the ergonomic design of a standing desk vs. a traditional regular height desk, or even a non-adjustable standing desk.

And also how long you choose to stand.

Some people get a little overly enthusiastic when they first start standing while working, like I did.

And the aches will come if you do.

Alternate between sitting and standing as mentioned before – 1 hour sitting, 1 hour standing – is a good place to start.

Next Steps

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Robert David Orr

I'm an award-winning web designer & developer, creator, an all-around digital marketing guy and, most importantly when it comes to this site, a long-time veteran of the working from home life. My work from home life spans more than 10 years, and I've experimented with just about everything you can think of when it comes to getting the most out of my home office, how to work from home without going crazy, and found solutions to the numerous challenges that those of us who work from home run into in this life.

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