How to Get Used to a Standing Desk: Quick Adaptation Guide

By Rob Orr / Last updated: Oct 3, 2023


Adopting a standing desk can be a game-changer for your health and productivity. But like any significant shift in habits, there’s a learning curve involved. Making the switch from sitting to standing can feel awkward at first, and it’s essential to understand that the best approach isn’t all or nothing, but rather a balance between sitting and standing throughout the day. With some guidance and adjustments, you’ll be on your way to reaping the benefits of working at a standing desk.

When it comes to getting used to a standing desk, you’ll need to focus on consistency, gradual changes, and creating an ergonomic workspace. This requires patience, as your body will need time to adjust to this new way of working. Paying attention to your posture, alternating between sitting and standing, and making sure your workstation is set up for your needs will ensure optimal comfort and productivity levels.

Key Takeaways

  • Achieving balance when transitioning to a standing desk involves consistency and gradual adjustments.
  • Ergonomics plays a critical role in optimizing your standing workstation experience.
  • Posture, strengthening exercises, and alternating between sitting and standing contribute to long-term success.

Understanding the Concept of Standing Desks

Standing desks, also known as height-adjustable or sit/stand desks, have gained popularity in recent years due to their potential health benefits and increased comfort for users. Even though these desks may seem expensive at first glance, their ergonomic design helps prevent various health issues associated with prolonged sitting (like back pain). In my experience, the investment was worthwhile because it improved my overall well-being during long working hours.

One of the essential factors when selecting a standing desk is its adjustability. This feature allows you to easily switch between sitting and standing positions throughout the day, engaging different muscle groups and promoting healthy movement. Ensure your desk has a smooth and sturdy mechanism, like a height-adjustable desk, to customize your workspace to your body’s needs. And remember, stability is key; no one wants a wobbly workspace!

The variety of standing desk designs helps you find the perfect match for your workspace needs. Some models feature electronic controls, allowing you to adjust the desk height at the press of a button. Others incorporate manual cranks or pneumatics for height adjustment. When choosing a standing desk, consider your budget and preferences, from the type of mechanism to the materials and aesthetics of the desk itself.

Getting accustomed to a standing desk usually takes some time, so slowly introduce standing periods into your daily routine to gradually build up your endurance. Start by standing for 30 minutes a few times a day, and eventually aim for two hours or more of standing time throughout your workday. Many users find it beneficial to incorporate anti-fatigue mats and comfortable shoes to help ease the transition and alleviate leg fatigue.

In summary, standing desks are a game-changer for many professionals with sedentary jobs, offering a wide range of health and productivity benefits. Don’t worry if it takes some time to get used to the new setup; you’ll find your groove soon enough, and your body will thank you for the investment.

Adjusting to Your Standing Desk

Getting used to a standing desk might feel strange at first, but don’t worry: you’ll adapt quickly. In this section, we’ll discuss how to ensure your comfort and productivity when using a standing desk. Let’s dive right into the key aspects you need to consider.

Correct Desk Height

The first step in adjusting to your standing desk is setting it up at a comfortable height. Your desk should be high enough so that your arms are parallel to the floor and your elbows rest comfortably at 90 degrees while typing on an external keyboard. This will provide appropriate arm support and help prevent discomfort while working.

Finding the Right Footwear

Choosing the right footwear can greatly influence your comfort while using a standing desk. Prolonged standing can lead to fatigue, so it’s essential to invest in comfortable shoes that provide appropriate cushioning and support. Keep in mind that flat, supportive shoes are preferable to high heels or overly soft sneakers.

Use of Anti-Fatigue Mats

An anti-fatigue mat can greatly enhance your comfort while using a standing desk. These mats provide additional cushioning for your feet and help promote subtle movements, which can reduce muscle fatigue and discomfort. A high-quality mat can be especially helpful if you have hard floors in your workspace.

Practicing Good Posture

Maintaining good posture is essential while using a standing desk. To achieve this, keep your head, neck, and shoulders aligned, and ensure your feet are shoulder-width apart. Regularly check your posture throughout the day to prevent slouching and maintain ergonomic alignment.

Implementing Regular Breaks

It’s important to implement regular breaks while using a standing desk. By alternating between sitting and standing, you can reap the benefits of both positions. In my experience, following a predetermined schedule (i.e., standing for 1 hour, then sitting for 1-2 hours) can help you maintain a comfortable balance. Don’t forget to take short walks or stretch during breaks to further improve circulation and comfort.

By addressing these key aspects, you’ll be well-equipped to adjust to your standing desk and experience a more comfortable, productive workspace. Remember, every body is different, so don’t be afraid to tweak and experiment until you find the perfect setup.

Health Benefits and Potential Risks

You’ve probably heard the hype about standing desks and their potential advantages. But do they really live up to all the claims and are they the ultimate solution to our sedentary lifestyles? In this section, we’ll explore the health benefits and potential risks of standing desks, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for you.

Health Benefits of Standing Desks

Standing desks come with numerous health benefits. They can help reduce the risk of obesity, as standing burns more calories than sitting. This could make a big difference in your overall health and weight management over time.

In addition, standing desks can help ease back pain by promoting better posture and reducing the stress on your neck and lower back. If you suffer from lower back pain, making the switch to a standing desk might provide some relief.

Another benefit of using a standing desk is improved blood flow. Standing encourages healthy blood circulation, which can help prevent varicose veins and other circulatory issues. Plus, better blood flow can lead to increased productivity and improved mental alertness.

Potential Risks and How to Mitigate Them

While standing desks come with many benefits, there are also potential risks to consider. One of these is the possibility of knee pain from standing for long periods. This can be especially problematic for those who are new to using a standing desk and may not be accustomed to standing for extended periods.

To mitigate this risk, it’s important to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. This can help reduce the stress on your knees and other joints while still reaping the health benefits of using a standing desk.

Another potential risk is standing too long, which can cause discomfort and negatively impact your productivity. Proper usage is key; finding the right balance between standing and sitting is crucial for maximizing the benefits while avoiding any negative effects.

In my experience, investing in a comfortable and supportive anti-fatigue mat can also make a world of difference in reducing the discomfort associated with standing for long periods.

So, are standing desks worth it? They definitely come with health benefits and productivity perks, but it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks and take steps to mitigate them. By finding the right balance and incorporating movements throughout your day, you can make the most out of using a standing desk and pave the way towards a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Strengthening Your Body for Standing Work

Ever wondered how to make the most out of your standing desk? You’re in the right place. In this section, we’ll take you through some essential tips and tricks to help your body adapt to a standing workstation. We’ll dive into two key areas: exercises and stretches. Are you ready? Let’s get started.


Believe it or not, but incorporating some sneaky exercises can make a real difference in maintaining comfort as you transition to a standing desk. Here are a few you can try:

  • Hand Press: Clasp your hands in front of your chest, and exert equal pressure with both arms. Hold for 10 seconds, release, and repeat 5-6 times. This targets your biceps, chest, and triceps.
  • Isometric muscle strengthening: You can focus on one muscle group at a time. Contract (squeeze), hold for 3-10 seconds, and relax. Discreet but effective.
  • Walk or Jog on the spot: Keep your legs and body active with some light movement at your standing desk. With time, it’ll become second nature.

In my experience, these exercises can be easily incorporated into your daily routine and make a noticeable impact in your comfort while standing.


Now that you’ve got some exercise options, let’s cover the essential stretches to help prevent stiffness and soreness. Incorporate these stretches to experience the full benefits of your standing desk:

  • Calf Stretches: Stand with one foot in front of the other, bend the front leg, and lean forward. Keep your back leg straight and your heel on the ground. You’ll feel a nice stretch in your calf muscles.
  • Hip Flexor Stretches: Standing tall, place one foot behind you with your toes touching the ground. Bend the opposite knee, and gently push your hips forward. You’ll feel the stretch in the front of the hip.
  • Yoga Poses: Some simple yoga poses, like the Mountain Pose or Standing Forward Bend, can be a great way to introduce stretching into your standing time.

Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and stretch regularly. Consistency is key. Done right, these stretches will keep your body feeling fantastic while working at your standing desk.

Optimizing Your Workspace

Getting used to a standing desk can be challenging, but optimizing your workspace will ensure maximum comfort and productivity. In this section, we’ll explore proper keyboard and mouse placement, ideal monitor height, and the benefits of having an office chair.

Proper Keyboard and Mouse Placement

Setting up your keyboard and mouse correctly is crucial for a comfortable workspace. First, adjust the height of your standing desk to match your elbows. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor when typing, and your wrists should remain straight.

Here are some additional tips for optimizing your keyboard and mouse placement:

  • Keep both your keyboard and mouse at the same level to prevent uncomfortable twisting or reaching.
  • Give yourself ample space to navigate the mouse without bumping into other objects.
  • Place your keyboard at a comfortable distance from your body to avoid hunching over while typing.

Ideal Monitor Height

To reduce eye strain and neck discomfort, position your monitor at the correct height. The ideal monitor height is when the top of the screen is at eye level, as it allows you to maintain a neutral neck posture. If you’re using a laptop, consider using an external monitor or a laptop riser to elevate the screen to the proper height. To further reduce eye strain, position the monitor an arm’s length away from your body.

Benefits of an Office Chair

Although a standing desk encourages movement throughout the workday, it’s essential not to overlook the benefits of a high-quality office chair. In my experience, alternating between standing and sitting throughout the day leads to improved productivity and reduced discomfort. Remember, the standard office chair height should allow you to maintain proper posture, with your feet flat on the ground and your knees and hips aligned.

Having an ergonomic office chair provides these advantages:

  • Greater comfort and support throughout the day
  • Reduced pressure on your joints and spine
  • Relief from muscle strain and fatigue caused by standing for extended periods

Remember to change positions frequently, as it fosters healthier habits and makes transitioning between your standing desk and office chair an organic process.

Understanding and Implementing Ergonomics

So, you’ve decided to transition to a standing desk, and now you’re curious about the best way to do it, right? The key lies in understanding and implementing ergonomics. Let’s dive in and explore how to achieve this with your new desk setup!

Ergonomics is all about designing and arranging your workspace to suit you, minimizing any discomfort and enhancing your productivity. A well-designed ergonomic desk can have a significant impact on your work experience, especially when transitioning from sitting to standing (and vice versa) throughout the day.

When it comes to setting up your ergonomic desk, there are a few things you need to consider. First, ensure your monitor is at the correct height; the top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. This helps to reduce strain on your neck and eyes. Next, pay attention to the positioning of your keyboard and mouse. They should be at a comfortable height and angle, with your elbows bent at around 90 degrees and your wrists straight.

Standing desks can be an excellent ergonomic option when used correctly. When transitioning to a standing desk, it’s essential to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend standing to let your body adjust (trust me, I’ve been there before). Over time, you’ll build stamina, and standing for longer periods will feel more natural.

Those psychological hooks I mentioned earlier? Well, here’s one: maintaining proper posture. When standing, distribute your weight evenly between both feet and keep your core engaged. Also, use an anti-fatigue mat to alleviate pressure on your feet, legs, and lower back. This will encourage you to maintain proper posture – even when you’re deep in thought on your next big project.

Don’t forget that ergonomics isn’t just about physical comfort; it also extends to your environment. Consider factors like lighting, temperature, and noise levels. Everything plays a part in making your workspace as comfortable and conducive to productivity as possible.

In my experience, understanding and implementing ergonomics during the transition to a standing desk will make a world of difference. Take the time to set up your workspace correctly, and your body will thank you down the line. Happy standing!

Revamping Your Standing Desk Experience

So, you’ve decided to take the leap and switch to a standing desk. Congratulations! It’s a great move for your health, productivity, and overall well-being. But, now what? How do you make the most of your new workspace? In this section, we’ll cover some essential tips and tricks to help you revamp your standing desk experience and make it more comfortable, efficient, and enjoyable.

First things first, it’s crucial to find the right balance between sitting and standing. Don’t force yourself to stand all day, as that can be just as harmful as sitting for too long. Start by standing for short periods of time, gradually increasing the duration as you get used to it. Use a sit-stand desk or an electric standing desk to easily transition between positions throughout the day.

Don’t just stand still – move around! Keeping your body in motion can help improve focus and productivity. While you’re at your standing desk, shift your weight, stretch, or even march in place. Consider investing in an anti-fatigue mat to reduce the stress on your feet and legs.

In my experience, having the right desk setup is crucial for avoiding discomfort and strain on your body. Make sure to adjust the desk height and computer screen position appropriately for your height. This will help to maintain a neutral and comfortable posture while working. You can also use monitor arms or risers to ensure your screens are at eye level.

As you get used to your standing desk, don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different setups. DIY standing desk solutions can be a great way to customize your workspace to your preferences. For instance, try adding a footrest or a balance board to enhance your standing experience and facilitate movement throughout the day.

Speaking of movement, remember that standing doesn’t have to mean stationary. Use this opportunity to incorporate more activity into your work routine. Take short walks or stretch breaks to reap the benefits of your new setup even more.

Last but not least, don’t underestimate the power of gradually transitioning to a standing desk lifestyle. Build up your stamina by starting with shorter standing sessions and gradually increasing them over time. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your standing desk prowess.

By following these tips and being mindful of both your body’s needs and your work environment, you’ll soon be on your way to a revamped, efficient, and comfortable standing desk experience. So, stand up, get moving, and watch your productivity soar! Just remember, when in doubt, take a break and listen to your body. Happy standing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the proper height for my standing desk?

In my experience, the proper height for a standing desk is crucial for comfort and minimizing injury risk. To achieve the correct desk height, your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle when your hands rest on the surface. Your computer screen should be at eye level, preventing strain on your neck and eyes while working. Adjust your desk and screen to find the perfect fit for your body1.

How can I gradually ease into using a standing desk?

Transitioning from a traditional desk to a standing desk can be challenging at first. To ease into using a standing desk, it’s important to switch between sitting and standing throughout the day. Start by standing for shorter periods and gradually increase the time spent standing2. Remember, the human body is designed to move, so don’t forget to change positions and take breaks when needed.

Are there any recommended exercises or stretches for standing desk users?

Yes, incorporating exercises and stretches into your routine can help improve your standing desk experience. Squats, planks, and gentle lower back stretches can alleviate muscle tension and maintain a healthy posture3. Taking the time to move and stretch during breaks can also increase circulation, making your standing sessions more comfortable.

What is the ideal standing-to-sitting ratio?

The ideal standing-to-sitting ratio is subjective and varies for each individual. However, chiropractors recommend standing desks for their numerous health benefits, including relieving aches and improving posture. Experiment with different ratios and find the one that works best for you. Some experts suggest standing for 15-30 minutes per hour as a good starting point.

How can I maintain proper posture at a standing desk?

Maintaining proper posture at your standing desk is essential for your overall well-being. To ensure your posture is correct, hold your head up with your chin parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed and pulled back, engaging your core muscles. This body alignment helps relieve tension and keeps you comfortable while you work4.

Should I wear specific footwear while using a standing desk?

Proper footwear is important when using a standing desk. Comfortable shoes with good support can help prevent fatigue and discomfort. If you frequently use a standing desk, consider investing in cushioned, supportive shoes, or even an anti-fatigue mat5. Taking care of your feet not only enhances your standing desk experience but also promotes overall health.


  1. (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-tips-for-using-a-standing-desk)
  2. (https://www.reddit.com/r/StandingDesk/comments/vp9dy3/how_to_get_used_to_standing_desk/)
  3. (https://www.reddit.com/r/StandingDesk/comments/nvx24r/how_long_does_it_take_to_get_used_to_standing/)
  4. (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-right-way-use-standing-desk-how-long-should-you-stand-cara-wong)
  5. (https://homeofficehacks.com/can-you-sit-at-a-standing-desk/)

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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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