How Long Should I Spend Standing at My Desk?

How Long Should I Spend Standing at My Desk?


Last Updated: 16/05/2024

Standing desks have gained significant attention in workplaces and home offices in recent years. Their reported health benefits, such as a reduced risk of back pain and heart disease, as well as their improvements to focus levels, make them a great option for those of us looking to improve our mental and physical wellness while at work. 

However, one question often arises when it comes to standing desks: How long should I spend standing? After all, standing for too long without breaks can lead to its own set of issues, including fatigue, foot discomfort, and varicose veins. So what's the optimum time to ensure you experience just the benefits? 

In this guide, we'll explore the ideal time to spend standing at your desk, including factors to consider and actionable strategies to help you maintain a healthy balance between standing up and sitting down. 

How Long Should I Spend Standing?

To start with, it's important to note that there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The answer to how long you should stand at your desk is based your individual needs and requirements. That said, in general, experts recommend that you begin by incorporating short standing intervals into your routine, aiming for 15 to 30 minutes per hour, and then increase this as your tolerance and endurance improves. 

Pay attention to how you feel during prolonged periods of sitting down or standing up. If you experience discomfort or fatigue, switch positions or take a brief break. Alternatively, if you find a task easier or harder to do when adopting one position, consider timing your sit/stand routine around that. 

Remember that everyone is different, so it's essential to find a routine that works best for you.

When Should I Stand At My Standing Desk?

Just as there's no right amount of time to sit/stand at your desk, there is no right time either. However, you might want to consider: 

  • During stand up meetings: If you're all standing up, the science suggests that you'll be more focused and that your meetings will progress faster, meaning you can achieve more in a shorter space of time.
  • For phone calls: This gives a definitive time to be on your feet, and you will find yourself making more efficient and productive calls.
  • After lunch: This will aid digestion and stop you feeling sleepy at the start of the afternoon.
  • Before the afternoon slump: Incorporating standing intervals into your afternoon routine can help combat the afternoon slump

Tips for Standing At Your Desk

To maximize the benefits of your standing desk while minimizing potential risks from standing for too long, you should:

  1. Invest in supportive footwear: Wearing comfortable, supportive shoes can alleviate foot discomfort during standing periods.
  2. Use an anti-fatigue mat: Placing an anti-fatigue mat beneath your standing desk can reduce pressure on your feet and joints, making prolonged period of standing up more comfortable and reducing your risk of health issues, such as varicose veins. Alternatively, a balance board allows you to 'walk' while working, flexing leg, ankle and feet muscles, which helps reduce muscle pain when standing up.
  3. Maintain good posture: Whether sitting or standing, maintain proper posture to prevent strain on your muscles and spine. 
  4. Incorporate movement: Incorporate gentle movements, such as back stretches or taking a short walk, to prevent tension and strain.
  5. Use desk accessories: Explore ergonomic accessories, such as laptop stands, monitor arms, and adjustable desk converters, to personalise your workstation for optimal comfort.

In conclusion, the question of how long one should stand at their desk for is difficult to answer as there is no one set time or time period which you should stand for. Finding the perfect balance between sitting and standing comes down to your body and lifestyle. However, by incorporating regular sitting/standing periods, maintaining good posture and listening to your body's signals (including your mental health), you'll be one step closer to perfecting your routine and getting the most out of your standing desk. 

Need additional help with incorporating movement into your routine? Check out our guides on How to Stay Active While Working a Desk Job and 10 Ways to Sit Less, Move More. 

Looking for a standing desk for your home, office or workspace? Check out our full collection of standing desks and accessories. Our desks come with a price guarantee, next day delivery, a comprehensive warranty and call-out support.

Feel free to get in contact with our expert team with any queries - they'll be happy to help. Alternatively, call us on 0330 133 1937 to chat to one of our team. 

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