After trying and working with many different types of the small standing desk, we have found some common mistakes people make when they first get one. In our experience, these mistakes cause discomfort and work against productivity. These 8 issues are worth the opportunity to position your body in a way that promotes healthier mobility over time with a standing desk and best office chair for long hours.
Ten things you need to know before you get a small standing desk:
1) Consider the length of your chair before getting a standing desk. If your chair is retractable or adjustable, consider using it as an additional desktop instead (if possible) or let it take up valuable workspace outside of the height-reaching limits of your new stand-up desk.
2) Don’t buy a small standing desk with the thought that it’ll transition from standing to sitting. Instead, consider getting a taller standing desk if you are not already in the correct ergonomic position to start with. This will ensure that you aren’t slouching at your standing desk and will allow for you to reach properly. If you get a medium or large-sized standing desk, make sure that it’s tall enough for your head to be positioned above your heart (about 5-10 inches depending on how tall or short you are).
3) Consider adding an additional keyboard tray at knee height by your monitor if it doesn’t have one. Just avoid putting excessive weight on the input hardware (e.g. wrist pain). Also make sure that the keyboard tray is in front of you, which will provide adequate space to work on your knees.
4) Make sure that there is enough space between you and any wall or furniture. This is to let your legs extend out while standing (within the limits of your new stand-up desk). This means that if you move around a lot while standing, small desks with a small footprint will be harder to work with. Consider an angled stand-up desk if you are always moving around a lot and want more room. Ideally, don’t put desks against any walls (including in offices), and avoid placing furniture that supports your weight on the front edge (e.g. door frames, bookcases, etc.).
5) Don’t buy a small desk that is too short. You’ll be forced to lean forward which will force your back and neck into a less than ideal position. Additionally, consider that you are more likely to slouch than stand with a small desk in its optimum position (even if you are doing so without the desk). Consider going with a tall standing desk if you aren’t already positioning your body correctly due to the width of your chair. Also consider seeing an occupational therapist who specializes in ergonomics.
6) Don’t misuse your standing desk. It’s designed to relieve your body of pressure and force from a chair, but that doesn’t mean that you should use it in place of a chair whenever you have the option. Your desk is for standing and sitting (or whatever your preferred position is). It’s intended to help you work better and more comfortably, not force your body into a fixed position all day. Consider using chairs at other times when you can, so as to allow yourself to move around in ways that are more conducive to use of different muscle groups.
7) Don’t buy a small desk if you’re tall or overweight (over 200 lbs). You’ll be required to lean forward while working which may cause back pain. You’ll also be unable to transition from standing to sitting properly. Look above for recommendations on how to accomplish this if you are interested.
8) Don’t buy a small desk with the thought that it’ll help you to be more productive. This is by forcing you to move around less or spend more time working; this is an ill-conceived notion. When most people sit down on a chair, it’s not because they are tired and need rest – it’s because they are done with the task at hand and they find sitting more comfortable than standing. Small desks aren’t suited for lengthy work periods of any kind – so don’t expect them to solve your productivity problems.
Small standing desks are an innovation that has come about to help those suffering from chronic pain or discomfort from sitting for long periods of time. For these reasons and more, buying a small standing desk can be beneficial to your health. However, simply because you’ve acquired one doesn’t mean you should immediately start using it! Don’t rush into the buy-right-now position – there is some proper adjustment to be made here. Buyers should consider the length of their current office chair; if they already fit adequately within the limits of their new stand-up desk, then purchasing a conventional desk might not be necessary to begin with.