Sit stand desks / adaptors can be a great way of incorporating more movement into your working day when you are based at a DSE workstation, in the office or at home.
Below are some tips for getting the best from your sit stand DSE workstation.
Use an electronically adjustable desk if possible
The easier it is to adjust your workstation, the more likely you are to adjust it frequently.
With the exception of some models (the Oploft comes to mind) the desk will also provide more surface area for support when typing compared to a sit stand adaptor with a split level surface.
Make sure to alternate frequently between sitting and standing
You now have a desk that allows you to move frequently so use it!
Any prolonged or static postures can have a negative impact on musculoskeletal health.
I recommend a maximum of 45 minutes in each posture.
Listen to your body. If you feel yourself starting to fidget, slouch or lean to one side in either posture, that is your body telling you it is getting tired and should be your signal to change position and / or take a microbreak from the workstation.
Ensure the desk is at the correct height for you when sitting and standing
A fool-proof guide to ensuring you workstation is at the correct height for your stature in both the sitting and standing positions is to have it level with your elbows / belly button when your shoulders are relaxed and feet planted on the floor. This will prevent adverse postures and excess strain in the shoulders and lower back.
Ensure the monitor is at the correct height for you when sitting and standing
Ideally, when you are seated / standing upright and looking straight ahead, your eye-line should be on the top third of the monitor. A slight upward tilt on the monitor will help keep the neck in a relaxed position. The good news is that the distance from your elbow to your eyeline is consistent whether sitting or standing so if set up correctly on a sit stand desktop you should not have to adjust it each time you alter your posture.
If using a sit stand desktop adaptor, you may need to adjust the monitor position slightly when moving between sitting and standing. It will depend on the model being used.
If using a laptop, I recommend placing it on a stand and using an external keyboard and mouse.
Aim to keep your hips level when standing
One common occurrence when people stand at a workstation is that they shift their weight to one leg, tilting the hips and bending the knee. This causes uneven weight distribution and strain.
One tip to avoid this is to place a box or footrest under the desk and intermittently place one foot on it at a time. This will allow for a change in standing position with reduced strain.
If you aim to stand more than you sit at your workstation, and your floor surface is hard, anti-fatigue matting should be considered to reduce fatigue and discomfort in the lower limbs.
Consider your footwear!
It is important to wear shoes with good arch support and firm sole if you are going to be standing frequently during the day, especially if you are flat footed. If casual shoes are not permitted in an office, use gel or foam shoe inserts.