If you’ve just jumped on to the standing desk train, you’re soon to realize what many standing desk diehards have learned before you: standing desks are great, but only if you use them right, and if you have a little help in doing so. After all, while the benefits of standing rather than sitting are clear, standing desks are not a catch all solution. They have to be used correctly in order to have the greatest effects. And of course, like anything in life, when approached the wrong way, they are just as likely to lead to injury as their seated counterparts, in both the short and in the long term.
To help you along on your exciting new standing desk journey, here’s a look at some of our must-have suggested items to add into the mix. That way you’ll feel supported as you work and are set up for success.
Top Standing Desk Items to Accessorize With:
1. An Anti-Fatigue Mat and a Good Pair of Shoes
If you’ve ever cooked for long hours in a kitchen, marched long distances in the military, or worked on an assembly line, you know that standing all day can be rough on the feet. Because the body is so interconnected, problems in your feet can easily lead to problems in your knees, lower and upper back, and neck. To prevent this radiating pain, an anti-fatigue mat is key. It will provide cushioning and support far in advance of anything you’d get on a hard wooden floor or even on a carpet. A good anti-fatigue mat will be soft and cushiony enough to mold to the form of your feet. But still firm enough so that you have ample support.
It’s also a good idea to throw in a good pair of shoes, rather than trying to work in heels all day, which is tough enough even when you’re sitting. Go for a shoe with good arch and ankle support! Even if it means keeping an extra pair in your bottom drawer rather than wearing them in with your business suit.
As with anything, try out several different pairs of shoes and mats before making a purchase. That way you can find the perfect solution for you.
2. Ergonomic Accessories
Just because you’re standing doesn’t mean your need for ergonomic desktop accessories goes away. In fact, if you’re moving around all day, certain adjustable items like monitor arms and laptop and tablet stands become all the more crucial, as both will enable you to easily adjust the height of your screen as you adjust.
And just like when you sit, you’ll want an ergonomic adjustable keyboard and mouse that help you to type and mouse in the most neutral positions, and that provide ample amounts of support. In fact, you’ll want to determine the proper height for your standing desk based not just on where it falls on your core, but also on whether or not you can keep your wrists and hands in a neutral position as you type (though keep in mind you can also add on a keyboard tray for this purpose). The more ergonomic support you have, the more likely you’ll be to make it through the day on your feet without experiencing pain.
3. A Non-Standing Desk and a Stool and/or Chair
Standing all day is only a good thing if your musculature is developed enough to keep you in the proper positions without any pain. Until then — and even after (see the point below) — having a second, non-standing desk you can move to, or opting for a standing desk that can be easily raised or lowered, is essential for keeping yourself comfortable and safe. Many people whose desks aren’t adjustable add shelves to their desks for different heights. One that will be right for a stool they’ll just barely lean on. And another that’s the right height for an ergonomic chair. Together, these extras will ensure you’ve got all of the support you need as you move between sitting and standing.
4. A Timer
In fact, even if your muscles are fully developed for standing, it’s not a good idea to remain stationary the whole day long. Many of us tend to do this, unless we’re prompted otherwise. As such, you should try to fidget throughout the day, and to take time to stretch at regular intervals. You should generally just change up your position, whether that means standing on one leg as you stretch the other. Or you could possibly squat while you type and get that work out in. To do this, adding a timer to your desk or using a simple online timer like e.ggtimer, will prompt you into stretching, moving around, or simply taking a break with a nearby chair.
5. A Yoga Mat
When you do take a break to stretch, use your desk and chair as good anchor points. However, a yoga mat will really help you take the stretching up a level. It will enable you to do everything from the downward dog to a butterfly sit. Just make sure to close your office door before beginning.
Standing all day is great for your body, your overall health, and your psyche, too. But doing it right takes some training and the right accessories to help you through your journey. What are your personal must-haves for your standing desk lifestyle? Let us know your top tips in the blog comments!