Perhaps you are a happy (to-be) owner of a standing desk, and you have been testing your purchase every day! And, for sure, you have many questions and the most frequent one is how long should you stand at a standing desk?
Sitting for hours while working on any project at home or in an office can lead to serious health issues such as obesity, back pain, poor blood circulation and many others. However, standing for the whole day may also be dangerous for you as it has a negative effect on your leg muscles, connective tissues and tendons. How long should you stand at a standing desk or what is the right balance between sitting and standing at work?
How Long Can You Stand At A Standing Desk?
According to British Journal of Sports Medicine, you should try to stand for at least 2 hours a day. Standing in this case includes some light walking activities such as grabbing a cup of coffee or a bottle of water or just walking to the bathroom or to some meetings. Later these 2 hours of standing should be prolonged to 4 hours. However, do not be in a rush. Take your time and do not be strict on 2 hours and 0 seconds but start from little and then increase your working time at a standing desk together with walking-standing activities up to 4 hours. Please, keep in mind that 4 hours is the maximum for working at a standing desk. So be careful about going over this limit! It is also better to work with breaks. Combine both standing, sitting and walking within one hour. This will also be good for your posture as static standing or sitting for a long period of time is not something healthy!
A group of Canadian scientists from University of Waterloo say that:
“standing for at least 30 minutes an hour is crucial if you want to get healthy benefits. It is also recommended to stick to a sit-stand ratio of 1:1 or 1:3”.
That means either you should stand and sit for 30 minutes an hour or you stand for 45 minutes maximum and then sit for 15 minutes. However, keep in mind that the maximum recommended about standing while working is 4 hours. Researchers from Cornell University have discovered that standing requires 20 % more energy than sitting. How long can you stand at a standing desk, according to Cornell University scientists? They recommend to stand for 8 minutes every 20 minutes. Interestingly enough, a mix of sitting and standing is also not beneficial. Add some movements as they are crucial for blood circulation and for your muscles and joints.
How long should you stand at a standing desk: Things to keep in mind
So how long should you stand at a standing desk? There is no definite answer with an exact amount of minutes and seconds. We can say that standing all day long is not an option. At some point you will get tired and your productivity level will go down. At the same time, sitting for 8 hours for the whole day is also not beneficial for your health. So the best thing you can do is to combine sitting and standing since an adjustable standing desk allows you to do it.
- Ng Huiwen (2018): Are standing desks good for you? Maybe not, researchers say https://www.straitstimes.com/world/are-standing-desks-good-for-you-maybe-not-researchers-say
- Joe Leech (2017): 6 Tips To Use a Standing Desk Correctly https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-tips-for-using-a-standing-desk#section1
- University of Waterloo: How long should you stand- rather than sit- at your work station? https://uwaterloo.ca/kinesiology/how-long-should-you-stand-rather-sit-your-work-station
- Cornell University Ergonomics Web: Sitting and Standing at Work http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/CUESitStand.html