How to Stand at a Standing Desk – 3 Steps to Follow

Person standing at a sit-stand desk

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Standing desks have become a popular solution in modern workspaces, aiming to improve health, comfort and efficiency. In this article, we will clear up any confusion about how to correctly stand a standing desk for maximum health, comfort and productivity.

Achieving good posture in 3 steps

How to properly stand at a standing desk

Step 1: Adjusting Desk Height

Let’s start with how to set the right desk height.

  1. Stand up tall next to the desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed and down, not hunched or elevated.
  2. Bend your arms at a 90-degree angle, ensuring your shoulders remain in a neutral position.
  3. Check if your elbows are at the same height as the desk’s top part, while maintaining a straight back and aligned posture.
  4. Move the desk up or down until it is elbow-level high, ensuring that your body remains in a natural, upright posture throughout the adjustment process.

Step 2: Proper Keyboard, Monitor and Mouse Placement

Placing your keyboard, monitor, and mouse the right way is key at a standing desk. Follow these steps to do it well:

  1. Place your keyboard and mouse close together on your desk, within a comfortable arm’s reach, typically so that your elbows remain close to your body and form an angle between 90 and 100 degrees. This setup helps maintain a natural, unstrained posture, keeping your wrists straight and reducing the risk of discomfort and repetitive strain injuries over time.
  2. Make sure that your wrists are straight when you type. This cuts down on strain.
  3. Place the top of your screen at eye level. Your neck, back and shoulders will thank you. The distance between your monitor and your eyes should be about an arm’s length away, typically between 20 to 30 inches, depending on your vision and the size of your monitor.
  4. Make sure that your monitor is in line with your sight. Don’t tilt it too much.

Step 3: Ergonomic Positioning

Ergonomic positioning is key to use a standing desk right. This makes sure your body stays in a good place while you work.

  1. Maintain an upright head position and keep your back straight to preserve the natural ‘S’ curve of your spine. Ensure your ears are aligned directly above your shoulders to promote a neutral neck posture. This alignment minimizes the stress on your cervical spine and helps prevent neck and back discomfort.
  2. Ensure your hips stay upright and are aligned with your torso to provide adequate support to your spine. This alignment is crucial for balancing your body weight evenly and preventing any leaning or slouching, which can lead to back pain or other musculoskeletal issues.
  3. Keep your hands, wrists, and forearms straight and parallel to the floor while working. This position promotes a neutral alignment, reducing the risk of developing repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. To avoid strain and fatigue, you should also make sure your forearms are lying flat on the desk surface. Your elbows should be close to your body, forming an angle between 90 and 100 degrees, while your shoulders remain relaxed and down, not hunched or raised, to ensure comfort and reduce strain while typing or using a mouse. This position helps maintain a neutral posture and minimizes the risk of developing discomfort or musculoskeletal issues in the upper body.
  4. Lastly, you should also make sure that your hips, knees and ankle joints align with the line of gravity. This alignment enhances balance and reduces the risk of developing musculoskeletal issues.

Extra Tips for Standing at a Standing Desk

A height-adjustable standing desk

The correct use of a standing desk involves more than just maintaining a good standing position.

You should also make sure to find a good balance between sitting and standing to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal problems. Additionally, take regular breaks and consider using a standing desk mat for added comfort.

Alternate Between Sitting and Standing

One tip for using a standing desk correctly is to alternate between sitting and standing every 30 minutes. This helps optimize the benefits of using a standing desk.

  • Incorporating a 5-minute walking or stretching break every hour into your sit-stand routine is a healthy practice. Moving around during breaks helps burn calories and promote better cardiovascular health. Regular breaks from sitting and standing in front of your computer can also increase productivity and focus throughout the workday.
  • Standing for prolonged periods can be tiring, so it’s important to give your body regular breaks by sitting down.
  • By alternating between sitting and standing, you can help reduce the risk of developing back pain or other discomforts, associated with extended periods of sitting or standing.

Use a Standing Desk Mat

Using a standing desk mat is essential for providing extra comfort while standing at your standing desk. 

An anti-fatigue mat can provide additional cushioning and support. By using a comfortable standing mat, you can reduce the strain on your joints and muscles, making it easier to stand for longer periods of time without discomfort or fatigue.

Use of Palm Rests, Monitor Arms and Ergonomic Keyboards

To maintain good posture while standing at a standing desk, it’s beneficial to use palm rests, monitor arms, and ergonomic keyboards. A monitor arm allows you to position your screen optimally, reducing strain on your neck.

Using an ergonomic keyboard with palm support can contribute to maintaining good posture by keeping your wrists straight and in-line with your elbows. 

These accessories can make a big difference in ensuring comfort and reducing the risk of strain or injury while using a standing desk.

Why is the Correct Use of Standing Desks so Important?

Person having back pain because of bad posture

Using standing desks correctly is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to avoid strain and injury by promoting proper posture and reducing the risk of back, neck and shoulder pain. Additionally, it can boost productivity as standing improves alertness and energy levels throughout the workday.

Avoiding Strain and Injury

To avoid strain and injury when using a standing desk, it is important to maintain good posture. This means adjusting the height of your desk so that your computer screen is at the normal sight line (where you eyes are relaxed) and your elbows are at a 90-100-degree angle.

Keep your shoulders relaxed and your back straight, avoiding slouching or leaning forward. Additionally, make sure to use ergonomic accessories such as palm rests, monitor arms, and ergonomic keyboards to further support proper positioning.

Boosting Productivity

Using a standing desk can actually boost productivity in the workplace. Studies have shown that employees who use standing desks are more focused and efficient while completing tasks.

They tend to have increased job satisfaction and better communication with their colleagues. Additionally, using a standing desk can help prevent feelings of fatigue or sluggishness that often occur when sitting for long periods of time.

This improved energy level can translate into higher productivity throughout the workday. So, incorporating a standing desk into your workstation may not only benefit your health but also enhance your overall efficiency and performance at work.


In conclusion, properly using a standing desk is crucial for maintaining good posture and avoiding strain or injury. Remember to adjust the desk heightposition your keyboard and monitor ergonomically, alternate between sitting and standing and take regular walking and stretching breaks.

Investing in an anti-fatigue mat can also provide added comfort while standing. By following these tips, you can make the most out of your standing desk and enjoy the health benefits it offers.


1. What is a standing desk?

A standing desk, mostly known as a sit-stand or height-adjustable desk, lets you work while in an upright posture instead of sitting all day at your desk.

2. Can using a standing desk cause lower back pain?

If you stand for extended periods without breaks at your adjustable desk it may add to lower back pain. Keeping feet flat on the floor and maintaining an angle of 20 degrees between arms and body are tips to prevent this.

3. How long should I spend working while standing?

The total amount of time spent standing while working each day can vary widely based on personal factors and the nature of your job. A healthy goal is 30 minutes of standing per hour, which results in 4 hours of standing throughout an 8-hour workday.

4. Can I use a laptop on a standing desk?

Yes, you can use a laptop on a standing desk. However, it is recommended to use a laptop stand to elevate the screen to eye level and use an external keyboard and mouse for better ergonomics.