How to use a standing desk well
Have you heard sitting is the new smoking?
More and more info is coming out about the downsides of extended periods of sitting. Downsides like death.
No, I'm not kidding.
Prolonged sitting (they mean more than three hours a day, only THREE!!) is associated with death, especially death from cardiovascular disease. “Recreational sitting, as reflected by television/screen viewing time, is related to raised mortality and CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk regardless of physical activity participation.” Check out this article from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Because of the downsides of sitting, many people are swapping out their regular desk for a standing desk to decrease the amount of time they spend sitting.
And while I'm a big fan of standing desks, a lot of people are experiencing foot and back pain when they swap sitting all day for standing all day.
It's not that standing desks cause foot and back pain, rather it's how you stand at your standing desk that can lead to discomfort or pain.
Believe it or not, all standing is not created equal when it comes to the loads and forces on our body.
You can get away with crappy standing habits when your time spent standing is minimal. But when you swap your sitting desk for a standing desk, your body will pay the price for crappy standing habits.
Never fear though, you can learn how to stand better.
And even if you think your standing habits are stellar, you might be surprised to learn they could use a little refinement.
Without further ado, in this episode of The Move Better, Feel Better show, we'll take a look at:
- why you may want to use a standing desk
- common pitfalls to avoid
- ways a standing desk can be a useful tool for taking care of your body while you get necessary desk work done.
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1. Why use a standing desk? (6:10 in the video)
Our body is designed for movement, lots of movement. Using a standing desk is one way we can get more variety with our body position, use our muscles to support our body, and do some simple exercises during our standing time to add more movement into our day.
2. When not to use a standing desk. (13:30 in the video)
If you have varicose veins, standing for long periods of time may be uncomfortable. Breaking up your standing time with sitting time and adding in some simple exercises when you stand can help make your standing time more comfortable.
If you're wearing shoes with an elevated heel (of any height), you'll be more likely to experience foot and back pain because of the alignment changes heels cause.
3. Pitfalls to avoid when using a standing desk. (16:22 in the video)
Avoid stacking your pelvis over your heels rather than thrusting your pelvis forward over the front of your feet.
Avoid standing primarily on one leg, especially the same leg all. of. the. time.
Keep your feet forward facing vs. turning out.
Support your body with your muscles rather than asking your desk to hold you up.
4. How to avoid back pain at your standing desk. (21:00 in the video)
In the video, I show you the impact that standing with your pelvis forward has on your low back and the compression it creates when you stand like that.
5. Movements you can incorporate into your standing desk time. (23:48 in the video)
I share some of my favorite tools I like to keep handy when I'm at my desk. I also guide you through four simple exercises you can easily add in during your standing desk time to improve the mobility in your lower legs and feet and to strengthen the muscles that help stabilize your pelvis.
These are things I use regularly and love! Amazon links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of your purchase. This helps support the work I do here at no additional cost to you.
Looking for a standing desk? Check out my standing desk Pinterest board for ideas and resources.
Need more cushion under your feet? Check out the Topo mat. It's also a great way to build some movement variety into your standing time.
The half dome is one of my favorite (and most used) tools.
Yoga Tune Up therapy balls are great for massaging your feet while you're at your standing desk. Also great for doing some self-massage to your shoulders, back, and hips.
The Roll Model book by Jill Miller is an incredible resource combined with the Yoga Tune Up therapy balls. The book guides you through using the therapy balls to release muscle tension throughout your body.
Hope you can join me LIVE for the next episode of The Move Better, Feel Better show!