So, You Think You Can Stand?
You may have heard about standing desks and the amazing benefits of making the switch from sitting all day to having a standing workstation. Unfortunately, you won’t reap all the benefits if you are standing at your standing desk incorrectly.
If you have already taken a stand (get it?) by switching to a standing desk, then you’ve already conquered the first few steps to improving your health. However, standing on hard floors or for too long periods without breaks isn’t good for your body either. Don’t throw your standing desk away just yet, as the side effects from long periods of sitting are still much worse!
It is equally important to stand in the correct way, vary your standing position and alternate standing and sitting. Variation is the spice of life after well. Here, are some tips to ensure you get the best from standing at work!
How to stand
As standing desks becoming more and more common, it is important to know how to stand. I know what you are thinking, I know how to stand jeez. You think that but I bet in reading this you have corrected your own posture or realised just how poor it is…
Standing with good posture
One of the reasons for discomfort from standing is caused simply by bad posture. Bad posture is extremely common, just take a look at a nearby colleague; are they hunched over with their face pressed up into the monitor? Are you?
Computers, phones, and sitting for long periods of time staring at a computer screen... these all make your posture worse. We have all been there, you lose track of time on the internet and before you know it you’ve watched 23 cute dog videos and have been sitting down hunched over aww’ing at those cuties for over an hour. This continuous bad posture causes the muscles in your back and core to become weak and this makes it more difficult to stand properly.
You might think you are already doing great by standing and you don’t have to worry about your posture, but it’s even more important to have good posture because you are standing. Standing uses more core muscles to keep the body upright which is a great workout but improper standing puts more strain on the body.
Unless you are a machine, you only know how to stand properly and comfortably for very short periods of time before you end up falling back into poor posture. It is so important to remind yourself to stand properly to avoid discomfort and fatigue when standing.
Tips for good posture when standing
Balance your weight & position your feet properly: Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart, paying attention to how this positioning feels because you should go with what feels most comfortable to you. Plant your feet into the ground, and twist them slightly outward, this will give the arches of your feet more support.
Engage your core: The muscles in your abdomen are the core of support for your body. Flex your abdominal muscles slightly to engage the muscles to support you.
Align your back and hips: You should keep your spine neutral and hips neutral and keep them in line with your neck. Roll your shoulders back naturally and let your arms fall to your sides. (Don’t stick your chest out too much, you aren’t a pigeon and don’t forcefully curve our spine!).
Alternate your standing position
Equally important is making sure that you don’t stand in the same position for too long. Alternating your standing position while maintaining good posture is important to avoid fatigue. You should try your best to move around as much as possible. Put the radio on and have a dance (own it like Beyoncé!), or if you are feeling really brave you can try out desk yoga (namasté). The subtler solution is to use a footrest or a box so that you alternate between legs to relieve the pressure on each every few minutes. Stretching is also another great way to make sure your body is moving.
Get an anti-fatigue mat
Now I can already hear you saying, you’re just saying that because you sell them! But hear us out, it is widely recommended that you use an anti-fatigue mat at a standing workstation.
Standing for long periods on hard flooring whether it be wood, concrete or even carpet can still cause all kinds of health problems such as pain your feet, back and neck, varicose veins, swelling in your lower limbs, and circulatory problems.
An anti-fatigue mat provides an ergonomic benefit for your feet as they provide cushioning, reduce pressure points on your feet, and they can mould to your feet to provide maximum comfort.
Further, an anti-fatigue mat stimulates very subtle micro-movements in your muscles to keep you balanced. This muscle engagement keeps the blood flowing through your lower limbs increasing circulation which reduces fatigue.
Choose the right footwear
To ensure you have maximum comfort it is important to choose your shoes wisely. Stilettos are not going to provide you with the support your feet need when standing (or ever for that matter). Recommending shoes for each individual person is impossible as everyone’s feet are different, but make sure you stand in footwear that is comfortable, flexible and provides good arch support if you need extra (read: no high heels?).
Switch it up
It is recommended that you vary between sitting, standing, and moving as much as possible and that you never stand uninterrupted for more than 1 hour at a time. You should take regular breaks by going for walks, even around the office is enough, or by having a seat nearby so that you can take a rest occasionally.
Notrax® is a leader in manufacturing anti-fatigue mats for close to 70 years for industrial applications. Notrax® offers the perfect solution for standing workers because, like no other producer of mats, we understand the difference of perception of workers as well as the varieties of workplace conditions that exist as well as the variety of workplace designs. Notrax® matting is designed to take the physical size and preferences of the worker into account to provide the right balance between softness for comfort and hardness for stability, traction for anti-slip while allowing freedom of movement.
425 Posture Mat™
The 425 Posture Mat™ is an exceptionally soft and comfortable anti-fatigue mat for standing workers in primarily static positions with limited lateral movement making it ideal for sit-stand desks and individual standing workstations. At 19 mm thick this anti-fatigue mat is designed for extreme ergonomic comfort while being ideal for workers standing for long periods of time.
- Thickness: 19 mm
- Ideal for static standing workstations
- Extreme comfort derived from naturally resilient rubberized foam
- Resistant to most industrial fluids and chemicals
- Bevelled edges on all four sides to minimize risk of tripping