A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

Make your sit-stand station work for you

Sitting too much is harmful to your health. Sedentary lifestyle has been linked to obesity, heart disease and cancer.

But standing too much isn’t necessarily healthful either.

“The key is movement,” said Jon Marion, an occupational therapist. “Adjustable desks allow mostly sedentary employees to move, which is key to a healthy lifestyle.”

When to stand versus sit

Marion says not to let 30 minutes go by without some kind of movement.

It can be as simple as 15-20 seconds of standing and stretching, or doing some shoulder blade pinches,” Marion said. “I encourage employees to drink water throughout the day so it forces them to walk to the bathroom every once in a while.”

Make reminders or cues if you find yourself in one position over the other.

For example, stand:

  • After a long meeting
  • After lunch
  • When you take a phone call

“It’s almost too late to move once your body feels stiff and sore,” Marion said. “Try to move around and stretch before that happens.”

Your body will cue you when to sit. If your feet are achy or you find yourself slouching, lower your desk and work on your sitting posture.

Find the right adjustable desk

“Standard-sized sit-stand stations don’t work for everyone. We’re different heights and require appropriately sized adjustable desks,” Marion said.

Standard sizes create risk of carpal tunnel, rounded shoulders, back pain and neck pain.

Find an adjustable height desk with a range of movement where you can properly align ergonomics to fit your needs.

It should have various points of adjustment like keyboard, monitor and writing area to name a few.

“Find a desk that works well with your daily tasks. If you write a lot or refer to hard-copy documents, you might consider an entire desk area that raises and lowers so you can easily move from keyboard to writing areas.”

Follow this guide to successfully fine-tune your adjustable desk.

Standing desk illustration/infographic

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