Standing desks are all the rage these days, to the point where people are standing all 8 hours of the day and complaining of back pain and swollen feet.
So here are a few things to make a note of if you do or would like to start standing while you work.
Standing desks are not meant to be stood in front of for 8 hours a day. Just like how we are not meant to sit for an extended amount of time at a desk, our bodies are also not meant to hold any one position for extended periods of time. So move your body, switch it up!
All the other principles of basic ergonomics still apply when you're standing.
So be sure your monitor is up around eye level - ideally one or two inches below. Any higher causes eye strain and any lower causes neck strain.
Wrists should sit at the same level as your elbows if not slightly below.
Keep most used items within arms reach to avoid excessive bending, lifting, or twisting.
Turn your attention to your posture at least once an hour. Do a body scan. Pull your chin back, roll your shoulders back and down, and relax any muscles that are unnecessarily tight.
One common problem I see is that many of us think good posture is when we stick our butts out (especially us ladies). This is called anterior pelvic tilt, and puts a lot of stress on our low backs, causing pain.
Solution: You want your pelvis to be in neutral. So activate your low abs and roll your hips down, like you're tucking your tail in. Checkout this old post on pelvic awareness for exercises to help you reduce and prevent low back pain.
Use a small footstool, foot rest, or foot rail to put one foot on and alleviate pressure from your low back. (Like a bar footrest!)
Get an antifatigue mat to stand on and/or be sure to wear footwear with cushion. For ladies who like to wear high heels, consider switching to sneakers, especially when standing, to avoid swollen joints that can later lead to arthritis.
Lastly, and again, move your body! If you have a standing desk, it should be adjustable. If it's not, you will want to move your work to a seated area or acquire a bar height chair with footrests so that you can sit for some portion of the day.
I would love to hear your questions and comments! What's a problem at work that you face when it comes to ergonomics and posture?