How to use a sit-stand desk ergonomically – tips on posture and choosing the correct desk

Sitting in the same position for long periods can cause nagging pains and can even contribute to conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or neck and back injuries. Switching between sitting and standing can be a wise solution; however, it is important to know how to use a standing desk correctly.

In this guide, we explain how to use a sit-stand desk ergonomically, as well as covering the benefits of using a sit-stand desk and how to use a sit-stand desk with a laptop.

Click on a link to jump to that section:

Read the key benefits of using a sit-stand desk in the workplace.

Read what factors you should consider when choosing an ergonomic sit-stand desk.

Read our tips on using a sit-stand desk ergonomically.

We provide tips on working from a laptop at a sit-stand desk.

We answer frequently asked questions on using a sit-stand desk ergonomically.

The benefits of using a sit-stand desk

Using a standing desk is a great way to alleviate some of the common health concerns and injuries often caused by sitting in your task chair for too long – for example. Using a standing desk can provide the following key benefits:

  • Improves your health by encouraging more natural movement than when you are seated. This can support a healthy lifestyle.
  • It can help to lower blood sugar levels.
  • Studies have proven that it can even support a reduction in back pain.
  • Sit-stand desks reduce the risk of muscle tension, as you are likely to move more and aren’t sat in a hunched position.

You can find out more about sitting vs standing in the workplace here.

Choosing an ergonomic standing desk

When searching for an ergonomic standing desk, there are certain factors you need to consider. Firstly, the desk must allow you to keep your elbows at a ninety-degree angle for maximum comfort. Your sit-stand desk should also be adjustable so that you can keep it at the correct height for you to work ergonomically. An ergonomic desk should also allow for the correct monitor height – when looking at your monitor, you should have the top of the screen at or slightly below your natural eye level.

It is also important to ensure the screen is placed at the recommended distance from you – this should ideally be somewhere between twelve and twenty-two inches away from your face. A good way of telling whether your desk is ergonomic is making sure you aren’t straining to reach equipment or hunching over to see the screen. Our Active Electric Sit-Stand Workstation converts any desk into a sit-stand workstation and provides a quick and easy assembly. Find out more about the Electric Sit-Stand Workstation here.

How to use a sit-stand desk correctly

When you are working in a standing position at a sit-stand desk, there are certain posture considerations to be mindful of. Firstly, try not to slouch and sit straight and upright with your legs tucked under. Foot support can be useful in keeping your feet in the correct position. If your desk is the correct height, you should be able to bend your arms to 90 degrees in order to work. Here are some tips for standing at a sit-stand desk:

  • Alternate frequently. This is important to remember – try and alternate frequently to avoid staying in one position for too long. Try and switch between sitting and standing throughout the day, stretch your legs frequently and take adequate breaks.
  • Adjust your keyboard and mouse position. To work ergonomically, you need to have your arms and wrists in a comfortable position whilst you work. The angle between your forearm and upper arm should be between 90 degrees and 110 degrees.
  • Use arm supports. Armrests can help reduce the strain on your upper arms.
  • Ensure your screen is at eye-level. You shouldn’t be hunching over to see your screen or be looking up. By ensuring your screen is placed at eye-level, you can prevent injuries such as back and neck pain.

The image below demonstrates how to correctly stand at a height-adjustable desk:

correct posture while working at a standing desk

You can read our full worker’s guide to ergonomics for more information on working ergonomically.

Using a laptop at a sit-stand desk – is it ergonomic?

Although not ideal – working from a laptop at a standing desk isn’t the end of the world. On some occasions, such as when working from home – working from a laptop is inevitable. As long as you make certain adjustments to work ergonomically, you can work comfortably from a laptop at a sit-stand desk.

You can do the following to work from a laptop ergonomically at your standing desk:

  • Make sure that you have set the laptop up so that your screen is at eye level and you do not have to tilt your head.
  • If you have a laptop stand, utilise it, or pop your screen on a stable object if you have an external keyboard. You can use an external monitor or keyboard to find the best ergonomic position for you.
  • If you can, invest in an anti-fatigue mat to further improve your comfort while working and reduce your risk of injury. You can find out more about anti-fatigue mats here.
  • If possible, consider a desk with a keyboard tray to make for much more comfortable typing.

You can find out more about using a laptop at a standing desk here.

Recommended product

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What if I’m working from home and don’t have a standing desk?

When working from home, it can be difficult to set up your workspace in a way that works for you. Make sure that you have adjusted your monitor height if possible, using an external keyboard to allow for this. You may wish to invest in an external mouse and a mouse mat with wrist support to allow for maximum comfort. Something as simple as using cushions to elevate your seated position can ensure you are sat at the correct height for your screen.

The Vision H Ergonomic Workstation is a great choice of desk converter if you want to set up an ergonomic working space. This range includes a single monitor or dual monitor support and a single monitor and laptop support. It is perfect for working in comfort easily.

Vision H ergonomic workstation

  • Available in white.
  • Range includes a single monitor support, a dual monitor support and a single monitor and laptop support.
  • Optional 3x power and 1x USB Type A&C charger sockets.
  • Includes cable management clips to secure cables to the arm and pole sections.
  • Supports monitors and laptops up to 5kgs (2x 5kgs when used with a dual monitor support or a single monitor and laptop support).
  • Quick and easy to install.

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You can aslo view our range of homeworking bundles here.

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