Have you tried a stand up computer workstation? Earlier this week we showed you how to make one for less than $75. Standing desks have become popular, especially for those who work from home, as a solution for prevention of serious health issues caused by sitting all day, such as increased chance of heart disease, obesity and chronic back pain. With this trend, many people aren’t fully researching how to do this, resulting in using a standing desk incorrectly and experiencing different problems in the process.
Setting up your desk for proper stand up posture is essential. It’s not just about standing versus sitting. One of the most common mistakes is a hunched back and turned down head looking at the computer screen. To solve this problem, elevate the screen to eye level, with approximately 20-28” directly from eyes to screen. If you’re using a laptop, get a separate keyboard so that it can be placed on the table/desk, which should be at or slightly below elbow level. See diagram from “5 Things You’re Doing Wrong at your Standing Desk.”
In addition to proper posture, there are a few more keys to enjoying the benefits of a stand up computer desk:
- wear supportive shoes
- use an anti-fatigue mat
- keep a step stool nearby so you can place one foot up to change your leg position
- use a timer to remind yourself to take a break to sit, go for a walk, exercise, etc.
Remember that it takes time to get used to a stand up computer station, so ease into it gradually. Hopefully you’ll find you have more energy and productivity. By working on your feet, you could follow in the footsteps of people like Thomas Jefferson and Ernest Hemingway, two famous users of the stand up desk. If you experience back pain or neck tension associated with working long hours at a computer — from standing or sitting — try a Maine Warmers Back Warmer or Neck Warmer for relief and relaxation.