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Transitioning to a Standing Desk: How to Get Started?

19 April 2021

It takes time to experience the positive impacts of a standing desk.  Like any new gadget and setting, this purchase comes with a learning curve of its own. It’s especially true for people accustomed to prolonged sitting time. That’s why we recommend taking things gradually instead of rushing into this endeavor.

Think of it as joining a dance class or fitness class. 

You can’t expect to get things right the first day, nor will the new routine come to you effortlessly. The good news is that with time you’ll learn to enjoy your ergonomic workstation as much as we do.

We’ve rounded up a few tips and tricks to help you reach this feat.  

Here are some tips on how to use your standing desk correctly: 

1. Take Things Slow and Steady 

Deciding how many standing hours are right for you to depend on a series of factors.  These include age, physique, and fitness levels, and work requirements. Also, consider your previous injuries before you commit to a routine.

We recommend standing at least 1-2 hours a day during the first week. After that, you can increase the time and aim for 3-4 hours a day.  For the latter, it’s best to divide your standing time into intervals. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with sore feet and stiff joints when you clock out for the day.

Once you get used to a new routine, you can upgrade to the real thing. 

2. Listen to Your Body  

Have you ever joined the gym with your best friend? Or any class in general? 

You might have noticed how you manage to learn some things more quickly than them and vice versa. These dynamics apply to standing desks too.

If your coworkers (or friends) manage to stand four to five hours a day on their desks, it doesn’t mean you can too. Like we said earlier, you need to pace out your standing time according to individual health and lifestyle.  Listening to your body makes the transition easier and less painful.

Know that standing too long can have negative repercussions if you push yourself. 

Common signs of fatigue include:

  • Stiff shoulders and joints 

  • Muscle pain 

  • Tiredness and exhaustion 

  • Low back pain 

  • Strained neck 

The key is to develop a routine that aligns with your body. If your feet start aching after an hour of standing, don’t hesitate to sit. It’s your body’s way of indicating that it needs rest. Change your position accordingly to ensure that this adjustment doesn’t affect your health.  

Likewise, if you can stand for an hour without experiencing fatigue, you may continue working in the same position. 

3. Feel Free to Switch Positions & Sit 

Despite popular belief, you’re allowed to sit when you use a standing desk.  It’s why many standing desks feature adjustable heights and include ergonomic chairs as add-on accessories. These are there for a reason. They facilitate your transition into the new setup better when you use them wisely.

Here are a few practical ways to make it work:

  • Change your posture every 30-45 minutes when you’re standing (or even sitting)

  • Learn some at-desk exercises to stretch your stiff joints and relax your muscles  

  • Set a timer to move around to ensure that you don’t stand (or sit) for too long

The main idea is to take breaks instead of pushing yourself to stand longer than you can. That way, you can maintain a healthy stand-sit cycle that does not take a toll on your body. 


Does standing all day might sound tiresome? 

If you’re skeptical about a standing desk, opt for a desk converter first. That way, you can learn how to work while you’re standing without committing to a big investment. Experimenting with desk converters gives you more room to transition into a permanent standing desk setup.  Overall, it’s a cost-effective and time-efficient technique to change your work setup.

4. Pay Attention to Posture and Ergonomics   

The positive impacts of a standing desk and why they work for you lie within the ergonomic design.  That means every feature of your desk has a function. It’s there to improve productivity and reduce fatigue when you work. 

Nevertheless, these specs are only part of the ergonomic equation.  You need to position yourself correctly and implement certain techniques to make standing desks work for you. 

Firstly, focus on maintaining a good posture when you work. Stand straight and keep your shoulder back instead of leaning forward. Position your arms at a 90° angle when you’re typing and ensure that your screen aligns with your eye level. 

Apart from this, distribute your weight equally on both your legs. Also, keep your feet apart to maintain your balance when you work.

Consequently, these small things have a significant impact on your overall position and health. You learn to eliminate bad posture habits from your work routine. In turn, this enables you to address medical issues associated with physical inactivity at work. 


Ditch heels for supportive footwear.

study associated with ‘the high risks of high heels’ indicate that it can cause several musculoskeletal injuries. Therefore, we advise you to wear flat shoes you are using a standing desk. This wardrobe switch will reduce risks of tripping, retain balance, and promote equal weight distribution.   

5. Invest in an Anti-Fatigue Mat to Enhance the Experience 

Knowing how to use a standing desk correctly might require additional investments.  

Therefore, if you’re still having trouble adjusting to a favorable standing and sitting routine, opt for an anti-fatigue mat.  It provides a cushioning effect that creates a good barrier between your feet and the hard surface beneath. The one from FlexiSpot promotes healthy blood circulation and stimulates natural muscle movements without placing undue pressure on your feet and calves. It helps you recover from symptoms of lower back pain disorders (i.e. sciatica and leg pain). 

Other advantages include:

  • Improve traction 

  • Slip-resistant features 

  • Optimal balance 

Besides this, these cushioned mats offer the much-needed support and comfort required to power through busy workdays. 

It’s a Wrap!

In the end, transitioning into an active setup requires time and patience. Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself or expect to benefit from the positive impacts of a standing desk right away. Instead, take things one day at a time. 

Above all, manage your standing and sitting time wisely to give your body time to adjust. That way, you can function properly and reduce the risks of dealing with excessive fatigue. 

Now that you know how to use a standing desk correctly, it’s time to shop

Best of luck!