If you’re one of the few people that are blessed to have a standing desk in their office, you’ll know how much it helps alleviate neck and back pain. However, the desk itself is only part of the equation. Many workplaces and home offices don’t have all the necessary accessories that would make a standing desk more comfortable and ergonomic. If you’re looking to improve your standing desk experience, it’s time to get to know the most essential accessories you’ll need.
A standing desk chair
What good is a standing desk without a chair to go along with it? While sitting down for prolonged periods of time isn’t a good idea, neither is standing around too long. The negative effects of standing for a full shift are well documented, as certain jobs often require this kind of position. Calves and thighs suffer the most and often end up inflamed and aching.
You’re not supposed to stand for the whole workday, which is why a standing desk chair is an absolute necessity. Alternating between sitting and standing is the healthiest option and helps keep your joints and muscles healthy. These types of chairs are specifically designed to fit a standing desk, which makes them easy to set up and use.
There are plenty of designs to choose from, so you don’t have to worry about the chair not matching the overall look of the office desk. Standing desk chairs have become especially popular in recent years due to their ergonomic value, so you can customize one to your liking. No matter what colour or size you prefer, you’ll be able to find one that suits your needs.
A timer or alarm
While it may seem like an unusual pick, a time is crucial for adapting to a standing desk. People aren’t used to switching from a sitting to a standing position multiple times per day. However unhealthy it may seem, when you’re at work, you’re more likely to remain in any given position unless you feel uncomfortable. For most people, the sitting position may last a lot longer than the standing position, at least without some external reminder.
A timer can help you transition from your old way of working to a healthier and more productive version. Set up the timer so that you can comfortably shift from sitting to standing without interrupting your work focus significantly. At the start, it would be good enough to swap every two hours. If you feel that this doesn’t protect your muscles and joints well enough, you can set the timer for every hour or half-hour. The great thing about standing desks is that they allow you to have a quick transition that doesn’t require much effort, so you won’t lose out on productivity.
A computer mount
If you use any kind of computer, having a mount can be greatly beneficial. This goes for laptops as well, even though they are somewhat adjustable on their own. A computer mount helps you adjust the height of your monitor while at a standing desk. You can adjust the angle of the monitor as well, which makes choosing a good standing position a breeze. This helps alleviate neck and upper back strain and makes having proper posture much easier.
Outside of the ergonomic aspects, a computer mount also gives your desk more breathing room. You have more space to decorate and design your desk as you please. You can add extra space below the computer for things other than your keyboard, including pictures, toys, small plants, gadgets, etc. If you need to write something down, you’ll be able to utilize the extra space to avoid getting away from your desk.
A standing desk mat
Shifting from standing to sitting and vice versa has enormous benefits for your leg, back, and neck health, but it may not be enough if you work long hours. When you’re sitting down, you’ll naturally adjust your position multiple times per day without even noticing the change. While standing, there’s not much you can do about your position except shuffle your feet from time to time.
The most recommended solution for this is to introduce a standing desk mat below you. While it may seem like you’re standing just as you would on any surface, a standing desk mat has properties that allow your joints and muscles to adjust their position. This is a constant and continuous process that helps keep the position comfortable. Your posture improves automatically and you don’t have to think about it.
Even if you can’t see the results immediately, your body appreciates the subtle shifts and movements. A standing mat is often the key difference between a comfortable standing position and an unhealthy one. This is why many workplaces that feature constant standing have these mats installed.
These mats are often made of PVC and come in various shapes and colours. You can choose one that matches the flooring or go with a completely different look. Want it to imitate marble flooring? There’s a mat for that. Need something that stands out? Simply pick a colour that contrasts your office and go wild with the patterns. There are plenty of options to choose from.
Adequate work shoes
When talking about regular desks, footwear is rarely mentioned in the conversation. This isn’t the case when it comes to standing desks, for obvious reasons. Since you have to stand around for long periods of time, you’ll need footwear that allows you to do this comfortably.
As paradoxical as it may seem, running shoes are absolutely marvellous choices for working at a standing desk. They’re soft, flexible, and lightweight enough to give you a great standing experience. They don’t chafe as much as regular work shoes, so you don’t have to worry about soreness or shoe blisters. Their design often accommodates those who aren’t used to standing around, making it even easier to work at this type of desk.
If you have flat soles or sensitive feet, there are ways to modify shoes to fit your needs. Sole and arch support are often options for many brands of sporty footwear. Getting specialized soles isn’t too difficult either, so you won’t have trouble with it.
Now, if you’re working from home, you’ll still need to think about a comfortable standing position. The best option is to go barefoot, but that might not be feasible for many. If you use a mat, you’ll be able to get away from cold and hard flooring, but going barefoot might make it less comfortable. If you need to go to other rooms frequently, you’ll want to opt for the sporty shoes after all. Keep them in the room as your “work shoes” to minimize dust and grime accumulation on your flooring and mat.
While standing desks are a step up compared to regular desks, they still require some modification to provide you with a painless work experience. You can add any or all of the aforementioned standing desk accessories and figure out what best suits you. Plenty of them are customizable, so you won’t mismatch anything with your office’s design. Whether you work at home or in the company office, you’ll want to make your work as safe and productive as possible, and these accessories can help you.
I’m Willy Beamen, contributor for Bizzmarkblog with 15 years of experience from Sydney, Australia. My work is mostly focused on helping small business owners and local startups to get off the ground and expand.