Science has discovered the increased health risks from sitting for several hours of the day and leading a generally sedentary life. As a means of adapting, many people working in their office or home office have invested in standing desks, which allow you to alternate between standing and sitting. This allows for greater activity and prevents you from staying sedentary.
Even with a standing desk, it’s important to have the right accessories to maintain productivity and efficiency. Whether you are standing or sitting, you don’t want to get distracted while you are working. Here are some of the best sit-stand desk accessories to keep you motivated and productive.
Monitor Arms and Mounts
Mounting your monitor helps to clear up desk space and looks more aesthetically pleasing. This gets even better if you have multiple monitors. A cluttered, messy desk can be a huge distraction, and it can be off-putting for any office guests. Purchasing a monitor arm or mount allows you to make better use of your desk space and create more space for yourself.
The best part about mounting your monitor is that it allows for better ergonomic support. Even if you are standing, your monitor needs to be at the right height adjustment to prevent slouching, leaning, and generally bad posture. All of that can contribute to ongoing neck and back strain and add extra pressure to your lower body. If the monitor is too far away, you may end up with eye strain, leading to headaches, eye problems, and a grumpy mood.
Ideally, your monitor should be about an arm’s length away, and the top of the screen should be at eye level. With a monitor arm or mount, you can easily make a height adjustment and angle to suit your needs. This gets even more convenient when you alternate between sitting and standing, which naturally means adjusting your monitor regularly. Making that transition as easy as possible saves you time and effort.
An Under-Desk Keyboard and Mouse Tray or Platform
The positioning of your keyboard and mouse is just as important as your sitting and standing posture. Overextending your arms while you type can add extra stress on your arms, wrists, and shoulders, contributing to strain and nerve problems. Ideally, your keyboard should be just below elbow level, which prevents you from pulling your shoulders up to type. It should also be flat on the desk or tilted away from you (negative tilt) to maintain a neutral wrist position.
This can be difficult on your own, especially when you have to alternate between standing and sitting. Take the guesswork out of it with a mouse and keyboard tray. A keyboard tray and a mouse tray gives you proper space and is built with an adjustable tilt, allowing you to customize your typing position to minimize any strain in your wrists.
Keyboard and mouse trays also install easily to the underside of your desk. This clears up your desk even more, leaving space for more important items or just creating a cleaner, neater look.
An Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat
A standing desk encourages movement and fidgeting, but all that standing can put a lot of stress on your lower body. You will eventually feel all that weight and pressure accumulate on your feet, legs, and lower back, translating to pain in your muscles and joints that reduce your quality of life.
Experts highly recommend alternating between sitting and standing, usually at a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio. This means that you should spend one hour standing for every hour or two that you spend sitting.
To ease the pressure on your lower body, it is worth investing in an anti-fatigue floor mat. This is a standing desk mat made from a supportive, cushioned material that can take some of the pressure off your joints and support better posture. More importantly, an anti-fatigue standing mat works by encouraging small, subtle movements in the legs. That fidgeting helps keep your blood flowing properly and reduces discomfort and fatigue that can come from standing for so long.
Footrests are great for keeping your feet flat and supported when you are sitting, but they can be just as useful when you are using your standing desk. A good footrest gives you something to prop a foot onto, which can ease some of the pressure on your legs. Remember, one of the keys to standing is doing at least a little fidgeting to keep your leg muscles moving and promote blood circulation. A footrest is an excellent way to accomplish that.
Propping a foot up on the footrest also forces you to use other muscles in your entire body. This can relieve any pressure placed on your legs and lower body. That ultimately means less back pain and better posture. You can also use your footrest to stretch out your calves and shins to keep your leg muscles from stiffening up.
Having a good seat for a standing desk can seem counterintuitive, but balancing standing time and sitting time is a fantastic way to get the benefits of standing without overdoing it. Active seating is a good way to take a load off your feet while still promoting dynamic movement.
Active seating refers to seating options that work your core muscles and balance, allowing you still physically engage even when you’re not standing. This was previously relegated to sitting on exercise balls, but today, the dynamic seating industry offers a wide range of products, including stools and standing desk chairs. Along with engaging your core muscles, active seating improves your posture by preventing you from slouching.
Even with an anti-fatigue standing mat and footrest, standing for hours means that your body relies even more on your feet. Wearing unsupportive, uncomfortable shoes can spell disaster for your feet when you’re standing. Uncomfortable shoes can change your leg muscles’ amount of stress, which can throw your posture out of alignment while adding extra weight to your joints.
Any shoes with a bit of a heel, including high heels and men’s dress shoes, place the ankles in an unnatural position that doesn’t provide much support for the ankles. That can lead to ankle pain or weaker ankles that could easily lead to sprains later on.
Standing for long periods of time naturally causes blood to pool in your feet and ankles, which can result in swelling. If your shoes are uncomfortably tight, you may experience a lot of physical pain. Standing may also contribute to more sweat, and if your shoes aren’t made with naturally breathable material, you and your neighbors may have to deal with the odor.
The best suggestion is to wear comfortable shoes or sneakers for working at your standing desk while stowing a pair of formal shoes in your cubicle. This keeps you supported during the day and gives you a more formal option to change into if you have to meet a client or attend a business meeting.
Although a standing desk is an excellent option for adding a bit more variety to your workstation and supporting a less sedentary life, it does take a little work to make it as comfortable as possible. With the right accessories for a standing desk, you can maintain plenty of productivity and build healthier habits along the way.