How Long Should You Stand at Your Desk?

Many people ask how long should you stand at your desk to help them improve their health. However, if not done correctly, standing all day can cause problems too – specifically back and neck pain.

Experts have long been recommending sitting for about 15 minutes per hour and then standing for 30 minutes every hour. This is called a 1:1 or 1:3 ratio. However, a University of Waterloo professor has found that this may not be the best way to do things for people who work at sedentary jobs.

Finding Balance: Determining Optimal Standing Duration at Your Desk

He recommends alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day – about 6-15 times a day if you use an adjustable sit-stand desk. This allows your body to experience the best balance possible, which will lead to better health and productivity throughout the day.

When you do stand, it’s important to take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and back. Try walking around the office, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or even doing some simple exercises to strengthen your core and your neck. Some people find that it is helpful to set a timer or a reminder on their phone to remind them to stand up and move around. Others simply make it a habit to break their stance and stretch regularly.

It’s also a good idea to use an anti-fatigue mat to reduce the stress on your feet and joints that can come from standing for too long. Designed to provide extra cushion for your feet, these mats are contoured to encourage small movements that can help increase blood flow and reduce pain.