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6 Common Standing Desk Mistakes to Avoid

Standing desks have gained huge popularity as a healthier alternative to sitting all day, offering many benefits such as improved posture, increased energy levels, and reduced risk of sedentary-related health issues.

However, many users are not using standing desks to their full potential and in turn, lessening their chances of reaping the benefits of standing desks.

In this blog, we take you through 6 of the most common mistakes you might be making that prevent you from getting the best possible sit-stand desk experience, and how to fix them.

Here are 6 of the most common standing desk mistakes to avoid:

1. Standing Up for Too Long

While this first point might initially sound contradictory (as standing desks are made for standing), too much of anything is a bad thing, so it’s important to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.

One of the main reasons why we shouldn’t stand still for too long is that it reduces the natural pumping action of your calf muscles which helps blood circulate back to the heart. This can lead to pooling of blood in the legs and contribute to varicose veins or swelling.

Standing for too long, especially with poor posture or while standing on a hard surface, can also cause or worsen lower back pain.

Likewise, sitting down for extended periods of time can cause a number of health issues. According to Better Health, sitting down for too long can increase your risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, not to mention the impact on your mental health. These eye-opening facts truly highlight the importance of using a standing desk while at work.

When alternating between sitting and standing, we recommend a 1:2 or 1:1 ratio. By this we mean, every hour you stand, spend an hour sitting, and vice versa.

2. Having Incorrect Posture

While standing desks can help with posture, standing with poor posture can lead to several negative health consequences to your body over time.

For example, standing with poor posture, whether it be leaning to one side or hunched over, can gradually lead to spinal misalignment. This can affect the natural curvature of the spine, which can often cause conditions such as kyphosis (hunchback) or lordosis (swayback).

Poor posture while standing up can also contribute to long-term health issues such as chronic back pain and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems due to reduced circulation.

How to Stand Correctly at a Standing Desk

The correct standing desk posture involves maintaining a neutral position with your head central, your neck straight and your feet placed shoulder-width apart. This will allow you to balance your weight evenly.

Remember to keep your knees and body relaxed, and try not to lean off to one side.

3. Not Using an Anti-Fatigue Mat

Another mistake we see a lot of people making when using a standing desk is not using an anti-fatigue mat.

These are specially designed mats that provide cushioning and support to reduce fatigue and discomfort when standing for extended periods of time.

Anti-fatigue mats are especially useful when standing on hard surfaces such as concrete or wood. 


Most anti-fatigue mats are ergonomically designed with contours or bevelled edges, which naturally encourage subtle movements of the feet and promote better posture while standing.

You can shop our anti-fatigue standing desk floor mat here, providing you with the optimal standing experience.

4. Not Using an Ergonomic Chair

Last but certainly not least, many people make the mistake of using any old chair while sitting at their desk.

However, when compared to standing, sitting can put tremendous pressure on the lower back if you aren't using the right chair. We therefore highly recommend that you invest in a high-quality chair with ergonomic features.

When shopping around for the perfect chair, look for one with ergonomic features such as adjustable armrests, lumbar support, and a comfortable seat surface.

While we appreciate that an ergonomic chair might cost more than your average office chair, it will provide a pain-free and comfortable working environment.

Another great type of chair is a sit-stand stool, which promotes active movement without causing strain.

You can shop our wide range of quality ergonomic office chairs here, and if you’re a bit stuck on which ergonomic chair to choose, check out our blog or feel free to get in touch with a member of our team at info@ergodesks.co.uk or on 020 8064 0064.

5. Having the Desk at the Wrong Height

This is a biggie!

A good rule we like to follow for the perfect standing desk height is to keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle (or slightly greater) when typing/ using your keyboard. This means your desk height should allow your forearms to be roughly parallel to the floor.

For someone who’s 6 foot tall, the ideal height at a standing desk will be around 109cm, though there will be some variation as everyone’s body proportions are different.

The most important thing is to find a desk height that is comfortable for you.

Learn more about what height your desk should be and why it matters, here.

This brings us nicely to point number 6…

6. Placing Your Computer Screen Too High or Too Low

Another common mistake you might be making with a standing desk is that you’re placing the computer screen in the wrong position.

Having your screen too high or too low may result in neck issues and upper back discomfort, as well as excessive arm strain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

It’s best practice to ensure that the top of your monitor screen is at or slightly below eye level when you are sitting in your usual working position. This helps to keep your neck in a neutral position, reducing strain on your cervical spine.

Using monitor arms can help you set your screen to the correct height. 

When it comes to the distance between you and the computer, position the monitor at an arm's length away from your eyes. This is typically around 20 to 30 inches (50 to 76 cm) from your face to the screen.

And there we have it! We hope this blog has shed some light on the common mistakes and pitfalls that users often encounter when using a standing desk, and how to avoid them.

Looking for a standing desk for your home, office or workspace? Check out our full collection of quality standing desks, available for next working day delivery if ordered by 3pm. Our desks come with a 7 year warranty, 30 day risk free return, as well as access to a UK-based customer service team to answer any questions that you might have.

And if you need some additional help choosing a standing desk, or any other ergonomic accessory, please get in contact with our expert team with any queries.

Otherwise, our standing desk blog provides more useful tips on using a standing desk for a more balanced lifestyle.