When is the best time of day to stand at your desk, and when is the best time to be seated?
There is no universally recognised "best" time of day to stand at your desk or to be seated. It can depend on your individual circumstances, including your work schedule, personal preferences, and any physical conditions that may affect your ability to stand for prolonged periods. Some people find it helpful to stand for a portion of the day, while others prefer to remain seated. It's generally recommended to alternate between standing and sitting throughout the day to avoid prolonged periods of either position.
Here are a few ideas of times when standing up and working at your desk could help:
After you’ve eaten your breakfast or lunch
Staying on your feet after eating can help with digestion, as it may aid in the movement of food through the digestive system. When you're standing, the force of gravity can assist in moving food from your stomach into your small intestine, where most of the digestion and absorption of nutrients takes place. Additionally, being on your feet may help to reduce the likelihood of indigestion or acid reflux, which can occur when you're in a reclined position. However, it's important to note that staying on your feet after eating is not a substitute for proper digestion habits, such as eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly.
When you need to focus
Standing may help some people to focus better, although this can depend on individual preferences and circumstances. Standing can promote greater blood flow and circulation, which may help to increase alertness and energy levels. Additionally, some people find that standing can help them to feel more engaged and present, as it can provide a change of scenery and posture. However, standing for long periods of time can also be tiring and uncomfortable, which may detract from your ability to focus. Ultimately, it's important to listen to your body and experiment with different positions and habits to determine what works best for your individual needs and productivity.
If you need to make important calls
Some people may find that standing up helps them to feel more alert and present during the call, which can be especially helpful if the call requires a lot of concentration or if it's an important business call. Additionally, standing up can help to improve posture and reduce the strain on your neck and shoulders that can occur from holding a phone to your ear for long periods of time. However, others may prefer to sit down during a phone call, especially if it's a long call or if they need to take notes or reference documents. Ultimately, it's important to experiment with different positions and habits to determine what works best for your individual needs and comfort.
If you need to be creative
Drawing or designing can require a lot of fine motor control and attention to detail, so it's important to be in a position that allows you to focus and work comfortably. For some people, this may mean sitting down at a desk or table with a comfortable chair and adequate lighting. Sitting down can provide a stable surface for drawing or designing, which can be especially helpful if you're working with tools that require precision or if you need to rest your arms or hands on the surface. However, others may prefer to stand up while drawing or designing, especially if they need to move around or work on a larger scale. Ultimately, it's important to experiment with different positions and habits to determine what works best for your individual needs and comfort.
Here are some tips for remembering to alternate between sitting and standing during the day:
- Use a timer: Set a timer or an alarm to remind you to switch between sitting and standing every 30-60 minutes. You can use your phone or a smartwatch to set up these reminders.
- Stand during specific activities: Identify specific activities that you can do while standing, such as taking phone calls or reading emails. This can help you remember to stand up at regular intervals throughout the day.
- Use a height adjustable desk: If you have a height adjustable desk, also referred to as a standing desk, you can switch between sitting and standing with just the push of a button. This can make it easier to switch positions and remember to alternate throughout the day.
- Keep a log: Keep a log or a journal of how much time you spend sitting and standing throughout the day. This can help you track your progress and identify areas where you may need to make adjustments. Some standing desks such as the Atlas by Ergodesks come with a Bluetooth option which will help with logging how long you spend standing.
- Use a standing desk mat: If you're standing for prolonged periods, using a standing desk mat can help to reduce fatigue and improve comfort. Having a comfortable standing setup can help to make it easier to remember to alternate between sitting and standing.