How to transition safely to using a standing desk

By Accounts KK on August 06, 2019

So you’re one step closer to being a stander. Soon you’ll start experiencing the benefits!

Please NOTE: Incorrect use of a standing desk can cause harm. 

Everyone is different. It’s no different to going to the gym and using the weights incorrectly, e.g. loading up too much weight for your ability. Therefore, it’s not possible to have a standard number of standing hours per day everyone should achieve, there are only guidelines. This would be like saying there is only one gym workout program that everyone in the world must do. But as a general rule, starting out and aiming for substituting 1-2 hours of sitting time for standing per day is a good place. 

Starting Out = Transitioning

When transitioning to a standing desk, you must start slowly, and build up your standing hours gradually. Personally, it took me three to four weeks to build up to 6 hours standing a day while working, but everyone is different. Don’t stand

all the time, but do increase upon what you are already doing.

How Many Standing Hours Is Right For You

This is not a one-size-fits all approach. Depending on factors such as fitness, age, strength, physique and prior injuries, the amount of standing time you can tolerate each day will vary from person to person. If you’re standing and feel tired or sore, that’s an indication that it’s time to move, stretch or sit. Make sure you break up your standing time. Health experts and organisations like Osteopathy Australia recommending changing your posture every 20-40 minutes, this is to switch between sitting, standing and moving, so make sure you change it up often.

What To Expect When You Start Standing

If you’re used to the standard office day of 8+ hours sitting at work and in transit, then for the first 2 - 3 weeks it’s highly likely that you’ll feel some discomfort in your feet, legs and possibly lower back.


» Suddenly stand 8 hours a day when your desk arrives

» Push through to unrealistic standing time goals when you start

» Stand still and forget to change postures regularly or move on the spot

» Use incorrect non-ergonomic heights for your workspace and monitor

» Wear high heel footwear as this will compromise your posture and create issues


  • »  Start slowly
  • »  Do as much as you can tolerate
  • »  Regularly change posture and move
  • »  And always consider correct ergonomics and posture
  • »  Change your posture every 20-40 minutes whether standing or sitting
  • »  Listen to your body, and if there are any signs of strain or discomfort, change posture
  • »  Use flat shoes while standing
  • »  Distribute your weight evenly, on both feet,
  • while standing
  • »  Stand with your feet at least shoulder width apart