Standing Desk Stance Posture

This article is writing by Jordan Lees, Physiotherapist and OHS Consultant, and Founder of The Ergonomic Physio.

By using a standing desk, you alternate the areas of the body that accumulate physical stress, as opposed to prolonged sitting, which results in physical stress accumulating in the same areas repeatedly. This prevents pain and injury from occurring, which is obviously a great thing. 

To further reduce the accumulation of physical stress in any particular area, you could consider alternating your stance when using your standing desk.

​Further, different people may find different stances more comfortable for them - so don't think that you need to stand a certain way. As such, it is worth trialling each of the different stances shown below, to find which position is the most comfortable for you. After all, standing desks are not just for injury prevention and health promotion, but also to increase productivity, and you will be far more productive if you're standing in a position that is comfortable for you. 

​If you are unsure of how you should stand due to any pre-existing injuries, it may be wise to arrange for an ergonomic assessment so that a qualified physiotherapist can set up your workstation in relation to any musculoskeletal issue you currently have. 

Regular Stance

The most common and obvious stance is to stand with the feet approximately hip width apart, or slightly wider, and front on to your desk. 

In this position, you are transferring the weight evenly through both feet, which is a good thing. 

Regular Stance

Tandem Stance

Standing with one foot in front of the other is a great way to mix things up. In this stance you can rock back and forth between placing more load through the front foot or back foot. A tandem stance also reduces the likelihood of you falling into a "hinged posture" if you stand for too long in a regular stance (see below).

It is a good idea not to have your feet too close together in this stance as it might reduce your balance.​

Tandem Stance 1

Tandem Stance 2

Hinged Posture - Avoid Doing This

The natural shape of your lumbar spine wants you to hinge backwards (i.e. lean backwards), as is shown in the photo to the left. You should avoid doing this as it places increased stress on the lumbar spine (lower back area).

By swapping between the different stance postures shown above, you will avoid falling into a hinged posture.

Hinged Posture

The different stances shown above should not complicate the process of using a standing desk. After all, standing is one of the most simplistic things that we can do! They are simply shown to ensure that your standing desk experience is as comfortable as possible, thereby increasing your productivity and decreasing your pain.

If you have any questions, or experience and pain or discomfort when using your standing desk, contact The Ergonomic Physio for an ergonomic assessment here.