Recommended Standing Desk Usage Times: Sitting, Standing, Stretching, and Breaks!

Recommended Standing Desk Usage Times: Sitting, Standing, Stretching, and Breaks!

9.5 min read

Practicing the right workspace routines has a positive impact on our mood, physical health, and productivity. Although exercise is good for your body, extensive research has shown that it still does not counteract the effects of sitting for a long time. The dangers of prolonged sitting for 8-10 hours a day include a greater risk of cancer, heart disease, and early death, however, we can mitigate these issues through good work habits. In this article, we will cover the recommended workspace routines to help you find the optimal balance for sitting, standing, stretching, and taking breaks while using an adjustable standing desk!

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How Long Should You Stand at a Standing Desk?

V ryzer standing desk


The typical standard type desks tend to have a non-adjustable fixed height where users are limited to just sitting down. By switching your workspace to a sit-stand desk, you gain the convenient feature of changing desk heights any time you want!

According to research, the golden ratio between sitting and standing lies between 1:1 to 1:3. Adjust your workspace to a stand-up desk configuration to maintain standing for at least 30 minutes every hour (1:1 ratio) before sitting down for another 30 minutes. At a maximum, you could sit down for 15 minutes and stand for 45 minutes every hour by following the 1:3 ratio. This 1:3 ratio can also be practiced by sitting for 10 minutes and standing for 30 minutes.


How Often Should You Stand Up from Your Desk?

Solo ryzer standing desk


Alternate between sitting down and standing up a few times during your working day through an adjustable standing desk for your body to experience the best healthy balance possible. For every 8-10 hours of work, this can mean getting out of your chair to stand up between 6-15 times a day.

Of course, all of these times are guidelines, and your standing times will totally depend on your own goals, abilities, and mood! Some days may totally differ from others, but the main goal you should set is to feel happy, healthy, and productive throughout your work day.


How Long Should You Be Stretching at Work?

Be stretching at work


Depending on what stretches you do, the time needed to complete each stretching activity can vary. Below are some of the daily tension-relieving stretches that you can follow to increase muscle blood flow and alleviate tension throughout your body.


Hand Stretches (25 seconds)

  1. Tightly close both of your hands into a fist.
  2. Release by fanning out all your fingers.
  3. Repeat this exercise 3 times.

Wrist Stretches (40 seconds)

  1. Bend your wrists down as far as they will go while keeping your elbows straight.
  2. Hold the position for 3 seconds and then exchange positions by extending your wrists back as far as they will go.
  3. Repeat this exercise 5 times.

Leg Stretches (40 seconds)

  1. Position yourself to be seated at the edge of your chair.
  2. Keep one foot on the floor with your knees bent at a 90° angle.
  3. Lift one leg off the floor as high up as you feel comfortable.
  4. Hold the position for 5 seconds.
  5. Repeat this exercise 5 times.

Back Stretches (25 seconds)

  1. Get up from your desk and stand up straight.
  2. Place your hands on your hips and gently bend backward at the waist.
  3. Repeat this exercise 5 times.

Shoulder Stretches (30 seconds)

  1. Touch the fingertips of your hands together just behind the top of your head without letting your hands touch your head.
  2. Move your elbows in a backward direction.
  3. Hold the position for 5 seconds and then relax.
  4. Repeat this exercise 3 times.

Chin Stretches (30 seconds)

  1. Tuck your chin in and push your head backward.
  2. Keep your eyes and head leveled while moving into position.
  3. Stay in this position for 3 seconds and then relax.
  4. Repeat this exercise 5 times.

Neck Stretches (30 seconds)

  1. Roll your head in circles.
  2. Stretching more toward each shoulder.
  3. Repeat this exercise 5 times.

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How Often Should You Be Stretching at Work?

Doing all the different stretching activities together at once is not necessary, however, it would be beneficial to do them all by spreading them out whenever you have spare time. A good rule of thumb is to do a few stretches during each 15-minute break. Think of work as a sport, and that you are stretching out before the game.


How Long Should Your Break Times Be?

Break times


Studies have found that having supplementary breaks throughout the day helps to mitigate eyestrain and physical discomfort without slowing down productivity. When possible, take a few minutes for a short walk down the hall to get a drink or look out the window. Activities such as these promote movements in the joints of our body to help decrease the risk of injuries while improving circulation, comfort, and performance. The typical half-hour lunch breaks are also an effective means of calming down while re-energizing yourself to tackle the rest of the day.

How Often Should You Take Breaks?

You take breaks


If you’re constantly staring at a screen, your optician may have recommended the 20-20-20 rule to help reduce eyestrain. This means that for every 20 minutes spent gazing at a screen, you should look away at an object that is 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Once every hour, it is ideal for our bodies to periodically get up and out of the chair for a short walk. No matter how busy we are, taking the proper time to eat one lunch a day can truly make a long-term difference in our mood and physical health. The ideal time for lunch may vary, however, a good rule of thumb is to eat lunch about four to five hours after having breakfast.

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In Summary

Whether you are working in an office or at home, it is crucial to balance your day by taking breaks while alternating between sitting, standing, and stretching. Finding the right work routines that can fit into your schedule will help to promote a healthier body, improve morale, and increase productivity.

We hope you found this as informative and interesting as we did, especially if you were looking for the recommended workspace routines when using an adjustable standing desk! If you have any queries about our standing desks or have trouble picking out the right desk accessories to suit your ideal setup, feel free to reach out to us! Our team of representatives is experts in what we do and will be happy to help with any questions you may have! | 1-800-828-9414

Nathan Bong

Technical Content Engineer at Progressive Automations, Progressive Desk, and Progressive Bed
Nathan Bong, Technical Content Engineer at Progressive Automations, Progressive Desk, and Progressive Bed, handles the creation and revision of technical content such as articles, datasheets, user manuals, technical videos, and case studies. As a graduate of BCIT, he has an academic background in electrical and computer engineering while also having hands-on experience of working with electrical equipment and tools.

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