Setting habits for an active work routine
31 October 2023
Once, getting out of the chair to use the copy machine and hand-delivering reports was a norm and a necessity. Now, everything is a cursor flick and a mouse click away. The result: increasing hours spent sitting.
The epidemic of our sedentary lifestyle has been widely discussed. With more and more people turning to standing desks, the focus has now shifted to the importance of creating an active routine.
So the big question is: how can you use your standing desk to transition from habitual sitting to a dynamic work style? It all comes down to setting active habits to complement your work routine. Let's dive into how you can do just that.
Setting habits for an active workday with a standing desk
As enthusiasts and makers of standing desks, we understand the first rush of excitement that propels you to utilise your standing desk to the fullest. But Rome wasn't built in a day! If you are not used to working while standing, being overly ambitious at the get-go can kill the motivation fast.
Instead, kickstart your journey with a 5-minute stand every 20-30 minutes. It's not too long, and the barrier is low enough to get you in the groove to form a new habit. Gradually work your way up to your ideal standing range. To prevent stiffness and strain, incorporate micro-movements while standing. An anti-fatigue mat can help with that while relieving the pressure of standing on hard surfaces.
Use Reminders and Goals
Habits don't form overnight, but there are plenty of tools at your disposal to make them stick faster. Set standing goals to keep you motivated. Reduce friction by programming your height memory preset button. And use reminders to ease you into your new habit.
The rule of thumb is to work backwards: first define your standing goal, then map out when to set the reminders to keep you on track. Or if you have the Omnidesk Ascent, you can do all that within its compatible Smart App. Once it's set up, your desk controller vibrates when it's time to stand, and you can track if you hit your standing goals. What's more? The Ascent rises at 60mm/s, so you won't ever miss a beat when you transition from sitting to standing, and vice versa, while working.
Schedule Standing Tasks
Some of us prefer doing focus-intensive writing sessions sitting down, while others have no problem editing footage standing up. And maybe an interval standing routine works best for us but not for you. There is no one-size-fits-all!
So, after you get the hang of having a standing desk be part of your daily habit, try using predictability to your advantage by binding routine tasks to the act of standing. Here are some ideas:
Take meeting calls standing up
Elevate your desk and do some light stretches to calm and recentre yourself before heading into a virtual meeting. Standing during a meeting improves your focus and boosts confidence when you have to present too.
Batch smaller or similar tasks to do while standing
This could be batching email and Slack replies, minor edits and quick fixes, or brainstorming sessions and completing them on your feet. Sprint through quick tasks standing up so you can reserve your focus for more intensive activities.
Stand after your lunch break
Staying upright after a meal may speed digestion, regulate blood sugar levels and burn calories. So, raise your desk before lunch to prompt you to stand after your meal.
Stand at the end of your workday
Counter-intuitively, if you have trouble separating work and life, raise your desk to an uncomfortable height to signal the end of the workday! This simple act becomes a cue to start your next day standing as well.
Stretch When You Can
With a standing desk, you can also enhance your stretches. Infusing light exercises throughout the day staves off muscle strains, improves posture, and reduces stress. Make stretching a habit—before work, between tasks, and when you sign off for the day.
For Omnidesk Ascent users, the Smart App offers up to 9 height profiles (5 extra memory presets from the desk controller), so you can level up your stretching game! Check out these physiotherapist-recommended stretches you can do with your standing desk.
Keep Active While Sitting
Extend the goal of being active to the periods you spend sitting. An ergonomic chair that fits your build and promotes active sitting is well worth the investment. We recommend the Embrace Pro for its 12 points of ergonomic support and its dynamic sit-tilt function to keep your core engaged. It's also important to level your desk to a suitable height for an optimal sitting position to encourage good posture. So, if you are still choosing a standing desk, consider one that can accommodate varying physiques, and descends as low as 60cm, like the Ascent.
We hope you found some ideas to set up your own active work routine with your standing desk. Remember to listen to your body. Everyone's needs are different, so find what works best for you!
To learn more about the Ascent, check it out here.