Please see my articles DIY Seated Office Ergonomics and DIY Computer Monitors and Bifocals for the details around chair, leg, arm, wrist, and monitor positioning for seated computer work. There are many factors that carry over to this article. There is also an explanation as to how these factors can affect common symptoms like back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, and wrist pain.
Stand Up Workstations
We still want to achieve a 90 degree elbow angle or a slightly greater/more open angle rather than narrower than 90 degrees. You don’t need a protractor, the idea is to get it close. Since we can’t raise or lower a chair at a standing work station, the height of the workstation needs to adapt.
If the desk/table can’t go high enough, then look at raising the keyboard above the desk. This can simply be done with a cardboard box or more elegantly with a custom built box/shelf unit etc. Be sure to leave some space to let your wrists rest, this will affect your shoulder, back, and neck position and tension.
With standing workstations we also still want to have our eyes at the top of the monitor when looking straight ahead and standing tall.
Perhaps the most the obvious difference of a stand up workstation is that we are in a static vertical position instead of seated. To help prevent our postural muscles from over tightening and fatiguing, I also recommend a small foot stool or step in front of your feet. The height isn’t strict, depending on the person and what is comfortable, 4-10” will be sufficient. The idea is to spend 5-10 minutes with both legs down, then one leg up, then the other leg up, and repeat throughout the day.
Some people find a lot of relief from standing workstations and some find that they are more energetic and engaged. The increase in their popularity has created the design of sit and stand desks that alter height electronically, hydraulically, or manually. In many ways these desks are ideal because you can change up your position, which is strongly recommended, and you can keep your monitor and keyboard orientation!
As always, if you have any questions or would like personalised assistance setting up your workstation, please contact me and I would be happy to help.