How long to sit, how long to stand?

Knead - working at a desk

Should you stand for work? Sitting all day long is terrible for your body. But so standing all day for work. Too long of any one posture is bad for your body and the key is to make sure you change your posture frequently. 

Sitting is relaxing, and for significantly long periods of time, it's better to sit than to stand (if you could only choose one, that is). But when you sit for too long, you are not helping your circulation as it could pool or be restricted. Additionally, your muscles need to stretch and change throughout the day and long periods of constraint is not good for your body. 

Standing helps significantly with your circulation. Calf activation and pulmonary activation will dramatically help your circulation move from your lower body back up to your upper body. It also keeps you moving and flexing minor and major muscle groups. 

Standing too long leads to pressure on your legs and damage to your feet. Additionally, your spine is being compressed and your back muscles could be fatigued. 

So how long should you sit and how long should you stand for? Luckily, your body will start to signal to you when you've gone on for too long. Your back muscles will start to ache, or you'll start to look for ways to take your weight off your feet. Listen to your body and change posture at that point. 

If you're getting lost in your work flow and get into the zen state, you may want to set some timers in this case. You could start off with 30 minutes sitting, 30 minutes standing. Some will adjust this depending on what they prefer, for example 45 minutes sit, 15 minutes stand, or 30 minutes sit, and 45 minutes stand. General rule of thumb is to not go beyond the 30-45 minute mark for either sitting or standing. 

When you do stand, make sure feet are hip width apart, you squeeze your butt, straighten your spine, and have your shoulders and arms properly supported (don't shrug or slant your shoulders). This is a really ergonomic way to stand for longer periods of time.

It's important to have a desk that can quickly and intuitively change from standing to sitting height. Our KD01 desk has probably the most intuitive controller in the world - feel free to take a look. 

Need help choosing the right desk? Chat with our experts or send us an email at

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