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If you’re a runner who works from home, you may feel that too much sitting makes you feel stiff and sluggish. And you might be thinking about getting a standing desk as a way to improve your running life.
But you’re probably curious: Should runners use standing desks? And how does it affect your running lifestyle?
Standing desks are good for runners because they help you cut down on a sedentary lifestyle and lead an active lifestyle, which is beneficial to your running life. A good stand-up desk will help your running by promoting better posture, burning a few more calories, minimizing tight hamstrings, and keeping you active (keeps your blood pumping!).
However, you need to know how to use your sit-stand desk correctly as a runner to ensure you benefit from it. This guide will walk you through useful info you need to know about standing desks for runners.
Plus, we’ll offer you some helpful tips on how you can transition to a stand-up workspace as a runner.
Is prolonged sitting bad for runners?
Before we get into the specific details about standing desks for runners, let’s first tackle the issue of too much sitting and how it impacts a runner’s life.
One MAJOR problem faced by runners who sit down for long periods is tight muscles in the hip flexors. When the hip flexors tighten, runners suffer from limited stride length as well as reduced strength and efficiency of the glutes.
This leads to “lazy glutes” and increases the risk of lower limb injuries if you attempt to run. This explains why you may feel rusty or sluggish if you attempt running after spending prolonged periods sitting in your chair.
Still at it, tight flexor muscles can also lead to a back injury in some runners. This comes from the fact that reducing motion due to muscle tightness will cause a huge amount of force to be transferred through the runner’s skeletal muscles—thereby pinching the lower back joints.
Besides causing muscle tightness, prolonged sitting is generally not good for running.
Remember that sitting has been declared the new smoking. Many studies have been conducted on extended sitting and found that it increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Since this physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, sitting for long will undo this health benefit.
It can even cause premature death! Clearly, spending a lot of time sitting is indeed the new smoking. And you can’t run when your health is not in good shape.
How adjustable standing desks help with your running
The declaration of a sedentary lifestyle as being bad for your health has caused an upward in the use of standing desks. But how do they impact the life of runners? This is what you’re about to find out in this section.
To start with, a standing workspace simply increases time on your feet. This is a good thing because it enables you to engage your leg and core muscles throughout the day. This not only helps save your back but also boosts your strength for running physical activity.
As you continue using your standing desk, your core and leg muscles endurance gets better and will be beneficial to your running.
A sit-stand desk makes you stand in the correct stance for long periods of time. This is also a good thing keeping in mind that good posture alignment is a foundation of good running.
When using your standing workstation, you engage your cores and relieve pressure off your back. This enables your body to become properly aligned and ensures you can easily maintain better alignment when running.
Standing can also make you feel more energized, which can become a boost to your post-work runs!
While running will help you burn more calories, standing burns more calories than sitting.
HOWEVER, keep in mind that there will be no benefits if you use your standing desks for longer than necessary.
As Runner’s World states standing for too long can be twice as bad as sitting for your health and overall body health. In the next section, we’ll teach you how to use your desk correctly for maximum benefits.
Tips for using a standing desk for runners
If it’s your first time using a standing chair as a runner, there are a few things you need to keep in mind as you transition to this desk. Using it in the wrong way can leave you hurting feet and discomfort.
Follow these tips when using your standing workarea to improve your run life.
Ease into it
Transitioning period from sit to stand position is where most people go wrong, and they have a bad first experience with these desks.
But it doesn’t always have to be so. The secret is to ease your way into using your new desk.
Don’t get a stand-up workspace with the idea that you’ll use it for long every day. Instead, use it for only a few minutes. This is to give yourself time to adopt the new working position.
As time goes by, you will become used to it, and you can start using your desk for more than half an hour or even hours!
Set your desk for ergonomics
Another important tip for stand-up desks for running enthusiasts is setting your workspace at a comfortable ergonomic standing height.
Standing desks are height-adjustable, so you can play with the settings until you find a comfortable level that works for your specific height.
The perfect standing desk height should be such that you can reach the desktop with your elbows bent at 90 degrees when your wrists are flat on the desktop.
Ensure your computer monitor is set at your eye level for comfortable viewing and increased workspace ergonomics.
Also read: What happens if your desk is too high?
Watch your posture
The correct standing position is necessary for your running lifestyle. You should ensure you stand with the correct stance on your standing desk.
Ensure your spine, neck, and head stay in a straight line for the correct standing position. And keep your shoulders rolled back and relaxed.
Don’t stand for too long
You also want to ensure you don’t stand on your new desk for too long as this can make your legs feel like trash and even cause health problems like varicose veins.
Experts recommend that the best way to use your new office furniture is to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
When starting out, you can stand for 30 minutes and then sit for an hour. As you get used to the desk, you can increase the standing period to 1 hour, then add 2 or more hours as you feel comfortable.
The human body isn’t intended to stay seated or standing. Movement is crucial. With this in mind, you should also consider taking breaks when using your standing workspace.
We Advise you to leave your workstation after around every 30 minutes and take a short walk around the office.
Wear comfortable shoes
Putting on good quality, comfortable, and supportive shoes is another way to ensure you enjoy using your sit-stand workspace and its benefits.
Get a pair that fits you well and offers you excellent support to stand in front of your desk for long periods without any problems.
Put on the wrong choice of shoes, e.g., heel, and you’ll find yourself standing with poor stance or leaning over one of your legs.
Get a standing desk mat
A standing desk mat, also known as an anti-fatigue mat, is a great accessory to have under your feet.
The mat comes cushioned and offers support to your feet, allowing you to stand for many hours without getting easily fatigued or developing foot aches.
A good mat also encourages micro-movements, which can prevent you from staying in the same static position for long hours.
Get a good supportive chair
As we have mentioned before, standing for many hours isn’t advisable. A good way to avoid this while using your standup desk is to find a good supportive chair to couple with your standing desk.
You can get a stool or a drafting chair to sit down on while working on the standing workstation, thus cutting down on the time you spend on your feet.
Also read: Why are standing desks so popular?
Final verdict – Should runners use standing desks?
As a runner, you want to avoid sedentary behavior as it can affect your running lifestyle. It tightens your hip flexors, and make you add more calories which cripple your running lifestyle.
Standing desks will be a good alternative because they help you lead an active lifestyle while working in your home office.
When used correctly, a standing workstation will promote proper posture, prevent tightening of your muscles, improve blood circulation, and strengthen your leg and core muscles. It will also make you feel more energized. All these benefits of a standing desk are great for your running.
With our helpful tips outlined above, you should now know how to transition from sitting to standing and how to use your new office furniture correctly to improve your health and running lifestyle.