How Can I Make My Standing Desk More Comfortable?

A lot of people find that they are uncomfortable when using a standing desk. This is especially true when it is their first time using one. However, there are tons of things that you can do to increase the comfort level and it starts with using the desk correctly. In addition, there are accessories that can help as well.

How can I make my standing desk more comfortable

Using a Standing Desk the Right Way

People often use a standing desk incorrectly just because they are unaware of the right way to utilize it. The first thing to know is that alternating between standing and sitting is the most beneficial way to use a standing desk. You should try to stand for 30 minutes to an hour for every hour that you sit. Furthermore, it is best to alternate often and try to move around as much as you can for your health. 

Also, you have to have the desk at the correct height in order to reduce back, neck, and shoulder pain. Typically, the height of the desk should be at elbow height. To ensure that you have the correct height, you can stand tall and hold your arms straight out away from your body at the elbows. The forearms should be parallel to the floor while the rest of your arm is still at your side. Your arms should be able to rest on top of the desk in this position. 

You also need to consider the height of your monitor in relation to your head. Having an inappropriately located monitor can lead to more aches and pains. You also do not want the monitor too far or too close to your face. Generally, the distance of the monitor should be 1.5 to 2 feet away from your eyes. 

The monitor should not be positioned so that you have to bend your neck to see it. It should be slightly below eye level and should never be higher than eye level. It is also recommended that you bend the monitor 10 to 20 degrees backwards so that the screen can point up towards you. 

Standing Mats

A standing desk mat is an anti-fatigue mat that can increase your comfort levels while you use your standing desk because they are softer than the floor. Furthermore, they encourage subtle muscle movement which increases blood flow and provides a plethora of benefits. 

Use of a standing desk mat can decrease back pain and reduce discomfort associated with the usage of a standing desk. Finally, the subtle movements that the anti-fatigue mats promote can help you increase productivity by reducing the chance of mental and physical fatigue.

There should be little argument as to whether it is more comfortable to stand on a mat or a hardfloor, but mats can also be more comfortable than carpet.  Carpets can lead to leg strain because it is not stable like a standing desk mat is. In addition, it can wear out so that you are basically sitting on the hard floor underneath. 

How can I make my standing desk more comfortable

There are a few different types of standing desk mats. There are foam mats which are good and affordable, but they tend to wear out quickly. There are also mats that have layers of foam and rubber and ones that are pure hard rubber. These types are more durable and easy to clean that are good for industrial settings. 

Gel standing desks have a center that has a consistency similar to gelatin. They are very good for promoting subtle movement and battling fatigue. They also increase comfort levels. Finally, there are balance boards that you can use to promote movement. These may be less comfortable, but can still be incredibly beneficial.

Wrist Cushions

When we sit, we often sit back in a position that is not only unhealthy, but that also takes some of the discomfort out of the wrists because we slouch down. However, this can be worse in the long run.

The wrists should remain relaxed and rest easily on the desk or keyboard. However, this can be uncomfortable. There are wrist cushions available so that we can keep our body the correct distance from the desk and the monitor and wrest our wrist and forearms on a soft platform. This provides stability and comfort so that you can remain in an ergonomically beneficial position whether you are standing or sitting. 


Footrests can help us remain comfortable in both sitting and standing positions. They can reduce back pain, encourage movement, and improve circulation. They can provide better posture and improved comfort. 

A footrest can also encourage us to move more and frequently change positions between sitting, standing, and leaning. This can help our posture and decrease the chance of blood clots. Footrests are simple, but effective. There are immobile ones that just provide us with a place to put your feet and there are also ones that swing or move that promote movement and active sitting. 

Ergonomic Keyboards

Ergonomic keyboards allow you to keep your hands and wrists in a neutral, ergonomic position while you are working at the computer. This can prevent wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. These keyboards can make it more comfortable for your wrists and forearms. This can translate into reduced shoulder and neck pain as well. 

Read More >> Top 5 Best Standing Desks with Keyboard Trays (2021 Review)

They are also designed for fast, virtually effortless typing. This can make you more productive and type more words than you would with a traditional keyboard. Not only that, but they can also help you improve your posture while working at your desk. They promote an ergonomic standing position that can be wholly beneficial. 

There are a few different types of ergonomic keyboards to be aware of. A contoured keyboard is shaped with an arch  so that you can position your wrists and arms comfortably as you type. A split keyboard has multiple pieces that are split down the middle. This can help you type comfortably with the correct amount of space that is comfortable for your hands. Finally, there are angled keyboards that are slightly inclined so that you can comfortably lay your hands and wrists to type on the keyboard. 

There are also ergonomic keyboard trays. They are usually adjustable at least for the incline or decline and sometimes even for the height. They also often have padding cushions so that your wrists can lay comfortably while you type. 

Ergonomic Chairs

It is not good to stand the entire time you use your standing desk. It is better to sit some as well, but that can be uncomfortable as well. The solution may be to get an ergonomic chair. Ergonomic chairs promote good posture through an optimally located back and head rest and a comfortable seat. You can adjust the height of the seat so that you can keep your knees at the correct angle while your feet are flat on the ground. 

Read More >> Ergonomics in the Workplace [Ultimate Guide]

Ergonomic chairs are extremely comfortable and there are many options that allow you to adjust the back to match your body type. Each adjustment can be changed to fit your body type and your needs. 

These chairs are not just comfortable, but can also reduce your risk of neck and back pain. These are especially good for people who sit at their desks for hours on end nearly every day that they are at work. They also have high backs to support the natural curve of the spine and reduce the pressure on your hips. 

Most Comfortable Standing Desks

The most comfortable standing desks are the ones that are easily adjustable and that support your body type. The one that is comfortable for a person that is 5 foot 3 inches and works at their desk for 7 hours a day is not going to be the same desk that suits someone who is 6 foot 4 inches who only works at their desk a few hours a week.

The best one for you should suit your height and adjust so that you can be comfortable standing and sitting. To easily adjust and quickly and frequently alternate, you should get either a hand crank manual, pneumatic manual, or electronic height adjustable desk. 

Then, regardless of whether your desk comes with a footrest, ergonomic keyboard tray, or other pieces that can increase the comfort, you can always add them on. However, you need to be sure that the accessories that you wish to add will work for the desk that you buy. 

Final Thoughts on How to Make a Standing Desk Comfortable

It is important that you get a standing desk that works for you. In addition, you should try to move around as much as possible and switch between standing and sitting often. Standing desks can be good for tons of reasons. Using a standing desk when it causes discomfort can make it difficult to reap the benefits that standing desks have to offer. 

To ensure that you are comfortable with standing, it is important not to jump from sitting all day to standing half the time immediately after purchasing your standing desk. Instead you should gradually increase standing time. This will make it more comfortable because your body will slowly get used to standing more. This will reduce the chances of foot and leg pain among other things. 

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Darryl Higgins

Darryl Higgins

Hi, I'm Darryl. I made this site to help share information & reviews about ergonomic desks, chairs & accessories to help others who want to work more comfortably. Learn more about my journey by reading my bio here. Enjoy!

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Darryl Higgins

Darryl Higgins

Hi, I'm Darryl. I made this site to help share information & reviews about ergonomic desks, chairs & accessories to help others who want to work more comfortably. Learn more about my journey by reading my bio here. Enjoy!

About Athlete Desk

Learn about standing desks, bicycle desks, treadmill desks, ergonomic chairs & accessories.

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