Proper Standing Posture for Standing Desks

Written by Mitch Starkman

November 19, 2019

Proper Standing Posture

Have you ever wondered what proper standing posture is? Or, what the best way to stand really is? Of course you have, because so many of us complain of lower back and neck pain after standing for a long time. Learning proper standing posture really does matter.

I can’t tell you how many times in clinic I hear about folks that switch to a new standing desk, but then start to get debilitating lower back pain. Standing is a skill, and the modern day desk jockey has lost that skill!

That’s why we created this video above (back when we were known as “The Movement Centre”), on exactly how to perform proper standing posture.

We’ve also included a written transcript of the video below if you’d prefer to read, than to watch!

We hope it helps improve and gain proper standing posture and help you feel like a million bucks!

If you’re looking to learn more about posture, check out this amazing and more in depth post on Good Sitting Posture in 2020.

If you have any questions about proper sitting posture, please feel free to reach out or leave any comments below!



Video Transcript

Some people prefer to read and we’ve got you covered!
Welcome to the movement center. And welcome to the office series innovative idea. We’ve compiled a series of videos showing you how to self manage and self treat, common office injuries that we see all the comfort of your own office. Oh and move like you mean it guys.

Welcome to episode two of the officers. And we are talking about standing today. Now episode one, if you guys want to go back, we talked about how to sit, now we’re talking about how to stand now. There’s a big sort of movement now people going towards standing desks, which is great and we love that. But unfortunately scanning is a skill and a lot of us don’t know how to stand.

So a lot of us are hanging out doing things like this or like that. And then they come in and see someone like me cause they’re in pain or discomfort.

So we want to make sure we kind of get you guys on how to stand, how to do it well and how to do it awesomely. That’s a word. So we’re going to have Brittany here demonstrate for us some standing petitioners and we’re going to take you through a process that I like to call the standing mock arena, which is a kind of a process you can go to make sure you’re in a good standing position.

So we’re going to take a look of Brittany and she’s going to show us from the side sort of getting up a day trying to show off to your physio. Good standing position. She shows us that she’s really arch extended, she’s doing well.

A lot of times a lot of females specifically will really extend or arch their lower backs, just like this kind of lock out their knees.

She’s also wearing heels. Don’t stay in heels all day, ladies and looking at you. Uh, that can also create issues, especially at the ankle, hip and knee. Not to mention toll wack, a low back pain. But this is kind of where we see people hanging out. Now the other thing we tend to see people do a lot is lazy posh. So you start off like this, but everyone sorta droops into something like this, right? So show us that. Well, she’s drooped, right? She’s kind of hang in. She’s doing her thing all day because she’s standing this way.

You can see she’s got one hip kicked out to the side. Most people like lean to one hip a little bit more than the other. Not to mention cross one leg more than the other. And that can create two imbalances over the long term. So we’re going to, we’re going to dust that off or we’re going to talk about some ways that we can activate using our standing Macarena.

Now we’re going to do with bare hands underneath pee pointed straight hands on her needs to start with. This is step one. What are we gonna do from here is think about arching. Your feet are kind of gripping the ground, bringing the balls of your feet and your heels together to kind of pop your arches up. And then from here what we’re gonna do is squeeze our all muscles as we twist our knees out. So we’re kind of throwing our knees out as far as we can’t use.

You’d find your arches pick up off the ground and kind of put your weight more towards the outside of your feet a little bit right outside. Now the next thing that we’re gonna do here is grab our butts. So this is step one, step two, but okay. But perfect. We’re gonna squeeze our bud. All of us stand nice and tall and hold your butt.

Squeeze as long as you can. Now I’m going to borrow you for a second. We’re going to face this way again. Now you’re going to relax your butt. Just stand normal, right? And got we wait, wait to watch her lower back here.

Now squeeze your buttocks hers again. Goodness knows how that kind of comes a little bit more neutral, a little bit less bent. So my, my MiraLax, I squeeze my butt and it of neutralizes and activates my lower back. So that’s what we’re doing. We can face this way again.

Okay. So again, we’re step one here. Bolts. Step two, come up. Nice and tall. Step three, we’re gonna grab one hand or a belly and one hand just on our chest over the sternum, which is that hard bone that goes in the middle of your chest to here. Now what I want people to do is keep this slumpy can stable in the top hands and to go up and down, back and forth until you find it’s parallel to the ground.

So you’re not really extended arch from the upper back. You’re not really flat and flexed. You’re fine. That neutral position to bring your upper back and put it level on your lower back, which is being held by your bumbles, right? Pretty, pretty sequential there.

So once you find that good, neutral position, the last piece is our shoulders. That our head, it’s from here. We’re going to face this away. We’re going to do just like we did an episode one focusing on our squat or a seated position is you’re gonna bring your shoulders out to the side or elbows out to the side. Perfect. Good. Which brings your shoulder blades gently together.

Bring your head back exaggeratedly and crazily and you’re gonna relax your arms down by your sides, but keep your shoulder blades just activated in that position. So if we have briny faced this way or ain’t get her fancy red hair out of the way, right?

And you relax her, relax everything. And then you go ahead and bring your arms out like we talked about what you can see how short of late to come together a little bit, right? And if she relaxed her arms, you could see that she just kind of gently holds out for this. And she’s not crazily holding them back like this.

She’s just gently holding that position. Nice. Alright, perfect. So that’s our kind of our position, right? So review that one more time. We start from the feet, grab onto the feet, grip the ground. Step one, knees out. Step two, boom. Grab on your touch. Come up, Mason tall. Step three, belly, chest. Find that good neutral position. And step four is arms out. Chin back and hold this position.

Now we’ve got our abs on 100% from activating your apps. We’ve got our bum. On 100% from activating our lower back and our pelvis area.

So how do we maintain that? The question is you don’t, right? You can’t hold that all day long. You wouldn’t be able to move. So we want to do is activate that to 100% squeeze it and we’re going to back that off 50% so you back off 50% perfect. You gotta back that off another 50% again.

Now you’re at about 2025 per second traction. This is where you live throughout the day. So you want to have a little bit of resting tension in your glutes and your abdominals to give your spinal column and your hips a little bit of love so they’re not hanging on the meat, so to speak all day long.

So that’s how we stand guys. Now to add on a last piece to this is we can’t stand like this all day long and you know the next position is our best position. And so what I mean by that is, you know it’s okay to hang on on one hip a little bit if your core is activated in neutral, but then you will switch to the other side.

You can go feet forward and back, kinda lean back and forth while you’re working and here back and forth. As long as you’re keeping the mosque, the Macarena rules in mind. So you’re not doing this, you’re activating your chorus tight, you’re still neutral, and then you’re doing this right to keep those positions.

So side to side movement back and forth, all good options to kind of get yourself in a good position. Good, awesome standing position. Just aware the dreaded forwardly. All right. Do you guys have any questions for us living below? We love, we love to love questions.

Follow us on Instagram at the movement center. If you’ve got ENS, subscribe to the channel and move like immediate. Thanks a lot guys. Stay tuned for episode three.


Authored by:

Mitch Starkman

Mitch Starkman

Physiotherapist and Founder

A Toronto-based Physiotherapist with a passion for sports, orthopedics, and human movement. Mitchell’s goal is to understand how the site of pain is impacted by the entire body – rather than pinpointing a specific disturbance. He is also the founder of - a website geared toward giving people the tools they need to self-manage, treat and prevent their injuries.

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