✓ Allows you to stand longer
✓ Improves Posture
✓ Reduces stress on the joints
"This Anti-Fatigue Mat is Awesome"
I was skeptical about the value of the mat, but it has meant I can stand very comfortably for over a couple of hours without needing to sit.
Written by Physiotherapist, Paulina Wegryzn
Creating an ergonomic office desk setup goes beyond aesthetics — it's about optimising your environment to minimise the risk of discomfort, strain and repetitive stress injuries.
In this blog, we will share valuable insights and practical tips on your ergonomic desk setup. With expert and easy-to-understand ergonomic desk setup diagrams, learn how to select the right chair, keyboard, mouse and how to achieve an ergonomic desk setup with two monitors — encouraging proper posture, reduced physical stress and maximised efficiency.
Ergonomics in the workplace is an important consideration for injury prevention and pain management. Follow the below guidelines to ensure your workstation setup is optimised. An ergonomic workstation setup can help decrease neck, back, hip, shoulder, or wrist pain.
Investing in an ergonomic office desk setup not only prioritises your well-being but also enhances your performance and job satisfaction. Here are the benefits you can expect with a correct ergonomic desk setup:
If doing paperwork tasks, the height of your ergonomic desk setup should be 2.5-5 cm above your elbow height if you are sitting in a chair.
With computer based tasks, you want an ergonomic desk setup with two monitors to accommodate your computer. When seated, the top of your computer screens should be where your line of sight naturally falls.
Your monitor should be about an arm’s length away from you.
Tilt your computer screen back away from your face to decrease the strain on your neck and eyes. Tilting your monitor back about 3 centimetres so that your eyes naturally fall on the address bar (or URL bar) of your internet browser will decrease the strain on your neck and keep your eyes at a comfortable level.
Your buttocks should be positioned very close to the back of the chair. Your knees should not be touching the front of the chair cushion. Ensure that there is about a 3-5 cm gap between the back of your knees and the front of your chair.
Lower your chair so that your feet rest comfortably on the ground with your knees bent.
Your armrests should not interfere with arm movements or limit your ability to sit close to your computer. Ensure that your armrests are at a height where your forearms can rest naturally with your elbows bent and your shoulders relaxed.
A straight or “L” configuration is recommended to allow easy access to both computer and open desk space.
There should be no obstruction to the knee swivel space, to ensure that transition between both spaces is easy and fluid.
Place frequently used items within forearm’s reach. Place occasionally used items within arm’s reach. Documents should be supported on a raised vertical angle if they are being consulted while using a computer. Consider purchasing a document ramp for this purpose. Documents should be positioned beside the monitor or between the monitor and the keyboard.
Place the mouse as close to the keyboard as possible. Your mouse should be the same vertical height or slightly higher than the keyboard. It should never be lower than the keyboard. A mouse that is far away from and lower than the keyboard forces the user to reach further. Appropriate mouse placement keeps the mousing arm close to the body, the elbow bent, the shoulder neutral, and the wrist straight. This is the optimal ergonomic position for the upper extremity.
Your keyboard should line up with your computer screen. Never have the keyboard and computer screen at different angles. This will cause excessive neck strain and movement throughout your work day. Below is a diagram of appropriate mouse and keyboard placement.
Keep your wrists straight while you are typing (as if you were playing a piano). If your keyboard is on a retractable platform, tilt it slightly away from you or keep it level; never tilt it towards you. This means that the front of the keyboard (the side closest to you) should be level or slightly lower than the back of the keyboard.
Do not anchor your wrists while typing, but keep them floating above the surface of the keyboard. Your forearms resting on the edge of the desk or on the armrests of your chair should be taking the weight of your arms while typing.
Having the keyboard too low can cause you to extend your wrists to type. Another common reason why your wrists could be extended is that your keyboard tray itself is propped up on its small legs. If this tends to make you extend your wrists, lower these legs to make your keyboard sit flat.
Wrist extension (bringing the back of your hand closer to the back of your forearm) causes more pressure on your carpal tunnel, which is a sensitive structure in the base of your wrist. Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are tingling or soreness on the palm side of your wrist.
Use a soft touch when typing, and keep your fingers gently curved. Break up prolonged keyboarding with other tasks for at least five minutes of every hour. Beyond this larger break, take frequency micro-breaks to stretch your arms and hands.
It is common to have a bent wrist while typing or using a mouse. Bending your wrist causes increased tendon friction and irritation. It also requires more muscle force to accomplish a task. Lastly, bending your wrists to type increases pressure in your carpal tunnel area, which is a common site of nerve entrapment at the base of your wrist, where it meets the palm of your hand. Keeping your wrists straight while you type and use a mouse decreases pressure in your wrist and lowers the risk of injury.
Reducing window glare will help prevent your eyes from being strained and tired. Place your monitor perpendicular (at a 90-degree angle) to the closest window. If necessary, use window blinds to further reduce glare.
Light sources should be on either side of your monitor, not in front of or behind you. Ensure that you have access to operate window blinds, and that the blinds can be lowered or raised as needed.
A good way to reduce eye strain is to adjust the monitor brightness and contrast settings on your computer screen. Make sure that the size of the text on your screen is at least 3.5 mm high. This will ensure that you are not straining your eyes to see the text when the screen is a comfortable arm’s length away from you. A good font size for most people without vision problems is around 12 points.
Make sure that the refresh rate on your computer is set to as infrequent a rate as possible to avoid constant flickering of your screen, which can strain your eyes over time.
About every 30 minutes, look at a distant view for 30 seconds to 1 minute (at the other side of the room, down the hallway, or out the window) to rest your eyes. Your eyes use different muscles when looking at something close up and something far away, so this break for your eyes is an important way to decrease discomfort from looking at your screen.
Ready to transform your workspace? Discover the exceptional quality and innovative design of UpDown Desks. Upgrade to an adjustable standing desk that promotes better posture, increased productivity and improved well-being. Explore our wide range of options and find the perfect fit for your needs. Don't settle for an ordinary desk — choose UpDown Desks for a healthier and more dynamic work experience.
Browse our website today and elevate your workspace to new heights with the best standing desks on the market. Your body and mind will thank you.
By Paulina Wegrzyn.