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6 Steps to the Perfect Ergonomic Desk Setup

No matter where you work, having a proper ergonomic desk setup can save you from discomfort and injuries. Let’s look at the steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workstation.

Set your desk to the correct height

It’s easy to shop for a desk with purely aesthetic standards in mind. But there are quite a few other things to consider in your search. You should particularly pay attention to the dimensions of the desk. Is it tall enough for your legs to comfortably fit underneath without your legs feeling constricted? Can you position the monitor to allow enough room for your arms on the desk? Will the desk height provide enough space to accommodate armrests on your chair? Keep all these questions in mind as you search for and set up your ergonomic desk.

The standard desk height, is 71 cm, which is good for those who are 173 cm to 178 cm tall. The key is to ensure you can comfortably maintain a 90 degree angle with your forearm/upper arm. Now, if you don’t have a height-adjustable desk, an adjustable chair is another practical solution.

Make sure your monitor is at the right height and distance

Generally, your viewing distance should be 50 cm to 100 cm from the eye to the computer screen. A good rule of thumb is to place the monitor an arm’s length away from you.

Adjust the monitor height so that the top of the screen is at (or slightly below) eye level. Your eyes should look slightly downward when viewing the middle of the screen. You should be able to easily read all text with your head and torso in an upright posture and your back supported by your chair. Generally, the viewing distance is between 50 and 100cm from the eye to the front surface of the computer screen.1 The wider the screen, the further away you will need to be.

If you can’t adjust your desk or chair height to bring your monitor to the proper level, then a laptop stand may be a useful tool to consider. However, remember that if you use a laptop stand to get the screen to the proper height, you’ll need an external keyboard and mouse to maintain proper positioning for your arms and wrists.

Properly set up your keyboard and mouse

You should maintain an angle of roughly 90 degrees between your forearm and upper arm as you work. If this is difficult to achieve, you may want to consider an external keyboard and mouse. A keyboard tray lower than your desk surface can also be a helpful feature for arm and palm support. You can also look into an ergonomic keyboard specifically designed to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Adjust the lighting

One of the most common ergonomic injuries is eye strain. Natural light and bright overhead lights may help maintain your mood and energy. But they can cause you to squint and strain to read what’s on your screen. If you’re working from home, set your desk away from bright windows to minimize glare. If you’re in the workplace, you can also make minor adjustments to the lighting. You can use blinds or curtains to cover your windows. An anti-glare screen over your monitor also works to combat eye fatigue.

Monitor your posture

Even the best ergonomic desk setup needs to be appropriately used to be effective. When you’re sitting for long periods, good posture is especially crucial. In a neutral position, keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. The back of your chair should follow the natural curve of your spine and provide adequate lumbar support. In a proper sitting position, the seat cushion shouldn’t be pressing into the back of your knees. Adjust the seat so there’s at least an inch between the front edge of the seat and your legs.

If you can’t adjust anything in your ergonomic workstation to accommodate, a stool as a footrest works just as well. It’s imperative to ensure you’re not locking your knees or crossing your legs for an extended period. This can cut off the blood flow to your lower leg and cause awkward postures.

Think beyond the desk itself

When you think of proper ergonomics, the first things that come to mind may be comfort and correct positioning. But there are other factors that may help set up your space for efficiency. Scientists found that indoor plants prevent fatigue during attention-demanding work.2 Plants aren’t the only way to increase focus and productivity. The temperature of your workspace can also play a role. Cornell University researchers found that by increasing office temperature from 20 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius, workers’ typing errors fell by 44 percent, and they could type 150 percent more.3 Finally, maintaining a space free of clutter can help you maintain your focus. Not to mention, your arms will have more range of motion as you adjust your position throughout the day.

Find the perfect ergonomic desk setup

A proper ergonomic desk setup is essential for wellness whether you’re working from a home office or office space. If you’re looking for a desk with an ergonomic design, check out the stylish and modern desks offered by Sedus. No matter what your style, Sedus has award-winning pieces to suit any setup. Contact a representative today to find out more.

  1. Correct Sitting Posture: Working at a Desk
  2. Benefits of indoor plants on attention capacity in an office setting
  3. Study links warm offices to fewer typing errors and higher productivity
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