There’s a myriad of things to consider when you’re setting up an ergonomic desk. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Often, it’s the little things you don’t think of that can cause pain and injuries. To avoid all this, use the list in this article to consider every essential point and step up your ergonomic game.
Why Have an Ergonomic Setup?
Whether you are working from an employer’s office or your home, it’s worth taking the time and investing in an ergonomic setup. High-quality ergonomic equipment is more comfortable and helps to focus, be more productive, and fully engage in your work. An ergonomic setup can mean fewer injuries and less pain.
Ideal Ergonomic Desk Setup
The ideal desk setup is slightly different for everyone depending on their body shape, type of work, and equipment used.
If you sit all day, a quality ergonomic chair will be the most important piece of equipment in your setup. Make sure you choose one that is comfortable and high-quality ergonomic. You can tell it is an ergonomic chair by the number of options you have to adjust the different parts of the chair, and you should adjust it to support the natural S-curve of your back. If your lower back isn’t adequately supported with the chair, invest in lumbar support. The cushioning is comfortable and also encourages you to sit properly (without slouching!).
Height Adjustable Desk
The best desk is one that goes up and down, allowing you to alternate between standing and sitting positions throughout the day. Sitting for long periods can cause lower back and hip pain. An electric sit-stand desk can help you change positions regularly compared to the manual desk converter. Use the height memory presets so you don’t need to remember the ideal height of the desk each time you sit and stand. If you stand for long periods, an anti-fatigue mat can help with muscle stimulation or comfort.
The height of your monitors determines the position of your neck. If your monitor is too low, your head will tilt down, and your neck will extend forward. If the monitor is too high, your head will tilt back, leading to neck and shoulder pain. Aim at sitting around arm's length from the screen and tilt the screen slightly backward.
Use a document holder if you regularly type from printed materials so your head and neck can stay in a fairly neutral position rather than looking down at your desk.
Choose an ergonomic keyboard that matches your type of work and the way you work. A separate number pad is ideal if your data is entered for a significant part of your day. Slightly concave keys require low activation force to protect your hands and wrists from repetitive strain injuries. A low-profile keyboard allows your wrist to stay in a neutral position, and hot keys reduce the need to reach for the mouse.
An ergonomic mouse can come in different shapes and sizes. Ergonomic mice mimic the most natural hand position, which is vertical with the thumb on top rather than the hand in a horizontal position required for a standard mouse. With the arm remaining in an upright position, there’s no twisting of the forearm.
If you’re someone who simultaneously talks on the phone and types on the keyboard while cradling the handpiece between your shoulder and head, you’re at risk of a neck or shoulder injury. Invest in a set of headphones and use them for every call. Choose a headset with a single ear pad and an adjustable flexible headband to personalise them for a perfect fit.
Positioning of Desk Items
It’s not just the placement of your keyboard and monitor that you need to consider. Any item you use regularly should be allocated to a place that’s easy to reach. For example, your phone should be no more than an arm’s length away if you use it often throughout the day.
Environment Around Your Desk
The perfect setup might not be enough without considering the elements around your desk. Lighting is an important consideration; too bright or too low can cause you to squint or sit in an awkward position to avoid glare on the screen.
The air temperature is important for feeling comfortable while working. The World Health Organisation has stated that indoor temperatures of between 18 and 24 °C are not associated with health risks. If you can’t adjust the air conditioning, wear light layers of clothing that you can put on or take off as the office temperature changes throughout the day.
If you need help with finding the right equipment so you can enjoy the benefits of an ergonomic setup, call Ergolink on (08) 9240 7066, visit our website, visit us at our showroom, or contact us online for more information.