Favourable ergonomics provide a comfortable workstation

If you regularly feel tired, have headaches, a tight neck or sore back towards the end of the working day it may be due to your workstation.  As we have previously discussed, posture is vital to maintaining a healthy and pain free body.  Setting up an ergonomic workstation makes it easier to sit and perform with a nice posture.  In some workplaces this is easier said than done.

Often the one structure that can not be adjusted in the workplace is your desk, we are often stuck with the height of this, whatever it may be. If this is the case we move everything else around to suit.  The diagram below gives a quick layout of how your workstation should be set up.  Step by step try adjusting your arrangement this way:

  1. Move the height of your chair so, when sitting upright, elbows are bent at 90 degrees and hands are resting on your keyboard. 
  2. If needed place a stool / foot rest under your feet so when sitting upright your knees are at 90 degrees and just a little lower than your hips with your feet flat on the stool or ground.
  3. Adjust the height of your screen so the top of it is at eye level and directly in front.  This may require raising the screen using a shelf or block.  If two screens are required, keep the primary screen directly in front and the secondary screen to the side.  Ideally you can rotate the chair to look at the secondary screen when needed
  4. Keep your keyboard and mouse close to the edge of the desk so when sitting upright with relaxed shoulders your elbows remain by your side when hands are on the keyboard.  The mouse should be directly next to the keyboard to maintain the same posture whilst using it
  5. Items required regularly throughout the day e.g. phones, should be kept within arms reach

When sitting you should aim to have your rear end in the back crease of the chair with the back rest gently supporting you.  This will help maintain an upright posture and avoid the dreaded chin poke and rounded shoulders.  As always, the most important thing is to get up, move regularly and find that ideal posture again when you sit back down.

Enjoy your future desk endeavours!

The Gap Physio