How to Set Up Your Desk Ergonomically

With the technological world we live in, it’s no secret many of us rely on our computers for both work and leisure, this is why desk ergonomics is vital. So, what is desk ergonomics? It involves having a setup that is optimal for reducing unwanted positions which may lead to injuries, in particular the neck, shoulders, and back areas. Having an environment individualized to you can help reduce this risk.

This is a guide of what your setup should look like:

  • Feet: Flat on the floor, if you cannot reach, a footrest should be used 
  • Chair: A supportive chair that can be adjusted to be suited to you (back support, seat height, seat angle) The angle of your hip should be approximately 110 degrees, and knees approximately 90-120 degrees.
  • Posture: Relaxed but upright position, utilizing the back support of the chair.
  • Desk: High enough to allow for your legs to fit under comfortably, obstacle-free. Generally, desks are set between 680mm-720mm.
  • Screen: Directly in front of you, with the top of the monitor to be around eye level with a distance of approximately an arms length away from you. Adjust the screen to minimize glare and alter brightness if needed.
  • Keyboard & mouse: The keyboard should be directly in front of you, and having a relaxed grip on the mouse whilst maintaining a neutral wrist.

It is important to also take regular breaks from your desk if you are sitting for long periods of time, break this up with walking and stretching. Recommendations range between every 20-60 minutes.


Worksafe – Working with Computers

Szeto, Grace & Lee, Raymond. (2002). An ergonomic evaluation comparing desktop, notebook, and subnotebook computers. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation. 83. 527-32. 10.1053/apmr.2002.30627.

Michelle M. Robertson & Michael J. O’Neill (2003) Reducing Musculoskeletal Discomfort: Effects of an Office Ergonomics Workplace and Training Intervention, International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 9:4, 491-502, DOI: 10.1080/10803548.2003.11076585

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