The first step of setting up your desk is using the information provided in our earlier blog post on setting up your chair. Only once your chair is set up should you turn your attention to your desk. The middle row of the keyboard should be level with the elbow (forearms parallel or slightly sloping downwards). An upward slope has the potential to cause problems with pressure points on the forearms or persistent shrugging of the shoulder girdle, leading to upper muscles of your neck becoming tense. Ideally, the desk should be motorised to allow constant changing between sitting and standing for better posture. Continue reading for further instructions on properly setting up your desk at home or work.
The desktop should not be cluttered, allowing plenty of space for all of your necessary stationery and equipment.
The recommended viewing distance is between 50 and 100cm. You should be able to read all the text easily with the head and trunk in an upright posture and the spine fully supported on the back of the chair. The top tool bar of the screen should be at eye level or below. The screen should be tilted so that it is perpendicular to the line of sight. If experiencing eye problems, or if you’re a non-touch typist, there may be justification for having the screen in a lower position. Position the screen at ninety degrees to any light source to avoid glare and reflections.
If working from printed text, a document holder is useful. This should be positioned in between the keyboard and the screen or as close as possible to the side of the screen. Different types are available according to whether paper documents or files need to be supported.
Allow sufficient space in front of your keyboard to rest your hands when not typing. There should be no over reach on the keyboard or mouse. A standard keyboard is approximately 45cm wide with a numerical pad sticking out to the right which forces a right handed person’s arm further away from the body. A solution is to provide a shorter keyboard that’s 30cm wide without the numerical pad. If experiencing pain on the left or right side, it may be advisable to change the mouse over to the other arm and use the control keys to ‘share the load’, or vary your input devices. Many different input devices are available and it is very important to get the right one. You can find further information at www.abilitynet.org.uk.
Wrist or palm rests are not usually required and should only be used when resting the wrist and not when inputting data using the keyboard or mouse. Movement should be free flowing from the upper limbs and not isolated to the wrists. The hand should be in line with the forearm, and upwards or side bending movement of the wrist should be avoided.
Cradling the telephone between the neck and shoulders can cause severe muscle tension. If you regularly use the telephone, consider a headset.
Enforced static posture is bad. With office related musculo-skeletal disorders on the increase, it is now widely appreciated that movement has to be introduced into the office scenario. It is often said that “the best posture to assume is the next one”.
Here are some ways to create movement in the office environment:
Try to do these exercises frequently throughout the day whilst sitting in your office chair. Doing a few exercises throughout the day will help to reduce the risk of computer related pain. All of these exercises should be done slowly and gently whilst sitting in a good upright posture. None of the exercises below should cause pain. For visual representation of these and additional exercises, visit: www.londoncityphysiotherapy.com.
If you have a pre-existing musculo-skeletal disorder or medical condition, it may be advisable to discuss these exercises with a medical professional before starting. For more information, get in touch with Physio Melbourne Clinic.
Physio Melbourne Clinic is an excellent choice for physiotherapy in Melbourne. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do and how we can help. You can also request an accurate price estimate and book a physio consultation with one of our physiotherapists. Furthermore, feel free to check out our blog and FAQs for more information about our services and physiotherapy in general.BOOK NOW