Desk Set Up Tips
The body isn’t meant to be in one single “best posture.” We were made to move. That being said, sometimes our job requirements limit our ability to take frequent breaks. A proper work from home or office desk set up can help mitigate undesirable muscular tightness or soreness.
Things that often need to be addressed:
An office chair should be positioned at a height where thighs are roughly 90 degrees to the floor, and forearms are supported at roughly 90 degrees. The chair should be supporting the back up to the shoulders and can have support for the head as well. A curve or cushion that supports the natural curvature of the lower back is best.
- Monitor Positioning
When using a single screen, the monitor should be placed directly in front of you, with the top of the screen measuring at eye level. Reaching out your arm straight ahead, you should not be able to touch the screen in front of you, is roughly the distance the monitor should be. Dual monitors or screens should be prioritized into “main” and “additional” with the main screen being straight ahead of your body and the additional screen to the side.
- Laptop Versus Desktop
Whether you’re using a laptop or desk top during your work day, an external keyboard and mouse is preferable. A laptop is designed for on the go, easy portable and short term use. Stacking books, purchasing an external laptop stand and connecting a keyboard to achieve proper screen height is essential.
- Glare and Lighting
When possible, have the window 90 degrees perpendicular to the computer screen you are using to avoid glare or eye strain. Avoid having a window directly behind your workstation.
If you notice your eyes feel tired at the end of the day, it may be appropriate to consider adding a privacy screen or blue light blocking screen or to get an eye examination for specific advise pertaining to your vision.
- Other Desk Items
Keep all essential and frequently used items close by. A water bottle, stapler, notebook or day planner should be accessible to avoid frequent reaching, leaning or bending.
Keep the body supported and relaxed when working away and then take a break, offload the muscles by performing stretches in your chair, getting up to use the wall or doorframe to activate the shoulders, midback and neck or lower back with your favourite moves.
It is best to avoid sitting on the couch, at a coffee table, the dining table or on the floor. These environments often lead to slouched positioning.
The best posture is always the next one. Any maintained posture for a prolonged period of time can be an issue – so keep movement a priority! If this one is difficult for you to achieve, try using the Pomodoro method. Set a timer for 25 minutes, move for 2 minutes and repeat.
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