Choosing The Perfect Desk or Workstation
Choosing an ergonomic desk or workstation for your workplace or home office is essential to improve the health, comfort, safety and productivity. To choose the proper equipment for an office, it is essential to make sure that it fits each individual user. The ergonomic workstation should follow a design that facilitates task performance and minimizes injury and fatigue. Therefore, the workstation should fit the body size and the range of motion of its user. Here you can learn how to choose the best ergonomic desk for your needs.
When looking for the best equipment for your office, you should pay attention to the following:
- It should eliminate awkward positions of the body and static posture
- It should reduce tiresome motion
- Allow good access and eliminate excessive reach
- Promote a good display for easy reading and understanding
- Be suitable for various types of tasks performed
Guide to setting up your ergonomic desk
Here is some guidance on how to set up an ergonomic workstation for your office.
- Desk. The height of the desk should be adjusted to allow your elbows to be bent at 90 degrees, with your forearms in a position parallel with the floor, your shoulders in a relaxed position and your wrists in a straight position.
- Keyboard. You need to find a position that allows your forearms and wrists to be held in a comfortable position, close to horizontal and near the body. Your hand should be in line with the forearm and the wrists shouldn’t be extended or bent.
- Monitor. Usually, the ideal position for the monitor is at a distance of an arm’s length from your eyes. The center of the screen is recommended to be near your shoulder’s height, and the top of the screen needs to be below your eye level. You should be able to read the bottom of the screen without having to incline your head.
- Document holder. It needs to be placed close to the monitor screen.
- Mouse. The mouse should be kept as close as possible to the keyboard and it should allow the elbow to be bent and close to your body. You should avoid using a mouse that causes undue pressure on your forearm muscles and your wrist.
Here are some recommendations for setting up your workstation.
- The height. It depends on various factors, including the user and the chair. The height should allow you to work at your desk with the keyboard in place. A 90-100 degree elbow angle should be maintained, while also maintaining your straight wrists while typing or performing your tasks.
- Leg room. There should be enough space for your knees to prevent the feeling of being crowded and this space should allow you to change your posture.
- The top. The top of your workstation needs to be large enough to provide you with the necessary space for all your computer-related equipment, your paperwork and other materials that you need to use for your tasks. You should avoid working at odd angles, as it would cause strain to your neck and body. You should find a posture that enables you to easily reach all the items that you use frequently.
There are certain important accessories and they also play an essential role when setting up your ideal desk.
- Footrest. It is essential to help reduce fatigue on the legs.
- Wrist rests. These are optional and they should only be used to offer support to the wrists when you get a pause from typing. The edges of the wrist rests should be rounded and they need to ensure a soft, but firm cushion.
- Document holder. It is recommended to use a document holder, as it helps avoid clutter and strain from reaching around.
There are some common mistakes that people make when choosing the desk for their office. Here are some recommendations to help you make a wise choice:
- Avoid a desk that is too small
- Choose a desk that is not too cluttered
- Avoid placing the computer in a position that is not directly in front of you, as this would cause you to twist your neck and body often, and this may cause various problems.
- Avoid sitting too far or too near to your computer’s screen.
In order to choose the best desk for your office, you are recommended to look for a desk with a matte finish, as it would eliminate the glare and cause less stress on your eyes. Also, pay attention to the desk’s height, so that it allows for your hands to comfortably rest on the desk while you type. Your hands should not be needed to reach or to be raised above your waist.
Try to find a desk that has a keyboard tray under it, as it would provide better comfort for your hands during typing. When setting up your workstation, always try to find a desk and an office chair that work well together, to allow you to find a comfortable posture while working.
Aside from arranging your workstation in a way that allows your body to find an ergonomic posture while working, it is also important to follow some indications that allow your body to relax. Therefore, it is recommended to frequently change your posture, as this allows you to minimize fatigue. You should also take short and frequent breaks, during which you move around, to let your feet extend and relax. Try to mix up your tasks during your working time. You should also stretch your wrists, neck, shoulders, back and ankles several times during the day.
What does this all mean?
There are various desks and workstations types that you can choose for your office. Regardless of the type you prefer, it is essential to find the ergonomic workstation that promotes a healthy and comfortable posture for you, to avoid strain on your body and to allow you to easily move to perform your tasks.