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Ergonomic Desk Setup: The Basics of a Healthy Workspace

Apr 4 read


Does your office work get you sitting for long hours? Do you know that this seemingly harmless habit can actually have devastating health consequences? Poor posture and an ill-equipped workplace can take a serious toll on your health. Want to avoid this? Here are some smart tips to help you set up your work area ergonomically and maintain a healthy posture, so you can perform your job duties more comfortably, without compromising your wellness.

Setting Up an Ergonomic Workstation

To work efficiently and comfortably, it’s fundamental to get an ideal office set up. Incorrect posture and an uncomfortable workstation can facilitate the development of chronic pain and issues with muscles and joints, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Tennis Elbow. To maintain great bearing at work, one should stand, shift their body regularly, lay their feet flat on the floor while working, and keep their wrist in a neutral position.

It would also do well to adjust the monitor, so it aligns with your eye level and your keyboard, ensuring your arms can hang vertically. This helps reduce strain on your neck, shoulders, and back.

best desk setup for neck painAnother way to achieve an ergonomic desk setup is by investing in a docking station, smart file organizer, and rollerblade chair wheels with brakes. These gizmos can play a big role in setting up a really user-friendly workplace.

With the right workplace arrangement, employees can work for extended periods without experiencing discomfort or fatigue, resulting in better productivity and job satisfaction. With an ergonomically correct workstation, a person can also refine their posture, blood circulation, and overall physical health, contributing to a more fruitful performance in an office.

If you are a busy office worker, keep on reading to find out how to set up an ergonomic workstation, so you can save yourself from potential health problems caused by bad posture and poor workstation.

Keep Your Monitor at a Distance of 20-40 Inches (50-100 Cm) from Your Face

Putting your monitor at the right distance from your face is crucial for reducing eye strain and preventing other vision-related problems. It is recommended that you place your monitor between 20 and 40 inches (50 and 100 centimeters) away from your face. This distance allows your eyes to focus more easily and reduces the amount of blue light that enters your eyes.ergonomic workstation setup

Illustration from wikihow.com

If the depth of your desk is not enough to accommodate this distance, there are several solutions you can try. For example, you can move your monitor to a corner, which will create more depth. You may also ask your employer to get you a flat-screen monitor (if applicable). Alternatively, invest in an attachable computer tray, which will aid in achieving a deeper working surface.

Center the Display at Eye Level

When establishing a proper ergonomic desk setup, one crucial element to heed is the placement of your computer monitor. You want to adjust the screen so that the center sits at your eye level. This means the screen should be placed directly in front of you and at (or slightly below) your eye level.

Individuals, who wear bifocals and tend to tilt their head back to look down at the display, should lower it (or raise their chair), so that it is 15 to 20 degrees below eye level. This may require tilting the screen slightly upwards towards your face. By avoiding the need to tilt your head back, you can prevent tension in your neck and shoulders.

Another useful trick for an ergonomically correct workstation is adjusting the brightness and contrast of your monitor, which helps to reduce visual fatigue and even prevent headaches. The optimal brightness and contrast of a display can vary based on personal preference and the lighting conditions in the room. However, a general guideline is to set the brightness to a level that is pleasant for your eyes and not too bright or too dim. A recommended range of this parameter is between 250 and 350 nits.

Contrast, on the other hand, should be set to a level that makes it easy to distinguish between different shades of colors without causing eye strain or exhaustion. A recommended contrast ratio is between 800:1 and 1000:1.

Mind Monitor Brightness and Contrast

If you spend a significant amount of time working on the computer, you may experience asthenopia, headaches, and blurred vision. Investing in a dedicated pair of glasses for computer work can manage these symptoms and further reduce strain on your eyes.

These glasses have special lenses that filter out blue light, which can be harmful to your eyes. They also have an anti-glare coating that reduces reflections and glare from your screen.proper ergonomic desk-setup

Illustration from wikihow.com

By wearing dedicated computer glasses, you can reduce eye fatigue, meliorate your visual clarity, and boost your overall comfort while working with the machine. They can help prevent long-term damage to your vision and step up your productivity and performance at work.

Upgrade Your Laptop Setup with a Docking Station

If you are working on a laptop in your office and are focus on proper ergonomic desk setup, a docking station can be a game-changing factor. With just one connection, you can plug your laptop into a real monitor, keyboard, and mouse, transforming it into a desktop-like setup.

A docking station not only expands your screen real estate but also offers a more comfortable and efficient working experience. Plus, it eliminates the hassle of constantly plugging and unplugging peripherals every time you need to move your laptop. Some docking stations can even charge your laptop simultaneously.

As an office employee, a docking station is an essential tool that can take your laptop usage to the next level. Whether you need extra screen space to work on multiple applications at once or want to connect to a larger display for presentations, a docking station can provide you with the flexibility and convenience you need to be more productive at work.

Ensure the Right Height for Typing

Proper keyboard height is a key aspect to keep in mind when designing an ergonomic desk setup. Ideally, your forearms should not bend more than 20 degrees above horizontal if sitting, or 45 degrees below if standing to reach the keyboard. With the adequate keyboard height, you can prevent any unnecessary strain on the wrist and forearm muscles.

One effective solution to adjust the keyboard height properly is to use a keyboard tray. Keyboard trays can be tuned to lower the keyboard and mouse to an appropriate height, making it easier to reach them with ease. The best trays can also help to place the keyboard and mouse at the right angle to reduce any discomfort while typing. For individuals who are shorter in height, a good keyboard tray can also help to ensure a healthy posture.

Place the Mouse near the Keyboard

For an ergo desk setup experience, it’s a smart decision to position the mouse in close proximity to the keyboard. This will allow for seamless transitions between typing and using the mouse, while minimizing strain on your arm and wrist posture.

If your keyboard has a 10-key on the right side, it may be beneficial to position your mouse on the left side, which will center the most frequently used part of your keyboard. Additionally, alternating between left and right-sided mouse usage can relieve the effects of repetitive use.

It’s great when the mouse perfectly fits the size for your hands. When assembling your ergonomic desk setup, it’s wise to experiment with various mouse options. Portable mice are great for smaller palms, while gaming mice can work well for individuals with larger palms. You can also adjust the mouse drivers in software to modify the speed of the cursor movement in relation to the mouse movement, allowing for a personalized experience.

Manage Cables

When setting up an ergonomic workstation, managing cables is a major consideration that should not be overlooked.

The presence of cables on your keyboard, mouse, or other peripherals can be a source of distraction and discomfort. It can also lead to accidents like tripping, which can be dangerous to you and your equipment. To avoid such problems, collecting and organizing your cables could be really helpful. This will ensure that cables are kept out of the way and won’t pull against your work.

best ergonomic desk setup

Illustration from wikihow.com

Bundling monitor and other cables is also a necessary measure to prevent them from becoming tangled or twisted. By investing a little time and effort in managing your cables, you can elevate your workspace’s ergonomics, safety, and overall aesthetic. Additionally, it can help to raise your productivity by reducing the amount of time you spend dealing with cable-related issues.

Use the Desk File Organizer

A desk file organizer is an indispensable tool, which keeps your work area organized, tidy, and cozy. It enables you to sort and categorize your documents, papers, and files in a way that makes them easily accessible. With the right desk file organizer, you can avoid the clutter that often comes with disorganized papers and boost your productivity.

folder organizer for deskSTEALTHO Folder Organizer is the perfect solution for anyone looking to achieve a neat, ergonomically correct workstation. It’s versatile and can be used on a desktop or mounted on a wall. It accommodates both Letter and A4 size files, so you can organize all of your paperwork in one place.

STEALTHO Folder Organizer fully complies with the global initiative to cut the use of plastic. The product is 100% eco-friendly thanks to its multiple operating features: it can be mounted, desktop, and wall-mounted. It is made of high-quality polycarbonate materials, so it can easily withstand the trials of everyday use. Its sleek design also adds a modern touch to any cubicle.

The patented boltless system makes STEALTHO Folder Organizer incredibly easy to assemble without any nuts or bolts required, and you can have it ready in just a matter of minutes. With five storage sections, it is designed to fit both letter size and A4 documents, magazines, catalogs, file folders, mails, books, and paper. Plus, you no longer have to worry about sliding, as the silicone pads on the bottom of the organizer prevent it from sliding and are safe for any surface.

The front ledge can be used as a convenient pen holder for storing office supplies, mobile devices, and other stationery, making it a versatile and functional addition to any work environment. With STEALTHO Folder Organizer, you can enjoy the benefits of a clutter-free desk and maximize your efficiency.

Maintain a Healthy Posture

To make your work environment efficient and snuggly, it’s vital to arrange items within sight and reach.

Keep your phone, writing equipment, books, and other commonly used items within easy reach from where you sit. Reaching for these items can cause strain on your muscles, so you should not need to stretch to access them.

If you use a document holder, make sure to position it at an optimal angle directly beneath your monitor, between the monitor and keyboard. Avoid placing it to one side of your monitor, as this can cause neck fatigue from turning your head in one direction for prolonged periods.

If your job involves a lot of touch typing and transcription, try to place the document holder in front of you with the screen to one side to keep your main focus of attention straight ahead. Alternatively, you could also use a lectern positioned between the keyboard and screen for added convenience.correct ergonomic desk setup

Take Care of Your Body Posture

When spending a good deal of time working on a computer, it is hard to maintain a tall back. Yet, keeping your posture poor while in front of the screen can result in chronic back pain, neck pain, and even migraines. You can keep these and many other potential health problems at bay by maintaining a proper position. Here is how you can do so:

Ensure Your Chair Adjustments Are Personalized for Your Comfort

The first step in maintaining a healthy posture is to adjust your chair. Most ergonomic chairs have several adjustments, including armrests, seat depth, recline feature, seat angle, and more.

Regulate Chair Height so that Your Feet are Flat on the Floor

ergonomic home office setup

Illustration from wikihow.com

To ensure good posture and comfort at work in an office, it is important to adjust your chair height so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees and hips are at roughly the same height. To determine the correct height, stand next to your chair and adjust the seat pan to a level just below your elbows, which should be bent between 90 and 110 degrees. Make sure your elbows are not flared out, but instead hang comfortably with your upper arms aligned vertically.

Your forearms should be parallel to the ground and your wrists in a neutral position. If needed, provide foot support so that the underside of your thighs is just supported at the edge of the seat. Some desks may also have adjustable height options, and modular office furniture often allows for adjustment of work surface height, although this may require assistance from your employer or facilities department.

Keep Your Wrist Position Neutral

When at a desk, keep your wrists in a relaxed and comfortable position to ensure an efficient and pain-free typing experience. Avoid bending your wrist sharply upwards or downwards. Opt for a split-design or tented-and-raised keyboard that will allow your hands to rest in a more natural position, or choose one that is the right size for your hands.

Use a wrist rest to help your wrists float over the keyboard, but only if it elevates your wrists. Wrist rests can help reduce strain on your wrists and prevent discomfort. However, if the wrist rest is too low, it can actually cause more strain on your wrists by forcing them to bend downwards.

It’s a common feature that many modern keyboards have tabs to elevate the back, providing a more comfortable typing angle for users. However, check your wrist position before using them. It’s possible that you may need to raise the front instead, which can alleviate pressure on your wrists and promote better posture. In cases where your keyboard lacks this adjustable feature, there are alternative solutions, such as propping up the front with a paint stick, a couple of erasers, or some other similar objects.

Alternate Your Posture Regularly

No matter how correct your posture at work is, being in a single position for a prolonged time is not good for your health. Change your posture regularly to keep it neutral and relaxed. If you have an adjustable chair, alternate between sitting upright, reclining, and declining. If possible, stand at your desk, but do not overdo it.

Try Working at a Standing Desk

ergonomic office setupStanding desks are growing in popularity among office workers, as more people are becoming aware of the health benefits of standing for extended periods. While standing all day can result in sore feet, it is still supposed to be healthier than sitting for prolonged times. If you have a job that doesn’t require you to sit at a desk for many hours, or if your workplace allows for a secondary standing workspace, then a standing desk may be the perfect solution for you. The act of standing burns more calories than sitting, improves circulation, and can even reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, standing desks can mitigate back pain and recover a good posture.

Use a Footrest to Support Your Feet as Needed

footrest for chairKeeping a footrest nearby can be a great way to soothe leg fatigue and preclude disturbed circulation. By taking turns resting your legs on it, you can prevent pain and discomfort during long periods of sitting or standing.

Install Rollerblade Chair Wheels with Brakes

Installing rollerblade chair wheels with brakes is a serious step towards building an ergonomically correct workstation. These specialized wheels are designed to reduce strain on your back and legs by making it easier to move around in your chair without having to strain or twist your body.

By adding brakes to the wheels, you can easily lock the chair in place, preventing it from sliding or rolling away when you need to stay put. This can be particularly helpful if you work on a hard surface or if your chair tends to move around too much. Investing in quality rollerblade chair wheels with brakes can help you create a more comfortable and efficient workplace that promotes good posture, reduces fatigue, and enhances productivity.

replacement casterWhen looking for high-quality rollerblade chair wheels with brakes, you can safely rely on STEALTHO. Their patented replacement chair wheels are designed to fit most standard office chairs, making it easy to upgrade your cubicle. These wheels boast a host of impressive features, including a smooth and quiet ride, durable construction, and an innovative brake system that allows you to easily lock and unlock the wheels with a simple foot pedal.

Additionally, these wheels are made with environmentally friendly materials, ensuring that they’re not only good for your body but for the planet as well. With STEALTHO’s patented replacement chair wheels, you can transform your workstation into a more comfortable and sustainable environment that contributes to your overall wellness and job fulfillment.

Try the Lumbar Support

lumbar back support for chairAn absolutely essential accessory for an ergonomic desk setup is the lumbar support pillow. This pillow supports the natural curve of the spine and promotes proper posture. It helps to lessen lower back pain, which is a common problem for those who sit for extended periods. The lumbar support cushion is designed to fit most chairs and is easily adaptable for personal comfort. It is made of high-quality foam that retains its shape and provides long-lasting support. By incorporating such a handy thing into your ergonomic desk setup, you can become a healthier version of yourself and enjoy a more comfortable sitting experience, with a reduced risk of pain, injuries, and discomfort associated with prolonged sitting.


To sum up, an ergonomic desk setup is crucial in maintaining a healthy workspace. By following the basics of ergonomics, one can stem a risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders and increase productivity at a job. The proper heights of the desk, chair, and monitor, as well as the correct posture and positioning of the mouse and keyboard, are key factors in creating a truly ergonomic desk setup. Additionally, alternating your position periodically and investing in nifty gadgets, like a desk file organizer, rollerblade chair wheels with brakes, or lumbar support pillow, can also help decrease the strains and stresses of desk work. By implementing these simple tips, an individual can create a comfy and healthy cubicle that promotes overall well-being and working efficiency.


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