Hey there, Nathan from Melbourne Osteopathic Clinic providing you with another blog around home ergonomics. Our priority is giving our patients the best experience even outside of the clinic, as a result we are providing you with some key points on how to set up your desk from home but also points you can take away for your workplace:
1. Table – The height of the table is a key factor in the overall set out of our desk, ideally, we want a desk that will allow our elbows to be at comfortably 90-degrees and our wrists flat on the keyboard. Be creative in this, you may be able to boost up a smaller kids table to a suitable level by using books or magazines.
2. Chairs – With an appropriately set up table it allows us to move our focus on to the chair height, this will allow us to position ourselves accordingly. From a home perspective we may be limited to adjusting the height of the chairs so we are after a height that allows our legs have a 90-degree bend (or as close as possible) in them with a view of having our feet flat on the ground. Appropriate back support is a benefit but we can also supplement our low back with a cushion or a slightly rolled up towel to allow us to encourage natural spine curves.
3. Keyboard – Ideally the keyboard shouldn’t be raised on the desk, the distance away from the body should allow us to have the hands and wrist resting on the table, without having the elbows resting on the desk as this would have us leaning too far forward. Nor should we have the wrists off the table as this pushes us further away from the screen.
4. Screens – Elevating our screen off the table will be a priority here (usually if using laptops), we don’t want to have the screen sitting too far below our eye level especially for an extended period of time. We recommend having the top of the screen slightly below eye level and the upper 1/3 of the screen. In term of distance from the eyes an arm’s length away is a good place to start as long as you can focus on the screen at this height. We should be able to boost screens with books, newspapers, cereal boxes etc..
5. Mouse – The size of the mouse needs to be factored based on hand size but most importantly we don’t want a mouse that is too big for your hands as this increases the unnecessary strain on the hand and forearm muscles. Similar to the keyboard the wrist resting on the table and ensuring our elbow is tucked, we don’t recommend having the mouse too far away from the body.
Please if you have any further questions about your desk set up please contact the clinic and we will get one of osteopaths from our team to make contact with you to discuss you questions or concerns.