Why Desk Set Up Is Vital For Working Comfort: How To Make It Interactive

A desk is a desk. It’s a rectangular lump of wood supported on legs that you work at all day. It doesn't move or change it’s a fixture. It holds all the stuff you need to do your work, so how can it be interactive? It is what it is, inanimate, dead and fixed.

Whilst all of this is undoubtedly true, proper desk set up is important for your working comfort, and as we'll see it's not as permanent as it seems.

What is desk set up?
Setting up your desk is all about making sure you that you make the best use of your workspace. It’s making sure that the things you need to complete your work in comfort are all positioned in the right place, so you aren't straining to reach them. I know this is all obvious and yet many people have a lousy desk set up.

Who needs to have a good desk set up?
Pretty much anyone who spends more than an hour or so a day at a workstation needs to ensure that their workspace is organized efficiently. So, if you working time is spent in front of a desk you need to know how to get it properly organized.

How to set up your desk correctly
As already pointed out your desk is a permanent fixture, it’s rather like a house the thing doesn't move once it’s built. Everything that you use with your desk is movable and that is the key to successfully achieving a healthy, comfortable way of working. So think of your desk as your house and all the things you use with it are the furnishings.

The first thing you need to do is make sure your office chair is properly adjusted. Your feet should be firmly on the floor with your thighs at a slightly open angle to your upper body. If your chair has adjustable arms make sure they are positioned to support your lower arms properly with your shoulders in a natural relaxed posture. And be sure you can reach your keyboard and mouse easily too. Lastly set your chair back to give good lower back support in your lumbar region.

Once you’re happy that you are sitting comfortably, it’s time to look at the rest of your equipment.

Next in line is your monitor
Set the height of the screen so that your eyes are lined up with the top area of screen. Move the monitor in or out as necessary so that you can comfortably read the screen without craning your neck forwards. This is very important to get right as continually leaning forwards puts huge stress on the neck muscles and is a major source of neck and shoulder pain.

Other equipment
Now it’s time to consider all the other things you use continually during your working day. Things like phones, printers, scanners, files etc. Prioritize them and make sure the things you use most frequently are close to hand so you aren't straining to reach them.

Visualize an imaginary arc extending about 12 inches from the center of the front of your desk immediately in front of where you are sitting. Try and get all your most frequently used equipment within this space if at all possible.

Finally the things you use less often can be located at more remote areas of you desk, maybe not even on the desk top at all if space is limited. All that is called for is a little bit of forward planning.

This all sounds a bit complicated I don't know if it’s worth the hassle
I know it all sounds a bit complicated and yet if you follow this simple step-by-step procedure it will ensure you have all the corners covered making it easy.

Some simple tips
Here are a couple of simple tips in case you're feeling reluctant about making any wholesale changes.

First keep a note of the equipment you actually use frequently over a 2 or 3 day period. Don't assume you use something regularly you might be surprised that what you thought you need a lot isn’t actually used that much at all.

Second, take note of any regular aches and pains you suffer while working. See if you can spot something you're doing that could be causing any discomfort. Maybe sitting badly, or straining to reach something several times a day.

You'll find if you if you prepare before plunging into making radical changes it should make the whole process easier and help you gain a healthier working posture. It’s all pretty straightforward when you stick the process.

Summary
Let’s quickly sum up the key points we've covered in this article.

  • Good desk set up is all about working more efficiently
  • All office workers need to set up their desk properly
  • Start by getting your office chair correctly adjusted for good comfort
  • Position your monitor accurately so you aren't straining to read the screen
  • Place commonly used items within a 12 inch radius
  • Move less frequently used things to the back of your desk or elsewhere
  • Keep a log of what use most frequently for a couple of days before making changes
  • If you have aches and pains can you spot any bad habits which may be causing them

Yes it’s true. That desk is an inanimate fixed lump of wood on legs however if you don't use it properly it’s likely to be a source of pain and discomfort. Following these simple ideas will give you an excellent chance of good working comfort throughout the day.

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