Desk ergonomics: Why you need an ergonomic work desk
If the recent pandemic highlighted anything for those of us that had to work from home, it was that there's only so long you can stand to work without an ergonomic desk. Trying to work long-term at the kitchen table, or with a laptop perched on our knee while we worked from the sofa, left us with literal pains in the back and neck.
Not only does having an ergonomic desk setup help guard against the awkward postures that lead to musculoskeletal issues, it also helps maintain our productivity while working from home. It makes sense, right? If you're uncomfortable and in pain, you're not going to have the focus you need to do your best work.
This was the sentiment echoed in a survey of nearly 700 office workers in the United States. It revealed that 81 percent of respondents believed that ergonomics affects productivity.
So if the key to pain-free and productive working is an ergonomic desk, how do you make your desk more ergonomic? Before we answer that question, first let's understand...
What is an ergonomic desk?
Unfortunately, not all desks will be a suitable choice for setting up an ergonomic office desk. To achieve your ideal ergonomic profile, it's essential that you have an ergonomic adjustable desk. This means that the desktop height isn't fixed. With an ergonomic computer desk, you'll be able to adjust the height of the desktop so that it corresponds to your body's measurements.
When planning the WFH Desk, the design team at Work From Home Desks knew that achieving an ideal ergonomic desk setup was a vital part of the product offering. Therefore, a fully height-adjustable desktop was non-negotiable.
The original WFH Desk can achieve the ideal ergonomic desk setup, both sitting and standing, for those with heights ranging from 5’2 to 6’2.
A WFH Tall Desk has also been launched to cater for heights from 6'2 through to 7 foot. It can be challenging to achieve an ideal ergonomic desk setup with a standard-size desk if you're over 6 foot tall, but it's easy with a WFH Tall Desk.
How to set up an ergonomic desk
Once you've selected a home office desk that is height adjustable, the next step is to adjust it for your ergonomic profile.
So what is the ergonomic height of a desk? The ergonomic desk height depends on your body.
Here are the general guidelines for setting up your desk to match your ergonomic requirements:
- Adjust the desktop height so that your arms bend comfortably at the elbows at a 90° angle. Your forearms should be parallel with the desktop and your wrists should remain flat, never inclined up or down when using your keyboard.
- Your neck should be straight and shoulders relaxed with the screen you use most often positioned directly in front of you, the top of the monitor in line with your eyes.
- If sitting, your chair should allow you to keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent at a 90° angle.
Ergonomic profiles for sitting and standing desks.
Following these simple steps will allow you to cover the ergonomic desk setup basics.
Additional things that you should also consider regarding your ergonomic profile are:
- Choosing a chair that's also height-adjustable if you want to work seated.
- Customizing your desk setup with modules and accessories to make your workspace more functional and comfortable to work at.
Adding modules and accessories to your desk - providing it is customizable like the WFH Desk range - will allow you to do things such as:
- Raising your monitor screen to an ergonomic position with a monitor stand or top shelf.
- Have your laptop work as a second screen and at a proper height with a laptop lifter wing.
- Position printers, books and files within reach - freeing up your desktop space - with side shelves and add-on shelving modules.
Customization not only helps you to create a home office workspace that caters to your work and how you like to do things, it can also ensure your desk space is more comfortable for you to work from - and comfort is important when it comes to ergonomics.
Use add-on modules and accessories to personalize your home office space and make it more ergonomic.
The key to healthy working is regular movement
So now you know how to achieve an ergonomic desk setup; however, if you've been dealing with pain from working at a home desk setup that wasn't ideal, or if you're interested in keeping your body healthy while working in an office environment, then read on.
Many people today are choosing to work with an ergonomic standing desk. Not only do standing desks help you to keep moving throughout the day, which is better for your body, they also help you maintain focus and productivity.
It turns out that standing up all day in the same spot isn't good for either. There are a few things you can do to solve this problem.
The WFH Desk can be height adjusted for either sitting or standing work; however, it's not like an electric desk that can be easily adjusted with the touch of a button (click here to read our blog post on the WFH Desk vs. Electric Desks).
If you have the space, you can create a sit/stand desk by adding a double-wide desk module to a WFH Desk. This way you can move between the two desktops - one set for sitting, and the other for standing - throughout the day.
Movement products can help you increase your natural range of movement throughout the day.
If space is at a premium in your home, the other way to achieve a greater range of movement is to introduce movement products to your standing desk setup.
Work From Home Desks has designed a Move Board (similar to an exercise balance board but less distracting) and a Move Box (similar to a plyometric box but smaller). Both of these products have been specifically designed for use with a standing desk.
The movement range of products helps you achieve natural, fluid movements that align with how your body intuitively wants to move.
Team the Move Board and Move Box with an ergonomic standing desk like the WFH Desk, and you've got the best shot at achieving a healthy and productive workspace at home.
We hope that this article has given you the guidance you need to know how to make your desk ergonomic.
If you have any questions about the WFH Desk dimensions, or how to achieve an ergonomic desk setup using a WFH Desk, please don't hesitate to reach us through the chat function on our website, or email our friendly customer services team.