Ergonomic Office / Desk Setup

Maintaining good posture and work function is important to reduce the stress on the spine and whole body.  Desk based work has increased over several decades.  Poor posture causes over use injuries and poor work practices.   Research shows that these injuries around the world result in millions of lost work hours, poor productivity, reduced worker retention and billions of dollars in workers compensation claims, legal action and medical costs.

Workstation Assessments are used to identify, reduce or eliminate risks relating to an employee’s work environment and practice. A workstation may be a desk, a work bench,  a machine or an entire factory.   An individual workstation assessments involves a qualified Physiotherapist coming to your home or workplace and meeting with the employee and/or employer as neccessary. We then provide;

  • A detailed interview with the employee and/ or employer to asertain requirements, history and all relevant details.
  • Conduct a Physical Assessment of the employee and of the workstation set up.
  • Make specific adjustments and/ or recommedation regarding teh modification of tehir workstation and educate the employee/ employer regarding the rationale behind their importance.
  • Prescribe any preventitive measures, exercises, aids or appliances as required.
  • Provide a written report of the assessed ergonomic set up prior to change, the recommendations given and other information that may be requested by the employee or employer.

Ergonomic sitting – simplified example

  • Have an ergonomically correct chair that offers good support for the legs and lower back.
  • The height of the chair should be adjustable and allow your hips and knees to be at right angles (do not to have your knees higher than your hips) and your feet supported on the floor (foot stool may be required).
  • Your bottom should be situated at the back of the chair and the chair should offer lumbar support (alternately a support can be placed in the small of your back).
  • You should sit up straight. (chest out, shoulders back)
  • A ‘Kneeling Chair’ or ‘Swiss Ball’ can reducing back stress and maintain good posture.   However these can also exagerate bad posture so be careful!

How to create an ergonomic computer setup – simplified example

Organise the environment so you can easily maintain correct posture.

  • The height of the desk should allow you to have your elbows bent at approximately 90 degrees.
  • Your shoulders should be relaxed – never hunched.
  • The keyboard should be close to you. Everything should be within 3/4 arms length when sitting correctly ie. mouse, telephone and other accessories
  • You should never lean forwards, to the side, backward or sit is a twisteed position.
  • Your computer monitor should be positioned directly in front, at, or slightly below eye level (never to the side or above the level of your eyes).
  • The chair should be situated as close to the desk as possible.
  • Install a reminder on your computer desk top that pops up and remind you to sit straight, do exercises etc. to download click here
  • Regular breaks from sitting are recommended with standing, walking or lying and should occur regularly enough to prevent any onset of pain.
  • Performing regular exercises, taking regular breaks to walk around and stretch also assist in preventing a posture related injuries.


Further Information: