Setting Up Your Computer Workstation Desk

Your chair

  • Set the seat height first. Your feet should be about flat on the floor and your thighs should be about horizontal. You may need a footrest. There should be no undue pressure on the underside of your thighs.
  • Arm rests are optional.
  • Set the backrest height so that the small of your back is supported. Sit right back in the chair.
  • Adjust the back angle to suit. The angle may differ depending on whether you are at your computer, dictating, etc. Leaning back a little may be more comfortable than sitting straight upright.
  • You may need to lower the height of your chair to maintain a good posture while reading, writing, dictating, etc.

Think about your shoulders – they should be relaxed and not hunched.

Think about your elbows – they should hang loosely by your sides.

Keyboard and mouse

  • Adjust the position of your keyboard so it is not too far away from you.
  • Make sure you have enough desk space in front of you to rest your wrists on.
  • Keep your mouse close to the side of your keyboard.


  • Adjust the position of your screen so it is about an arm’s length away.
  • Adjust the height of your screen so that it is a comfortable viewing angle for your eyes. You should almost be able to see over the top of your screen and your shoulders should be about in line with the middle of the screen.
  • Adjust the angle of the screen, reducing any light reflections onto it if possible.


  • Copyholders are optional.
  • They can be either directly in front of you or off to one side.

Organising your desk

  • When setting up your desk, make sure you do not have to stretch too far for items you frequently use e.g. telephone, pens.

Good work technique

  • A relaxed, yet supported posture is best. Try to change your posture frequently.
  • Take micropauses. A micropause is a brief 5-10 second rest every few minutes. They should be built into your work rhythm e.g. while waiting for a file to save. Allow your neck, shoulders, arms and eyes to relax. Stop. Drop. Flop.
  • Stretch often, particularly if you feel any tension in your neck, shoulders or arms.
  • Participating in some form of regular general exercise can help to offset the sedentary nature of your job. It helps to mentally refresh you too.

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