Workspace Wellness
Workspace Wellness

10 tips on how to set up your desk and chair for better ergonomics, according to a physiotherapist

Team Omnidesk

22 September 2023

Customising your ergonomic setup to support your work routine is an important step to ensure optimum comfort throughout office hours.

We invited Darek Lam, head physiotherapist at BMJ Therapy Group with over 20 years of experience, to walk us through the correct way to set up your workstation. In this article, you will find simple steps on how to properly adjust your standing desk and ergonomic chair for better long term comfort. Or you can watch it here.

How to determine the right height for your desk

Setting your desk too high or too low can create additional pressure in your shoulder area and back. To interact safely and comfortably with your desk, it is crucial to fine-tune it to a height catered for you.

Whether you're sitting or standing, you can optimise your desk height and setup with the following tips:

1. Toggle the height of your desk until your elbows are rested at 90 degrees on your desk. This neutral position ensures your body experiences the least amount of discomfort.

2. Your gaze should level at the middle of your monitor screen. Consider using a desk riser to lift your screen and reduce the tension on your neck.

3. Arrange your most used devices and tools to be within reach. You want to avoid leaning to one side for an extended period. Clamp-on accessories are great for keeping what you need close. 

4. Once you are satisfied with the arrangement, save your standing and sitting height preference.

An additional anti-fatigue desk mat may lessen muscle fatigue when standing on hard surfaces.

How to adjust your chair for optimum support

The common problems Darek’s working clients come to him with are the results of long hours of sitting. Spending the majority of our working hours desk-bound, our chairs are the main players we rely on to support our postures.

Ergonomic chairs with human-centric designs should be adjustable to help us sustain better posture and ease strains on our backs.

Here are a few things to note when personalising your ergonomic chair:

1. Fix your chair height so that your legs are at a 90 degrees angle with your feet planted on the ground.

2. Slide your seat forward if you have longer legs or backwards if you have shorter legs. You want to ensure your thigh is fully supported and your knees are bent naturally and comfortably.

3. Toggle your armrest until your arms can rest at a 90 degrees angle.

4. Fit the lumbar support to the curvature of your spine.

5. Make sure the headrest cradles the natural curve of your neck. Your head should not be sticking out.

6. Use the tilt function of your ergonomic chair to increase mobility. This is key to reducing back strain.

By making ergonomic adjustments unique to you, we hope your setup serves to better your daily lifestyle.

Watch the full video on our YouTube channel for more ergonomic insights, and subscribe to stay updated with our latest tips and tricks.

Think your ergonomic setup is missing something? Drop by our showroom at Suntec to check out our full range of ergonomic solutions in person. We are located at Suntec City, 3 Temasek Blvd, #02-328 Singapore 038983 (In the Aftershock PC Showroom).