Optimising Your Seated Workstation Setup for Health and Well-being

If you spend a lot of time working at a desk, you may have experienced some discomfort or pain in your neck, back, shoulders, wrists, or eyes. This could be a sign that your workstation is not set up properly for your body and posture.

seated workstation tips

In this blog post, we will share some tips and guidelines on how to optimise your seated workstation setup, based on the recommendations from the University of Western Australia and Arizona State University. We will also explain how physiotherapy and exercise physiology can help you prevent and treat any musculoskeletal issues that may arise from prolonged sitting.

What is a seated workstation?

A seated workstation is any work environment where you perform tasks while sitting down, such as using a computer, writing, reading, or making phone calls. A seated workstation can include various components, such as a desk, chair, monitor, keyboard, mouse, phone, document holder, and lighting.

Why is it important to optimise your seated workstation setup?

Optimising your seated workstation setup can have many benefits for your health and well-being, such as:

  • Reducing the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), such as neck pain, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and eye strain.
  • Improving your comfort, productivity, efficiency, and quality of work.
  • Enhancing your mood, energy, and motivation.
  • Preventing fatigue, stress, and burnout.

How to optimise your seated workstation setup?

There are four main aspects to consider when optimising your seated workstation setup: your chair, your desk, your monitor, and your accessories.

Your chair

Your chair should support your natural spinal curves and allow you to adjust the height, depth, angle, and backrest. Here are some tips on how to adjust your chair:

  • Set the height of your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest, and your knees are slightly lower than your hips.
  • Adjust the depth of your seat so that there is a gap of about two to four fingers between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees.
  • Tilt the angle of your seat slightly forward or backward to find a comfortable position for your pelvis and lower back.
  • Adjust the backrest of your chair so that it supports the curve of your lower back and allows you to recline slightly (about 100 to 110 degrees).
  • Use a lumbar support or a rolled-up towel if your chair does not have enough lower back support.

Your desk

Your desk should provide enough space for your tasks and equipment and allow you to maintain a neutral posture for your arms and wrists. Here are some tips on how to arrange your desk:

  • Place your keyboard and mouse close to each other and within easy reach of your elbows.
  • Keep your elbows bent at about 90 degrees and close to your body when using your keyboard and mouse.
  • Position your keyboard slightly lower than your elbow level and tilt it slightly away from you to avoid wrist extension.
  • Position your mouse slightly higher than your elbow level and tilt it slightly toward you to avoid wrist deviation.
  • Use a wrist rest or a soft pad if you need extra support for your wrists.

Your monitor

Your monitor should be placed at a comfortable distance and height for your eyesight and neck. Here are some tips on how to adjust your monitor:

  • Place your monitor about an arm’s length away from you (about 50 to 70 cm) or as far as you can comfortably read the text on the screen.
  • Adjust the height of your monitor so that the top of the screen is at or slightly below eye level.
  • Tilt the angle of your monitor slightly upward or downward to avoid glare and reflections from windows or lights.
  • Use an anti-glare screen or a filter if you have problems with glare or reflections.
  • Adjust the brightness, contrast, and font size of your monitor to suit your preferences and lighting conditions.

Your accessories

Your accessories include any other items that you use at your workstation, such as a phone, document holder, lighting, and headphones. Here are some tips on how to use them:

  • Place your phone within easy reach of your dominant hand or use a headset or speakerphone if you need to use both hands for typing or writing.
  • Position your document holder close to your monitor and at the same height and angle to avoid frequent head movements when reading or writing.
  • Use adequate lighting for your tasks and avoid direct or indirect sources of light that may cause glare or shadows on your screen or documents.
  • Use headphones or earphones if you need to listen to audio or video files or make calls in a noisy environment.

How can physiotherapy and exercise physiology help?

Physiotherapy and exercise physiology are two allied health professions that can help you optimise your concerns and adapt prevention from prolonged sitting and a seated workstation. Physiotherapy involves assessing, diagnosing, and treating various conditions affecting the muscles, joints, nerves, and other structures of the body. Exercise physiology involves prescribing, monitoring, and evaluating exercise programs for various health and fitness goals.

If you are interested in learning more about how physiotherapy and exercise physiology can help you prevent or treat problems caused by a poor seated workstation, please contact us at Precision Physiotherapy. We have a team of qualified and experienced physiotherapists and exercise physiologists who can assist you with your needs.

You can request a call now or book an appointment online through our website or request a call from us. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

If you or a loved one need help in adjusting your lifestyle to incorporate exercise into your routine, get in touch with our team. Our Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists at Precision Physio can work with you to tailor an exercise program suited to your health and your needs.

  • Precision Physio Concord: 02 9736 3950
  • Precision Physio St Marys: 02 9623 2220
  • Precision Physio Mt Druitt: 02 9188 2552

Francis Ivan Ho

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