Ergonomic Desk Setup

It's critically important that you set up your desk and monitor properly for your use. If you just stick the monitor at any angle on any old desk, you could end up with serious medical problems. While we might have scoffed at the idea 20 years ago, most of us now know someone who has carpal tunnel syndrome.

First, you want your desk area to be well lit, so that looking at the monitor and at other parts of your desk do not involve a large light-dark shift. As hard as it can be, try to keep your desk area clean. That way you can use an area that is convenient for you to work on a project - not what is open. Your aim is for your arms to be about parallel to the ground when you are working on your desk.

Keep the things you use most frequently - pen holder, phone, notepad - within easy reach. Things that you don't need to touch, like a clock or photo, should be further away to keep that "radius of arm movement" clear.

If you're typing from copy into your computer, don't lay the copy flat on your desk. Get a document holder so it is vertical next to the screen. Have the area well lit so that as your eyes move back and forth between the monitor and document holder, both are at about the same brightness.

Keep often-needed references within easy sight - maybe on a corkboard up over your desk. The more quickly you can spot important information, the less bending and stretching you have to do to dig it out of a file or paper pile.

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