As a student, having an ergonomic study set–up is very important given the amount of desk work I do. I have had a lot of neck and upper back pain lately, and finally decided to do some reading online to learn about good ergonomic practices. I’ve discovered a few useful tips that have made a big difference to my comfort.
1. Chair height
The height of your office chair should allow for your feet to rest flat on the floor and your legs to be bent at 90 degrees or slightly less. If you can’t bend your legs at the knee and keep your heels firmly on the floor, your chair is too high.
To fix this, adjust the angle of your chair so your legs are slightly lower than your hips. You should be sitting on the part of your chair that feels the most comfortable.
2. Chair distance from desk
The distance from your chair to your desk should let you sit with your knees bent at 90 degrees or slightly less.
If you can’t bend your knees and your knees are hanging off the edge of your chair, your chair is too far from your desk. To fix this, move your chair slightly closer to your desk.
3. Chair arm height
Your arm height should allow you to sit with your arms hanging naturally at your sides. If your chair height makes you raise your arms significantly higher than your shoulders, you need to lower your chair.
4. Wrist position
Your wrists should be straight when your hands are resting on your desk. For a relaxed position, your palms should face up.
If you’re not able to sit with your hands in this position, your chair is too high. To fix this, lower your chair until your hands are in the proper position.
5. Monitor position
The top of your monitor should be at eye level or slightly below. If you can’t see your monitor without bending your neck forward, your monitor needs to be moved down.
6. Monitor distance from eyes
The distance from the top of your monitor to your eyes should be 20 to 28 inches. If your monitor is placed too far away or too close, you’ll experience discomfort and fatigue.
To fix this, adjust the height of your monitor. If you have a dual-monitor setup, be sure that the distance between the two monitors is correct.
7. Chair arm width
The width of your armrests should allow you to relax your arms at your sides. If you’re not able to do this, your chair is too narrow.
To fix this, move your chair slightly closer to your desk. Alternatively, you can replace your chair with a chair that has armrests that are wide enough for you to rest your arms naturally.