How To Guide: Achieving the ideal desk setup

By Daniel Angelini on August 31, 2018
This was blog was updated in August, 2020

In this guide you will learn:

  1. The importance of ergonomics
  2. Coronavirus and the new office
  3. How to set up your desk at home vs the office
  4. How to achieve the best standing desk setup

The importance of ergonomics in your workday

When we talk about ergonomics, what do we actually mean?. The Oxford English Dictionary defines 'Ergonomics' as follows:  Relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment. So when introducing a standing desk to your workday, it’s vital that you have the correct “ergonomic” setup so that you can work efficiently and comfortably and be your most productive. Seems pretty simple right? Yes, so long as the design of your standing desk allows for it. We go into the guidelines for choosing a standing desk in our Blog: The 'How to' guide: Choosing a standing desk that suits you but for now, find out below how you can get the most out of your day by making some simple changes to your standing desk setup.

The new office space

With the onset of the coronavirus, many businesses have shifted to having their teams permanently work from home. The state of technology has helped us with this transition making us still feel connected with our team members through a variety of apps but what happens to our work set up? How does that make us feel? Initially, the change seemed temporary, and working from your kitchen table seemed to do the job, but as we progressed further into 2020, we found that the office landscape and the way we worked has ultimately changed and possibly for good. Many businesses remain in remote work and the importance of a good set-up has come to the forefront. So what should we do to make working at home more comfortable so we can stay focussed and productive during the day?

How to set up your desk at home vs the office

One huge benefit of working from your home is that you can take advantage of the fact that you are in your own space, which means you can do absolutely anything you like with it! So consider how the design and layout of your workspace can represent your values and what inspires you

Declutter and practice minimalism

Our desks can become overcrowded with extra things that don’t really assist us in carrying out our overall job. Excess notepads, coffee cups, drink bottles, books we don’t need anymore fill our work area and sometimes sit around for days. Take a look at your desk and consider what is functional and a must-have like a jar of pens, one key notepad, highlighters and of course all your techy equipment and clear out everything else!

Replicate your office space

If you can, replicate the way you have set up your desk at the office right at home. Being familiar with your set up will keep you from guessing where things are, losing things throughout the day and help you feel comfortable and at ease making the transition from office to home a little easier.

Goals and vision

Again, as you are now in your own space, you are free to put up your personal items more than ever. Feel encouraged to surround yourself with pictures or quotes that inspire you. Feel free to have your vision board displayed prominently next to you so that you can be reminded daily of what it is that you want to achieve from working at home.

How to achieve the best standing desk setup

Once the layout of your standing desk setup is all good to go, it’s important to consider your ergonomic setup. Here are some simple guidelines to get you up and running and feeling comfortable while also preventing injury. Click the graphic below to see our visual guide on how to set up a standing desk.

Ergonomic Standing Desk Setup

How to achieve the ideal ergonomic desk setup

  1. Position your monitor one arm's length away from you (50-71 cm)

    If your monitor or laptop is too far, you will be forced to lean in, if too close, your eyes will be under constant strain to focus. Zoom in on your documents to make the text clearer to read. A small step like this can save you from headaches, eye strain and an aching back.

  2. Top of your monitor is at or slightly below eye level

    We stare for long periods at our monitor throughout the work day. Positioning your focus right in the centre of your monitor will help ease any pressure on your neck as you are not constantly moving your neck forward, backwards, up or down to get the right view of your screen.

  3. Relax your shoulders, keep upright and avoid slouching

    Checking in on your posture throughout the day is a great step to helping your body feel great by the end of the day. Considering if your shoulders are tense, your core is soft and disengaged and making adjustments as the day goes on will assist you to feel stronger and more energetic while you work.

  4. Tilt your monitor slightly upwards (10-20 degrees) to stop reflections

    If your desk is placed in front of a window, battling with a reflection or glare can cause eye strain and neck strain as you attempt to get a better view of your screen. A slight tilt may assist with preventing any glare streaks on your monitor.

  5. Stand directly in front of your monitor

    When we stand and work, shifting from side to side is common. Be aware of shifting from foot to foot and how it impacts where you end up being placed on your desk - you may no longer be centred. If you begin to shift more regularly than normal, it may be time to take a break from standing as it could be a sign of fatigue.

  6. Keep your elbows beside you at a 90 degree angle

    Position your keyboard and mouse at a level to allow your elbow to bend at a near 90-degree angle.  Wrists and hands are parallel to the floor and have freedom to move. Wrists and hands can rest comfortably on your desk.

  7. You have even weight spread across both feet

    Placing too much pressure on one foot while you stand can create a range of issues such as hip and lower back aches. If weight isn’t placed evenly across both feet, you may find yourself leaning on the desk for assistance. This can then move you closer to the screen which can create other issues such as eye strain as well as neck pain.

  8. You have a wide-open work area with no limitations

    A wide open work area allows you to spread out and set yourself up freely without feeling constrained or confused about where to place your key items and work documents. This allows you to organise your desk in a much more effective way.

  9. Use an anti-fatigue mat if you stand on a hard surface

    An anti-fatigue mat supports micro-movements, which allow muscles to contract and expand. When your muscles adjust to the mat’s flexibility, they make small movements and try to keep your balance. These movements improve the flow of blood and oxygen into your heart and help evenly distribute the pressure of standing.

Final takeaway

Even with the correct ergonomic standing desk setup, you may still experience aches or muscle fatigue if you maintain a static posture for a long period of time, particularly when you start out. This can be associated with strengthening muscles that you aren’t used to be used. 

Keep moving as much as possible and alternate your posture between sitting and standing throughout the day to feel productive, focused and comfortable.

Happy Standing!

Team MOVI

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The MOVI Standing Desk is a height adjustable standing desk platform that converts your existing desk into an electric standing desk without the time and cost associated with removing and refitting existing office furniture. Simple as that.

Our adjustable stand up desks are spacious, stylish, smart, safe and stable.

A more uplifting experience - We’ve engineered (and patented) our own electric lifting system to offer you more. Safer lifting, larger productive workspace, more height settings, better ergonomics, dual monitor lifting capacity, strength and stability at all heights, digital sit-stand reminders, digital height input memory save, power-save and more.

This goes without saying that our stand up desk arrives fully assembled, with a 5 year warranty.

Feel the difference - be more productive and uplifted at work.