Whatever you use it for, you need to set up your computer desk properly. From work to playing games, your desk setup is what ensures you are comfortable and get the most out of the space. Whether at work or at home, the chances are you spend a lot of time at your computer desk. From playing games to doing work or completing school projects, desks see a lot of use. Despite this, many people don’t really consider how the setup of their desk is affecting them and the work they are doing. After all, simply putting your computer on the desk is goo enough, right? Incorrectly setting up your computer desk can mean you’re left with a bad back, sore neck and a number of other issues that will only get worse with continued use. This is why you need to make sure your computer desk is set up properly and is fit for purpose. Here’s how you do this. Start with the right desk If you haven’t got a desk that suits your needs, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to set up your computer and everything else correctly. You need to ensure you have a desk that works for how you work, is suited to your space, offers enough storage and provides you with some options. To do this, you first need to consider how much space you have and where your desk is going to go. If you’re setting it up in a multi-use room, you may need a smaller desk – such as from our compact Home Work range – to make the most of the space. You also need to think about how much equipment you’re going to put on your desk or underneath it. Are you using multiple monitors? Have you got a laptop or tower? Will your computer tower go on or under the desk? These questions will help you find the right measurements for your computer desk, as well as help you work out whether a traditional rectangular desk is the best option, or if you’re better off with something different; such as a corner workstation. Our blog on how to choose a gaming desk can help you see what you should be looking for when selecting your workstation. Look at how you sit The way you sit on a sofa or in a car is likely different to how you end up sitting at a desk. However, the way you sit at a desk probably isn’t how you actually sit. Rather than setting up your office chair while you’re sat at your desk, do it away from it. Move your chair back and sit in a way that makes you feel comfortable. This is how you need to sit at your desk, which means your desk needs to be set up to accommodate how you sit. As sitting wrong or not having a decent ergonomic office chair can cause health problems, this needs to be your first step. You can then move your chair closer to your desk to better understand where everything needs to be positioned to allow you to work comfortably. Set up your keyboard and mouse You might think that you need to set up your monitors first, but you actually need to find the right place for your keyboard and mouse. It’s generally better – where possible – to use a keyboard and mouse that are separate from your computer, even if you’re using a laptop. This is because you need to be able to position them perfectly, which can be at odds with how your laptop screen needs to be set up. Both your keyboard and mouse need to be positioned so your arms are at or below an angle of 90 degrees. This stops you from straining when using them, reducing pressure on your muscles. You may find that a wrist-support pad helps as well, as you can rest your wrists while typing or using your mouse, which further reduces strain. Position your monitors No matter how many monitors you use, it’s important to remember that you need to adjust how far away they are from you and their height. Ideally, your monitor shouldn’t be too far away from you or you’ll start leaning forward to get closer to it, which strains your back and neck, as well as undoes all the chair adjustments you’ve already done. The best way to judge how far away your screen is is to simply lean back on your chair and lift your arm. Your middle finger should be able to touch the screen without you needing to stretch. This is the best way of measuring where your screens go whether you’re using a desktop or laptop. You also need to think about the height of your monitors. The top of your monitors need to be at or just below eye level, so your eyes have to move down slightly to look at the centre of the screen. This may mean that you need a stand – such as for your laptop – or something to put your monitor on if it is too low. However, you also want to ensure it isn’t too high, as either option can result in discomfort. If you want to avoid reflections, you should also tip the monitor downwards slightly. For those who use more than one screen, ensure that they are set up as closely together as possible so you don’t have to move your eyes or your head too much to look at different displays. Position everything else around this setup Once you have your chair, keyboard, mouse and monitors set up, anything else you need on, around or under your desk shouldn’t affect them. You need to make any desk storage, personal items or anything else fit around your setup. This will help to ensure you can comfortably work at your desk without causing stress or strain. It may be tempting to shift your monitor slightly to make more room for something else on your desk, but avoid doing this or you’ll soon find that your whole computer desk setup is wrong.