Workstation Set Up For Screen Based Employees

Important Health Information For Screen Based Employees

Correct workstation set up and sitting posture is a vital component to remaining pain and injury free.

Injuries relating to poor posture and workstation set up include neck and shoulder pain and tightness for example.

Research tells us that during a 16 hour day, most of us spend 9-10 hours sitting. This length of time spent sedentary is now associated with serious health implications and can be avoided with regular breaks and adjustments to your posture and workstation.

In addition to this brochure, here at South City Physiotherapy we can give you postural advice and assist you in customising your workstation to best suit you. If you have any questions please ask our friendly staff.

Safe Seated Posture

Head: upright with ears in line with shoulders. Slight chin nod as if you are nodding at an auction

Jaw: teeth apart, lips closed and tongue on the roof of your mouth, as when you say the word “action”.

Shoulders: relaxed (not hunched). Sit tall, Keep your body still, draw your shoulders back and down in a vee towards your spine and relax in this position.

Arms: relaxed by side of chest when typing and using mouse.

Lower back: supported by back rest. Back rest angled between 90-110 degrees

Bottom: positioned to the very rear of the chair to utilise back support.

Thighs: running parallel to ground.

Feet: resting flat on floor, hip width apart.

Tips for desk set up and posture

Screen distance: at least arms length but not too far that you are squinting.

Screen height: eye level within top 1/3 of screen

Keyboard: 5-10cm from edge of desk so your arms are hanging relaxed next to the body (90 degree angle).

Keyboard feet: feet down if touch typing

Document position: between keyboard and monitor or next to screen on a document holder

Mouse: next to keyboard. Rest hand when not using the mouse. Swap hands for variety

Screen glare: if squinting, adjust screen angle or lighting in room

Posture: ask colleagues and family to remind you of posture throughout the day.

Glasses: Single strength lenses are recommended – bifocals or graduated lenses are usually not suitable for computer use due to excessive neck movement.

Look after your eyes

20/20/20 exercise:

Focus your eyes on something 20 metres away, for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

Organising your workstation: your desk should be set up into 3 zones:

  • Optimum reach zone: most used items. E.g. keyboard and mouse
  • Maximum reach zone: items used intermittently through the day. E.g. phone
  • Outer reach zone: items used occasionally throughout day.


Latest research tells us that increased sitting time leads to:

  • Weight gain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Cancer (bowel and breast)
  • Too much sitting has negative impacts on health regardless of whether or not we exercise.

Take home message

Get up off your chair every 30-45 minutes even if it’s for 60 seconds and move your big muscle groups.