Organizing Your Desk for Ergonomics… and Efficiency


Your desk layout, work tasks and work flow all impact the postures that you use during the day. Rather than adapting your body to a poorly set-up workstation, set up your work to fit your body and work habits.

Take a few moments to look at how your desk is organized:

Are your keyboard and mouse far, far away on the dark side of the desk?
Are you on the phone a lot? Is it tucked away in the corner of your desk?

Let’s test your reach zones right now:

Zone 1

Keep your elbows at your side, and sweep your forearms and hands side to side. You should be able to touch anything that you


use (typically keyboard, mouse). Bring them closer if you can’t.

Zone 2

Straighten your elbows and reach forward with your arms. Without leaning forward with your body, wave your arms side to side and in front of you. Anything that you use


(i.e. calculator, phone) should be within reach. Remember to reposition your equipment if your tasks change significantly during your workday.

Zone 3

Get up and out of your chair to access anything outside Zone 2. This allows you to take a movement break and reduces the risk of sedentary injury (Saunders, 2004)

Saunders, M.J. (2004). Ergonomics and the Management of Musculoskeletal Disorders. Butterworth Hienmann, St. Louis.