WARNING: Getting a proper set up for your desk may result in decreased neck, upper back, wrist, and forearm pain as well as improvements in mood and productivity.

Improper desk ergonomics are a risk factor for a variety of aches and pains – none of which are desirable. Neck pain and stiffness, upper shoulder and mid back pain, as well as elbow tendonitis, and even carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist are all related to improper set up.

These injuries are no fun to work through, so we hope that leaves everyone wondering…am I passing the desk checklist? Here is the short and quick version. To go through the full checklist, check out our desk ergo set up resources with slide deck checklist, video with helpful stretching tips, and yoga routine for relaxation (aka: for the desk athlete).

[  ] Desk: Take a look at your elbows and knees. Are they bent to roughly 90 degrees (or slightly more) when you are actually working? This is important to measure at the beginning of the day AND towards the end. Are your arms now stretched out reaching the keyboard or mouse? Re-set and get back to your ideal positioning.

[  ] Monitor: If you reach your hand out when sitting normally, do you touch your monitor? It should be about an arms length away from you. Are you also able to keep your head in line with your spine when looking at your screen? If not…your monitor may be too high or too low.

[  ] Seat: Are your feet flat on the floor? Are your hips to the very back of the seat? This will keep your spine and pelvis in neutral. Do you sit in a chair all day? Consider a sit <> stand desk or place breaks in your day to get up and stretch.

[  ] Work Environment: Is there a window in the room? If so, great! Just make sure your computer screen is not in front of the window causing glare and tiring out your eyes. Ideally, the window is to the side of you.

[  ] Breaks: Do you have a schedule of brief break times throughout the day where you go for a walk, do some stretching, or rest your eyes from your screen? If not, schedule something 2-3 times per day.


Work Right NW is changing the way that companies view workplace hazards. Our focus is on educating the workforce to  prevent injury. We provide access to Injury Prevention Specialist’s in the workplace to address the early signs of discomfort. We are changing the industry one company at a time by helping one person at a time.