Repetitive Strain Injury Desk

RSI desk complete
Desk frames during construction

This website was built by Carl. When we first started to discuss the site Carl mentioned that he had a problem with repetitive strain injury (RSI) a common and painful problem with people who use computers for a living. Carl wondered if my skills could be directed on to constructing a desk adjustable to giving him as good a posture for working at his computer as possible. After looking over Carls research on desk designs and after my own research looking at information on correct posture to minimise RSI problems a desk design emerged.

The whole approach was to 'keep it simple'. Looking at the desk frame(s) in the lower picture, it is constructed from two frames of welded steel square section. The two frames are connected by a single pillar where one section slides into the other. Later on in the construction a heavy screw jack is inserted inside the pillar enabling the two frames to lift up and down. This design now allows the desk surface to be adjusted until Carl can sit at the desk feet flat on the floor, knees at a right angle ( having your own good adjustable chair is an important part of the whole solution). The desk work surface is adjusted until the arms are at a right angle at the elbows and the hands can use the key board/mouse without bending at the wrist. This is based on the advice on how to minimise RSI problems.

To finish off, the desk has a separate surface for placing the screen monitors on. Carl wanted the option for two screens side by side. The separate surface for the screens is also adjustable. It is mounted on a separate wooden pillar at the back of the main steel pillar. This separate pillar can be slid up and down to accommodate the monitor such that the top of the monitor is level with Carl's eye line. At the final assembly, it is possible to set the monitor platform such that the monitors are at arm's length when sitting at the desk. This design provides a desk that can be adjusted to produce the best posture possible for sitting at a computer. On its own this desk won't solve the problem of RSI but combined with regular stretching and movement etc. it should help.