An Instructional Guide To Computer Desks

An Instructional Guide To Computer Desks

When you’re at work, the design of your office set up can make or break your productivity. While you can opt for an office desk, it’s not going to help relieve your joint pressure or sit in a comfortable position.

Because of this, you should look into getting a computer desk. It has a lot of functionalities and features (ergonomic, storage, etc.) that will help you finish your work while keeping your body healthy and in great condition.

That being said, let’s get onto the guide!

Difference Between Normal Desks And Computer Desks

Desks are important in our daily lives. Even in this day of age with advanced technology such as MP3s and tablets reign supreme, Desks are still needed in offices and home spaces. Because of this, there is always a demand for desks in today’s market.

However, there are so many desk variations that there isn’t one set rule to categorize them. About ten years ago, all computer desks had the same design: a rolling keyboard shelves, CPU, high and low shelves for a printer, and table top.

Computer desk.

Now companies have combined this imagery with high-quality materials, resulting in basic to complex design. Think about a regular table without cabinets or drawers, but with a keyboard tray and grommets. They are called computer desks.

Then there are some tables that have antique designs. They could also be called secretary tables, but they are made to store cable wirings, CPUs, and backlights. Don't forget that these larger desks can have a scanner, printer, cables, and two monitors.

But, not all desks are suited to fit the needs of your PC. For instance, writing desks are limited to the equipment and utility. Computer desks give you a lot more space to hold your computer and are generally better than writing desks.

Additionally, computers desks have these features: tower, holes for wires, spaces for other gadgets (mouse, loudspeakers, printer). And you can do office work with a computer desk. Other extra accessories are shelves, a CD or DVD rack, among others.

Normal desks are different. They have tops to hide your write-ups. However, they are only good for laptops. Most modern writing desks only use a keyboard tray. They aren't built to support CPU, printers, and desktop monitors.

So if you’re apart of IT personnel, hardcore gamer, or plan to use a PC instead of a laptop, then you should buy a computer desk.

Ergonomics Of A Computer Desk

When working in an office setting, most users tend to create bad habits for their posture. But it's not just their posture that's affected; their long-term health can take a toll as well. That's why you have to create your computer desk that suits your weight, size, and office space.

Woman sitting in front of a computer, stretching.

Here are the most common issues that you’ll experience when using a computer desk incorrectly:

Health Issues

Neck and back pain, arm and shoulder pain are the most common computer injuries. This results in joint and muscle problems that are caused by bad posture, sitting for extensive hours, and bad workstation design.

Remember, while sitting takes less effort than standing up, it will cause tiredness, and you'll need to keep your body steady for extended time periods. This removes blood circulation to your bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles, resulting in pain and stiffness. If your work station isn't set up properly, these health issues will become more severe.

How to prevent computer-related muscle injuries:

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    Sit at a desk that’s adjustable and is designed for computer usage.
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    Place the computer monitor screen below or at eye level.
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    Place your chair so that your feet can stay on the floor. For shorter users, use a footstool.
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    Use ergonomic chairs that are designed to keep your spine aligned while sitting.
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    Use ergonomic keyboards, so your wrists and hands are in a natural position.
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    Take some short breaks once in a while. You should take time to walk around for each hour that you’re on the computer desk.

Once you follow these steps, you’ll find a reduction in long term health issues. Keep your computer desk in the right position so that you can keep your body safe in the long run!

Bad Posture

Having bad posture is almost synonymous with sitting desks. This is because of we sit on the computer for hours without taking breaks. Because of this, having a good computer desk will help correct your posture and save you from experiencing  injury.

Here are some examples of bad posture that we tend to forget when we’re using a computer.

  • Sitting leaning forward
  • Computer is placed too high
  • Laptop brightness too much for the eyes
  • Typing too hard.

When creating an ergonomic computer desk setup, you have to make sure that its positioned correctly. Don’t be afraid to stretch and take a break if you feel that you're too exhausted to continue on further.

Correct and incorrect sitting posture illustrated.

We suggest that you obtain a keyboard that has a keypad included on it. Since it places your numbers off-center, it easier for first time owners to press their inputs in. As for keeping the keyboard and mouse aligned, You can either raise the keyboard by buying a flatter mouse io through DIYing it.

To maintain good posture, you have to be observant of your techniques when you’re on the computer. Once you’re done using it, check to see how your body reacts. If you’re in pain, discontinue what you’re doing and try to type in a more relaxed posture.

Features That Make Computer Desks Stand Out

When shopping, you’ll realize that computer desks have a few traits that make them special in their own right. Here are the most common features that you can expect when getting your first computer desk.

Cable Management

Cable clutter is the modern enemy of the work desk. Sure, we're trying to get a wireless setup as soon as possible, but there's still a multitude of cords snaking around the desk. In order to prevent this, we'll need to either hide the cables or place them away from the floor.

Naturally, cable clutter is more for a PC than a laptop. Laptops have a few cables: a USB port for other devices, phone charger, and a power cord. You should fix these problems by doing the following steps.

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    Hide the plugs and power strips
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    Gather and tie up the cables together
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    Gather and tie up the cables togetherReduce the cable length
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    Hold unused cables.
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    Identify all of the cables.

Having too much-tangled wires can create a fire hazard. Additionally, people could accidentally trip and fall due to the wires.

Computer desk cable organization.

Because of this, you need a cable management compartment for your computer disk. 

Adjustable Height

Height is important as it requires you to keep your legs bent and fit while it's under the surface. For taller users, this might be a problem because the keyboard trays will drop down too much where your knees will jam into it when crossing your legs.

The key is to balance the desk surface height with a comfortable chair height while giving enough under the desk surface for your legs. These dimensions will change from person to person so you’ll want to test using the desk first, take the right measurements, then you buy the right desk.

Gas Lift Adjustable Computer Desk

Also known as laptop desks, gas lift adjustable desks are a great option if you're trying to reduce costs and space. Due to its size, you can move around these desks with ease; when using casters, they become a more mobile system.

Or, you can use them as an addition to your existing work station by setting them up and putting them next to your current desk. This desk is perfect for hospitals, apartments, and other work facilities. However, due to their size, they don’t have a large surface and have a lower lifting space than most crank or electric desks.

Computer Storage

Storage is the best way to keep your personal and professional documents organized on your computer desk. However, no matter how much storage you have, it will reach its capacity in due time.

Should you get a multitude of smaller drawers or a few larger drawers. If you are planning to store files, then make sure the desk has a file storage mechanism.

Another option is to get shelving placed above the desk (also known as a hutch). If you have an extensive amount of books, this might suit your extensive shelving need. The desk takes up a lot of floor space, so adding shelves that are to the side of the desk is a great way to help.

Hutch

A hutch is a form of storage that’s placed adjacent or beside the desk. It’s not the best form of storage (unless through the side) but if you want storage for a books, having a hutch can be an interesting feature.

Locking Capability

Having a locking capability secures your items from children. While a locking option is a great idea, don’t underestimate your children’s ingenuity at breaking in or finding keys to the desk. In addition, no regular desk is going to keep thieves away.

Computer desk with locked drawer.

But if you have important documents that need to be placed behind a lock key, buy a desk that has locking options.

Aesthetics

One of the most important features of computer desks is their appearance. A well-designed desk can make the difference between a productive day and seven hours of procrastination. So appearance is really important.

You should get a desk that complements the decorations of your room. Fortunately, they come in a myriad of different styles: glass, metallic, wooden, and so on. If you obtain a desk that’s appealing to you, but it looks plain, don’t worry about it: you can paper the work surface so it can have extra personality.

Another important thing to consider is where the computer will sit. If it’s below the desk, it will reduce the tower’s cooling capacity and restrict leg movement. So, try to leave some space for the computer beside your desk.

Difference Between Standing Desks And Computer Desks

While they are both used in the office, there are a huge difference between them. Here are the differences so that you can utilize your work space to your advantage.

Standing Desks

As its name suggests, standing desks allow you to stand when typing on your keyboard. Some models are height adjustable, making it easier for users to set it according to their preferences.

Woman at a standing desk.

If you’re someone who wants an active way to get work done, a standing desk might be the right option for you.

Pros

After reading how sitting can impact your health, you’re probably looking for some good news. Fortunately, standing reduces the risk of obtaining diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Some studies show that using a standing desk will reduce neck and upper back pain by 54%. That's very good for your health. Working on standing desk for 4-5 hours a day will increase your heart beat by ten times a minute.

Having an increased heart rate will boost in your alertness and energy. And standing helps users concentrate on the tasks at work, increasing your productivity by 10%. You'll be able to get a lot more done when using a standing desk!

Cons

There are a lot of good things about standing desks, but there are a few flaws associated with it. If you aren't used to a standing desk, your feet and legs will hurt. If you're standing in one area without moving or sitting, you'll feel swelling in your ankles, feet and varicose veins. It also places more pressure on the knees.

You won't have to wear high heels. Staying on your feet won't help you when standing for extended periods. If you work in slippers in your home, you're going to need to wear supportive shoes if you're standing. We suggest that you get an anti-fatigue mat if you plan on standing for most of the day and don't like having sore feet and legs.

Let's face it. When you feel pain, you're not going to be working productively. Your mind will stay focused on the pain and urge you to relieve it.

Computer Desks

In essence, a computer desk is the same thing as a sitting desk. However, it has enough space to hold your computer while you’re working.

L-shaped computer desk.

When using a computer desk, it gives you time to work on your projects and remain focused.

Pros

Sitting at a computer desk isn't bad for you. However, sitting for extended periods of time will increase the risk of a premature death. If you have an economically correct chair, you won't find any issues sitting.

And, if you move around for a few minutes and gain blood circulation on your body, computer desks aren't that bad. Plus, they've inexpensive as you can buy one for under $200 in most stores.

Cons

After sitting for an hour, the fat burning enzyme, Lipoprotein Lipase, is reduced by 90%. If you have a slow heart rate, or your muscles aren't burning calories or using energy, you're going to gain weight and will find it difficult to lose it.

If you are at a desk that's in front of the computer, you're placing a strain on your spine, shoulders, and neck. We tend to hunch over the computers, which creates this strain and is the main reason why you have a headache or an aching back at the end of the day.

Plus, sitting too much will cause chronic pain to spinal disk compression. When using a computer desk, make sure to get an adequate amount of exercise afterward to ensure that your body stays in good condition.

DIY Computer Desks

DIY computer desks are easy to make. Here are a few steps so you can make one!

  • Materials Needed
  • Plywood
  • Screws
  • Orbit Sander/Miter Saw
  • Triple Monitor Mount
  • Drawer Slides

Step 1: Find A Design That Works For You

When making your own DIY computer desk, choose one that's simple to use and is easy for you to implement. We suggest that you search online for some designs and see which one suits you the most.

Step 2: Break Down The Materials

Now that you’ve found a good design for your computer desk, it's time to start building it! Your first order of operations is to break down the sheet goods.

We used a circular saw/table saw, but you can use a circular saw to break down almost any piece of materials. Make sure that everything has a square shape so that it resembles a completed computer desk!

Computer desks blueprints.

Step 3: Cut Holes Through Cabinet Legs & Make Cabinet Carcasses

After breaking down the pieces, you can cut individual holes through the use of a jigsaw. Once that’s done you can cut the desk with pocket holes. Then, use pocket screws and glue to connect the pieces together.

When creating the pocket holes, make sure to have them oriented, facing towards the back or the inside of the structures. This makes sure that they are hidden under the desk during the final design.

Step 4: Create A Desk PC Midsection & Other Important Parts

In this step, you have to create the midsection, the drawers, and other sections of the desk. When doing so, make sure that each of them are cut symmetrically so that they can fit perfectly. Once they are installed, screw them in tightly so that they don't accidentally fall off.

Step 5: Prepare For Finish & Install Electronics And Hardware

Fill all of the holes with a wood filler. Then, sand each of the surfaces so that they remain smooth. After that, you have to apply paint finish onto the desk. Lastly, you can install the electronics onto the desk so that it works.

Why Should I Use A Computer Desk?

In your office, there’s nothing better than a good computer desk. Office desks are designed for workers and is one of the most important pieces of equipment for helping them stay productive during the job.

But, computer desks are better than office desks and here are the reasons why:

Benefits

Explanation

Computer Desks improve your workers’ health

Your worker’s health is important as their health relates to the success and productivity of your company. Computer desks are viewed as ergonomic desks because of their functionality and ease.

Office Supplies

Office supplies can be accessed easily. A computer desk allows you to store all of your supplies in pull-able drawers.

Desk for Any Lifestyles

Watching videos, listening to music, and video gaming are all useful for a computer desk, and some have surround sound technology. You can place the speakers on the desk in order to have a complete listening experience. With a computer desk, it reduces the glare that affects your computer monitors. Glare can cause viewing fatigue and headaches - which is a serious issue for those who use a computer for play or for work.

Complete Usage

Computer desks can be used throughout the entire workday. Unlike office desks, computer desks have more of an ergonomic purpose. They include a sliding keyboard which gives the worker enough room. This increases your employee's comfort and allows them to work ahead of deadlines.

Movement

Computer desks are known for their increased mobility. You'll be able to sit at the desk without having to feel cramps in your legs. When getting a computer desk, make sure that it's adjusted to your height so that you can move around freely. This helps keep the blood circulation flowing and prevents any injuries.

Conclusion

To conclude, there's no reason why you shouldn't have a computer desk. They can be adjusted to your personal and physical needs (height, weight, etc.) and are more ergonomic than normal desks.

Corner computer desk.

But there’s still more to computer desks than just information. You need to know what kind of computer desks in the market are perfect for your situation. We would like to invite you to our buying guide to find some of the best computer desks in today’s market.

Are there any additional questions you have about computer desks?

Share in the comments below.

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